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Thu 19 Nov 2009 02:29 PM

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Drop in Saudi road deaths

Kingdom's capital also sees a drop in the number of dangerous injuries while driving - report.

The number of road related deaths in the Saudi capital of Riyadh has dropped following a successful road safety initiative, reports have claimed.

Prince Sattam, acting Riyadh governor and chairman of the Higher Committee for Traffic Safety, said there had been a substantial reduction in incidents this year and in previous years, the Arab News reported.

“The rate of deaths caused by accidents declined from 35 per 100,000 cars in 2004 to 17 per 100,000 in 2008,” the prince said told the Saudi-based newspaper.

The survey also showed a decrease in the number of dangerous injuries from 125 cases to 52 per 100,000 cars during the same period.

“This will have a positive impact on social, health and economic aspects,” Prince Sattam added.

Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s largest road accident rates. As many as 485,931 accidents happened on the Kingdom’s roads in 2008, with 6,458 people killed and 36,486 injured.

In the UAE, figures from the General Directorate of Traffic Coordination at the Ministry of Interior reported that road accidents for the first half of 2009 increased by 11.5 percent, while fatalities dropped by 2.6 percent.

Overall there were 5,026 traffic accidents in the UAE in the first six months of 2009, compared to 4,506 in the same period in 2008.

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