Abu Dhabi: A unique system which uses artificial intelligence to evaluate and assess road safety issues to come up with counter measures is being implemented by the Abu Dhabi Police and will be in place this year.

The Intelligent Safety Management System will use information gathered by road-monitoring devices to identify major problem areas in road safety and generate a number of solutions to help combat these issues.

“This system is the first of its kind in the world. It will use Geographic Information System (GIS) which has helped us manually create solutions for certain problems in the past such as speeding and red-light violations,” said Dr Atef Gareeb, roads and traffic expert at Abu Dhabi Police, speaking on the sidelines of the first International Road Traffic Accident Conference which took place in the capital on Monday.

“GIS was very efficient because it aided us in studying which areas in Abu Dhabi have the highest number of accidents, and based on that we placed speed monitors in a practical, calculated manner. We were also able to dispatch patrols in high-risk zones and advise officers to look out for 15 to 20 major violations which are normally associated with higher death rates,” he added.

According to Dr Gareeb, studies have also shown that an increase in fines on the spot by police officers is strongly related to a decrease in the number of road accident fatalities. Other data collected revealed that changes made in traffic technologies, such as the introduction of the end-of-green light indicator has lowered the number of accidents at intersections and the rate of running red traffic lights.

Meanwhile, Brigadier Eng Hussain Al Harithi, Director of Abu Dhabi Traffic and Patrols Directorate, said that the number of fatalities due to road accidents has decreased over the past three years. “Moreover, the number of deaths (281) in Abu Dhabi city was less than the expected number of fatalities that year, which was 331. Forty of those who died in road accidents in 2013 did so in three major accidents including the workers’ bus that was hit by a truck in Al Ain. Two more accidents resulted in the death of eight and nine others respectively,” he added.

Other participating entities included the Department of Transport, Emirates Driving Company, and LLH Hospital.

“The GCC countries have a relatively high death rate compared with the West. The HAAD (Health Authority-Abu Dhabi) figures for 2012 show that as many died from road traffic accidents as from leukaemia yet it fails to cause the same emotional response and research interest. We need to act before it is too late to prevent this needless loss of life, especially among the young. It is time to try to integrate the medical and technical aspects that impinge upon loss of life or disabling injury,” said Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, managing director of LLH Hospital.