Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Majority of road accident victims Emiratis

This verbatim from yesterday's ArabianBusiness.Com...

Most victims of road accidents in the United Arab Emirates are young Emiratis despite the fact that UAE nationals make up just 15 percent of the Gulf state's population, Abu Dhabi's Department of Planning and Economy (DPE) has revealed.

The DPE said on Saturday in its weekly report carried by state news agency WAM that the number of fatal road accidents in the UAE jumped 27 percent to 1,056 in 2007, up from 830 in 2005. The department said one person dies every eight hours as a result of road accidents, blaming the high number of fatalities on speeding.

It said "most of those victims were young UAE nationals", without being more specific. The department described the figures as "alarming". The DPE said the fatality ratio was three times higher than in many Western counties.

What makes me incredibly sad about this is more than just the toll of human life. I remember well in early 2005 reading a very similar report. At the time I was heading a small team developing an automotive television channel for the Middle East, GearOne. Regularly since the channel launched the weekly Majlis Sayyarat talk show has featured distinguished guests, from the Abu Dhabi and Dubai police forces and from major local and international entities concerned with the promotion of road safety. The channel's laguage is Arabic, its programming is popular with young Emiratis.

But why, why, why does the saftey message not get through their Hamdaniyas?

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