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SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT - TRAFFIC AND LICENSING


ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate Calls for boosting community-based efforts to reduce accidents


posted on 29/08/2014

The Traffic and Patrols Directorate at the Abu Dhabi Police has called for increasing community-based efforts to reduce traffic accidents.
Colonel Hamad Nasser Al Bloushi, Head of Peripheral Regions Traffic Department at the directorate, stressed that ensuring traffic safety is a significant challenge for police entities, who are in charge of enforcing the laws enacted to protect the lives and safety of all road users; motorists, passengers and pedestrians alike. Colonel Al Bloushi also called for mobilising efforts in collaboration with the various sectors of society in order to reduce accidents and their resulting fatalities, and achieve the highest levels of traffic safety.
These remarks were made by Colonel Hamad Nasser Al Bloushi at the ceremony organised by Al Ain Traffic Section on Wednesday. The ceremony was held to honour individuals, partners and collaborators, in recognition of their valuable cooperation in the traffic awareness activities and events organised during the Traffic Week events.
Colonel Al Bloushi indicated that this accolade is an acknowledgement from the Abu Dhabi Police GHQ of the efforts and support provided by the various institutions, companies and schools to promote traffic awareness. "They were role models to emulate in their cooperation and coordination with the Al Ain Traffic Section to ensure the success of the various awareness-raising activities, namely the exhibitions, lectures and traffic villages," he indicated.
Adding further, Colonel Al Bloushi said that this accolade represents an incentive to encourage these entities to exert further cooperation and interaction. It also motivates others to follow in their footsteps to achieve the common goals, notably traffic safety for all, as well as to promote traffic awareness among all segments of society. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395269032216.html

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Female investigators provide psychological support to female drivers who cause traffic accidents


posted on 02/08/2014

Special women police officers at the Traffic and Patrols Directorate of the Abu Dhabi Police are in charge of investigating with women drivers who cause traffic accidents. They also provide psychological support to these women to help them cope with the emotional shock from the accidents they are involved in, and take their statement. This is achieved in a way that preserves women's privacy and puts them at ease to ensure a seamless investigation process.
To this end, the Traffic and Patrols Directorate has set up an office to handle traffic accidents involving female drivers. It also provided specialised female police officers to follow-up on the circumstances surrounding the accidents, both on site and at the office with the women involved. They are dispatched to the accident's site as soon as notification is received by the operations room, where they take the initial statement before conducting an extensive investigation at the office.
Female investigators from the women's traffic accidents' investigation office commented on the nature of their work and the services they provide, and how they manage to reconcile between their home and work responsibilities (the shift system); which represents a challenge to them as mothers.
First Warrant Officer Mastourah Juman, Investigator at the Traffic and Patrols Directorate, Major Accidents Section, said: "The field and office investigation process with respect to traffic accidents caused by women drivers is conducted by specialised female officers in accordance with the procedures applicable in this regard. In such cases, women are provided with psychological support so as to help them overcome their fear at the time of the accident, while maintaining their privacy in case they need to be transferred to the hospital, which is a prevalent occurrence with women who suffer an emotional shock when involved in a car accident." She added: "Dispatching female officers to the accident's site is based on the severity of the accident and the incidence of injuries, which require their immediate intervention. Moreover, the female driver who caused the accident is summoned to the investigation office to provide her with some kind of comfort, confidence and privacy in order to take her statement." In conclusion, First Warrant Officer Juman noted that while most road accidents in Abu Dhabi were still caused by men, the number of crashes involving women was rising. However, they are mostly minor accidents and usually due to lack of attention and failure to leave sufficient safe distance between vehicles, in addition to getting distracted from the road.
Commenting on how the office deals with notifications related to traffic accidents caused by women, First Warrant Officer Roqayah Hassan Al Hosani said: "Upon receiving a notification from the Operations Department, we are provided with the accident's coordinates, and the number of women injured or involved in the crash. The competent police officers complete investigation, take photos of the car accident's scene, and start taking people's statements. If fault cannot be determined, the officers would resort to the traffic camera footage, or refer the case to the public prosecution to resolve the conflict." Elaborating on the difficulties faced by female investigators while following-up on the case at the accident's site, First Warrant Officer Al Hosani pointed out to the harsh climate conditions particularly the soaring temperatures during summer. She added: "Female investigators have to cope with the various reactions of women drivers who cause accidents especially if the accident is serious. In this case, they take into account the psychological condition of the woman who caused or is affected by the traffic accident." For her part, Sergeant Rawda Abdullah Al Ali who works on an 8-hour rotating shift basis indicated that her job requires her to work morning, afternoon and night shifts on a rotating basis. She said: "This work schedule requires delicate time management in order to reconcile between family life and work responsibilities, and to avoid any negative impact on my children, which may be caused by my night shifts, which extend from 8:30 pm to 5:30 am." She also noted that women cause fewer accidents than male drivers in late hours of the night; while there is an equal prevalence of accidents caused by male and female drivers during daytime.
Asked about how she would react if the female driver who caused the accident was in a traumatic state or suffered an emotional shock after a car accident or any other reason, Sergeant Al Ali explained: "Dealing with such cases is different and requires us to inspire confidence and a sense of security to the women involved in the crash in order to create the appropriate environment to take their statement. Being involved in an accident often yields a strong reaction among some women, which forces us to send them home and postpone investigation to a later date." In conclusion, she added that she is striving to carry out her family duties and responsibilities in the best possible way even at the expense of her personal comfort; something she regards as a natural behaviour in a job that requires sacrifice and selflessness. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/bulletin.html

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Dubai traffic lights going green


posted on 15/07/2014

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has started replacing traffic lights in Dubai with halogen bulbs using LED power-saving technology.
It comes as part of the RTA's safety and environmental push to enhance the traffic safety level and keep abreast of the green economy drive, an official said. The project will be carried out in phases and phase one is now under way.
The bulbs will also save the RTA around Dh900,000 a year in expenditure, said Maitha Bin Udai, CEO of the RTA's Traffic and Roads Agency.
She said the LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting system lasts longer — about ten years — while using the least power. The low-maintenance bulbs are also more reliable and efficient than conventional lighting.
"Replacing the traffic lights is part of a plan set by the RTA for the second half of this year to upgrade traffic systems, which would accordingly improve the traffic safety on the heavily congested roads and streets in the Emirate of Dubai, and develop solutions for main intersections that witness recurrent traffic accidents,” Maitha said.
"Following the testing of the efficiency of the state-of-the-art LED lighting system, it was evident that it has the ability to provide lighting for longer periods with the least maintenance requirements, besides minimising power consumption to the barest minimum.”
She added that the bulbs "optimise consumption by as much as 55 per cent, besides contributing to conserving the environment through reducing carbon dioxide emissions.”
The technology has an auto-dimming feature according to the degree of external lighting. These lights can be clearly visible during daytime without being impacted by the sun's reflections on the lenses.
"This will ultimately contribute to realising the vision of the RTA of providing Safe and Safe Smooth Transport for All.” – Gulf News – Read more: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/general/dubai-traffic-lights-going-green-1.1359726

