Dubai: New dedicated Accident Management units are expected to reduce accidents and cut down on the adverse impact they have on society, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced.

The units will be jointly managed by RTA and Dubai Police and will be affiliated with the central operations command of Dubai Police.

According to RTA, accidents in Dubai cost the economy Dh1.8 billion annually, with more than 50 per cent of traffic jams being triggered by road mishaps.

Overall, Dubai loses Dh3.5 billion annually in traffic congestion, including those caused by accidents.

At 51 per cent, the contribution of accidents to Dubai’s annual loss due to congestion is one of the highest in the world in Dubai, compared with the average of 25 per cent in countries where advanced traffic systems are in place.

The accident management units will look at ways to help reduce accidents while providing regular support to reduce the impact of accidents on traffic.

“These units are intended to provide traffic support during crashes, ensure the rapid clearance of vehicles involved in minor traffic accidents as well as vehicles that break down to ease traffic congestion and streamline the traffic flow at the site of the crash or surrounding roads,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of RTA.

One of the primary objectives of the units will be to cut short the time taken to clear accident sites so that there is limited impact on traffic.

According to RTA, Dubai saw a 48 per cent expansion of its road network between 2006 and 2014 but the number of vehicles also doubled during the same period from 740,000 to 1.39 million.

The increase in vehicles is reflected in the escalation of accidents by 16 per cent between 2011 and 2013.

Mattar Al Tayer and Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, recently held a consultative meeting in the presence of top officials from both sides to discuss various aspects of the units.

Initially, Dubai Police and RTA have agreed to set up three dedicated units, one each for Shaikh Zayed Road, Mohammad Bin Zayed Road and for the 100-km-long stretch of the Dubai-Al Ain Road.

The officials discussed the proposed Organisational Chart of the Traffic Accidents Management units in Dubai, and setting up a joint Operations Room for Dubai Police, RTA and some strategic partners, which will be affiliated with the Operations Room of Dubai Police.

Both organisations have reached a tentative agreement on the roles and responsibilities of the RTA and the Dubai Police in the units.