Pedestrians cross a street during the morning rush hour in Bur Dubai. Police say building of foot bridges across the city has helped cut accidents. Image Credit: Megan Hirons Mahon/Gulf News

Dubai: Pedestrian death toll continues to decline on Dubai roads, with a 35 per cent drop in fatalities during the first three months this year as compared to last year, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced Tuesday.

Statistics show a huge improvement in pedestrian safety over the years, Hussain Al Banna, director of Traffic at the RTA's Traffic and Roads Agency said.

During the first three months of this year, 11 pedestrian fatalities were recorded as compared to 17 during the same period last year, he said.

Over 67 per cent of the accidents took place in the night, Al Banna said.

Further drop

"We will continue with our awareness efforts this year and expect a further drop in pedestrian fatalities; which already dropped from 78 cases in 2009 to 43 in 2010."

Last year, the pedestrians killed in traffic accidents hit a record low in a decade with 2.8 cases per 100,000 of population. In 2001, five cases were recorded per 100,000 of the population.

The number climbed steadily going from 6.8 in 2004 to an all time high of 9.5 in 2009. The number has been dropping since 2009.

In 2008, seven cases were recorded and 4.4 cases in 2009.

Positive trend

Al Banna attributed the positive trend to awareness campaigns organised by RTA to enhance pedestrian safety, particularly among workers, as well as the building of foot bridges across the city.

"The awareness campaign carried out by the RTA this year started off at the workers' accommodation at Sonapur and covered Al Quoz, Jebel Ali, Al Barsha, Al Ghusais schools complex and RTA customer service centres."

Be attentive

It focused on educating workers on the importance of being attentive and making sure the road is clear of traffic before crossing the road.

Earlier, the RTA had identified seven areas where the most number of accidents involving pedestrians took place — including Al Quoz, Al Wasl, and the service roads of Shaikh Zayed Road.

But this year, so far, the accidents were not concentrated in certain areas, but rather spread out.

"RTA has been successful in reducing the number of fatalities caused by traffic accidents during the last three years, and the situation improved year after year.