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Surveillance cameras to be activated in 36 Abu Dhabi intersections


posted on 13/07/2014

The Abu Dhabi Police Traffic and Patrols Directorate has announced the activation of the intersection surveillance system to detect speeding motorists who jump the red signal as of next Tuesday at a further 36 intersections in the city of Abu Dhabi.
This step falls in line with the Traffic and Patrols Directorate's traffic safety strategy to make roads safer, and to reduce all causes of traffic accidents that result in deaths and severe injuries.
Brigadier Hussein Ahmed Al Harithi, Director of Traffic and Patrols Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police, said that the speed monitoring system has been activated on as many as 108 surveillance cameras at different intersections across Abu Dhabi. He added that the speed monitoring devices have been programmed and speed limits applicable to these roads have been specified on the cameras, which are fitted with state-of-the-art technology and operate with high efficiency. The cameras use infra-red technology that captures images without the use of flash in order to catch violators on all lanes, while traffic signals turn red or green.
Brigadier Al Harithi warned against the dangers of exceeding the legal speed limits at intersections. He also urged drivers to adhere to traffic rules law and reduce speed at traffic lights junctions. He also called upon them to avoid speeding up when traffic lights turn amber.
Additionally, Brigadier Al Harithi explained that the violations that have been detected by the speed monitoring systems at intersections include red light jumping, unsafe lane changes, stopping over crosswalk lines, exceeding legal speed limits, overtaking at junctions, and making turns or U-turns from the wrong lane.
Furthermore, Brigadier Eng. Al Harithi pointed out that surveillance cameras mounted at intersections are part of a modern traffic system. They are 3D thermal cameras covering more than five lanes in each direction. They are multifunctional, and include infrared license plate readers. They are used to determine the numbers and types of passing vehicles, estimating the average speed, and determining the number and direction of pedestrians while traffic signals turn green and red. The system is also unique as it is linked to the directorate's notifications and text messaging system, as well as the Portable Variable Message Signs (PVMS).
"The system represents one of the most important projects to improve traffic safety, which is based on six pillars known as the 6Es (Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Emergency, Evaluation and Engagement)," he explained. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Ministry of Interior launches third Unified Traffic Awareness campaign


posted on 11/07/2014

The Ministry of Interior, MoI, represented by the Traffic Coordination Department has launched the third unified traffic awareness campaign for this year as a part of traffic sector initiatives under the slogan: "For Your Safety, Adhere to Traffic Rules." This three-month campaign aims to bring together the efforts of the concerned authorities and segments of society for motorists to abide by traffic rules and regulations of the road for their own safety.
Brigadier Ghaith Hassan Al Zaabi, Director-General of the Traffic Coordination Department, said, "This campaign is an embodiment of the MoI's strategy, stemming from the strategy of the federal government and the directives of the police leadership to attain the highest levels of traffic safety for everyone. The campaign is also a part of the strategic plan of the Traffic Coordination Department at the Ministry of Interior to control road security, promote traffic safety, and reduce traffic accidents and running-over cases." Brigadier Al Zaabi added that the drivers' lack of commitment to the rules and regulations of traffic laws have caused 1,302 accidents during the first-quarter of this year, resulting in 181 deaths, and 1929 injuries ranging from mild, moderate to severe injuries.
He also mentioned that the Traffic Coordination Department at the Ministry of Interior is carrying out this campaign in cooperation with the Traffic and Patrol Departments nationwide, more than 20 federal and local authorities concerned with traffic safety from both public and private sectors and public welfare associations in the country that support the initiatives for creating safe environments and accident free roads. Brigadier Al Zaabi stressed the need to support the media efforts of all concerned authorities, and to highlight the role of the MoI and other related institutions in this campaign.
He explained that the campaign launched by the Traffic Coordination Department includes all segments of society. The laws and etiquette of traffic are guides for driving safely and are necessary to know, understand and implement. http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395267610417.html

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Abu Dhabi police puts 46 new speed cameras in operation in Al Ain


posted on 29/06/2014

Forty six new speed cameras are now in operation at all the entrances of Al Ain City to curb over-speeding, the Traffic and Patrols Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police has announced.
Colonel Khalifa Al Khaili, Director of Traffic and Road Safety Engineering Department at Abu Dhabi Police, said 32 new speed cameras will also be installed on the internal roads of Al Ain as part of a multi-phased plan to reduce accidents and fatalities and increase road traffic safety.
Al Khaili noted that eight of the new speed cameras will detect and "catch" violating vehicles passing in either direction of two-way roads. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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27% decrease in traffic accident fatalities in Abu Dhabi in May


posted on 10/06/2014

Statistics from the Traffic and Patrols Directorate, Abu Dhabi Police, show that traffic accident fatalities decreased during May compared to the previous month in Abu Dhabi, from 22 to 16 fatalities (27% decrease), and the number of accidents from 153 to 145 (5% decrease).
Brigadier Hussein Ahmed Al Harithi, Director of Traffic and Patrols Directorate, said that accidents that occurred during the period varied between collisions, running over, and swerving accidents. The main reasons for accidents were drivers not leaving enough safety space, sudden lane changing, speeding without consideration of the condition of the road, negligence and lack of attention, entering a main road without checking if it is clear, crossing red traffic lights and not giving priority for pedestrians on crossings.
He also said that the number of fines issued during the period reached about 210,073 for violations such as speeding, not following the obligatory path, inadequate tires, not wearing seat belts, and many others.
Al Harithi urged motorists to adhere to traffic laws and reduce speed, leave enough safety space, and not distract themselves with phones while driving, to support the efforts that benefit society to preserve lives and properties. He also invited families to partake in raising awareness by advising the youth to adhere to traffic laws and designated speeds, especially with the summer vacation approaching, and the importance of occupying youths in summer activities. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Abu Dhabi Traffic Department, Mawaqif to allow payment of fines in instalments


