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Pedestrian deaths alarm...

POLICE are set to intensify safety awareness campaigns after the deaths of at least 12 pedestrians since the start of the year.

The General Directorate of Traffic plans to specifically target expatriate clubs, associations and embassies as the majority of victims were Asian workers.

The latest figures were confirmed by traffic accidents department head Major Mohammed Ali Al Darraj.

"The same period witnessed 43 accidents that resulted in 44 serious injuries and 90 accidents that resulted in 95 minor injuries," he said in the Interior Ministry's Al Amn magazine, referring to the period from January to April 20.

Major Al Darraj said 151 people, including motorists, had also been injured by accidents involving pedestrians.

"Regrettably, despite the creation of safe passages, pedestrian bridges, zebra crossings and traffic signals, the frequency of such accidents remains high," said traffic culture director Lieutenant Colonel Moosa Isa Al Dossary.

"Traffic safety is the responsibility shared by all segments of the society."

Lt Col Al Dossary told the magazine despite the high frequency of pedestrian accidents, the directorate had managed to reduce road deaths in the last five years with the help of state-of-the-art technology monitoring traffic movement.

Victims

"Most of the victims are Asian workers because of wrong traffic behaviour such as crossing in the dark, texting messages or making calls while crossing the road," he said.

Pedestrian accidents among young people were mainly recorded near clubs and parks and those involving children near shopping and residential areas.

Police said the main cause of pedestrian accidents was the failure to use zebra crossings, footbridges and intersections and instead jumping over safety barriers or fences to cross highways.

Others took place when a pedestrian tried to cross during heavy traffic and waited in middle of the road.

"He (pedestrians) has to commit to crossing the road safely at only zebra crossings, footbridges or intersections taking care of traffic signals and not wear light clothes that reflect lights," said Lt Col Al Dossary, who encouraged families and schools to help promote traffic awareness among children.

He urged motorists to also drive responsibly in areas where pedestrian traffic is high and respect zebra crossing, look out for children and the elderly and give them time to safely cross the road.

sandy@gdn.com.bh

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Sep 16, 2012
Words:392
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