The number of crashes on Abu Dhabi's roads had decreased during Ramadan. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: Although Abu Dhabi has witnessed fewer accidents during the first half of Ramadan, the number of fatalities has gone up compared to the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Interior.

Statistics released by the Traffic Coordination Department at the ministry indicate that 119 traffic accidents took place this year compared with 147 incidents which occurred during the same period in 2012. The number of deaths in 2012 was 21 while this year saw 28 fatalities.

Brigadier General Gaith Hassan Al Za’abi, Director General of Traffic Coordination Department at the Ministry of Interior, also added that minor and moderate injuries went down.

According to statistics released by the ministry’s Traffic Coordination Department, there were 73 collisions this Ramadan as opposed to last year’s 84 which took place within the same period. However, 24 vehicles overturned during this year’s first 15 days of Ramadan as opposed to 19 w last year. Meanwhile, run over accidents have decreased by half, from 41 incidents last year to 20 this year. Two other accidents took place although they are not classified under any of the department’s known groups and are therefore labelled as ‘other’.

Al Za’abi said that the increase in the number of deaths is due to the corresponding severity of accidents which often occur as a result of speeding, running red lights, not focusing while driving and not abiding by road rules in general.

The official added that traffic accidents are a natural consequence of the rising number of vehicles on the road and that the responsibility of training the thousands of individuals seeking to obtain a licence lies on traffic authorities in the different parts of the country.

Finally, Al Za’abi urged all drivers to obey road rules and to refrain from wrongfully parking in spots designated for those with physical disabilities and fire trucks as it hinders firefighters from carrying out their tasks efficiently. Road users have also been urged not to use their mobile phones while driving and to pay full attention to road conditions.