A pedestrian footbridge on Abu Bakr Seddiqi Road in Dubai. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: To further reduce pedestrian fatalities in Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched a new joint awareness campaign with Dubai Police, making truck drivers aware about the risks of parking on hard shoulders. The RTA is also planning to construct 31 more pedestrian bridges by 2026 to bring the total number of pedestrian bridges across the emirate to 160.

“These efforts are in line with Dubai’s traffic safety strategy and RTA’s traffic awareness plans. RTA is committed to raising traffic awareness and cutting down traffic incidents in the emirate. RTA’s efforts to improve traffic awareness and pedestrian safety have contributed to reducing pedestrian fatalities in Dubai by as much as 81 per cent from 2007 to 2020,” noted Maitha bin Adai, CEO, RTA Traffic and Roads Agency.

'Awareness film'

Part of RTA’s safety campaign is “showing an awareness film dubbed in several languages and explaining in a simple, clear and impactful manner the appropriate and safe means of averting dangerous accidents when crossing the road or moving around the workplace. The film revolves around the concept of workers’ family relations by stressing that workers’ safety is of paramount importance to their families back home,” she added.

RTA further said it “makes every effort to educate truck drivers to ensure a safe and smooth transport on Dubai roads”. The campaign also includes field visits to rest stops at the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, Fruit and Vegetable Market, Emirates Road, and Jebel Ali-Lehbab Road.

Teams at RTA have met drivers and urged them to avoid parking at the wrong places and make use of the rest stops when they need to take a short break. Bin Adai noted: “RTA has constructed 16 temporary rest stops for truck drivers on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, Emirates Road, Dubai-Hatta Road and Dubai Al-Ain Road. Construction is underway for several more permanent rest stops with facilities such as prayer rooms, toilets and food outlets.”

Building more pedestrian bridges

Meanwhile, RTA noted: “The number of pedestrian bridges in Dubai increased from 13 bridges in 2006 to 129 bridges by the end of 2020. RTA plans to construct 31 other pedestrian bridges between 2021 and 2026, which will bring the total number of pedestrian bridges to 160.

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“These bridges are located at hotspots and areas of high population density on both sides of the road as well as at places with facilities attractive to pedestrians. They provide a link between both sides of the road in a safe and integrated environment,” Bin Adai added.