Police roll out second phase of national road safety campaign

Hassan Hassan

  • Last Updated: August 11. 2009 10:47PM UAE / August 11. 2009 6:47PM GMT

ABU DHABI // Police announced yesterday that the second wave of their national road safety campaign had begun.

The Salama Road Safety Public Awareness campaign, launched to coincide with Ramadan, will focus on the dangers of reckless driving, particularly among young Emiratis, officials said.

But Col Hamad al Shamsi, the head of the traffic and patrols department in Abu Dhabi, said the entire population would benefit.

“An accident would only take few seconds to occur and could very well lead to death.

“No one would want to feel guilty towards his or her beloved ones because of unnecessary behaviour,” he said. A representative from Salama said the campaign was being targeted at Emiratis because they “are 25 per cent of the casualties we are losing on the roads”.

“It is our role to develop their knowledge but also to safeguard their life in one way or another,” she said.

The effort is run by the Ministry of Interior and the Emirates Foundation along with a number of private companies, non-governmental organisations and other government departments.

The first wave began in November; the second, which is planned for television, cinemas and radio, will describe or show accidents and detail the mistakes that caused them.

The first wave of the campaign included Basil Shaaban, a professional racing driver, who spoke to college students about traffic dangers.

He told the students that every 35 hours, a member of an Emirati family lost their life in a traffic accident. Road deaths, he said, could be cut by 50 per cent if drivers wore seat belts and obeyed speed limits.

A police official also yesterday dismissed claims made in widely circulated text messages that the maximum speed on local highways had been secretly changed.

Col Hussein al Harethi of the Abu Dhabi Police said limits on some roads and highways might be changed in the future.


* Additional reporting by Haneen Dajani