Dubai: Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) started the new academic year, which began on September 1, with awareness events targeting students and motorists. Several technical measures were introduced to curb traffic congestion in school zones in Dubai in line with this drive.
Maitha Bin Adai, CEO of RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency, said: “Dubai Traffic Safety Strategy dedicates considerable weight to the mobility of students in terms of improving the safety of pedestrians or diffusing sound traffic culture amongst drivers. Student-oriented awareness efforts at the start of the new academic year are an integral part of the ‘Back-to-School’ campaign of the Ministry of Interior.”
She added: “Awareness and technical teams resumed awareness events in schools, monitoring traffic at school zones and adjusting traffic lights to ease traffic movement in nearby areas. Our traffic safety and awareness experts plan and review the awareness and technical plans on annual basis, which had been very successful in reducing traffic incidents in school zones over the past years.”
Activities include awareness advertisements for drivers across Dubai’s streets and social media, in addition to visuals at Customer Happiness Centres of the RTA, as well as service centres of support entities. Awareness teams intensified school visits and distributed leaflets to students. School broadcasting systems, lectures and the Salama magazine (the September issue) will be used to support these efforts. The trial phase of the Smart Safety Bus accomplished last February had raised traffic awareness of students aged six to 14.
“The objective of these events is to keep schools free from traffic accidents and maintain the eight-year record of zero traffic fatalities within school zones. Events also aim to embed a safe traffic culture amongst the upcoming generations and the community. This drive is in line with the strategic plans aimed to transform students from recipients of knowledge into individuals capable of implementing knowledge,” she added.
The agency had commissioned about 251 surveys in school areas and accordingly carried out several safety measures resulting in the implementation of 849 directional signs, 160 traffic calming devices and 36 pedestrian crossings.
“We call on school bus drivers and parents transporting children to schools to comply with traffic regulations and avoid parking in prohibited places or leaving youngsters to cross the road unescorted. Students must not be allowed to alight from the left door of the bus and have to remain buckled up even during short trips. Global statistics reveal that many accidents take place near workplaces or homes of motorists,” said Bin Adai.