One person killed on GCC roads every 53 minutes in 2014

Bahrain has the best GCC road safety record with one death every six days on average while Saudi Arabia had the poorest with one death every one hour and 20 minutes on average.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

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Almost 10,000 people died on the roads in the GCC region last year, according to the organiers of NATRANS Arabia 2015, a conference-led exhibition about the Gulf region’s transportation infrastructure.

“With almost 10,000 people dying on the Gulf region’s roads last year – that’s approximately one person every 53 minutes, it is clear why the UAE government has set a target of reducing road deaths to three deaths per 100,000 population by 2021.

"The pertinence of the vision is even greater when compared to the UK market, which has a greater population than the GCC, recorded 1,807 road deaths and equating to one person every 4 hours and 45 minutes,” said Alex Heuff, exhibition director, Fleming Gulf, the organiser of NATRANS Arabia.

“It is clear that some countries are performing better than others. Bahrain is the safest country in the GCC – 61 deaths occurring one every six days on average, (1 in 22,033 people) while in 2013, Saudi Arabia had the poorest record, a total of 7,867 deaths – averaging one every one hour and 20 minutes (1 in 3,801 people).

"Compared to the UK, which has one road death per 35,695 residents, the GCC still has a long way to go to, it witnesses one road fatality for every 5,030 residents.

"In the United Arab Emirates, a road death occurs on average every 12 hours with 712 deaths last year (1 in 13,295),” added Heuff.

NATRANS Arabia is being held in partnership with the UAE Federal Transport Authority-Land and Maritime, under the patronage of H.E. Dr Abdulla Belhaif Al Nuaimi, who is the minister of Public Works and chairman of the Federal Transport Authority-Land and Maritime.

The event will examine possible sustainable technology-led solutions, such as wider more accessible public transport, Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and safety measures in highway infrastructure development, needed to address the GCC’s road safety record. 

A number of high ranking government official and representatives from around the region have been invited to speak at the event alongside HE Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, including Dr. Arif Mehmood, safety planning specialist, Intergrated Planning Division Department of Transport, Abu Dhabi; Professor Dr. Kim Jraiw, technical director, National Traffic and Transportation Strategy 2010-2020, Kuwait; Captain Engineer Marzouq Al Zaabi, Smart Traffic Centre, Abu Dhabi Police, as well as transportation experts from Egypt, Jordan, the UK, Holland and Japan.

Dr. Arif Mehmood commented: “Over the last five years, a substantial 35% decline in fatalities from 409 in 2009 to 267 in 2014.

"This is a huge improvement, however, we have not much progress reducing the number of non-injury crashes – besides the tragic loss of life, in all, traffic accidents cost the economy AED 3 billion annually.”

NATRANS Arabia incorporates the Middle East Road Conference, which will examine the progress of the region’s mega road projects valued at an estimated $32 billion, and the region’s sixth Middle East Rail Opportunities Summit on the 25 - 27 October, where designs of nearly $200 billion in network projects will be presented, running from the Gulf coast from Kuwait, through Saudi Arabia, to the UAE and Oman, with branches linking Bahrain and Qatar.

A third seminar, Middle East Maritime Conference, will take an in-depth look at investments in the maritime industry, which are expected to reach $66 billion in the next three years, with the UAE contributing 30 - 35% of the Middle East’s projected total investment valued at $190 billion over the next three years.

Running alongside the conferences is an exhibition accommodating over 100 exhibiting companies that is divided into four themed zones compatible with the conference streams, plus an extra zone showcasing intelligent transport systems.

In a statement, organisers said the exhibition is likely to attract in excess of 2,500 trade visitors.

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