By Elsa Baxter
Problem of jaywalking adding to number of traffic accidents in the emirates, police say.
Pedestrians are involved in 20 percent of all traffic accidents in the UAE and more than 4,000 people have been fined for jaywalking, police have said.
Official figures show the number of road crashes involving pedestrians has increased, with 2,138 cases reported last year, up from 2,022 in 2007, reported Gulf News.
"It is important for us to deter people from jaywalking as this results in accidents - mostly fatal ones,” Colonel Hamad Adil Al Shamsi, the director of the Department of Traffic and Patrol Police, said.
He told the daily paper that 4,010 pedestrians were fined up to AED200 for jaywalking this year.
Al Shamsi said: "Some people do not use pedestrian bridges and crossings, rather they choose to cross at random places. This is a dangerous practice and causes accidents.”
He added: "Drivers, at the same time, should give priority to pedestrians and reduce the speed as they approach pedestrian crossings."
Motorists can be fined up to AED500 fine and six points on their licence for not giving priority to pedestrians, Al Shamsi said.
The news comes after a spot poll by Arabian Business revealed that 69.7 percent of respondents thought motorists in the UAE ‘drove like maniacs’.
A recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report named the UAE’s roads as among the most dangerous in the world.
The study found that people here are almost seven times more likely to be killed on the roads than those in Britain.