According to Brigadier Eng. Hussein Ahmed Al Harithi, Director of Traffic and Patrols Directorate, the number of deaths caused by traffic accidents in the emirate of Abu Dhabi have decreased from 229 to 189 deaths by 17 percent when comparing the past nine months of the current year with the same time period last year. The number of severe injuries has also decreased by 31 percent from 270 to 184 injuries, while traffic accidents have decreased by eight percent. Accordingly, statistics show that the traffic safety levels have improved by 33 percent as a result of the efforts achieved by the directorate during the past five years to reduce the number of traffic accidents, while fatalities decreased by 29 percent and severe injuries by 24 percent.

Brigadier Eng. Al Harithi said, “The continued improvement in traffic safety indicators in the emirate during the first nine months of 2014, in spite of the increase in number of registered vehicles by 8 percent, is a result of the directorate’s efforts in implementing a comprehensive traffic safety plan, raising awareness, implementing an integrated speed management strategy, increasing enforcement and automated traffic control devices, and in developing a system to identify the motorists who run red lights”.

“During the specified period, speeding was among the main causes of traffic accidents, causing about 17 percent of accidents; neglect and lack of attention and sudden swerving caused 15 percent of accidents. Among others, failure to maintain a safe distance between vehicles caused 12 percent of accidents; running red lights caused nine percent of accidents and blown tires caused two percent,” he added. He also called upon drivers to avoid the causes that lead to traffic accidents and its related fatalities and severe injuries.

Moreover, Brigadier Al Harithi indicated that young drivers between the ages of 18-30 have the highest rate of causing traffic accidents during the last period, followed by Asian drivers aged 31-45. He noted that both age groups have the highest number of traffic violations. “The number of fines issued against Asian drivers has reached 39 percent of the total number issued fines, while the number of violations committed by young Emirati drivers has reached about 27 percent. Therefore, the awareness programs have been intensified for both categories of drivers,” added Brigadier Al Harithi.

Furthermore, the Director of Traffic and Patrols Directorate called upon all motorists to commit to the designated speed limits in order to maintain their safety and the safety of other road users, and avoid serious traffic accidents that occur due to overtaking and result in deaths and severe injuries.  He indicated that speeding has topped all other violations with 79 percent of the total number of violations, which has led to the increased number of traffic accidents due to speeding.

Brigadier Eng. Al Harithi asserted that traffic awareness efforts targeting drivers from both the public and private sectors are being intensified, in addition to raising awareness among students, supervisors, and bus drivers in the educational sector. He noted that the number of lectures that were carried out during the previous period reached 490 lectures benefiting about 51,537 people. These lectures focused on raising the level of traffic culture and urging drivers to abide by the traffic laws.

He also indicated that the directorate has recently launched traffic awareness councils in order to foster communication within the community and improve the behavior of drivers, most particularly for the young drivers.  The directorate has also launched several new social initiatives including “You are the Backbone of this Country” that targets the youth and adopts a unique approach. It aims to instill traffic culture within the largest and most important age group, and to protect them against the dangers of speeding, since they are responsible for building the country and maintaining its gains.

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