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| 15 November, 2017

Social media drive helps reduce Abu Dhabi road accidents

Image used for illustrative purpose.
Cars drive in the direction of Abu Dhabi on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, November 29, 2009.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Cars drive in the direction of Abu Dhabi on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, November 29, 2009.

REUTERS/Steve Crisp

The authorities said smart applications were used to reach out to people through social media sites such as Facebook,Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Social media campaigns have brought down road accidents by 6.5 per cent over the past two years in Abu Dhabi, according to traffic authorities.

The Abu Dhabi Traffic and Patrols Directorate said the online awareness campaign titled 'Together', which they launched a few years ago, has helped in raising road safety awareness among drivers. The authorities said smart applications were used to reach out to people through social media sites such as Facebook,Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

According to traffic authorities, the number of people that have watched the short awareness videos on YouTube has reached 150,000, there have been 250,000 tweets on reducing road accidents and 250,000 social media comments on road safety.

Awareness programmes through the traditional media included about 678 news releases in print media, 528 radio messages and 50 awareness messages aired out on television channels.

Lieutenant Colonel Ali Al Harbi, from the department of studies and statistics at the traffic and patrols directorate, said: "Police are developing its media and marketing plans to educate the public and increase their awareness on road safety and confidence in traffic systems," said Al Harbi.

"Social media has helped a lot in spreading safety awareness especially among youths and school children," he added.

The police said it had a launched an awareness drive in 2016 targeting young drivers between the age of 18 and 30 to promote the culture of abiding by traffic laws and good road manners as majority of these hold driving licences.

In the past years, traffic authorities in Abu Dhabi also launched awareness programmes like the best school at traffic safety; best driver at road safety targeting drivers aged between 18-25; best family at traffic safety; and the best workers' camp at traffic safety and initiatives to reward those who have no traffic fines or violations on their driving records.

The Abu Dhabi Police released figures in August, which revealed an eight per cent decline in serious traffic accidents and 19 per cent decrease in deaths in the first half of this year, compared to the first half of 2016.

The figures also revealed a three per cent decrease in run-over accidents, as well as 29 per cent decrease in fines and violations.


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