Abu Dhabi: When you see the “Stop” sign of school buses engaged, you must come to a full stop.
And this must be done from a distance of no less than five meters to ensure the safety of crossing students. Failure to comply may result in a fine of 1,000 dirhams and a deduction of 10 traffic points.
This was a reminder to motorists given by Abu Dhabi Directorate of Traffic and Patrols, operating under the General Command of Abu Dhabi Police, as the force has set a comprehensive safety plan for the forthcoming academic year 2023-2024.
In collaboration with strategic partners, the directorate has formulated a plan aimed at fortifying security measures for students’ return to school and achieving peak levels of road safety, particularly for school students.
Heightened traffic patrols
This mission is encapsulated in the slogan “Our Children are a Trust.” Brigadier General Mahmoud Yousef Al Balushi, Director of the Traffic and Patrols Directorate, expounded on the plan’s focal points. It involves heightened traffic patrols at intersections and both internal and external roads within the emirate.
Traffic enforcers will also conduct patrols to regulate traffic, facilitate the movement of school buses, ensure orderly pedestrian crossings, and guarantee the safety of students from the moment they disembark their vehicles to their arrival at the school premises.
Al Balushi underscored that safeguarding the well-being of students ranks as a paramount concern for the Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters. This commitment reflects their cooperation with diverse strategic partners and underscores the necessity of bolstering joint efforts to ensure an uninterrupted environment of safety and security for school students.
Furthermore, Al Balushi indicated that meetings are scheduled with various strategic partners to reinforce the drive towards maintaining students’ and educational staff’s security and safety. He extended his hopes for a joyous academic year ahead for both students and parents.
Al Balushi stressed on the need to conduct comprehensive awareness campaigns to cultivate positive traffic behaviors among different sections of society, including road users.
These campaigns aim to acquaint them with traffic laws and regulations, and to establish the highest benchmarks of traffic safety for students commuting to and from their schools. The focus is on educating drivers about attentiveness while operating their vehicles, reducing speeds near schools, adhering to safe driving practices, and cooperating with traffic patrols to enhance traffic flow and avert accidents.
The official urged school bus drivers to position their buses at designated safe locations. He emphasized allowing students ample time to board, occupy seats, and ensuring their safe disembarkation.
Bus drivers were also cautioned against excessive speeding and were encouraged to adhere to preventive measures, especially during foggy conditions. Al Balushi also reminded drivers to maintain a safe distance and activate the “Stop” sign arm while students embark and disembark the bus.
Appeal to families
He appealed to families to exercise caution when transporting their children to schools. He advised against allowing children under the age of ten to sit in the front seats, and encouraged parents to assist children in crossing roads safely.
Al Balushi also stressed the importance of utilising designated parking areas at schools to avoid obstructing traffic flow. Additionally, parents are encouraged to teach their children proper procedures for boarding and disembarking from the bus and to caution them against playing on the street while awaiting the bus.
This must be done from a distance of no less than 5 meters to ensure the safety of crossing students.
Failure to comply may result in a fine of Dh1,000 and a of 10 traffic black points for offenders.