By Andy Sambidge
Officials say tougher enforcement of traffic rules, more penalties behind reduction.
Traffic cops in Dubai have announced a 10 percent drop in the number of fatalities on the roads in the UAE, compared to figures for the previous year.
Officials said the reduction was down to tougher enforcement of traffic regulations and the introduction of a points system for offenders.
There were 109 fewer deaths on the roads in 2009, said Col Ghaith al Zaabi, the director general of traffic co-ordination at the Ministry of Interior in comments published by UAE daily The National.
However, the year still saw 963 people die on the country's roads, the paper reported.
A World Health Organisation (WHO) report last year ranked roads in the UAE as some of the world's most dangerous.
Health chiefs urged the UAE government to tighten motoring laws after the report showed that UAE road users are almost seven times more likely to be killed than those in Britain.
The study revealed that 37.1 people were killed on roads in the Emirates for every 100,000 people in 2007, the latest year for which UAE statistics are available.
The ministry is aiming for a further 20 percent reduction in road deaths over the next three years.
Col al Zaabi said: “We have already achieved 10 per cent in one year, which is remarkable, taking into account the increase in the number of cars, population and drivers’ licences issued. So we aim for the remaining 20 per cent even before the 2015 deadline.”
It is great to hear that there has been a drop in deaths. However, we still have some of the most dangerous roads. I am happy to hear they are taking further measures in reducing it as much as possible. We come from a sophisticated city built on good driving conditions, so it is horrible that many people have suffered tragic deaths from road accidents. I have seen many young people I know pass away due to car accidents, and this is not right. It is great that they have been taking initiative in making more strict driving conditions to reduce this, but we shouldn't have to rely on regulations only... our drivers need to take more responsibility in ensuring safer roads for everyone!