The Abu Dhabi Police ambulance service is prompt to act. Image Credit: Courtesy:Abu Dhabi Police

Abu Dhabi: The number of deaths in road accidents in Abu Dhabi has dropped by 30 per cent in the past five years.

The number of deaths dropped from 409 five years ago to 289 last year, the Abu Dhabi Police Traffic and Patrols Directorate said in a press release issued on Saturday.

Serious injuries dropped by 25 per cent, from 483 to 366. The number of pedestrian deaths decreased by 60 per cent, from 118 to 48.

The number of traffic accidents causing injuries dropped by 33 per cent, from 3,086 to 2,071.

This improvement was registered despite a 45 per cent increase in the number of registered vehicles during the same period, from 601,208 to 873,243 vehicles.

Pile-up accidents which occurred last year did not affect the overall improvement in traffic safety. Accidents involving workers’ buses in Al Ain and Hamim area in the Western Region caused 29 deaths.

Brigadier Eng Hussain Ahmad Al Harithi, Director of Traffic and Patrols Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police, attributed this improvement to a number of factors. They include the comprehensive traffic safety plan adopted in the emirate in the areas of traffic control, awareness, education, engineering, and speed management strategy in cooperation with partners. A radar control system is catching drivers who speed up to run a red light.

Regarding positive indicators in the past year, Brigadier Al Harithi said deaths of citizens in traffic accidents decreased by 11 per cent. The number of accidents caused by running red lights has decreased by 54 per cent. Deaths caused by accidents due to speeding also dropped by 44 per cent.

The number of deaths in traffic accidents across Abu Dhabi emirate decreased by 53 per cent. Serious injuries also dropped by 15 per cent, while the number of deaths in Al Ain also dropped by 8 per cent, said the press release.

About the main causes of road accidents last year, the official said sudden swerving was the major reason behind traffic accidents, followed by speeding, lack of attention while driving, running red lights, failure to comply with lane rules and tailgating, etc. He said the causes are being reviewed to find appropriate solutions.

He said several projects are being implemented to enhance traffic safety, including a Smart Traffic Systems Centre project featuring advanced systems supported by artificial intelligence systems and geographic information systems (GIS).

A new comprehensive automated traffic control system is also being developed to capture traffic law violators.

He also indicated that infrared speed cameras are being installed at intersections to catch drivers who speed up to run a red light. As part of the programme, 150 junctions will be fitted with surveillance cameras in Abu Dhabi, of which 50 have already been installed.