Monday, November 23, 2009

Dubai's road deaths down

I've noted in a few posts that, although there are still plenty of morons out there, road behaviour generally seems to be improving in Dubai.

That seems to be supported by RTA figures for 2008 which show that road deaths are down for the first time in eight years. Speed is a major factor in fatalities and I've noticed a definite slowing down since, for example, Sheikh Zayed Road's limit was reduced to 100kph.

Sadly there were 157 unnecessary deaths caused by road crashes last year, but that's better than the 180 killed in 2007.

On SZR, where the speed limit was reduced from 120kph to 100kph, the stretch between between Defence Roundabout and Interchange 5 had a dramatic drop in fatalities, down from 29 in 2007 to 10 last year.

Speed is a factor in crashes in general but it isn't just the reduction of speed limits that have helped to reduce the danger on our roads, it's much more complicated than that, as Maitha bin Udai, CEO of Traffic & Roads Agency, said.

I've noticed not only a reduction in speed but also, for example, far fewer people driving along the hard shoulder, far fewer driving aggressively and forcing their way in. That's not down to speed limits but to less frustration with log-jammed traffic. A frustrated driver is a dangerous driver. The improvement in traffic flow is thanks to the opening of so many new roads and intersections plus the slightly fewer vehicles on the roads.

There's a long way to go but at least the figures are going in the right direction at long last.

Gulf News has the story here.


Dave said...

I think Maitha bin Udai is correct in his summary. In 2007 it was frequently impossible to sit anywhere near 120 kph on SZR a good deal of the time. Yet the fatalities occurred with monotonous frequency.

Dubai was as congested as any city I had been to in the world. And in 2006 I could not believe that such a small population was enduring gridlock the likes of NYC due to a lack of forward planning and/or overpopulation for the infrastructure available.

The frustration of spendless needless hours in your car easily overtook the most sane person's rational thought pattern of driving with due regard for one's own safety and the safety of other road users.

But the bad habits formed during these frustrating years are still abundantly evident today in a good deal of Dubai drivers. But it is getting better in more ways than one.

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

I agree: driving habits in Dubai have improved. What I find interesting, is that lots of the really obnoxious drivers on the Abu Dhabi/Dubai Road (here in AD) are Dubai reg. It's like they come here to get it out of their systems. :)

In all seriousness, AD could take a few lessons from Dubai on this. The cars seem to be bigger and the drivers more obnoxious at my end of the road.

Susan said...

I think the improvement in congestion is a result of people driving more slowly and creating fewer accidents rather than the improvement in the roads. I used to avoid Shk Zayed Road but now its almost a pleasure to drive!