Traffic-related deaths remain a complex burden for UAE authorities, who have stepped up efforts to drastically reduce road fatalities from about six for every 10,000 people to three for every 100,000 road-goers by 2021, with a long-term goal of eradicating road-related tragedies by 2030.
The deaths of three Emirati sisters and their nanny, who were hit by a speeding vehicle while crossing the road in Abu Dhabi in 2009, sparked widespread debate and triggered the Road to Safety Campaign spearheaded by this newspaper.
The tragedy also gave rise to numerous initiatives and prompted the enforcement of stricter traffic laws. Pedestrian bridges, radars, no-flash cameras at junctions and lower speed limits in residential areas are but a few of many steps taken to curb the deadly speeding habits of UAE motorists.
Efforts have been stepped up to preempt and prevent tragedies in reaction to several incidents over the past three years.
Measures were taken to ensure student safety on bus journeys from and to schools after the death of a three-year-old girl who was locked in a school bus in 2014.
Surveillance cameras were introduced on school buses in Abu Dhabi, bus attendant numbers were doubled and driver education was scaled up. An advanced alert system will be rolled out on all school buses in Dubai and the Northern Emirates by September.
Since about half of road accidents in 2016 were caused by young motorists between the ages of 18 and 30, police authorities have taken to social media to reach young adults and enhance their driving education. More info
By National Editorial www.thenational.ae