posted on 01/06/2014

The Directorate of Traffic '&' Patrols (DTP) at Abu Dhabi Police and the Department of Transport (DoT) have announced granting the motorists with expired vehicle registration, the option to pay their traffic and parking tickets in instalments, starting June 1st and up to August 31st.
DTP Director Brigadier Hussein Ahmed Al Harthy said all branches of the directorate in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region will provide the facility to the motorists with at least Dh 1,000 fines for more than one violation ticket. The total fines can be paid in two instalments.
"We hope that allowing the motorists to pay their fines in two instalments will encourage them to be more compliant with the laws and regulations aimed at maintaining safety. Neither DTP, nor DoT are happy to issue violation tickets," he added.
Motorists availing of this facility should, however, pay all traffic and parking fines incurred in other emirates of the country, including fines by Dubai's Roads '&' Transport Authority, the municipalities and fines in other GCC countries, in addition to the upfront payment of 50% of fines by DTP and Mawaqif. The remaining 50% should be paid within one year. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Abu Dhabi Police Traffic and Patrols Directorate receives traffic reports via the CityGuard application


posted on 26/05/2014

The Traffic and Patrols Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police GHQ announced that it will be receiving reports about traffic-related incidents from the public, such as traffic violations committed by motorists on internal and external roads in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi through the e-Government application called CityGuard. The application was launched by the directorate, out of its firm belief that road safety is a social responsibility that requires concerted efforts from all society segments; in the quest to make traffic safety a common behaviour.
Brigadier Eng. Hussein Ahmed Al Harithi, Director of Traffic and Patrols Directorate, noted that the directorate receives documented reports from the public about cases of traffic law violations, by taking a photo or recording a video. "It is necessary to indicate the number and type of vehicle, location and time of violation and the street where it took place," he said. Moreover, he added that these reports will be handled with confidentiality without disclosing the identity of individuals who made the report, to check their validity and take the appropriate measures.
Al Harithi called on all segments of society to assume their civic responsibility through the "Community is a Traffic Cop" initiative, launched by the directorate. The initiative aims to promote interactive participation in the efforts to provide traffic safety and to report traffic violations and dangerous behaviour by motorists, whether on internal or external roads or inside residential neighbourhoods. "Violations include show-off and stunts with vehicles, overtaking on the hard shoulder of the road, jumping red light signals, overtaking trucks and other violations," he indicated.
Furthermore, Al Harithi highlighted that receiving traffic reports via the CityGuard app aligns with the Abu Dhabi Government's agenda to encourage public participation in reporting on various issues round the clock, including traffic violations. "This would allow speed of communication and making better use of this electronic application to provide a better and safer traffic environment," added Brigadier Eng. Al Harithi.
Adding further, Al Harithi said that encouraging public participation in the efforts to ensure traffic safety is part of the traffic safety comprehensive plan in Abu Dhabi that includes 6 key pillars, known as 6Es+I. It refers to (Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Emergency, Evaluation and Engagement). – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Abu Dhabi to have 150 new no-flash cameras


posted on 21/05/2014

Abu Dhabi traffic police will deploy 150 new infrared cameras at key intersections to hunt for speedsters, red light jumpers and other offenders as part of the emirate's drive to curb accidents on roads, according to a police officer.
The new cameras, which do not flash at offenders, will be installed at traffic lights junctions inside the capital and its outskirts to reinforce existing infrared cameras and other systems controlling main roads, said Captain Ahmed Al Muhairi, traffic safety director at the Abu Dhabi traffic department.
He said such sophisticated cameras, already in operation at some junctions in the city, can catch drivers speeding at the intersections, jumping the red signal, stopping g cars on the pedestrian area inside the junction and illegal change of lanes.
"They are advanced cameras which do not flash at offending vehicles…they are multi-purpose systems which are very accurate and clear,” he told Emarat Al Youm daily.
His figures showed such cameras hunted 8,555 cars which jumped the red lights and committed other offences at intersections in the first four months of this year. – Emirates 24│7 – Read more: http://www.emirates247.com/news/emirates/abu-dhabi-to-have-150-new-no-flash-cameras-2014-05-20-1.549718

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Jail for overtaking on hard shoulder: Abu Dhabi Police


posted on 18/05/2014

Motorists who overtake on hard shoulder will face up to one month in jail, according to Abu Dhabi Police.
Brigadier Hussein Ahmed Al Harthy, Director, Directorate of Traffic and Patrols, Abu Dhabi Police, said, drivers will face severe penalties for overtaking on the hard shoulder.
He said the decision is in accordance with Federal Traffic Law No 21 of 1995. Article 57 stipulates one month imprisonment for such a violation apart from incurring 10 black points – six points for violation of overtaking on the hard shoulder and four points for not giving way for emergency, police and public service vehicles.
Brigadier Al Harthy said , overtaking on the hard shoulder is a dangerous act putting road users' lives at risk.
He stressed that hard shoulder is meant for use during emergencies and accidents and should be always left free for ambulances and other civil defence vehicles.
He added that about 4,930 such violations were recorded by radars and surveillance cameras on Abu Dhabi's internal and external roads in the first four months of this year.
He reminded motorists that cameras in Abu Dhabi city's intersections record hard shoulder overtaking offences, red light jumping, incorrect lane changing, speeding, taking wrong U-turns, etc. – Emirates 24/7 – Read more: http://www.emirates247.com/news/emirates/jail-for-overtaking-on-hard-shoulder-abu-dhabi-police-2014-05-18-1.549468

