Zero road fatality in Dubai by 2020, says Police chief



1.3m every year, 3,500 a day, 150 per hour and nearly three people get killed on the street every minute across the world

Dubai road fatalityThe Dubai Police has set an ambitious goal to decrease road death to zero by 2020.

Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan, Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Police said that road fatalities in 2009 was 225.”By reducing the deaths by 25 every year starting 2010, we will have zero fatality by 2020,” he added.

Deaths in Dubai roads in 2010 were 456 per 100,000 population. Dubai Police chief said that he intended to match the Scandinavian countries, who are notably the best in traffic safety.

90% road accidents caused due to human error

Road danger is man-made crisis and over 90 per cent of road accidents are related to bad driving behaviour –  driving recklessly and speeding under the influence of alcohol, changing lanes without signalling, driving on hard shoulder and running through red signal.

“If we can influence this, we can modify driving behaviour,” said Lt Gen Khalfan on the opening day of the international symposium on “The Role of Media in Traffic Safety”.

According to Bob Joop Goos, Chairman of the International Organisation for Road Accident Prevention, 1.3 million road deaths occur globally every year and more than 50 million people are seriously injured.

There are 3,500 deaths a day or 150 every hour, and nearly three people get killed on the road every minute.

According to World Health Organisation prediction, if we continue with the present efforts, the number of traffic fatalities worldwide will rise by 67 per cent over the period of 2000 to 2020, 68 per cent in the MENA region, and 144 per cent in Southeast Asia and middle to low-income countries by 83 per cent.

Road accident is a consequence of the quality of the road transport system or a break in the balance between the environmental demand and the driver’s ability to act. It is, therefore, imperative to “increase the ability of the road users to act in accordance with the needs of the environments”, said Jose Miguel, Chairman of the Portuguese Society for Road Accidents Prevention.

Changing one’s behaviour is possible said Goos, citing the WHO forecast for Europe and high-income countries – a decline of 27 per cent of traffic deaths over the period 2000 to 2020.

The UN has proclaimed 2011 to 2020 as the decade for action for road safety and the official launch of the decade will be on May 11, 2011.

The UN aims to halve road fatalities by 2020. Achieving this means saving five million traffic deaths and 50 million critically injured people, and saving $3trillion.

Goos called on the media to partner with government bodies and international organisations in communicating the message of traffic safety.