Dubai: I am a resident of the Al Baraha 1 area of Dubai, and I witness an issue quite often - jaywalking in the community. There is an urgent need for a pedestrian crossing on Street 12 in the area and fencing should be installed on the road’s divider to avoid crossing at undesignated spots.
There are two signals on the one kilometre stretch of road adjacent to my home and no pedestrian crossings are available in between for pedestrians to get to the other side of the road, where a hospital is also located.
This makes it especially difficult on Eid, as there is an Eid Musallah, a ground to perform Eid prayers, located in the area. People find it hard to cross the road at the time of Eid prayers.
There are no signboards installed in the area, highlighting the penalty for jaywalking. Many pedestrians, who are not aware that they should not be crossing the road from an undesignated area, will be seen jaywalking regularly.
This is quite dangerous, for both the pedestrians and the motorists. When pedestrians run across the road, motorists have to be extra careful and sometimes even brake immediately to avoid a collision. This is an extremely dangerous situation, as the motorists may not be able to brake on time and there could possibly be a collision, leading to injury or even loss of life.
That’s not it. There is also a penalty for jaywalking. Violators get a Dh400 fine and it is punishable under the UAE Traffic Law.
To avoid any accidents and even the penalty for jaywalking, one should go to either one of two signals on the stretch of road and cross from the designated spots. But, during the summer season, it is very difficult to do that as people have to walk a long distance under the sun to reach the signal. The weather is getting better now, but it is still quite warm in the day time.
So, to avoid this inconvenience, people are seen crossing from both sides of the road.
Mohammad Hajath Ali, a revenue accounts supervisor based in Dubai, has also come across this same issue.
He said: “I also face this conundrum when crossing the above mentioned road in the Al Baraha 1 area.”
Within the area, there are many worker accommodations, and these workers need to cross the road to reach the bus stop and for other purposes. Pedestrians will be caught by traffic police while they cross the road unexpectedly. Sometimes, the police are in plain clothes and issue tickets to those who are jaywalking.
The authorities are constantly reminding pedestrians to not cross the road from undesignated areas, but despite that, many still do so for various reasons.
In order to put a complete end to it, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) should consider the situation and create a pedestrian crossing half way through the road, so people have more options to cross to the other side. It would be the ideal solution and it will stop people from crossing the road from undesignated areas and instead use the pedestrian crossing to walk across safely.
Additionally, the authorities should install signboards in the area with a warning message along with the penalty details. This will alert the pedestrians that they should not be jaywalking in order to avoid being penalised and being asked to pay the fine amount.
The authorities should also consider building a fence in the middle of the road. This will completely inhibit people from jaywalking and force them to walk up to the signal to cross from the pedestrian crossing.
I hope the authorities consider these suggestions urgently. This will ensure the safety of both pedestrians and motorists.
— The reader is a revenue accounts supervisor based in Dubai.
Be a community reporter. Tell us what is happening in your community. Send us your videos and pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jaywalking is an offence. Violators get a Dh400 fine and it is punishable under the UAE Traffic Law.
Editor’s note: The reader’s concerns were raised with the management of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). However, they did not respond.