It has been an annual event since 1984, and this year, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) United Traffic Week was held under the slogan, ‘Your safety is our aim’.
From Saudi Arabia to Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and reaching to the Sultanate of Oman and the UAE, activities promoting safe driving behaviour were held involving all segments of society, asserting once again the power of multi-sectoral partnerships. Conferences, lectures, exhibitions, traffic safety villages, parades, distribution of awareness and educational materials, simulators, live demonstrations, film screenings, contests… the sheer scope of action during the week is impressive.
“Gulf Traffic Week signifies the common goals the GCC member states share towards reaching practical, feasible solutions to the traffic woes,” said Brigadier General Gaith Hasan Al Zaabi, Director General, Traffic Coordination Department, at the Ministry of Interior in the UAE. “The Week serves as a renewed call for saving lives, safety and for pooling energies to address the repercussions of road crashes, whether in human loss or damage of property terms” he added.
Of particular note during the Week was the announcement of a unified insurance plan for automobiles in the Gulf – a plan scheduled to enter into force before the end of 2013.
GRSP Members also played a role in the Week: Shell Qatar earning a salute from the Ministry of Interior for its contributions, and Toyota presenting the latest technological advances in vehicle safety systems.
The Week is testament to the work being done in GCC countries to decrease their road death and injury tolls. Though whilst the UAE has succeeded in reducing its traffic crashes by 19% in 2012 compared to 2011, Saudi Arabia remains one the most dangerous places in the world for drivers, and the Sultanate of Oman has the highest death rate from road accidents in the GCC, and the third highest in the Eastern Mediterranean region.