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28% reduction in traffic accident deaths in the capital


posted on 12/05/2014

A significant improvement in safety standards across Abu Dhabi roads has been reported during the first quarter of this year in comparison with the same period in 2013, the Ministry of Interior announced yesterday.
The ministry revealed that deaths due to accidents have gone down by 28 per cent while serious injuries have also decreased by 11 per cent during the first three months of this year in comparison with last year.
Brigadier Engineer Hussain Ahmad Al Harithi, director of Traffic and Patrol, has also reported that accidents resulting in injuries have gone down by three per cent (from 547 in 2013 to 533 this year). Additionally, the death rate per 10,000 vehicles has decreased by 31 per cent despite an increase of three per cent in the number of vehicles registered during the first quarter of this year in comparison with 2013.
Al Harithi also stated that this year's incidents varied between run-overs, collisions and overturning. Collision accidents killed 33, while 22 people died in run-over accidents. Finally, vehicle overturning killed eight individuals.
The main reasons for these accidents, experts revealed, are not giving pedestrians the priority of road use, sudden swerving, tire explosions, failing to consider road conditions and not leaving a sufficient safety distance.
Around 185 new radars have been installed in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain's internal and external roads since the beginning of this year to limit the dangers on intersections every five kilometres within the framework of an integrated plan for traffic safety.
Excess speeding accounted for 85 per cent of all tickets given out to motorists by officers on the field, as a total of 1469 vehicles travelling over 200 km/h were apprehended.
Wednesdays and Thursdays witness the greatest number of accidents as 17 per cent of all incidents took place on those days. Meanwhile, Sundays accounted for around 16 per cent, Saturdays and Fridays 15 per cent, Mondays 11 per cent and Tuesdays 10 per cent.
The most common time for accidents to occur is between 8am and 4pm, the ministry stated, and the amount of violations committed during that time also increases.
Those between the ages of 18-30 accounted for around 46 per cent of all accidents and 52 per cent of those were Emiratis. Meanwhile, this age group received 39 per cent of all face-to-face violations with half of these individuals being Emiratis. – Gulf News – Read more: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/28-reduction-in-traffic-accident-deaths-in-the-capital-1.1331149

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185 new radars installed on Abu Dhabi roads


posted on 11/05/2014

A total of 185 new radars have been installed on internal and external roads across the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Police announced in a statement sent on Saturday.
The radars were installed in Abu Dhabi city and Al Ain during the first three months of 2014 as part of an effort to detect speeding motorists as well as those who jump red lights, the statement added.
The installation of new technologies, such as radars and cameras at signalised intersections, is being undertaken to ensure traffic safety and reduce the number of road traffic fatalities to zero by 2030, said Colonel Khalifa Al Khaili, director of traffic engineering and road safety at the Abu Dhabi Police Traffic and Patrols Directorate.
"The radars can detect speeding motorists on all lanes and in both directions of a road. In addition, they will help us monitor other traffic violations, including not leaving enough space between vehicles and driving on the hard shoulder,” Colonel Al Khaili said.
The official explained that the aim is to promote better compliance with road safety regulations. Motorists who fail to adhere to traffic laws risk their own safety as well as that of other road users, he added.
According to police statistics, speeding constituted nearly 79 per cent of traffic violations in the first quarter of the year. In 2013, 15 per cent of all road traffic accidents were caused by speeding motorists.
The sites for the radars have therefore been selected based on the areas which see a greater rate of traffic accidents and violations.
Colonel Al Khaili urged all motorists to adhere to traffic rules for their own safety, and not just to avoid detection by the radars. Drivers must pay attention to road signs and stay a safe distance away from other vehicles, he said.
During the first two months of the year, a total of 3,964 motorists were also caught running red lights. These violations were detected with the use of newly installed flash-less infrared cameras at signalised intersections, the police announced earlier. To reduce such violations, the directorate is therefore installing infrared cameras at 150 intersections in the emirate. – Gulf News – Read more: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/185-new-radars-installed-on-abu-dhabi-roads-1.1330594

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Saif bin Zayed presents safety measures of MoI at FNC session


posted on 07/05/2014

H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, has unveiled an initiative to reinforce the child safety and security in the school transport buses in a cooperation with a number of local and federal institutions.
The move follows the directives of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
It aims at ensuring the child safety in the school transport buses through the audio-visual surveillance system at sites, routes and bus stops. The surveillance system will be connected with the operations room.
Sheikh Saif noted that the initiative will be implemented first in Abu Dhabi and then the rest of the country.
He made the remarks during the Federal National Council (FNC) session, held here yesterday morning. He was accompanied by Lt. General Saif Abdullah Al Sha'far, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Staff Major General Khalifa Hareb Al Khaili, Assistant Under-Secretary for Naturalisation, Residency and Ports Affairs, Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi, Deputy General Commander of Abu Dhabi Police, Directors General at the Ministry of Interior, 70 officers and 60 cadets.
Sheikh Saif also disclosed the launch of 'Smart Towers' project to monitor the fog and visibility through electronic boards and sensors on the roads automatically, adding that the move follows a number of accidents on the highways due to the fog. He added that it also comes within the keenness of the government on providing better safety services to all the road users. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Saif bin Zayed: efforts underway to reduce traffic-related fatalities


posted on 07/05/2014

H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior yesterday said efforts are being made to further reduce the rate of traffic-related fatalities which stood at 6.5 per 100,000 people in 2013 and the rate of crime which stood at 101 per 100,000 people in the same year.
Speaking to the 13th meeting of the third ordinary session of the Fifteenth Legislative Chapter, H.H. Sheikh Saif said, "these rates are not satisfactory and we are trying to reduce them and noted that the feeling-safe index in UAE went up to 94% in 2013 and that road users change every year as they belong to a large number of other countries." "The Ministry of Interior provides about 25% of all UAE government services and has achieved a partner satisfaction rate of 91% in 2013 while its customer satisfaction rate went up to 95% in the same year," said H.H. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed.
The Ministry of Interior has 252 strategic indices and initiatives, he noted.
FNC's meeting yesterday debated the Ministry of Interior's policies on road safety and community police.
In yesterday's FNC meeting, the minister of interior said UAE will introduce a new and advanced traffic warning system consisting of a network of radars, fog sensors and electronic signs to prevent road pile-ups and reduce the number of accidents. The system will be up within months, he told FNC members.
H.H. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed also said speed limits will be introduced using active signs similar to those in Europe and the United States to curb road accidents. . – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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6.3% drop in road traffic fatalities in the UAE in 3 months


