Awareness of basic road safety is key to reducing Dubai traffic injuries

Dubai: Even with the UAE’s positive steps to improve road safety, educating young people on basic road safety rules must continue to avoid fatalities, said the organisers of a children’s road safety campaign. “Over the last 10 years, authorities in the United Arab Emirates have made good progress in making our roads safer,” said Roshanara Sait, Director, Ciel Marketing ‘&’ Events at the conclusion of the fourthMy First License I Know my Road Rules’ campaign.

According to the World Health Organization, the UAE recorded 12.7 road traffic deaths per 100,000 people in 2010 down from 23 fatalities in 2001.

While the UAE has made constructive improvements to road safety, public awareness of basic road rules has been found wanting. According to Dubai Police, over 50 per cent of all road and pedestrian accidents occurred among people in the 18- 35 age group in 2013, the highest rate of any age group.

“The key to reversing this trend is to educate people when they’re young,” said Sait. “Children need to be made aware of road rules and safety precautions at an early age so that they evolve into responsible road users. Our program teaches children the importance of respecting road rules at all times.” Educating children was the focus of the My First License I Know my Road Rules’ campaign, organised by Total Marketing Middle East and Ciel Marketing ‘&’ Events, and endorsed by Dubai Police. The initiative spread awareness about basic road safety to approximately 3,000 children in seven schools across Dubai.

“This initiative was borne to instill a safety first’ way of thinking amongst children so that they aware of their future responsibilities as drivers, as well as their current duties as pedestrians and passengers,” said David Kalife, Managing Director, Total Marketing Middle East. The campaign offered a hands-on learning experience including classroom and mock test drive components, led by a qualified instructor.

“We believe that the success of this initiative boils down to the fact that children are taught in an interactive learning environment,” said Sait. “Feedback from parents and teachers has been fantastic and they tell us that this holistic method of teaching has led children to putting into practice the road rules that they have learnt during our sessions.” Launched in 2011, My First License I Know my Road Rules’ campaign has since educated an estimated 18,000 school children across 37 schools in Dubai.