Vision Zero: How Abu Dhabi plans to cut road deaths to zero
A bold and noble endeavor if ever there were one…
Abu Dhabi’s Integrated Transport Center (ITC) has some big public safety goals for the future.
Vision Zero is a project that aims to reduce the fatal accident rates on the roads to zero. Which is fantastic news, but if there’s any chance of this becoming a reality, there needs to be a series of clear and measurable targets along the way as well as achievable strategies for meeting those checkpoints.
How does the ITC plan to realise this vision?
They’ve separated their approach into several different categories including
Establishing safer infastructure; implementing safer speeds; creating increasingly strict safety specifications for vehicles sold and used in Abu Dhabi; enhancing responsibility within road users; and improving response system for traffic accidents.
We strive to create safe roads in Abu Dhabi Emirate by implementing the vision zero strategy in which eliminates fatal accidents rate.
To achieve that, the strategy covers number of feilds that will contribute in enhancing the level of traffic safety. pic.twitter.com/o8blZNsSHJ
— “ITC” مركز النقل المتكامل (@ITCAbuDhabi) May 27, 2021
But how can we, as drivers, help..?
One road behaviour that is consistently linked with traffic accidents is tailgating. In fact it’s the number three cause of deaths on our roads.
That’s vehicles not leaving enough space between their car, and the car in front.
There are of course strict penalties in place for not leaving sufficient space — get caught flouting minimum distance rules and you’ll be slapped with a Dhs400 fine and four black points.
Abu Dhabi Police also recently reiterated that activities that can invite tailgating, will result in fines for the driver in front too. Chief amongst them, is not moving out of the fast lane after overtaking (as long as there is a safe amount of space to move into), which will land you with a Dhs400 fine.
Those caught undertaking (that’s overtaking on the inside lane) will also cop a penalty.
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Then there’s the non use of indicators which is a relatively common practise here. Indicators, turn signals, blinkers, direction signals, those little flappy sticks to the side of your steering wheel, whatever you call them, you need to be using them.
Drifting into lanes without prior indication is another leading cause of road traffic accidents across the world, but there are some peculiarities behind the behaviour here in the UAE, which according to MOI estimates is responsible for up to 20 per cent of road deaths.
There are no excuses for not indicating your intent to change lanes, turn or altering direction, but if you need a further incentive — there’s a Dhs400 fine for not fulfilling this basic obligation.
Other leading causes of accidents are phone use and other concentration deficit behaviours (such as eating, and applying make-up); speeding; road rage; and wearing seat belts. All of these are behavioural, and all of them can be reduced with a combination of stiff penalties and driver education.