The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced the resumption of a broad spectrum of awareness events & programs targeting schools.
Activities are highlighted by the Traffic Safety Contest with a cash prize of 50,000 dirham for student teams formed by the RTA in schools several years ago dubbed: Traffic Awareness Teams.
Engineer Maitha bin Adai, CEO of RTA’s Traffic & Roads Agency said: “The school awareness programs initiated by the Agency, in collaboration with schools & kindergartens, are part of strategic traffic safety plans of the Agency comprising workshops & orientations to students, bus drivers and parents. The RTA is committed to its educative responsibilities towards diffusing the traffic culture amongst community members with a view to curbing traffic accidents & resultant fatalities in accordance with RTA’s vision of Safe & Smooth Transport for All.”
“The objective of such activities is to maintain the zero traffic fatality in school zones, which has been maintained over the past five years. We also aim at improving the traffic attitudes, and instilling the traffic safety culture amongst youngsters and community members in accordance with the strategic plan for shaping students from recipients to practitioners of information. The Traffic Awareness Contest will kick off this September in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Dubai Educational Zone, and the Knowledge & Human Development Authority.
“The technical and educative procedures undertaken by the Agency succeeded in maintaining the safety of students and ensuring that schools in the Emirate remain free from traffic fatalities for the fifth consecutive year; a new achievement that reflects the effective traffic safety strategy of the RTA. The RTA has applied its expertise and scientific studies in carrying out a series of smart engineering processes in the surroundings and within school zones, and intensified the systematic awareness campaigns targeting the educational environment. Such efforts contributed to raising the traffic safety level in school zones to unprecedented levels in the Emirate since the start of this century.
“Students and educational zones rank high in the traffic safety strategy. Dubai has more than 270 thousand students in 235 schools. Safety & traffic awareness experts & officials in the Agency developed engineering & awareness plans and kept reviewing & improving them annually, resulting in huge successes that were reflected in figures & statistics of traffic accidents in school zones,” explained Maitha.
Highlighting the activities to be implemented at the start of the new academic year 2016-2017, Eng. Maitha said, “The fresh school events to be undertaken include enhancing the role of students affiliated to the traffic safety teams in public & private schools, and educating motorists to stop once the see the school bus signal “STOP” is operative. Bus drivers and parents have to be vigilant during driving, especially in school zones as one of the triggers of traffic accidents in these areas is the lack of proper judgment and inattentiveness of road users.
“The traffic awareness supervisors in the Agency will intensify their visits to schools & kindergartens at the start of the new academic year to distribute awareness leaflets to students and urge them to implement their contents in school radio and educative lectures. They will also distribute the September issue of Salama magazine including a diverse cast of drawings & stories about how to prepare for the new school year and avoid traffic accidents.”
“The Agency will also cater to raising the traffic awareness of students through electronic broadcasting & publishing means such as RTA social media channels (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook), and the key educational blogs surfed by students, parents and teachers. Awareness banners will be posted in those portal highlighting the essential steps that the student or driver have to adopt when passing nearby or within the school zone.
“We have got a comprehensive awareness year-round programs for schools and universities tailored to academic stages in addition to a series of awareness campaigns undertaken by the Traffic Department of the Agency in collaboration with our strategic partners in the Ministry of Interior and Dubai Police. The Agency is not only concerned with designing & constructing the world’s best roads, but has also developed cracking initiatives, scrutiny programs & proactive procedures on roads to ensure the realization of the highest safety levels.
Over the past five years, the RTA surveyed 251 sites in school zones in which it had carried out a number of safety & security procedures for road users in the light of such studies. The engineering procedures taken at some school zones till the end of 2015 comprised the fitting of 849 directional signs, 160 traffic calming devices, and 36 pedestrian crossing,” added Maitha.
She urged drivers of school buses and parents lifting their wards to and from schools to abide by the proper traffic rules, avoid parking in wrong places, and not leave unattended children cross the street. She stressed the importance of not allowing students to disembark from the left-side door of the vehicle, and urged parents to ensure the rear lock is on during transit.
Maitha called on drivers and students to fasten their seat belts even during short distances, noting that many accidents take place a short distance from home or the place of work, according to some global statistics. More info