UAE tackles reckless driving, deaths fall by 10 percent in 2009
Announcing the latest road traffic accident figures, the UAE Government in Abu Dhabi reiterated its commitment to reduce road deaths by 20 percent by 2012. 963 motorists were killed in traffic accidents across the UAE in 2009, compared to 1,072 in 2008. “If the current positive trend can be maintained, hopefully, the target will be achieved ahead of time,” said Colonel Gaith Hassan Al Za’abi, Director of the Traffic Department at the Ministry of Interior.
The announcement came as two extreme cases of reckless driving were reported. In one case, a 27 year old motorist had his vehicle confiscated after he was recorded driving at 248 km/h. 11 cars were seized by the police for “driving at dangerous speeds” in January alone, according to one official. Meanwhile, in Dubai, a student who eluded police while collecting fines totaling $97,000 has been caught, and his car seized.
Despite these extreme cases, the total number of accidents fell. “The severe penalties have successfully acted as a deterrent,” Colonel Al Za’abi said. Other factors include increased police patrolling and monitoring, alongside efficient issuance of traffic tickets and speed monitoring by radars, he said.
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