Saturday, 19 January 2008

Jaywalkers to be fined in Abu Dhabi

Jaywalkers to be fined in Abu Dhabi
By Rayeesa Absal, Staff Reporter GULF NEWS Published: January 18, 2008, 23:12

Abu Dhabi: People caught jaywalking will soon be fined Dh50 after Abu Dhabi recorded 91 pedestrian deaths last year, mostly involving people running across busy streets, police said.

Police will start a campaign against jaywalking in the capital on Monday to try to stop deaths on the roads. Last year, 647 pedestrians were involved in traffic accidents, said the police.

"Fatalities have increased by 20 per cent," said Colonel Adel Hamad Al Shamsi, Director of the Traffic Department. He urged people to cross streets only at zebra crossings. "Lack of attention while driving is also a major cause of accidents," he said.

The safety campaign's motto is, "Pedestrian safety is everyone's responsibility."

According to statistics, 584 accidents involving pedestrians occurred last year. Besides the 91 pedestrians who died, 91 others were seriously injured.

The figures show that 140 pedestrians involved in accidents were younger than 18. Eight teenagers died and 36 others were seriously injured.

There have been a number of deaths due to jaywalking in Dubai and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is planning to spend more than Dh70 million to construct pedestrian crossings.

In Dubai alone, 56 pedestrian deaths were recorded in the first six months of 2007.

An RTA executive said that 17 pedestrian crossings will be constructed. The main reason pedestrians were killed is because they crossed dangerous roads, he said.


A number of deaths have been recorded on Emirates Road near a labour accommodation.

Shaikh Zayed Road was also a major site of pedestrian deaths until the RTA constructed a fence along it. But there are no pedestrian bridges except one near Emirates Towers.

The other dangerous spot where a number of pedestrian deaths have occurred is in front of Ansar Mall at the entrance to Sharjah.

Residents have been complaining of a lack of a pedestrian bridges being constructed.

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