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Under the patronage of Lieutenant General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, the "Unified GCC Traffic Week 2014" kicks off on Sunday across the country and all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, under the slogan "Your Safety is Our Goal".
In this context, Brigadier Gaith Hassan Al Zaabi, Director General of the Traffic Coordination Department at the Ministry of Interior, recently held a press conference at the Directorate General of Electronics and Telecommunications Services. He said: Traffic accidents at the countrywide level have dropped by 23.52% in the past three years; from 6700 accidents in 2011 to 5124 accidents in 2013. Due to this significant decline, the number of traffic accident fatalities dropped from 720 in 2011 to 651 fatalities in 2013, a drop of 9.58%. While serious injuries because of traffic accidents dropped from 7808 to 7743, a drop of 0.83% compared to the same period.
Brigadier Al Zaabi added that the strategy adopted by the MoI to reduce traffic accident fatalities has improved road safety in the country during 2013. The traffic-related fatalities rate in the UAE was 6.52 per 100,000 people; accordingly, the UAE was cited as having a high proportion of fatalities caused by road accidents, among nations with the most car-accident deaths in the world.
"Traffic indicators have witnessed a significant decline across the country during 2013, thanks to the police leadership’s directives and its constant follow-up," said Brigadier Al Zaabi. Moreover, he noted that the MoI is exerting significant efforts to reach an average of 5.50 deaths per 100,000inhabitants, according to the 2014-2016 strategy, prior to achieving an average of 3 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in 2021.
Brigadier Al Zaabi referred to the main causes of road accidents during last year: According to statistics, sudden swerving was the key reason behind traffic accidents, and accounted for 1048 accidents. Misjudgment of road users ranked second leading to 668 accidents; followed by failure to leave sufficient safe distance between vehicles, which caused 573 accidents. Entering a road without making sure it is clear ranked fourth, causing 409 accidents, over speeding ranked fifth and resulted in 368 accidents, followed by lack of attention in sixth place, which led to 366 accidents. Jumping red traffic signals resulted in 365 accidents; failure to comply with lane rules led to 334 accidents; and 993 miscellaneous accidents.
Furthermore, Brigadier Al Zaabi noted that sudden swerving was the main reasons leading to deaths and serious injuries, and led to 176 deaths and 1653 minor, medium and serious injuries. Misjudgment of road users ranked second leading to 89 deaths and 735 injuries, followed by over speeding that caused 87 deaths and 559 injuries. Failure to leave a sufficient safe distance between vehicles caused 74 deaths and 1041 injuries; neglect and lack of attention resulted in 31 deaths and 536 injuries; entering a road before making sure it is clear led to 30 deaths and 683 injuries; jumping the red light caused 13 deaths and 785 injuries, in addition to 1504 deaths and injuries caused by miscellaneous accidents.
Brigadier Al Zaabi said that the ministry endeavors to raise the level of traffic safety, in coordination with the competent traffic-related entities in the country through its strategy. This strategy focuses on several aspects, namely; raising awareness; reviewing traffic education; engineering and road safety requirements; updating legislations, improving medical and ambulance services. It also aims to increase traffic control on all roads, to achieve safety for all commuters.
"Road accidents are a major concern for security services and the public in the country, despite the decline registered in 2013 as compared to 2011. This is due to their adverse social effects and resulting deaths and injuries, as well as material losses in property, which are costly to the economy," added Brigadier Al Zaabi.
He explained that the "GCC Traffic Week" events organized under the under the slogan "Your Safety is Our Goal" is the second awareness campaign for this year. It aims at promoting traffic education and intensifying efforts to reduce road accidents, and it engages all segments of society.
The event focuses on increasing traffic awareness among society members and engaging the public in the efforts made to reduce road accidents. The MoI’s main objective is to provide security and safety for all, by striving to maintain lives and property. Your safety is our goal’, Brigadier Al Zaabi added.
Moreover, Brigadier Al Zaabi reiterated the commitment of the Traffic Coordination Department at the Ministry of Interior, to reinforce collaboration between the different segments of society, with a view to provide security and safety for all commuters through its second awareness campaign for this year. This campaign, which is organized within the GCC Traffic Week’ events under the slogan Your Safety is Our Goal’, is part of the traffic sector initiatives. It embodies the Ministry of Interior’s strategic plan to improve road safety, in coordination and collaboration with the different Traffic and Patrols Directorates across the country, he continued.
He mentioned that a large number of authorities concerned with traffic safety will take part in this campaign, to guarantee a safe environment and accident-free roads, through a number of traffic-related initiatives to raise awareness among motorists. Adding further, Brigadier Al Zaabi noted that the events will be promoted through different media outlets, such as radio stations, newspapers, magazines, TV channels, as well as the internet, to reach the largest number of people. The campaign’s slogan will be posted on a number of websites and social forums, along with statistics on traffic accidents, the relevant legal material, and details of the media campaign on other media outlets.
Radio talk shows will be scheduled and will host a number of officials from the Traffic Directorate. The shows will answer any queries by the public regarding the campaign’s slogan, explain the relevant laws, and highlight the media efforts by all concerned parties. They will also highlight the role of the Ministry of Interior and other institutions concerned with the campaign. Campaign-related posters, brochures, and awareness leaflets will be distributed in a number of public places.
In conclusion, Brigadier Al Zaabi said that coordination is underway with the various Traffic and Patrols Directorates, to mark the "GCC Traffic Week" in order to enhance traffic awareness with activities and events that reflect the campaign’s slogan. He noted that a visit schedule was established for GCC Traffic Directorates’ delegations to the Traffic Directorates across the UAE. A number of officers and warrant officers from the different Traffic and Patrols Directorates have been dispatched to GCC states to take part in the activities and events organized by these countries to mark this occasion.
The press conference was attended by Colonel Nasser Ahmad Al Hosani, Chief of Federal Traffic Section, and head of the work team responsible for the events of the "Unified GCC Traffic Week", as well as Major Ali Saeed Al Shehhi, Chief of Strategy and Performance Development Section at the Traffic Coordination Department.
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