Sharjah: Over 12,800 jaywalkers were fined between January and May in Sharjah, police said.
The number is higher than that in the same period last year as Sharjah Police have intensified efforts to increase road and pedestrian safety and have been strictly issuing fines to jaywalkers.
Lieutenant Saud Al Shaiba, spokesperson for the Traffic and Patrol Department, told Gulf News that Sharjah Police issued fines to 12,871 people who were caught jaywalking in the emirate till May this year.
However, only five people have been fined since Ramadan began on May 17.
Sharjah Police have identified jaywalking as a serious issue and launched an inspection campaign targeting pedestrians who cross roads from non-designated areas.
Police started issuing fines after the end of several campaigns rolled out under the theme ‘Pedestrian safety is our responsibility’.
Lt Al Shaiba said jaywalking is an offence; violators get a Dh400 fine and it is punishable under the UAE Traffic Law.
“It’s important that all road users understand the risks of violating safety rules, whether crossing or walking on the road, and learn how to stay safe,” he added, pointing out that pedestrians are the most vulnerable ones on the road.
“Pedestrians are advised to cross roads from the zebra crossing only or from the pedestrian bridges, otherwise they will face fines.”
The number of run-over accidents declined by 14 per cent to 156 in 2017 from 183 in 2016, according to Sharjah Police statistics. Fatalities in traffic accidents also dropped by 20 per cent to 105 deaths in 2017 from 132 in 2016. Overall, traffic accidents declined by 15 per cent in 2017 from the previous year.
Lt Al Shaiba said the decline was a result of the efforts of various traffic departments and their stakeholders.
Sharjah Police have stepped up patrolling on the roads and have issued fines to jaywalkers.
Pedestrians are repeatedly advised not to cross highways with speed limits of more than 80km/h because they could be held liable for any accidents resulting from their behaviour, said Lt Al Shaiba.
The Federal Penal Code allows traffic prosecutors to hold the jaywalkers who cause accidents resulting in injuries or property damage liable and refer them to court.
Also, Article 43 of the code imposes a fine of Dh500 and six traffic black points on motorists for not giving the priority to pedestrians at designated crossing spots, while Article 48 imposes a Dh500 fine for parking at the pedestrian crossings.
Article 111 of the law calls for Dh200 fine and three traffic black points for stopping the vehicle in a manner that causes danger to jaywalkers or impedes the movement of pedestrians.
He stressed that traffic safety is a shared responsibility, and must be ensured by all members of the community in order to limit human, financial and material losses.
Lt Al Shaiba also urged motorists and pedestrians to abide by traffic regulations for their own safety and that of other road users.
Roads where most jaywalkers were fined
Ebrahim Al Midfa’a Road: 1,648 fines
Industrial Area 4 Road: 1,103
Al Nahda Road: 1,098