Dubai is quickly developing into one of the world’s leading education hubs. The continued influx of new students entering the country has a considerable impact on the traffic due to the geographical distribution of its numerous schools. School zones are seen as high-risk areas for motoring accidents.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is always working on developing new road safety programmes for educational facilities. One of them is the Traffic Safety Contest, which is open to all Dubai schools. The contest encourages students to come up with new ideas to improve road safety, and is just one of the many ways authorities are hoping to maintain and improve the safety of school zones.
Traffic Safety Contest
The RTA stresses the importance safety education in schools to prevent risky or reckless behaviour from the students, while also controlling the traffic around educational facilities. They first introduced the contest last year, offering various cash prizes to students with the best ideas. The winning student teams can earn as much as Dh50,000. It is part of the RTA’s efforts to involve students in road safety procedures and to increase awareness of traffic regulations.
The RTA has been surveying over 251 different school zones and implemented a number of safety improvements. This includes the fitting of additional directional signs, pedestrian crossings, and traffic calming devices such as speed bumps, around school buildings. They want students to come up with new or similar ideas and participate in making the roads a safer place.
School Transportation Conference
Other road safety efforts of the RTA include the School Transportation Conference, which implements school policy guidelines and safety requirements. Along with providing comprehensive road safety guidelines for students, teachers, and school bus operators, they are also adding smart technology to transport vehicles.
School buses now have Real Time movement tracking cameras, which sends live SMS updates to the parents of the students.
The RTA’s educational programmes for traffic safety around school zones is proving to be successful, as Dubai authorities have managed to maintain zero traffic fatality rates in school zones for the past five years.