How the authorities are trying to promote road safety
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority reported a 40 percent drop in the deaths of children under the age of 15 in road accidents in May this year, following a series of road safety campaigns and awareness activities targeting families. In March it held the successful Gulf Traffic Week awareness campaign. ‘We [have] placed emphasis on developing constructive events reflecting the core goal of traffic procedures and measures. Some of them will focus on community members’ perception about traffic personnel and the need to portray a positive image about the traffic entities which are constantly seeking to ensure the road and traffic safety of all,’ said the RTA’s bin Adai.
In June the RTA launched a new system to monitor the city’s cabbies, meaning they are now fined after two warnings about excessive speeding. ‘Among the complaints that we commonly receive are about taxi drivers’ bad behaviour, including speeding. We are trying to control the cases of speeding and improve safety on roads,’ said Yousif Al Ali, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency.
The authority is often cited among local communications experts as leading the way in online customer relations. It operates one of the city’s most active and responsive Twitter accounts, engaging with followers on everything from answering questions about bus services to helping Dubaian’s out with their taxi woes. At the GCC Government Social Media Summit, held in September this year, Dr Aysha Al Busmait, a spokeswoman for the authority said. ‘We have to invite complaints and suggestions because this means we are listening to our audience,’ she explained. ‘Listening to them makes life easier for us – if we know what people are complaining about, then we can solve it.’ She added: ‘We are hearing the public and listening very carefully to their suggestions,’ noting that social media has changed the way the RTA operates. With more than 67,000 followers to date, the numbers speak for themselves. Head to www.rta.ae for more info.
What is unsocial driving?
Driving too fast: Gives you very little time to react to avoid a crash. Drive at a speed that maintains at least a two-second gap between your vehicle and the one in front. Increase the gap in bad road conditions such as fog or rain.
Tailgating or driving too close to the vehicle in front: This usually causes other drivers to be distracted or become tense or suddenly change lanes, which increases the risk of a crash. This shortens the reaction time (and distance) in case the vehicle in front stops suddenly.
Flashing headlights or honking the horn to intimidate other drivers: This is usually due to over speeding or impatience and creates tension among other drivers on the road.
Cutting in front of other drivers or jumping the queue just to get a few metREs ahead: This causes annoyance among other drivers and aggravates the traffic situation.
Not signalling lane changes: It increases the risk of crashing as other drivers are not prepared for an unexpected lane change. Information taken from the RTA Light Motor Vehicle Handbook