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Death on the roads

Death on the roads

The UAE has one of highest death rates for road users, says a recent report by WHO. The country has started taking some measures to curb dangerous driving.

June 16, 2009 1:44 by

Road users in the UAE are almost seven times more likely to be killed than those in the UK, according to the Global Status Report on Road Safety, released by the World Health Organization (WHO), reports The National.

“The United Arab Emirates has a death rate, per 100,000 population, of 37.1,” said Tami Toroyan, a WHO technical officer. “Compare this to the UK for example, which is 5.4, and the figure is extremely high.”

“Even compared to the global average of 18.8, it is really high. It is a dangerous place to be on the roads – either as a pedestrian or a driver, and there needs to be more focus on vulnerable road users.”

The UAE is also the worst performer in the region as compared to Bahrain (12.1 per 100,000), Kuwait (16.9 per 100,000), Oman (21.3 per 100,000), Qatar (23.7 per 100,000), and Saudi Arabia (29 per 100,000).

Pedestrians constituted 28 percent of casualties in the UAE; a lack of bridges, road crossings and cycle paths puts pedestrians and cyclists at greater danger, said WHO authorities.

“They have good cars and good roads in the UAE – but there’s a lack of priority for pedestrians and cyclists,” said Toroyan.

Margaret Chan, the WHO’s director general, said the poor safety record of the UAE “deserves our highest attention” and asked officials to take action.

According to Toroyan, the government should reduce road speed limits from 60km/h to 50km/h. Seat-belt laws are also not stringent enough, she said. “If you’ve only got 61 per cent of your front seat occupants wearing seat belts, we are presuming that there’s a much smaller rate of those in the rear seats, since there’s no law,” she said. “The laws need to be revised and amended to what we call good practice.”

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  1. Jim on June 16, 2009 2:48 pm

    Is this article being published in any other languages: Urdu, Arabic, Hindi? I suspect that would be useful.

  2. Shehab Ahmed on July 27, 2009 1:56 pm

    i would totally agree this article should be transalated to urdu and hindi and arabic, we have a dangerous mix here in the UAE since we have drivers from countries who have no traffic rules. everyone wants to impose their own rules when it gets to driving here in the uae from peope driving and crossing the roads or changing lanes without paying attention to locals (us) who drive fast but at the same time they are good drivers to people from across all europe who want to drive in uae like they are driving in their own country, everyone wants to impose his own rules plus recently. I would strongly recommend when you drive by the new silver taxis in the capital as they are the worse dirvers and dont have any driving skills as they have been granted a driver license so quickly to keep up with the demand on the capital as there were shortage of qualified drivers. wish you all the best and safe driving

  3. Rodney on November 12, 2009 12:22 pm

    If the simple changing of a law saves even 1 life, why can’t the government just do it?????


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