UAE police aim to cut road deaths with summer campaign

Despite quieter roads, 81 people died last summer, with sudden swerving and burst tyres among the causes

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Police across the country have joined forces to help launch a summer safety campaign to reduce the number of road accidents.

The annual Summer Without Accidents initiative sets out to raise awareness of the need to take care behind the wheel, follow traffic regulations and ensure vehicles are well maintained, to prevent unnecessary deaths and injuries.

Although the summer months are traditionally quieter on the roads, due to school holidays and residents travelling abroad for breaks, authorities believe there is no room for complacency.

There were 81 fatalities and another 943 injuries in 785 traffic accidents in the UAE from June to September last year.

This accounted for a significant portion of the 381 deaths and 2,620 injuries recorded in 2021 in Ministry of Interior figures.

The campaign — from August 1 until September 1 — is being led by the Ministry of Interior with the support of police forces in each emirate.

It will involve key safety messages being delivered on social media and on road signboards, while radio discussions will drive home the consequences of flouting traffic rules.

“Road users need to avoid changing lanes abruptly, stick to speed limits and follow other traffic regulations,” said Maj Gen Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, chairman of the Federal Traffic Council and assistant commander-in-chief of Dubai Police.

Traffic accidents remain a concern to police departments because they result in deaths and damages to property that cost the country money, he said.

Motorists travelling between emirates or out of the country by road are being urged to drive safely.

Maj Gen Al Zafeen stressed the importance of ensuring vehicles are roadworthy.

He said motorists should take into consideration the size of the vehicles they are driving and the safety of the tyres.

“Overload can shake the vehicle and make it hard to control. Motorists should leave a safe distance between vehicles and avoid sudden swerving.”

Sudden swerving was the biggest cause of fatal accidents last year, followed by failure to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, officials said.

Traffic officials will take part in radio shows to raise awareness among motorists and answer their questions.

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Updated: August 01, 2022, 10:55 AM