Jay walkers crossing the busy Al Ittihad road putting their lives in danger in front of Ansar mall in Sharjah. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Sharjah: Sharjah police have identified jaywalking as a serious issue and launched an inspection campaign targeting pedestrians who cross roads from non-designated areas.

Lieutenant Colonel Ahmad Bin Darwish, head of the Patrol Department of Sharjah Police said despite the intensive awareness campaign launched by Sharjah Police, jaywalkers and reckless drivers were still involved in violating the traffic law and committing offences.

The top traffic official has warned pedestrians against crossing roads from undesignated area because that is a crime punishable by the UAE Traffic Law.

The campaign rolled out under the theme, “Pedestrian safety is our responsibility” was part of the Ministry of Interior’s strategic plan, which is aimed at boosting safety.

Ahmad Bin Darwish said, “It’s important that all road users understand the risks of violating safety, whether crossing or walking on the road, and learn how to stay safe,” adding that pedestrians are the most vulnerable ones on the road.

“It is a crime for a pedestrian to cross a road from an inappropriate area, and the offence will attract a fine of Dh200,” Bin Darwish added.

“Pedestrians are advised to cross roads from the zebra crossing only or from the pedestrian bridges, otherwise they will face fines,” he said.

The number of deaths due to pedestrians being hit by cars declined five per cent compared with the same period last year, according to Sharjah Police statistics, Bin Darwish said.

There were 37 deaths in 2013 compared with 42 in 2012. As many as 223 people were run over in 2013 that resulted in 37 deaths.

Despite the efforts by the concerned departments to develop a safer environment for both drivers and pedestrians, there are still complains from the road users about a lack of pedestrian bridges in the UAE, who fear over their safety.

Bin Darwish said that police have stepped up patrols on the roads and have issued fines to jaywalkers.

Pedestrians are often advised not to cross highways with speeds of more than 80km/h because they could be held liable for any accidents resulting from their irrational behaviour, said Colonel Bin Darwish.

Meanwhile, the Federal Penal Code allows traffic prosecutors to hold pedestrians, who cross roads from undesignated area and cause accidents resulting in injuries or property damages, liable and refer them to court, he added.

Article 43 imposes on motorists a fine of Dh500 and 6 traffic points for not giving the priority to pedestrian from designated area while article 48 imposes fine of Dh500 for parking the vehicle on pedestrian corridor.

Article 111 of the law calls a fine of Dh200 and three traffic points for stopping the vehicle in a manner that causes danger to jaywalkers or impede the movement of pedestrians.

Reckless people were targeted by Sharjah Police recently in the safety campaign aimed at slashing unnecessary deaths and injuries recorded at road crossings across the emirate every year.

Sharjah Police said the campaign was designed to educate the public through information guides offering advice on crossing roads safely and safe driving tips, through brochures and booklets in Arabic and English. It is also

aimed to curtail the number of accidents involving pedestrians.

 

 

Painful accidents

 

January 8, 2014 — An 18-month-old Emirati child has died after accidentally being run over by his uncle. The horrific accident happened at the child’s home in the Al Falah area of Sharjah.

 

January 7,2014 — A four-year-old girl is reported to be in critical condition in Al Dhaid Hospital after her father accidentally reversed his four-wheel drive over her at their house in Maleiha on Monday night.

The Eastern Region police’s operations room received a call about the incident.

 

Psychological impact

 

Nargis Yamahi, a social worker at Sharjah Police said accidents are more painful when parents causes the death of their children.

“One of the tragic incidents, which I have seen is the tragedy of a family after their eldest daughter ran over her sole nephew aged one — year- and- a half, which caused a hysterical condition for the mother and father.

All the family members blamed their daughter on the death of their nephew, which left her in depression and isolated from the external world.