Biggest road safety drive launched

Dubai: A major safety campaign covering safety issues in various aspects of life, will be launched next week and will seek a bigger role by the general public in the campaign. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is launching a major safety campaign under the slogan Haseb "take care". The ongoing campaign will highlight safety issues for motorists and users of other transportation means. In later phases, the campaign will highlight safety in fields including, roads, transportation, construction, marine, and other fields. It is not just about not speeding and wearing seatbelts, but about a variety of safety behaviours. This is the first time in the UAE that multiple safety messages will be launched under one major campaign, which states that road safety is not for a week or a month, but for life.

The first phase will focus on road safety and specifically on the seven key causes of road accidents based on accident statistics of 2007. The seven major causes of road accidents which the RTA will focus on during the first phase of the campaign include: excessive speeding, use of handheld mobile phones, fatigue, not keeping enough distances between vehicles, not wearing seatbelts, lack of lane discipline and jumping red signals. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, said launching this campaign is one of RTA's continuous efforts to prevent road accidents and reduce its impact on lives and properties. He pointed out that excessive speeding in considered a main or secondary reason of around 80 per cent of fatal accidents.

"The first phase of this comprehensive campaign focuses on speeding to encourage motorists to abide by speed limits. When the speed is 70km/h and is reduced by 2 per cent of the average speed, it helps in reducing fatal collisions by 10 per cent," Al Tayer said. He said the campaign has already started internally with the RTA's employees, as the RTA is keen on launching this campaign at the beginning for its employees who must be role models in spreading traffic culture in the society by abiding by the traffic laws.

Al Tayer said the Haseb "take care" campaign is about placing greater responsibility on every member of the society to act safely wherever they are and in whatever they do. The campaign is not about targeting road users, preaching safety and hoping that the road users act. "While government has the responsibility to develop and implement strategies aimed at improving road safety, it is broadly recognised that road safety is a shared responsibility. Private sector, associations and other non-government entities have a vital role to play," he said. Al Tayer said the awareness issue is also a responsibility of social organisations, media, and educationists, especially school and university teachers.

Strategy

"Our strategy includes initiatives to educate and influence children on safety, thereby inculcating good habits from younger ages. At the same time, constant reminder on safety to adults from various backgrounds will allow for a potential change in the bad habits created over the years," he said. "The RTA adopts the highest traffic safety standards in inspecting new projects during the design phases, as the newly established roads by the RTA have all the internationally approved safety standards," Al Tayer said.

Method

The RTA will use various tools to convey the awareness messages of this campaign. The awareness messages will include, statistics, pictures and slogans that communicate with the public's minds and emotions. The RTA will convey the messages through newspapers, TV channels, radio stations, internet, flyers and brochures. The information will be conveyed in various languages besides Arabic and English. "Safety campaigns raise public awareness that can help to influence the attitudes and behaviours that cause accidents. Safety campaigns also create public acceptance for safety engineering and police enforcement and give national focus for local initiatives aimed at safety behaviours," Al Tayer said. He said the total number of deaths in road accidents in 2007 was 329 deaths compared to 312 deaths in 2006. He said this means there is 21.5 deaths per every 100,000 of the population.

  • Contribute in reducing road accident fatalities and reaching to safety levels of the countries that are pioneers in road safety.
  • Enhancing the level of public and official awareness regarding safety.
  • Bringing together various road safety messages under one simple theme (Haseb/take care).
  • Keeping the campaign's theme an ongoing issue in the public's minds and getting them to say "Haseb or take care" at least 10 times per day thereby keeping awareness high.
  • Creating a need for the general public to take care at all the times.
Biggest road safety drive launched Biggest road safety drive launched Reviewed by UAE on 7:31 PM Rating: 5

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