NEWS FROM THE UAE
Emirates Ring Road the most dangerous
DUBAI — March 24: Emirates Ring Road tops the list of the ‘10 most dangerous roads’ in the UAE, a Traffic Safety Report recently released by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) reveals.
As per the report, Umm Suqueim-Al Barsha Interchange is the most dangerous interchange.
The report further reveals that men drivers are responsible for 92 per cent of the fatal accidents. Lack of judgment by road users accounts for 30 per cent of total accidents, and one accident-related death occurs every 28 hours in the UAE.
Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman and CEO of RTA said: “Shaikh Zayed Road was the second most dangerous road after Emirates Road with 122 accidents and 45 victims, followed by Al Khail Road with 34 accidents and nine deaths. Dubai-Al Ain Road witnessed 33 accidents claiming nine lives and Shaikh Rashid Road saw 29 accidents and six deaths. While Khalid bin Al Waleed Road witnessed 25 accidents with no casualties, Al Ittihad Road registered 24 accidents claiming seven lives. Oud Maitha Road witnessed 23 accidents and three deaths. Amman Road registered 20 accidents with three deaths.”
Al Tayer reiterated: “Speed limits on key roads in Dubai will be reviewed and speed monitoring will be expanded. He said more attention would be given to highways, particularly Shaikh Zayed Road and Al Khail Road.
As per the report, Umm Suqueim-Al Barsha Interchange registered 12 fatal accidents in 2006, followed by Al Mankhool and Umm Harir interchanges with nine accidents each. The interchanges of Hyatt Regency and Damascus–Amman registered eight accidents each.
Al Murraqabat, Trade Centre, Khalid bin Al Waleed, Beirut and Amman interchanges witnessed five accidents each and Satwa Park Interchange saw four accidents.
The total number of traffic accidents in Dubai had increased by 16 per cent last year over the preceding year, while the fatalities resulting from run-over accidents went up by 20 per cent. In the year 2006, 243,386 accidents were registered of which 1,812 resulted in injuries, and 273 ended in 312 fatalities, compared to 236 deaths in 2005, marking a 32 per cent increase in casualties, the report says.
However, the number of UAE nationals killed in traffic accidents dropped from 40 in 2005 to 32 in 2006, indicating a decrease of 20 per cent.
The report further reveals that collisions of vehicles accounted for 49 per cent of the overall accidents. In all, 122 people were killed in 896 incidents involving collision of vehicles.
The run-over cases accounted for 33 per cent of the total accidents in 2006, with 603 such accidents resulting in 116 deaths. Lack of judgment accounted for 543 accidents (30 per cent of total accidents), resulting in 86 deaths.
Driving under the influence of alcohol caused 213 accidents leading to 76 deaths.
Entering the road dangerously caused 186 accidents and 21 deaths.
Lack of sufficient space between vehicles caused 159 accidents, leading to 12 casualties.
Speeding led to 148 accidents and 44 deaths.
Some other accidents were caused by sudden change of direction, irresponsible driving, negligence and lack of attention.
According to the report, May 2006 recorded the highest rate of accidents involving casualties, as 182 accidents led to 25 deaths, followed by December when 163 accidents caused 44 fatalities.
The report shows the rate of increase in fatalities during the last five years at 6.4 per cent. The mortality rate in Dubai in 2006 was one death every 28 hours.
Accidents involving casualties at night accounted for 45 per cent of total fatal accidents. Drivers in the age bracket 18-27 years accounted for 37 per cent of the total fatal accidents in 2006.
The report also reveals that Pakistani drivers caused 25.6 per cent of the fatal accidents, followed by Indians who accounted for 20 per cent and the UAE nationals at 19 per cent of the total fatal accidents.
Vehicles registered in Dubai accounted for 73 per cent of the fatal accidents, followed by vehicles registered in Abu Dhabi (11 per cent), Sharjah (seven per cent), Fujairah (1.85 per cent) and Ajman (1.1 per cent). New drivers who had obtained driving licences two years earlier caused 38 per cent of the fatal accidents.
Private vehicles caused 1,164 accidents resulting in 167 deaths, followed by heavy trucks with 128 accidents and 32 casualties. Light trucks came third, causing 133 accidents and 25 casualties.
Motorcycles caused 102 accidents, leading to eight deaths, and bikes caused 26 accidents and two deaths.
TB: Treatment sought for expatriates too
DUBAI — March 24: On the occasion of World Tuberculosis Day today, UAE health officials have called for a change in government policies regarding provision of treatment to expatriates suffering from the disease.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Director, the Department of Disease Control at MoH, Dr Juma Bilal Fairouz, said that, at present, only the Department of Health and Medical Services (Dohms) was providing treatment to expatriate patients while the Ministry of Health (MoH) repatriated such cases.
He also called for implementation of a policy which would require expatriates to provide a proof of being screened for the disease before entering the UAE.
“We require a change in government policy whereby expatriates, alongside UAE nationals, would be provided treatment instead of being sent back to their home countries,” he explained.
Dr Juma, who also heads the National Tuberculosis Programme, said, “We need more awareness on the disease and also require the private medical sector to report cases immediately.”
He stressed that health centres need to provide full treatment to patients. “Half-treated cases are more dangerous to the community, therefore, this issue needs to be addressed,” he added. In his speech during the occasion, which is being held this year under the slogan ‘TB anywhere is TB everywhere’, the Minister of Health, Humaid Al Qutami, highlighted that the MoH has paid great attention to counter tuberculosis by committing to the initiative of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The minister called for adhering to WHO’s strategy and other international initiatives to halt the spread of the TB totally by 2015.
The WHO strategy focuses on achieving high rates during short-term treatment, paying special concern to the challenges posed due to infected cases resisting drugs and boosting partnership among all sectors.
Another under-construction building catches fire in Shaikh Zayed Road
DUBAI – March 24: Barely a week after a fire in an under-construction building in Shaikh Zayed Road, another building near Shangri-La Hotel met with same fate on Saturday morning.
The fire believed to be erupted in a parking area of the building and there were no casualties reported. Fire fighters and police have rushed to the spot.
According to witnesses, thick smoke has enveloped the area. However traffic on the Shaikh Zayed Road has not been affected.