We’ve all been there (drivers that is). You’re stuck in traffic and all of a sudden you hear an ambulance or fire truck’s siren blasting through the airwaves, and the panic kicks in.
‘There’s nowhere to pull over to!’
‘Does the driver behind me not see I’m completely stuck?’
It’s a situation that puts our nerves and skills behind the wheel very much to the test, even more so in a country that has a completely different driving etiquette to that of most of our home countries.
Fortunately, Abu Dhabi Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport is testing a new traffic control system that could alleviate some of the stress of these situations and eventually become a countrywide solution.
It consists of sensors that are placed at key road intersections and give the green light to emergency vehicles as soon as they approach.
This in turn allows all other vehicles to continue driving rather than having to move aside from a standstill position to let the emergency vehicle go through when the traffic light is red.
It may prove easier to change lane or move aside while on the move but it can still pose challenges in heavy traffic.
The system would also logically stop traffic on the other road at the intersection.
"This will allow the traffic to return to normal at a much faster rate," road safety consultant Phil Clarke told The National.
"It should also reduce the likelihood of side impact collisions, commonly called T-bone accidents, at intersections,"
Civil defense vehicles, ambulances and rescue services will all be able to send signals to the traffic lights if the system is fully approved.