posted on 28/04/2014

Road Traffic deaths and casualties registered in the UAE, during the first quarter of the year decreased by 6.3% and 3.1% respectively .
According to statistics released by the Traffic Coordination Department at the Ministry of Interior; traffic accidents that occurred in the same period this year dropped by 4.3% compared to the same period of 2013.
Brigadier Gaith Hassan Al Zaabi, Director General of the Traffic Coordination Department at the Ministry of Interior, attributed the decline in traffic accidents and the related deaths and casualties to the efficiency of the procedures adopted by the Ministry, and the efforts of the Police General Headquarters and the directorates of traffic and patrols in the UAE to improve traffic safety, through the Ministry's strategy to control road security, and create a safe traffic environment according to the relevant international standards.
Statistics showed that the total number of deaths recorded during the first quarter of the year was 181 compared to 192 during the same period last year, a decrease of 11 deaths, i.e. 6%. The number of casualties resulting from traffic accidents during the first quarter of the year was 1,984 casualties, compared to 2,048 during the same period of 2013, a decrease of 64 injuries i.e. 3.1%. Statistics also noted a fall 4.3% (58 accidents) in traffic accidents nationwide to 1,295 accidents during the first quarter of the year, compared to 1,353 during the same period last year.
According to the statistics, 50 less hit and collision accidents were recorded during the first quarter of the year, which witnessed, 797 accidents compared to 847 during the same period of 2013, a decrease by 5.9% nationwide. Run-over accidents sank by 8% (27 less accidents) during the first quarter of the year, which witnessed 309 accidents, compared to 336 during the same period of 2013. Swerving accidents, however, rose slightly by 3.9% (7 accidents) to 161 accidents during the first quarter of the year from 155 during the same period of 2013. Other accidents jumped to 28 during first quarter of the year from 15 during the same period in 2013.
Statistics showed that sudden lane changing was the main cause of accidents in the first quarter of the year, leading to 258 accidents. The second cause was misjudgement of road users (176 accidents). In the third place came failure to leave sufficient safety distance between vehicles (135 accidents). Over speeding was in fourth place, causing 113 accidents. Negligence and lack of attention came fifth with 100 accidents. Entering a road before making sure it is clear caused 94 accidents, followed by jumping red traffic signals (86 accidents). Failure to comply with lane rules caused 81 accidents. Not giving the priority to pedestrians caused 45 accidents, whereas 320 accidents happened for miscellaneous reasons.
Statistics showed that some of the causes of accidents leading to death were sudden lane changing (45 deaths), over speeding (30 deaths), misjudgement of road users (25 deaths), and negligence and lack of attention (18 deaths). Failure to leave sufficient distance between vehicles caused 10 deaths, followed by failure to comply with lane rules (7 deaths). Jumping red traffic signals caused 3 deaths, while 39 people died in miscellaneous accidents.
Statistics showed that sudden lane changing was the main cause of different kinds of casualties, leading to 396 casualties, followed by failure to leave sufficient safe distance between vehicles, (248 casualties). Misjudgement of road users caused 178 casualties, followed by jumping red traffic signals which caused 156 casualties. Over speeding caused 152 casualties, whereas entering a road before making sure it is clear caused 148 casualties. Failure to comply with lane rules caused 140 casualties. Negligence and lack of attention caused 133 casualties, whereas 391 people were injured in miscellaneous accidents.
Brigadier Gaith Al Zaabi stressed the importance of using the full potential of all directorates, organisations and different sectors of society, and their cooperation with the directorates of traffic and patrols nationwide, to reduce traffic accidents and related human and financial losses. He pointed out that facing traffic issues is a joint responsibility that requires a collaboration of the efforts of all sectors of society.
He urged motorists and road users to adhere to traffic rules and regulations in order to save themselves and others from accidents and related injuries and loss of lives and properties, and keep themselves and others safe. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
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Abu Dhabi Traffic Police seized 1,469 cars for dangerous speeds in Q1


posted on 24/04/2014

The Traffic and Patrols Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police seized 1,469 vehicles, and took all the legal necessary actions against motorists for driving at dangerous speeds of over 200km/hr on the internal and external roads of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The offending vehicles were seized during the first quarter of this year for posing a major risk to other road users, and causing serious traffic accidents that result in deaths or serious injuries.
Brigadier Eng. Hussein Ahmed Al Harithi, Director of Traffic and Patrols Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police, stated that no leniency would be shown to violators of traffic rules and regulations as "reckless motorists are endangering their own lives as well as lives of other road users". He also stressed that road monitoring has been increased through the traffic patrols, and civil patrols of the Traffic Investigation Section on various roads; in addition to air patrols and radars, "Violators will be detained and their vehicles impounded," he added. Brigadier Al Harithi also stressed the need to abide by the legal speed limits displayed on road signs, which were determined after thorough studies of the traffic movement and population density. Speed limits are also established after examining all the common reasons behind road accidents in order to reduce them and their resulting deaths and injuries, and the damages they cause to roads and public facilities, that the government has spent billions to build, improve, expand, and light according to the highest international standards.
Al Harithi appealed to drivers to adhere to the legal speed limits and to not exceed them. He noted that risks of excess speeding include losing control of the vehicle, and failure to avoid others' mistakes. Speeding also decreases the amount of time a motorist ordinarily takes to make a correct decision that would protect him/her from potential road hazards in case of an emergency. He called upon families, society segments, and traffic safety ambassadors to enhance efforts exerted to raise awareness of that important segment of community about the risks of driving at high speeds.
In conclusion, Brigadier Al Harithi stated that the Traffic and patrols Directorate has increased traffic awareness through lectures and exhibitions organised at various universities and schools, with a view to improve drivers' behaviour in general, particularly young drivers. To this end, the directorate has launched several new social initiatives, including "You are the backbone of this country" initiative that targets that particular society segment. It adopts a unique approach to implant traffic education in the largest and most important segment of society, which is responsible for building the country and preserving its gains, in order to protect them from the risks of driving at high speeds. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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More speed radars to be installed this year: Dubai Police Chief


posted on 20/03/2014

Major General Khamis Matar Al Mazeina, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, has said that Dubai's crime prevention and monitoring systems would be made more flexible and positive to decrease the crime rate.
In an interview published in the current edition of the Ministry of Interior's 999 Magazine, Major General Al Mazeina explained: "There will be changes made to Dubai's crime prevention and monitoring systems, with more flexible and positive mechanisms to be placed in order to decrease the crime rate," he said, outlining plans to enhance the emirate's security profile.
"Our new strategy will be based on the government's strategy in general, and according to the national agenda that was announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai," said the Major General, who was appointed as Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police in November 2013.
Al Mazeina revealed that the strategy includes steps to enhance the speed of response to reported crimes, not just at Dubai Police's level, but in all police departments across the country. "This year's budget includes an increase in the number of security cameras installed throughout the streets and popular places in the emirate. There will also be an increase in the number of speed radar devices installed in Dubai," he said.
Countering the prevalent misconceptions that speed radars are meant to earn money, Al Mazeina clarified that their sole purpose is to enhance the safety and security of road users, some of whom are harassed by over-speeding drivers.
"This increase in the number of speed-radar devices is not a money-making exercise, but it is for safer roads through a reduction in speeding and, consequently, reducing traffic fatalities. I challenge anyone who adheres to the speed limit and still gets fined by the radar. Radars have been installed to catch violators," he explained.
"Our strategic plan will focus on the provision of advanced services in line with the evolving needs of the UAE's population, in terms of the quality of service and in the way they are delivered. The plan also concentrates on exploring new technological developments as well as achieving excellence in delivering e-services," he added.
Maintaining that technology holds a special significance in police work, Al Mazeina highlighted that Dubai Police will be unveiling more smart initiatives soon in addition to those that have already been launched through Dubai Police apps.
Talking about Dubai Police's new projects this year, Al Mazeina revealed that a new police station is being established near the Al Maktoum Airport in Jebel Ali, as well as the new Jebel Ali and Al Barsha Police Stations, and reconstruction plans of other police stations, including Bur Dubai. In addition, Dubai Police is building a new nursery for children of inmates. Work is also underway on a state-of-the-art forensic laboratory, which will be an architectural masterpiece not just in the country, but globally, he said.
999 Magazine is part of the strategic plan of the Ministry of the Interior to provide media coverage for the activities and efforts of the Ministry and Police. It also aims to encourage the public to contribute to the reduction of crime and enhancement of safety in the UAE. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Mobile app to reduce Abu Dhabi traffic jams


