Young motorists in Dubai are the cause of the most road accidents, the emirate’s chief traffic prosecutor said.
Salah Bu Farousha said drivers aged 18 to 35 were responsible for most collisions leading to severe injury and death.
He urged all drivers, especially the young, to follow traffic rules and stay safe on the roads.
“Speeding, using mobile phones and failing to keep a safe distance between vehicles are the common causes of sudden collisions and lead to deadly consequences,” he told an online event on Monday.
He said there were strict laws in place under which offenders would be punished.
In 2019, there were 1,360 crashes in Dubai in which 132 people were killed and 154 seriously injured.
Of these, 875 accidents involving people aged 18 to 35 led to 77 deaths and 96 injuries.
“We have about 114 different types of traffic offences listed in the law with all of them aimed at one thing – protecting people,” he said.
Mr Farousha said traffic safety laws and a good road network have helped bring down the number of accidents but he asked for more commitment from the public.
The UAE was ranked first in a global index of road quality for five consecutive years from 2014, the World Economic Forum said.
“It’s the public’s responsibility to be well-informed of the rules and they are constantly reminded through multiple channels,” Mr Farousha said.
“People need to be more careful behind the wheel, not because they fear the penalty but because they carry the responsibility of keeping themselves and others safe.”
He said traffic safety rules were updated not to fine people but to keep them safe.
But some motorists are reckless and drive without a licence or lend their cars to others, he said.
“They do not think that an accident can happen in a minute,” he said.
The senior prosecutor said people should not drive if they experience fatigue, are sleep-deprived or have taken medicine that makes them drowsy. “It’s important that motorists are aware of the side effects of medicines,” he said.
Should an accident happen in this case, the driver will be held legally responsible.
Mr Farousha said that some accidents also happen when motorists drive below the minimum speed limit.