Under the patronage of Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, the 32nd Gulf Traffic Week will kick off on Sunday morning nationwide and in the Gulf countries under the slogan "Your Choice Determines Your Destiny."
The week’s activities will continue until March 18.
On this occasion, multiple celebrations will take place at the countrywide level and will be attended by a number of sheikhs, senior officials and officers, as well as delegated officers from the Cooperation Council for the Arab Gulf States and entities taking part in the week's activities across the UAE.
Lt. General Saif Abdullah Al Sha’far, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Interior, will attend the celebration organised by the Traffic and Patrols Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters at Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island. Similar celebrations will take place all over the country. The Gulf Traffic Week’s launch ceremony in Sharjah will take place at Al Tanwir Hall in Sharjah’s Higher College of Technology; in Ajman, the ceremony will be held at the Ajman Cultural Centre; in conjunction with the inauguration of the Traffic Village on the Ajman Corniche.
In Fujairah, celebrations will be held at the Fujairah Siji Hotel, and will include a number of activities and events, while in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, celebrations will take place at the RAK Cultural Center, and at the Traffic and Patrols Directorate’s building in Umm al-Quwain.
Brigadier Ghaith Hassan Al Zaabi, Director General of Traffic Coordination at the Ministry of Interior, said that the Traffic Week celebrations are part of the continuous awareness campaigns, and highlight the MoI’s efforts to improve traffic safety indicators to prevent accidents. He indicated that a clear improvement was witnessed nationwide during 2015, with a major decrease in the total rate of traffic accidents, injuries and deaths. "Upon the recommendations of the police leadership, the Ministry of Interior is making tremendous efforts to achieve the coveted goals, notably to preserve a safe traffic environment.
The number of deaths has decreased to 5.99 deaths per 100,000 people in 2015 compared to 6.31 deaths per 100,000 people in 2014," he noted.
Brigadier Al Zaabi explained that the statistics issued by the Traffic Coordination General Directorate at the Ministry of Interior revealed that traffic accidents deaths have decreased by 5.2 per cent in the country during 2015 compared to last year; a decrease of 37 deaths, from 712 deaths in 2014 to 675 deaths in 2015. "The number of injuries resulting from traffic accidents decreased during 2015 and accounted for 6863 injuries compared to 7,108 injuries in 2014; a decrease of 155 injuries, which accounts for 3.4 per cent of the total number of injuries nationwide," he explained.
According to Brigadier Al Zaabi, statistics revealed a significant decrease in the number of traffic accidents at the countrywide level, from 4895 traffic accidents in 2014, to 4,788 accidents in 2015. This constitutes a decrease of 107 accidents, accounting for 2.2 per cent in 2015.
Brigadier Al Zaabi added that the decrease in the number of traffic deaths, injuries and accidents last year, and in the number of deaths per 100,000 people is attributed to the tremendous efforts exerted by the relevant authorities to achieve traffic safety. These efforts are carried out in cooperation with partners via a number of initiatives to enhance traffic safety for road users and improve the efficiency of procedures applied by the Ministry of Interior. "The improvement in traffic safety indicators is also attributed to the efforts exerted by police leaderships as well as Traffic and Patrols directorates and departments in the country, aimed at improving the traffic system via the ministry’s strategy to control road security and create a safe environment on roads, consistent with the international standards adopted in this regard," he continued.
He also noted that statistics indicated that sudden swerving was the key reason behind traffic accidents last year, and accounted for 919 accidents, representing 19.19 per cent of the total number of accidents. Failure to maintain a sufficient safe distance between vehicles ranked second, and caused 13.01 per cent of accidents, with 623 accidents reported; followed by misjudgment of road users with 556 accidents, amounting to 11.61 per cent of accidents.
Lack of attention and neglect ranked fourth and resulted in 499 accidents, or 10.42 per cent. Failure to comply with lane rules caused 388 accidents amounting to 8.10 per cent; entering a road without making sure it is clear resulted in 349 accidents; while over speeding caused 281 accidents, other reasons such as jumping the red light, and not giving the priority to pedestrians caused the rest of the accidents.
He also explained that statistics showed that road fatalities were the result of sudden swerving in the first place with 143 deaths, followed by over speeding that lead to 82 deaths. Failure to maintain a sufficient safety distance caused 76 deaths, misjudgment of road users lead to 75 deaths, lack of attention and neglect lead to 73 deaths, followed by failure to comply with lane rules that caused 63 deaths, while entering a road without making sure it is clear resulted in 32 deaths, tire bursting caused 16 deaths, and illegal overtaking lead to 15 deaths, while other reasons accounted for the rest of road fatalities.
Brigadier Al Zaabi said, "Sudden swerving was the main reason behind road accidents, and accounted for 1,384 injuries, followed by failure to maintain a sufficient safety distance with 1005 injuries. Failure to comply with lane rules caused 603 injuries, while entering a road without making sure it is clear resulted in 575 injuries. Misjudgment of road users caused 543 injuries, followed by neglect and lack of attention that lead to 520 injuries. Jumping the red light accounted for 516 injuries, over speeding caused 429 injuries, while other reasons accounted for the rest of road injuries."
He continued, "It is very important to seek concerted efforts of the various departments, institutions, and segments of society to cooperate with the Traffic and Patrols departments across the country. This would contribute to decrease the number of traffic accidents and subsequently reduce human and material losses. Addressing traffic issues is a shared responsibility that requires the joint efforts of all sectors of society."
He called upon motorists and road users to abide by the traffic rules and regulations to ensure their own safety and the safety of other road users. He urged them to avoid traffic accidents that may result in injuries or loss of life and property, and to maintain their own safety and safety of the others.
The Security Media Department at the Security Support General Directorate, the General Secretariat of the Office of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, will be broadcasting audio-visual messages via the different media channels. The awareness messages include traffic advice provided by senior officials that target all society segments. It also includes a series of awareness advertisements produced by the department, and tweets that target all society segments via the MoI’s social media accounts.
In preparation for the Traffic Week, the Ministry of Interior’s websites have released their first production; a video advertisement titled ‘Youth Dreams: Between the Hammer and the Anvil of Road accidents" that was broadcasted on the MoI’s YouTube channel (MOIUAE). The video had great response from subscribers who interacted with the content, which provided images of the most popular dreams of the youth about a bright future, and tragic real footages of a school bus involved in a road accident. The moving emotional production highlighted the horrendous effects of traffic accidents.
The MoI’s different media channels will continue broadcasting these ads throughout the Gulf Traffic Week and beyond, in line with the ministry’s commitment to support outreach efforts exerted by the relevant institutions.
The Security Media Department will also broadcast parental awareness messages via the different radio stations in the UAE. These messages aim to spread further awareness about traffic safety.
The prominent participants involved in delivering the parental messages include, Sheikh Salem bin Rakkad Al Ameri; businessman Sheikh Khalid bin Tannaf Al Menhali; Ahmed Salem Al Soden Board member of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Abu Dhabi; Brigadier Dr. Ali Salim Al Tunaiji, Deputy Commander of Special Security Forces at the MoI; and businessman Al Muta’ared Saif Al Afari.