76% drop in pedestrian fatality in Dubai in 2007-2019: RTA

Photo: Dubai Media Office

His Excellency Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), highlighted the importance of RTA’s efforts to improve traffic safety in general and pedestrian safety in particular. He reflected on the impact of constructing footbridges on reducing pedestrian fatalities by 76.5% between 2007 and 2019. Al Tayer revealed that pedestrian fatalities in Dubai dropped from 9.5 cases per 100,000 of population (145 cases in total) in 2007, to 0.59 cases per 100,000 of population (34 cases in total) in 2019.

“The number of footbridges constructed in Dubai soared from 13 bridges in 2006 to 116 bridges in 2020. RTA plans to build other 34 footbridges during the period 2021-2026, which will bring the total number of pedestrian bridges to 150 bridges,” he noted.

“In 2018 and 2019, RTA completed the construction of three pedestrian bridges on Sheikh Zayed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, Al Khawaneej and Al Marabi’ streets. In 2020 and 2021, RTA will construct 7 other pedestrian bridges at King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Street, Latifa bin Hamdan Street, Khalid bin Al Waleed Street, Al Asayel Street (two bridges), Al Awir Street, Baniyas Street and Al Khawaneej Street,” announced Al Tayer.

“Traffic safety performance indicators and targets reflect a drop in pedestrian fatalities on streets that used to have high run-over accidents. The number of traffic-related fatalities on the Sheikh Zayed Road dropped from 5 cases in 2018 to one case in 2019. The number of pedestrian fatalities dropped from four cases to one case on Emirates Road, and from three cases to zero case at Al Quoz Industrial Area during the same period.

“The assessment of the impact of pedestrian bridges constructed on eight key streets of Dubai during three years before and three years after the construction of such bridges showed a drop in the number of pedestrian fatalities in the vicinity of those bridges from four cases to zero case. The number of run-over accidents also dropped from twenty to one accident only.

“RTA adopts specific standards in determining the locations of pedestrian bridges in Dubai. Traffic studies conducted addressed the intensity of traffic, number of pedestrian accidents and fatalities, speed limit, number of lanes, people movement between the two sides of the road, and the nearest pedestrian crossing and bus stops consideration is also given to areas where entities and retailers are abundant, and areas witnessing frequent run-over accidents (black points). Depending on the findings of such studies, traffic solutions are taken, be it pedestrian bridges, pedestrian crossing fitted with signals or speed-calming devices among others,” added Al Tayer.

“Studies and procedures related to run-over accidents constitute an integral part of RTA’s traffic safety strategy, which targets a zero-fatality rate to rank Dubai amongst the world’s safest cities in traffic safety by 2021. The traffic safety strategy is based on four pillars, namely roads engineering and vehicles, law enforcement, public awareness, and systems and management. The strategy comprises of 20 strategic priorities and 60 specialist initiatives/programmes based on technical specifications, manuals and studies supported by modern technologies at par with the best global practices,” he noted.

Al Tayer called on Dubai citizens, residents and visitors to use pedestrian bridges and subways designated for crossing streets. He also called on motorists to observe the speed limits, and slow down when approaching pedestrian areas for their safety and the safety of road users.