Obey speed limits, drivers told
(By a staff reporter)

7 September 2006

DUBAI — Wrong practices and bad driving habits are the major cause of accidents, not only in Dubai but also elsewhere in the world as 80 per cent of traffic accidents are caused due to human error.

According to an RTA survey, at least one person dies every 37 hours on Dubai roads due to traffic accidents. The number of road fatalities is 19.66 persons for every 100,000 residents. This number is considered high, compared to developed countries like in Sweden, where it is 5.8 and Australia 8.4. Engineer Bader Al Siri, Director of Traffic Department, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said that traffic safety is a key issue and all and private sector agencies should play a vital role in this regard.

During the first half of the current year 2006, the number of road accidents in Dubai reached 915, which resulted in 157 fatalities, out of which 11 per cent were UAE citizens.

Engineer Mohammad Abdah, giving his presentation, said 42 per cent of traffic fatalities are pedestrians, 33 per cent are due to collisions with other cars, 16 per cent due to collision with fixed objects, and 9 per cent due to vehicle overturning.

According to the RTA data on high accident locations, Mr Abdah said that Shaikh Zayed Road ranks first among the ‘top 10 dangerous roads’ in Dubai, followed by the Emirates Road, Jumeirah Road, Shaikh Rashid Road, Al Ittihad Road, Al Wasl Road, Shaikh Zayed Service Road, Al Khaleej Road, Mankhool Road, Khalid bin Waleed Road. He said that most accidents on Dubai roads are avoidable as the roads have been designed and built keeping in mind a high level of safety and technical specifications.

Among other recommendations, he called on young drivers and all road users to drive within the legal speed limits and give more attention to the safety of pedestrians.

He also pointed out the importance of using the seatbelt and children’s safety seats. Referring to a recently organised Traffic Safety seminar by RTA, in cooperation with Lootah BC GAZ company in Dubai, Mr Siri said the seminar aimed at the safety of all road users including drivers and pedestrians.
He also urged drivers to take care on the roads by driving safely, communicating with other drivers, using indicators, considering the needs of other road users, and driving defensively at all times.