Addressing the issue of road safety, a local newspaper has highlighted that traffic accidents are a major cause for concern in the country, resulting, as they do, in possible death, injury, and financial damage.
"All that is needed to avoid accidents is for motorists to adhere to the traffic safety rules framed by the authorities with the good intention of saving precious lives and property," said The Gulf Today, in an editorial published on Thursday, adding that, "Every traffic accident on the road is an indication that someone has failed to take enough precautions or flouted the rules."
The Ministry of Interior has been doing its best to create awareness on the subject. Its third traffic awareness campaign in 2017, under the slogan, "Summer Without Accidents," runs until September 1.
There were 961 accidents that led to the deaths of 170 people and injuries to 1,213 people during last summer, as highlighted by Brigadier Ghaith Hassan Al Zaabi, Director-General of the General Directorate of Traffic Coordination at the ministry.
In March, Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, issued a ministerial decision, amending the Federal Traffic Law to include 17 articles that focus on re-examining traffic violations in terms of black points and raising the number of points for some of the serious offences.
"Many of the new rules relate to child safety in cars, window tinting, speeding, crowding around accident sites (rubber-necking), ignoring red signals, jaywalking and failure to wear seatbelts," the paper said.
Police authorities across the country have been enforcing those new changes in the law, and, as the paper stressed, "It is the duty of motorists to respect the rules, as the goal is to make the UAE one of the safest countries in the world."
"The revised rules obliging motorists to seat children under four years in a dedicated child seat while in motor vehicles should also be strictly followed," it added.
The editorial continued, "The #Year of Giving has come as a blessing for some motorists. About 883,000 motorists have had their black points for minor offences removed from their traffic file as part of the Abu Dhabi Police’s initiative for the Year of Giving, which aims to give motorists a chance to clean up their act and start observing traffic rules."
"While authorities are doing their best to ensure the safety of motorists, it should never be forgotten that the steering wheel is in the hands of the drivers themselves," the paper concluded.
"They should take all precautions to avert mishaps. A little patience and a little extra care would go a long way towards averting what everyone dreads - a road accident," it said.