Abu Dhabi Police has announced the introduction of a first-of-its-kind activity in the Middle East: broadcasting videos that tackle various traffic issues that will be circulated via mobile phones.
This activity aims to enhance the communication with people from different walks of life, including locals and expatriates, and to enhance public participation in traffic awareness deployment.
The announcement was made yesterday to mark the inauguration of the 30th GCC Traffic Week 2014, which is taking place under the slogan “Our Goal is your Safety”. The safety week initiative is being held under the patronage of Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and was inaugurated on Sunday by Lt. General Saif Abdullah Al Sha’far, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior.
The first day of the Traffic Week saw Abu Dhabi Police announcing a number of new community-based traffic initiatives devised under the umbrella of Abu Dhabi Police’s traffic programme to reduce traffic accidents, titled “Together”.
The initiatives aim to foster community participation of both locals and expatriates, with the help of creation, innovation, and activation of traffic campaigns over the course of the year. The initiatives comprise 12 traffic safety concepts; one for each month.
· The road belongs to everyone
· Let us be like them
· A baby is in your vehicle
· You are the backbone of this country
· They have the right
· Give them the priority
· Respect my traffic culture
· On the studying bench
· Your goal is construction not destruction
· A bus on the road
· The traffic creativity council
As part of the last initiative, various social activities for people from all walks of life will be organised, and people will be invited to discuss traffic-related topics that lead to the community’s cohesion regarding their attitude towards traffic issues.
The inauguration ceremony was organised by Abu Dhabi Police’s Traffic and Patrols Directorate, and was attended by Major General Staff Dr. Obeid Al Hiri Salim Al Kutbi, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police; Major General Mohammed bin Al Awadhi Al Menhali, Director General of Police Operations at Abu Dhabi Police; Major General Abdul Aziz Maktoum Al Shareefi, Director General of Protective Security and Federal Investigation at the Ministry of Interior; Brigadier Ghaith Hassan Al Zaabi, Director General, Traffic Coordination Department, Ministry of Interior; Brigadier Eng. Hussein Ahmed Al Harithi, Director of Traffic and Patrols Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police; and a number of Director Generals and Heads of Departments; in addition to a number of officers from the Ministry of Interior and Abu Dhabi Police.
The ceremony witnessed the launch of many new community-based traffic initiatives by the Abu Dhabi Police Traffic and Patrols Directorate. The new initiatives adopt an exceptional approach in widening public participation in traffic safety-related issues.
Preventing the losses
Brigadier Ghaith Hassan Al Zaabi, Director General, Traffic Coordination Department, Ministry of Interior, delivered a welcoming speech to the attendees. He said that the GCC Traffic Week is an annual event that aims to spread healthy traffic culture, devoted to safe traffic behaviours in the GCC countries, and unifying the efforts that strive to establish a social culture that covers all aspects of traffic safety and serves our vision of achieving the goals that people in the GCC aspire to.
Brigadier Al Zaabi stressed that the GCC Traffic Week is no longer an annual meeting; it is now consists a set of public interactive practices that cover the entire course of the year. This transformation is unique among public safety campaigns.
“Following the directions of our higher leadership, and based on their message that sees the human being as the pillar and base of desired improvement and the real investment in society’s development, the Ministry of Interior has launched many strategic initiatives and plans,” Brigadier Al Zaabi added. “Following a scientific, systematic, and practical method, the Ministry of Interior has based its initiatives on specific standards and focused on continually updating, developing, and revising these methods. These procedures aim to measure the achievement levels of the designated goals in order to create a safe and excellent traffic environment.”
He also said that the slogan of this year’s GCC Traffic Week, “Our Goal is your Safety”, reflects the commitment of all concerned authorities to face traffic accidents. They are also committed to fostering awareness efforts to stop the human, economic, and social losses that the community is experiencing.
