Abu Dhabi: With an online presence on several social media sites an initiative, titled UAE Together, is making the roads safer 140 characters at a time.
Launched by the General Directorate of Abu Dhabi Police, UAE Together regularly updates its Twitter page, informing users on police instructions while sharing recommendations from related traffic entities such as Saaed.
General advice and precautions to be taken while driving in difficult weather conditions are also posted on the UAE Together’s Facebook page and website.
Head of the Drivers Training Department at the Technical Institute for Motor Driving, Ebrahim Dusooki, said that using social media means youths — who are mainly responsible for traffic accidents — are targeted.
“Even if the awareness messages impact 10 or 20 per cent of their target audience the campaign can be considered a success. However, stronger advertising and a more active presence online could also help in bringing more cooperation from individuals,” Dusooki told Gulf News.
Under UAE Together four initiatives to reward safe drivers have been launched: The Best Traffic Family, The Best Traffic School, The Best Traffic Young Driver and The Best Traffic Labour Cluster.
Prizes and awards are handed out to individuals, families, schools and labour accommodation sites. Lectures on traffic safety are also given.
“Although I have not heard of them previously, I am glad to know that such an initiative is present. After checking them out I realised that they can be considered a one-stop-shop for road safety and advice in general. I think that more information from other sources would be more helpful and that their activity should be increased,” said Jaber Jaber, a 28-year-old civil engineer in the capital.
Meanwhile, Khalid Al Mansouri, vice-CEO of Emirates Driving Company, which works closely with Abu Dhabi Police in raising awareness on road safety, said: “The UAE Together campaign is adopting important media tools in communicating road safety messages to various road users, especially to the young age group through social media channels. Those messages are pushing Road Safety information to drivers and non-drivers in order to be safe on the road, inside their cars and while driving.”
Earlier, Gulf News reported that a little less than half (41.8 per cent) of all road accidents that took place between 2009 and 2012, were caused by individuals between the ages of 18-30, according to statistics revealed by the Traffic Coordination Department at the Ministry of Interior.
Traffic accidents are the leading cause of deaths among youth aged between 15-29, killing 1.24 million individuals worldwide annually. If the situation remains the same, and unless drastic measures are taken, the death rate is expected to go up to two million people per year in 2020,” Dr Haifa Madi, Director of Health Protection and Promotion in the World Health Organisation (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Region Office, said earlier.
- Website: www.uae-together.com
- Twitter: @UAETogether
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/UAETogether