When the red Stop sign show next to the bus it means that children are about to cross the road after getting off the bus, so all traffic should stop. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Dubai: Police have urged parents to follow traffic rules while dropping their children to school as new academic year begins on Sunday. Parents parking in front of the school’s gates to drop their children, motorists ignoring school bus stop signs, allowing pupils to sit in front seats, were some of mistakes highlighted by officials.

These examples came up during the launch ‘Back to Schools’ awareness campaign for road safety by the Ministry of Interior. Major General Mohammad Saif Al Zafein, Director of the UAE Federal Traffic Council, launched the campaign which will continue for three months.

“Some parents’ behaviour causes accidents and traffic jams as they insist on dropping their children in front of the school gates. Parents should park near the schools and walk with their children to the gate for their safety,” Maj Gen Al Zafein said.

He also stressed that all school buses should use stop sign while dropping or picking up students, “It is important to use the sign to warn other motorists. Any driver not using the sign will be fined Dh500 and six traffic points,” Maj Gen Al Zafein said.

 All school buses are required to use the stop sign while dropping off or picking up students. Drivers who fail to halt on seeing the school bus stop signs will be fined Dh1,000 and slapped with 10 black points.

Official statistics revealed that in 2017, officers in the UAE issued 87 traffic tickets to school bus drivers who failed to use the stop sign.

Meanwhile, 473 motorists were fined last year for failing to halt their vehicles on seeing the stop signs. They were fined Dh1,000 and slapped with 10 traffic points.

Traffic tickets for school bus drivers who failed to use stop sign in 2017

This is in accordance with Resolution No (178) of 2017 on traffic rules and procedures, and resolution No (91).

“Bus drivers can record plate numbers of motorists who ignore the stop sign and inform the authority through ‘We All Policemen’ programme,” he added.

School bus drivers and parents are also urged to adhere to the specific speeds and follow the rules when transporting their children. He also called on drivers to be careful while passing through the streets near schools, and when entering and exiting the school premises.

“The fine for reckless drivers near schools and residential areas is Dh400 and four traffic points. Last year, officers fined 190 drivers in the UAE,” warned Maj Gen Al Zafein.

Officials also urged parents to keep their children in the back seats and fasten their seatbelts when dropping them to schools. According to official stats, 2,635 drivers were fined for allowing children under age of ten years or who are less than 145cm in height, to sit in the front seat.

Motorists fined for not halting vehicles on seeing stop signs in 2017

“The campaign will include more awareness lectures in the schools and spreading awareness through social networks,” Maj Gen Al Zafein said.

Meanwhile, Javed Hussain, the Consul General of Pakistan in Dubai supports Dubai Police in their initiative to make September 2 as ‘An Accident Free Day’.

“I would expect all Pakistanis living in the UAE to abide by the traffic rules and regulations of the country so that accidents can be avoided and precious human lives can be saved,” Hussain said.