“The Ministry of Interior considers the GCC Traffic Week as the main pillar for devoting our strategic vision that works on enhancing the traffic situation, and developing an integral system for traffic safety management,” Brigadier Al Zaabi noted. “Our vision also works on improving the traffic behavior of the road users; including drivers and pedestrians, and having them abide by traffic laws and systems, in addition to following safety procedures. We are working on increasing traffic awareness and education to achieve traffic safety for all.”
Brigadier Al Zaabi stressed the importance of utilizing all possible means to invest in all the events and activities of the GCC Traffic Week, which is being held under the slogan “Our Goal is your Safety”, in order to handle negative aspects that lead to traffic accidents. Everyone must bear the responsibility of stopping bad traffic behaviors, in order to protect the lives of people in the society, including locals and expatriates.
“Although we are aware that the current results are an achievement by all standards, we are also aware that the Ministry of Interior’s vision, which falls within the framework of the national agenda, and aims to limit the amount of deaths to 3 per 100,000 inhabitants by 2021, is among the most ambitious traffic plans in the world. To achieve this vision, all of the efforts in our beloved nation must be cohesive,” Brigadier Al Zaabi added.
Additionally, Brigadier Al Zaabi explained that “based on the achieved results, we assert that we are on the right track towards achieving our vision and reducing the average number of deaths.” He also pointed out that the UAE is on its way to being one of the leading countries in providing public safety in general, specifically traffic safety.
For his part, Brigadier Eng. Hussein Ahmed Al Harithi, Director of Traffic and Patrols Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police, explained that GCC Traffic Week is one of the annual events celebrated by Abu Dhabi Police’s Traffic and Patrols Directorate in the GCC work group, in the context of renewing the invitation to the different sectors of society to modify their traffic behaviours and enforce the efforts to preserve lives and properties and reduce the effects of traffic accidents, both materially and morally.
Al Harithi stated that traffic safety is one of the most important issues worldwide and pointed out that the 30th GCC Traffic Week in Abu Dhabi will include the first International Road Traffic Accident Conference, which kicks off on Monday. For the duration of two days, participants will discuss international and local research, and studies and experiences presented by experts in the field of traffic safety and emergency medicine from the UAE and abroad. The conferences will take place alongside a traffic exhibition showcasing the latest inventions in the fields of smart traffic systems, automated control systems and accident and emergency medicine.
He pointed out the positive results of implementing the traffic awareness strategy by communicating through all methods, and by implementing Abu Dhabi Police’s "together" initiative on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This included many activities and traffic initiatives that helped reduce the severity of accidents, the number of deaths, run-overs, and accidents caused by speeding, negligence and lack of attention. This highlights the efforts made by the directorate’s employees in its different departments, as well as their partners, to realize the directorate’s vision to reach the highest standards of traffic safety.
Al Harithi emphasised that the new social initiatives made by Abu Dhabi Police’s Traffic and Patrols Directorate aims to strengthen social partnership and make it the most important factor in traffic awareness issues, explaining that the directorate had further developed its elaborate traffic safety plan in Abu Dhabi by adding a sixth pillar that depends on social partnership, which reflects the belief in the role that can be played by the private sector, public organizations, and civil organizations as strategic partners, and their positive influence in the field of traffic safety.
He expressed his appreciation to the ambassadors of traffic safety for the part they play in enforcing traffic safety, pointing to the participation of different sectors in playing their social roles and adopting traffic awareness programs and campaigns, a method used in all advanced societies. These sectors play an active and positive role through strategic partnerships, providing patronage for traffic safety programs.
In conclusion, Lt. General Al Sha’far and Brigadier Eng. Hussein Al Harithi honoured a number of traffic safety ambassadors that represent the elite of society, which consisted of both locals and residents. 100 ambassadors were chosen out of 2000 applicants to carry out this national duty, aiming to raise responsibility and social cohesion to achieve a perfect traffic safety system.
They also honoured exemplary male and female police officers, and the winners of the four social categories aiming to decrease traffic accidents as part of the “Together” initiative, which the directorate had launched to increase social traffic safety participation, and to honour the exemplary male and female drivers, and exemplary handicapped male and female drivers.