190903 abu dhabi bus cameras
A school bus fitted with a camera. Motorists need to stop five metres away from a bus when they see the stop sign emerge. Violators gets a Dh1,000 fine and 10 black points. Image Credit: Abu Dhabi Police

Abu Dhabi: All school buses in Abu Dhabi will soon be fitted with cameras behind their stop signs to ensure fellow motorists stop when children cross the road, an Abu Dhabi Police official said on Tuesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of a press conference to announce a year-long road safety awareness campaign in the emirate, Abdullah Al Ghefeli, head of the road traffic studies section of Abu Dhabi Police, said: “The target of the government is to cover all school buses in the emirate and install cameras.

“Currently we have about 7,000 school buses. The first phase will cover about 500 buses then gradually the plan will be rolled out to all buses across the emirate,” he added.

Cameras will be installed in collaboration with the Department of Transport, but Abu Dhabi Police will bear the cost.

“We decided not to overburden schools with the expense of installing cameras,” said Al Ghefali.

Before installing the devices, police will run awareness campaigns to alert bus drivers and motorists of the rules.

Currently motorists are required to stop their cars five metres away from a bus when they see the stop sign emerge from the side of a bus. Violators are Dh1,000 with 10 black points. If the school bus driver fails to deploy the stop sign he will also be fined Dh500 with six black points.

All Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain and Al Gharbia school buses will be fitted with the cameras, but Al Ghafeli didn’t give an exact timeframe of installations, instead he said this would be announecd shortly.

Meanwhile, a year-long road safety awareness campaign was launched in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Police aim to spread awareness in five languages including Arabic, English, Urdu, Malayalam and Chinese.

The campaign is intended to promote positive behaviour among drivers and pedestrians and educate them on road safety.

Brigadier Suhail Saeed Al Khaili, Director of Central Operations Sector at Abu Dhabi Police, said: “The campaign comes in line with the directives of Major General Faris Khalaf Al Mazroui to implement a comprehensive programme to enhance the behaviour of drivers in the Emirate and reach the highest levels of road traffic safety.”

A series of activities, events and lectures will be held across the community, as well as through local media.

Campaign highlights

  • Spreading a culture of stopping when a school bus ‘stop’ sign is deployed
  • Giving way to emergency vehicles and official convoys
  • Not exceeding speed limits
  • Driving too slow
  • Promoting a culture of coming to a complete stop at signs and intersections
  • Curbing red light jumping offences
  • Dangers of car modifications and resulting noise pollution
  • Focusing attention to the road to avoid distractions