posted on 20/03/2014

A new app rolled out in the capital on Wednesday will make smartphones even smarter by helping motorists avoid congested roads and traffic delays through real-time information from traffic officials.
Named Darb (path or road) and launched by the Department of Transport (DoT), the app provides motorists real-time data via coloured maps depicting traffic jams and back-ups due to collisions.
Motorists can then choose alternative routes around congested areas shown on digital city maps to make driving through the city easier and hassle-free, said authorities yesterday.
The app also offers information for public transport users and travellers on bus schedules, ferry timings, facilities to book taxis and airport schedules within the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
"According to international standards, we expect that the application will reduce congestion and smooth traffic flow by about 15 to 25 per cent,” said Salah Al Marzouqi, director of integrated intelligent transportation systems at the department.
"The app will help divert traffic away from incident areas. To ensure that it can handle thousands of users at the same time, we have also tested the application via a simulator and will continue to monitor its use and enhance its capabilities,” Al Marzouqi told Gulf News.
The application is part of the DoT's Dh9 million Integrated Transport Information and Navigation System (i-TINS), and has been developed over the last few months. It is currently available in English and Arabic for phones using both iOS and Android operating systems. In addition, the services can be accessed through a dedicated website on personal computers.
To ensure that updated information is available at all times, traffic specialists collect and verify data from various authorities, including police, weather bureaus and airport authorities, and make updates available for road users. The verifications will be carried out within three to five minutes of an incident taking place, said Hamad Al Afifi, section head of traffic management and technology operations.
In its first phase, the services are available for users in the capital, and will soon be extended to Al Ain and Al Gharbia (Western Region).
Officials said they expect a high rate of user penetration for the app, especially as a large proportion of the population is known to use smartphones. In fact, a Google survey conducted in early 2013 found that more than 73 per cent of respondents used smartphones, the highest rate of smartphone penetration in the world. This rate of penetration was ahead of South Korea and Saudi Arabia, and placed the UAE 12th, ahead of the United States.
Al Marzouqi explained that to prevent users from getting distracted, the DoT had built in automatic notifications in the app.
"This way, drivers will be able to concentrate on the road,” he said.
The official added that the data collected on road incidents is also made available to traffic engineers and road specialists, who can use it to plan for future road networks and projects.
Asked about the newly introduced names for many Abu Dhabi roads, DoT officials said that the application would feature the updated names. Although older names for streets are displayed, these will be gradually phased out. – Gulf News – Read more: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/mobile-app-to-reduce-abu-dhabi-traffic-jams-1.1306193

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Abu Dhabi launches ''Traffic Safety '&' Security" Initiative to reduce accidents


posted on 12/03/2014

In order to reduce the traffic accidents involving taxis in the city by at least half, the Centre For Regulation of Transport by Hire Cars in the occasion of "Gulf Traffic Week" has launched a "Traffic Safety and Security" initiative for 2014. The initiative comprises a set of additional laws and regulations to be observed by all taxi operators and drivers in the city. It is a result of a series of studies on the traffic scenarios conducted by the Centre.
In line with the collaborative efforts between the Centre and Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters, several rules and regulations have been issued to reduce traffic accidents involving taxi drivers, including the administrative decision No. 64 for the year 2013 which states that taxi operators must terminate the service of taxi drivers who cause traffic accidents and exceed their black points limit according to the traffic and licensing system. Other violations which result in the termination of the driving license include jumping a red light, driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or similar substances, not stopping after causing an accident, in addition to reckless driving.
Furthermore, the Centre is also holding taxi operators accountable for installing Parking Assistance/Reverse Sensors in all taxis; this is based on the fact that 10% of taxi traffic accidents were caused while reversing. Also, the maximum working hours of taxi drivers will be electronically set as to not exceed 8 hours per day as "Hired" status. When exceeding the speed limit, there will only be one warning/alert per day to the driver before getting fined. If a driver exceeds the speed limit by 20 km/h, the meter shuts down immediately and the driver gets a "call for investigation".
The Centre has set numerous strategies geared towards encouraging and supporting taxi operators and drivers, whereby the Centre honours distinguished drivers from the various operating companies on a monthly and yearly basis, according to a set of criteria, on top of which is traffic safety. The Centre will also be setting a special index for traffic accidents which will now be included in the performance matrix of taxi operators in addition to launching campaigns to encourage customers to pre-book taxis so that the mileage travelled as well as potential traffic accidents by taxis are reduced.
It is worth mentioning that all rules and regulations issued by the Centre have contributed in decreasing the number of traffic accidents involving hire cars as the kilometres travelled have also decreased. The Centre is committed to conducting studies and research that will help in achieving excellence and sustainability. In addition the Centre will coordinate with all relevant entities in Abu Dhabi to improve the quality of services offered. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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DoT develops Dh33 million new traffic control central system for Abu Dhabi City


