Dubai: Government authorities’ combined efforts to spread a message of safety among schoolchildren has resulted in around a 40 per cent reduction in child fatalities over the last three years.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) joined hands with Dubai Police, Dubai Health Authority and Emirates Transport to coordinate government efforts with a view to creat traffic safety awareness among children and mothers, and addressing traffic safety requirements in school zones.

The campaign, Child Safety a Shared Responsibility, has so far reached 21,000 pupils, beginning from 2010.

“The objectives of the initiative echo the general objectives of the Dubai Government in the field of traffic awareness and safety. Modern trends of awareness activities rely on the concerted efforts of multiple entities so as to serve, at the end of the day, the common objectives of every locality or emirate in terms of security and safety,” said Engineer Maitha Bin Udai, CEO of RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency.

The campaign has helped bring down child fatalities on roads from 12 in 2010 to seven in 2012. Similarly, fatalities in traffic accidents involving female drivers (aged 18 to 40) dropped from 15 cases in 2010 to 12 cases in 2011, and plummeted further to eight cases in 2012.

Over the past three years, the initiative has succeeded in publishing more than 70 awareness leaflets of which more than 700,000 copies have been printed.

The initiative has contributed to serving the needs of traffic awareness in school zones through designing and constructing 160 pedestrian crossings and more than 450 directional signs. Following the introduction of laws and regulations by the RTA to streamline the school transport sector, more than 6,700 school bus drivers and more than 5,000 bus conductors have been trained and licensed.

The initiative, supported by the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Education, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, and the Dubai Educational Zone, specifically targets pupils and mothers.