UAE police forces aim to cut road deaths during summer



While summer months are traditionally quieter on UAE roads, due to school breaks and many residents on holidays, it does not translate to a drop in accident rates.

Dubai Police statistics revealed 25 per cent of road deaths last year took place in summer.

To address the issue, police forces across the UAE have united for the annual Summer Without Accidents campaign to raise awareness of following traffic rules and carrying out regular vehicle maintenance.

In the past three years, Dubai Police recorded a slight increase in road deaths between June and August, from 26 in 2021 to 30 in 2023.

“More accidents are recorded during the summer because drivers don't check their cars before heading out," said Maj Gen Abdullah Al Ghaithi, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Operations Affairs in Dubai Police.

"Tyre bursts are the top causes due to the high temperatures," he said, and urged "drivers to check car tyres for cracks or damages".

The figures also revealed drivers aged between 18 and 30 caused the highest proportion of road deaths in the last three summers, while Pakistani drivers were the top offenders by nationality, followed by Emirati motorists.

"The country has witnessed an increase in the number of vehicles and drivers. And road deaths have also increased over the years,” said Maj Gen Al Ghaithi.

"It is a worrying figure."

A total of 113 deaths were reported in 2021 and 121 in 2023. Meanwhile, the number of injured on the roads stood at 436 in 2021, compared to 636 last year.

Road checks for faulty tyres

Apart from sharing key safety messages via social media and on electronic signage, under this year's campaign police officers will be conducting roadside checks to inspect tyres.

Maj Gen Al Ghaithi said tyre checks will be carried out mostly on highways, with lorries high on the checklist because they can cause "major fatalities".

Drivers caught using damaged or worn-out tyres will be fined Dh500 ($136), receive four black points on their licence and have their vehicle impounded for a week.

Carrying out regular maintenance is also crucial to "avoid any surprises", the official said, adding that with summer temperatures hitting highs of 50°C drivers must not get complacent.

Brigadier Ahmed Al Naqbi, director of traffic awareness in the Federal Traffic Council, urged motorists travelling between emirates or out of the country by road to follow traffic rules.

"They should maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and avoid sudden swerving."

He said 85 per cent of traffic accidents around the world were caused by distracted drivers who were checking their phones while behind the wheel.

The campaign, which runs until August 31, is led by the Ministry of Interior with the support of police forces in each emirate.

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