posted on 05/03/2014

The Department of Transport, DoT, in Abu Dhabi, has commenced work on the Dh 33 million adaptive traffic control central system project in Abu Dhabi, which is expected to be accomplished by early 2015, in line with the Surface Transport Mater Plan (STMP) aimed to build world-class integrated and sustainable transport infrastructure.
The project encompasses implementing and deploying the new traffic control central system, (SCOOT), one of the world's leading proven systems utilised in more than 120 cities worldwide. The system offers high flexibility and interactivity to respond to all changing traffic scenarios via data generated by vehicle counting and classification sensors whilst being able to automatically coordinate traffic movement with nearby intersections to ensure integrated management of traffic on Abu Dhabi road networks.
The existing central control and field control systems will be replaced by this new central control system which is smoother, more flexible and adaptive to respond to traffic flow on Abu Dhabi's 125 intersections via approximately 20 sensors at each intersection to monitor and report traffic volumes.
The new system has built-in capabilities to give priority to public transport vehicles such as buses, ambulances and emergency cars whilst leveraging instant response levels to traffic incidents by better management of accidents and vehicle breakdowns on the roads. The system will ensure complete and integrated linkage of Abu Dhabi's traffic control with other systems in Al Reem, Maryah and Yas Islands.
The new control system helps provide data and information on traffic movement needed for study and analysis by monitoring and reporting on Level of Service (LoS) at the controlled corridors in order to propose adjustments of the traffic signal timings on the road network. Such information will also be used to alert motorists on traffic congestion locations. In order to ensure that the system will be fully operational, the DoT will train and qualify a team of UAE engineers and technicians on management and operation of the system through various training sessions and workshops covering both theoretical and practical aspects.
Salah Al Marzouqi, Director of Integrated Intelligent Transportation Systems Division at the Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi, said, "This project is considered one of the key projects of the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Strategy launched by the DoT in 2010. It will ensure better management of the road traffic network and less congestions whilst boosting the levels of vehicle safety and movement within Abu Dhabi by deploying intelligent and integrated traffic control systems that supports the STMP and Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision to be one of the world's top governments and destinations." This implementation of the traffic control system project coincides with the Dh 16 million renovation of Traffic Management Centre which is nearing completion. The work is aimed at developing and updating the Centre to accommodate the existing and new traffic control systems whilst absorbing growing working cadres mandated to 24/7 managing, operating and maintaining of these systems. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
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Abu Dhabi's no-flash cameras record 3167 traffic violations for red light jumping and unsafe lane changes


posted on 26/02/2014

As many as 3,167 traffic violations were recorded by the cameras installed at Abu Dhabi intersections during January 2014. The violations included running red lights and unsafe lane changes, According to statistics issued by the Traffic and Patrols Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police.
Colonel Khalifa Mohammed Al Khaili, Director of the Traffic and Road Safety Engineering Department, at the Traffic and Patrols Directorate of Abu Dhabi Police, said: "The traffic violations were recorded by cameras that use infrared technology that capture images without a flash. These traffic cameras, which are installed at different intersections across Abu Dhabi, operate with state-of-the-art technology and high efficiency." Colonel Al Khaili added: "Our cameras can detect vehicles that run red-lights and fail to abide by the lane rules. They can also record vehicles that stop at pedestrian zones and violate speed limits. Any other violations related to impermissible turns, over-takings and U-turns can also be registered." "These high-quality infrared cameras monitor five lanes in each direction. They are multifunctional and include infrared license plate readers. They can also determine the numbers and types of passing vehicles, estimate the average road speed and record the numbers and directions of pedestrians while traffic lights turn green and red," Colonel Al Khaili explained.
These traffic signals cameras are part of an integrated project that aims to improve traffic safety. As part of the project, 150 light-controlled intersections in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region will be fitted with these cameras. It is a modern traffic system, allowing continuous assessment of the intersections' engineering condition, their impact on traffic safety and the occurrence of accidents. Additionally, the system is able to devise necessary solutions by cooperating with the partners. The system is also linked to the directorate's reports system, SMS, and the Portable Variable Message Signs (PVMS).
Al Khaili called upon motorists to follow traffic laws and regulations, abide by the lane rules, reduce vehicle speed at traffic lights and avoid speeding in order to cross a traffic light before it turns red, which can cause serious traffic accidents resulting in deaths and severe injuries.
According to the Federal Traffic Law, running a red light carries a fine of Dh 800, a penalty of eight black points, and vehicle impoundment for a period of 15 days. Traffic fines can be issued in person and in situations where the person is not present. On the other hand, the failure to abide by the lane rules, regarding trucks, carries a fine of Dh 600 and a penalty of six black points, while for light vehicles; it carries a fine of Dh 200 and a penalty of two black points. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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18 people injured in three-pile up accidents on Abu Dhabi- Dubai road


posted on 26/01/2014

One driver was seriously injured, while 17 others sustained medium to minor injuries in three-pile up traffic accidents on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway on Friday. The accident took place at different locations on both sides of the highway. 50 vehicles were damaged, two of them burned completely on the spot.
The preliminary investigations showed that the accidents occurred as a result of fog, poor visibility, and the drivers' failure to abide by the traffic rules.
The Traffic and Patrols Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police urged the motorists to exercise caution, pay attention, reduce speed and leave enough safe distance among vehicles during variable weather conditions.
Lt. Colonel Mohammed Ahmed Al Mazrouei, Acting Head of the Peripheral Regions Traffic Department at the Traffic and Patrols Directorate in Abu Dhabi Police, noted that as soon as the report was received, the directorate initiated the emergency plan for fog-related incidents, in coordination with the Civil Defence and the Emergency and Public Safety Department.
"The directorate closed the road to traffic and redirected commuters to alternative routes to prevent further collisions. The injured were given first-aid at the scene of the accident before being transferred to Al Rahba hospital for further treatment. The Police put out the two cars that caught fire, and removed the damaged vehicles," Lt. Colonel Al Mazrouei said.
He added that the collisions occurred between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m. at three separate locations on both sides of the highway as a result of heavy fog, speed, and failure to leave enough space among the vehicles. "The first accident occurred at the Sih Sameeh region, the inbound lane, injuring two individuals, with injuries ranging between serious to moderate and damaging eight vehicles.
The second accident took place in the area just before Sih Sameeh area outbound from Abu Dhabi; 11 people sustained minor to moderate injuries and 12 vehicles were damaged. The third accident occurred just before Al Tawila Bridge outbound from Abu Dhabi; five people sustained minor to moderate injuries and 30 vehicles were damaged," explained Lt. Colonel Al Mazroui.
As a part of the "Safety During Fog" initiative, which is organised by the directorate in cooperation with the Security Media Department at the General Secretariat of the Office of H.H Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Al Mazrouei urged all drivers, especially the truck drivers, to reduce speed, refrain from overtaking, and avoid using warning hazard lights.
He noted that the measures adopted by the directorate during foggy conditions, particularly preventing trucks and large vehicles from using roads during fog, until the fog clears and visibility is good. "Severe penalties will be implemented on those who fail to abide by these rules, which aim to promote traffic safety during foggy conditions and reduce traffic accidents," he said.
"The Motorists are advised to follow the traffic instructions during foggy conditions, notably by leaving enough space among vehicles, reducing speed, avoiding overtaking, using low lights, avoiding hazard lights, and listening to awareness messages provided by the Abu Dhabi Police to motorists through the media," Al Mazrouei said. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Making roads safer 140 characters at a time


