Deaths on Dubai's roads halved in two years

Dubai road toll halves as police up ante on enforcement and education

Stricter traffic policing and education is having and effect
Stricter traffic policing and education is having and effect

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The Dubai police force is predicting that it will reach its target of zero fatalities per 100,000 people on the emirates roads by 2020.

The number of people being killed on Dubai’s roads has fallen from 225 in 2009 to 111 in 2011, Colonel Jamal Mohammad Al Bannai, assistant director of general traffic department, Dubai Police said at this week’s Gulf Traffic conference.

Al Bannai said that harsher enforcement of traffic laws and greater education in schools and universities had helped to make roads safer.

“If you can teach the child now to respect traffic, when they grow up it is much easier for them," he said.

Also speaking at the event was Rita Cuypers, director of campaigns and events at the FIA Foundation, an organisation tasked with ensuring the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety plan is a success.

Cuypers revealed that by the middle of the decade more children will die on roads in emerging and developing countries than perceived bigger risks such as diseases like AIDS and Malaria.

Cuypers has previously been critical of “a lack of road safety culture in the GCC countries, which are considered to be dangerous to drive on”, and described the attitudes of young men as problematic.

“A study by the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy found that reckless driving such as speeding, tailgating and dangerous overtaking are accepted practices among young Emirati men,” she said. “Additionally, sticking to the speed limit, keeping a safe distance, wearing seatbelts and stopping to make phone calls were considered ‘unmanly’.”

However Cuypers was optimistic that Dubai’s progress can be maintained.

“I look around at the buildings and the technology you have here,” the French-born speaker said. “In many you are more advanced than us and I’m sure with the right resources you will achieve you make your roads safer.”

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PMV Middle East - September 2020

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