News | UAE

Motorists ignoring stop signs on school buses to be penalised

Motorists will be fined if they do not wait while school buses' stop arms are activated

  • By Shafaat Shahbandari, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 21:00 April 21, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Gulf News
  • Students getting down from a school bus in Karama in Dubai are escorted to safety to the other side.

Dubai: Motorists ignoring stop signs of school buses on roads will be penalised, a senior Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) official said on the sidelines of the first School Transportation Conference that opened in Dubai on Sunday.

The decision is part of a series of initiatives that RTA is unrolling to improve safety of children on roads.

“Our idea is to give our children the best in terms of safety and facilities. There should be no compromise whatsoever when it comes to their progress under a safe and secure atmosphere,” said Yousuf Al Ali, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency, who gave the welcome address at the conference.

The stop arms are on the sides of school buses and whenever the bus stops to drop a pupil, the stop arm automatically opens, indicating to traffic on the road to wait until the child is safely out of the way.

The three-day conference and exhibition, the first of its kind in the region, organised by RTA in association with the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) in USA, attempts to bring together world leaders in pupil transportation.

“We are trying to exchange ideas and share best practices so that we can improve our standards further and implement solutions that can change the way children are transported,” said Alexandra Robinson, President of NAPT.

She added that Dubai already has an impressive system in place for school transportation and is an inspiration for the countries in the region.

“Our association with RTA is quite new, but in a short time I have seen that RTA is progressive and innovative in their approach. The training system, the safety standards and the use of technology by RTA is quite impressive, more so because this was achieved in a short period,” she said.

As part of its attempt to further improve the facilities on buses, RTA is proposing to make tracking devices mandatory on all school buses.

“Right now some schools and transportation companies have their buses equipped with tracking devices and we are mulling to make it mandatory for all as it really helps keep track of every movement of the vehicles and in turn improves safety,” Al Ali said.

Parents concerned about the safety of their wards have hailed the decision to penalise motorists who ignore the stop signs.

“This is a belated but good decision. The penalties should have been there from the beginning, however, it’s good that they are finally thinking on these lines,” said Sushma Bhardwaj, whose two daughters use school transport.

Another parent said many motorists commonly ignore the stop signs, which puts children’s lives in danger.

She urged RTA to run awareness campaigns about the importance of stopping behind school buses.

According to RTA statistics, there have been no casualties of children on school buses in Dubai over the last four years, reflecting the effectiveness of the measures taken by RTA.

Comments (29)

  1. Added 17:54 April 22, 2013

    A nice article and good move but I would like to highlight the fact that the buses who stop and have that sign board shown is most of the time the kids does not cross the road but they get down at the path next. The stop sign should not be shown when there is no crossing or else everyone will wait for 4 to 5 mins behind the bus only to realise at the end that kids are to be meant to be dropped at that point where they are stopped. So, the buses flout the rule by stopping the buses in the middle of the traffic and also not in the designated place. This has to be corrected before a fine is proposed at the motorists.

    Jason, James, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 17:50 April 22, 2013

    Thank you for article! It's very important to all of us, drivers, parents and people. We MUST to care an young generation and be more polite, do not be agressive to each other and patient to the situation or traffic. Unfortunately, most of the people are ignoring it at all. It doesn't make any sence if you will post it every day during a week or two. We have to understand that it could be our kids in the same bus. Dear friends please look around and try to respect each other.

    Aleksandra, Dubai, Uzbekistan

  3. Added 16:04 April 22, 2013

    School busses to should be fined for stopping middle of the road and blocking traffic? I noticed bus drivers put stop signs and waiting for children to come and traffic jams. When they wait for children they must park on side not right middle of the road.

    Lawrence, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 15:08 April 22, 2013

    Is it not possible for RTA to make a pick up/drop point designated for school children pick/drop point in order to not block other road users? Places near to a pedestrian crossing locations. School bus just stop in the middle of the road and if a number of students need to be picked up this will cause choas if other motorist will wait till stop sign is removed.

    Nonie Torres, Dubai, Philippines

  5. Added 13:13 April 22, 2013

    Even this news article is not clear about the rule. Does the traffic have to stop until the child has reached safety, or until he stop sign is removed. Sometimes the driver is on his way before the child has reached to safety.

    Tony, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 12:45 April 22, 2013

    The move made by RTA is welcome. Also the shcool buses are equipped with speed limiters, I am surprised to know the drivers of the shcool buses are well qualified and the responsibility they have at their end. This is evident when the school buses change the lanes without giving proper indication. If the authorities see such ill practices by school buses they should be severely penalized for the breach of road rules and safety measures.

    Ashok Fernandes, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 12:28 April 22, 2013

    School buses too should be fined for stopping on the middle of the road? RTA should also monitor these bus drivers drive as have seen many of them do not maintain the speed limit given to them. Good move by RTA.

    Amar, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 11:12 April 22, 2013

    How often I have seen the school bus driver flouting this rule. The drivers need to be educated first. Those leaving for office at 7am or thereabouts will now need to leave another 5-10 mins early to accomodate this rule. Let's hope that all follow this rule for the safety of the little ones. Good step, but implementation must be enforced.

    Ninad, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 11:08 April 22, 2013

    Finally the authorities are enforcing this rule. I would always stop as soon as the sign was out but impatient drivers behind me would honk and accelerate around me. They should be educated that this rule is already being followed in the western world and is nothing new. It is only when they hit a child, they realise the importance of the stop sign. Thank you Gulf News Team for highlighting this.

    Bjorn, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 10:54 April 22, 2013

    That is a pretty constructive move from the RTA. But on the other side, most of the school buses don't follow the rules on road while driving and they stop right in the middle of the Road pick&drop the school kids and block the traffic and causing unnecessary traffic and trouble to the other normal road users. It will be much helpful if the RTA can monitor these things as well and streamline the same.

    Dave, Dubai, India

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