posted on 23/01/2014

With an online presence on several social media sites an initiative, titled UAE Together, is making the roads safer 140 characters at a time.
Launched by the General Directorate of Abu Dhabi Police, UAE Together regularly updates its Twitter page, informing users on police instructions while sharing recommendations from related traffic entities such as Saeed.
General advice and precautions to be taken while driving in difficult weather conditions are also posted on the UAE Together's Facebook page and website.
Head of the Drivers Training Department at the Technical Institute for Motor Driving, Ebrahim Dusooki, said that using social media means youths — who are mainly responsible for traffic accidents — are targeted.
"Even if the awareness messages impact 10 or 20 per cent of their target audience the campaign can be considered a success. However, stronger advertising and a more active presence online could also help in bringing more cooperation from individuals,” Dusooki told Gulf News.
Under UAE Together four initiatives to reward safe drivers have been launched: The Best Traffic Family, The Best Traffic School, The Best Traffic Young Driver and The Best Traffic Labour Cluster.
Prizes and awards are handed out to individuals, families, schools and labour accommodation sites. Lectures on traffic safety are also given.
"Although I have not heard of them previously, I am glad to know that such an initiative is present. After checking them out I realised that they can be considered a one-stop-shop for road safety and advice in general. I think that more information from other sources would be more helpful and that their activity should be increased,” said Jaber Jaber, a 28-year-old civil engineer in the capital.
Meanwhile, Khalid Al Mansouri, vice-CEO of Emirates Driving Company, which works closely with Abu Dhabi Police in raising awareness on road safety, said: "The UAE Together campaign is adopting important media tools in communicating road safety messages to various road users, especially to the young age group through social media channels. Those messages are pushing Road Safety information to drivers and non-drivers in order to be safe on the road, inside their cars and while driving.”
Earlier, Gulf News reported that a little less than half (41.8 per cent) of all road accidents that took place between 2009 and 2012, were caused by individuals between the ages of 18-30, according to statistics revealed by the Traffic Coordination Department at the Ministry of Interior.
Traffic accidents are the leading cause of deaths among youth aged between 15-29, killing 1.24 million individuals worldwide annually. If the situation remains the same, and unless drastic measures are taken, the death rate is expected to go up to two million people per year in 2020,” Dr Haifa Madi, Director of Health Protection and Promotion in the World Health Organisation (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Region Office, said earlier.
Information
Website: www.uae-together.com
Twitter: @UAETogether
Facebook: www.facebook.com/UAETogether. – Gulf News – Read more: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/making-roads-safer-140-characters-at-a-time-1.1280734

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57-vehicle pile-up is largest in Al Ain history


posted on 17/01/2014

At least 14 people were injured, one seriously, in a 57-vehicle pile-up on Thursday morning near Abu Samra in Al Ain, an eerie reminder of the massive Ghantoot mishap that occurred several years ago.
The Thursday morning pile-up was the largest in Al Ain's modern history, according to the police.
The UAE's biggest such accident took place on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway near Ghantoot in 2008 and involved 250 vehicles. Three people were killed and more than 300 injured.
The cause for both accidents was poor visibility in thick winter fog.
"Luckily, this time there are no fatalities, though some people were injured,” said a police officer.
The Abu Samra pile-up occurred in both directions of the highway.
Police said 39 vehicles rammed into each other on the Abu Dhabi-Al Ain side of the highway and 18 others collided on the Al Ain-Abu Dhabi side of the road, some 40 kilometres west of downtown Al Ain.
Police patrols, ambulances and civil defence responded quickly to rescue the injured.
Preliminary investigations revealed that drivers were not keeping enough distance between each other even with the low visibility, said Major Salah Abdullah Al Humairi, chief of Al Ain Traffic Police.
Not enough space between cars and a failure to slow down led to the mishap, he added.
The pile-up also led to the complete closure of this major artery between two main cities of Abu Dhabi for several hours. Long queues were seen on the highway and traffic police resorted to alternate arrangements.
Traffic was redirected from key interchanges such as Rimah and Al Yahar bridges to other roads.
Police also issued immediate traffic alerts on social media and radio stations, warning drivers of thick fog, the pile-up and the road's closure. Motorists were advised to follow traffic rules in the foggy conditions and take alternate routes to commute between the two cities.
"Safe distance during these conditions must be even greater than normal,” said Major Al Humairi.
Speed limits must be abided by on all internal and external roads, and in case drivers were completely unable to see clearly ahead, they must stop their vehicles on the side of the road, and turn on their hazard lights, he added.
He also warned heavy vehicle drivers to refrain from taking their trucks on the road until the fog lifted and clearer visibility returned.
The police later removed damaged vehicles and cleared off debris to reopen the highway at around 12.20pm.
An eyewitness, Ahmad Sharif, said he was not sure how many cars were involved.
"It was total chaos,” said Sharif, adding that people were running to different cars and pulling people out to safety.
He said the visibility was almost down to zero but even then some people were driving at a high speed, posing a risk to themselves and other road users.
Kishore Anand, another motorists who was coming from Abu Dhabi, said it was a horrific scene.
"It was an unexpected fog and I did not realise the situation until I heard a thud and saw two damaged cars right in the middle of the road in front of me,” he said.
He said he immediately stopped his car on the shoulder of the road and rushed to pull out the injured passengers.
"Soon after, I heard police and ambulance sirens thinking that it could be a pile-up,” said Anand.
Waleed Abu Khalid, another commuter, said that there was long queue of vehicles near Al Saad.
"Police had diverted the traffic towards Suwaihan Road saying the road is closed due to an accident,” he said.
Fog is a usual phenomenon on UAE highways, particularly in the winter, and it often causes problems for motorists.
Hundreds of accidents have been reported in the past due to the poor early morning visibility owing to the fog. The area between Abu Samra and Al Khattam is notorious for thick patches of fog. – Gulf News

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