70 drivers jump the red signal in Dubai every day

Violation of traffic rules in Dubai has seen an increase this year. At least 6,425 motorists jumped the red signals in the emirate in the first quarter of 2012 compared to 4,636 during the same period last year.

This has forced the traffic department to convert cameras to radars at pedestrian crossings in Dubai, reported Al Bayan.

According to latest Dubai Police statistics there were in total 19,002 red-signal jumping cases last year.

Major General Mohammed Saif Al Zaffin, Director-General, Dubai Department of Traffic, Dubai Police, said jumping red signal is a dangerous offence. In the first three months this year there were 38 accidents recorded in which three people lost their lives and six were critically hurt, while 17 suffered moderate injuries and 76 other escaped with minor injuries.

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During the same period last year, there were only 29 accidents recorded in which three people lost their lives, four were seriously hurt, 12 suffered medium injuries and 40 minor cases.

Red signal jumping led to eight deaths last year. While a total of 126 accidents were recorded in which 10 people were critically hurt, 39 moderately hurt and 179 suffered minor injuries.

Al Zaffin said: "despite the high fines, motorists continued to jump red signals. At present Dh800 is the fine with 8 black points apart from impounding of car for 15 days."

In order to curb such mishaps, the department is planning to convert cameras at pedestrain crossings to radars, he said and added that areas such as Jumeirah, Al Wasl and other streets in Dubai will be taken up first.

Gradually the conversion will extend to intersections in Dubai. 

There are about 84 cameras fixed at intersections in Dubai, Al Zaffin said.

Woman jumps red light and kills boy in Abu Dhabi

A woman driving her car at high speed jumped the red lights and killed a 16-year-old Asian boy just as he was crossing the road in Abu Dhabi.

The accident took place on the busy Murur road in the capital on Wednesday and preliminary police investigation found the woman made a fatal mistake and jumped the red lights at a high speed.

“The boy died on the spot after he was run over when he was in the pedestrian crossing…the woman suffered from light injuries,” Major Abdullah Al Suwaidi, director of the accidents division at Abu Dhabi traffic police, said without identifying the driver.

Car accidents cost the UAE a massive Dh17 billion in 3 years

Car accidents cost the UAE nearly Dh17 billion in socio-economic losses in just three years as the country continues to reel under one of the world’s worst traffic records, according to an official report.

"This marked 14.4% decline in the past three years and 26.5% fall by the end of 2009, due to efforts exerted by the concerned authorities.”

The report noted that the problem has become an international one, yet its impact on some areas and countries is more dramatic than in other areas. For example, the entire Arab region is classified as the most venerable region to car accidents, “including the UAE in general, and Abu Dhabi in particular.”

Its figures showed the number of car accidents causing human injuries in the UAE in 2011 alone amounted to 6,700, of which 720 deaths were reported. Although this figure is considered less than that of 2010, it is still considered relatively high by international standards despite traffic police efforts to curb road violations and reduce accidents.

In 2011, accident deaths dropped by 25.5 % in the UAE, and 19% in Abu Dhabi compared to 2009, “in a remarkable achievement which reflects the great efforts exerted by the concerned authorities.”

The report showed Abu Dhabi alone saw 2,280 car accidents that resulted in 3,547 injuries and 334 deaths last year, constituting 46.4% of the total car accidents in the country. In 2011, over eight million traffic violations were reported, 49.3% of which were committed in Abu Dhabi.

Speed accounted for 76.3% of the total offences in the UAE while in Abu Dhabi, total offences surged by 411% compared to 2008. Total offences in the UAE soared by 117% compared to 2009.

“According to the Studies Department at DED, the car accidents in the past three years became the focus of attention for researchers as well as decision-makers in different countries owing to the heavy causalities in life and properties annually. Car accidents now are one of the most important areas of research and analysis for economists who are measuring and assessing direct and indirect socioeconomic cost of accidents,” it said.

“In this effect, it emphasized the importance of determining accurate and realistic methods to determine the tremendous financial cost and losses now being tantamount to that of wars as a result of the rising number of car accident deaths annually, the subsequent causalities and their impact on countries’ economies.

According to the study, car accidents are considered a major cause for the deaths and injuries of individuals aging 20 – 40. Nearly 1.3 million deaths and 30 – 50 million injuries were reported across the world last year.

“Car accidents are identified as the third causes of death in the world after heart diseases and strokes.”

The report warned that the rise of car accidents, specially serious ones, affects the social life in the country as a result of high mortality that causes families to lose their providers, which in turn affects income and productivity.

“The increase of car accidents also causes the health service cost to rise, which incorporates the cost of clinical services and medication provided to those injured in car accidents (medication, stay in hospital, first aid, etc…), apart from their reflection on the society. The increase in car accident rates also has an impact on the whole society, as it affects the tourism sector, as tourists tend to avoid the countries with high car accident rates, which causes countries to lose a significant source of income.”

In terms of human lives, nearly 6,700 serious accidents took place in the second largest Arab economy in 2011, resulting in the death of 720 people and injury of 7,808, showed the report by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED).

“DED researchers came to the conclusion that the car accident cost in the UAE in 2009 –2011 is estimated at Dh 17 billion, or an average of 1.6% of the GNP of the country,” the report said.