Including a penalty of 10 black points
5 September 2019| Last updated on 5 September 2019
As the new academic year starts, UAE drivers are urged to follow school traffic safety rules to keep students safe
Dubai Police issued a new warning to motorists in the city, reminding them to follow traffic rules while driving around schools, close to school buses, and pedestrian crossings located near schools.
The post was published on the authority's official Twitter page, cautioning drivers to give way to students and pedestrians at zebra crossings, avoid speeding on roads near schools, keep an eye out for the school bus' stop signs, and to not overtake school buses or change lanes when in school zones.
Motorists who ignore these school traffic rules will face a penalty of AED 1,000 or 10 black points as per UAE's Federal Traffic Law.
To ensure the safety of pupils, UAE drivers are required by law to maintain a distance of no less than 5 metres away from school buses.
Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) also launched a series of smart signs across the emirate in an effort to urge motorists to reduce their speed when near a school. The signs are able to detect a car's speed and will display an emoticon to show whether the driver has followed the legal limit - a smile if yes, a frown if not. A message also will flash in both English and Arabic depending on the driver's speed - a "Thank You" if they're under, or a warning if they're exceeding.
School bus drivers are also cautioned to adhere to traffic laws, as they may receive a fine of AED 500 and 6 black points if they do not open the bus' stop sign when needed.
Brigadier Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, Director of the General Directorate of Traffic at Dubai Police, said that the local traffic department held safety talks among school bus drivers in order to promote awareness about traffic rules and regulations.
He calls on UAE motorists to be extra vigilant when driving around schools and residential areas.
“All children under the age of 10 should sit in the back seats of the vehicles and stop the vehicle near the pedestrian crossing so they can cross safely, but not too close that it blocks the area. Vehicles should also park at least 10 steps away from the bus zone,” said Brig Al Mazroui.
Dubai police have launched several patrol units to ensure smooth traffic flow, particularly near school entrances to ensure the children's safety.
Abu Dhabi to install cameras on school bus stop signs
Abu Dhabi Police announced that school buses will soon be fitted with cameras to encourage drivers to stop when students cross the road as well as to record traffic offenses.
As of now, around 7,000 school buses operate within the city and the first phase will cover 500 buses. Eventually, the cameras will be rolled out to all Abu Dhabi school buses.
Abdullah Al Ghefeli, Head of the Road Traffic Studies department of Abu Dhabi Police, said that the police will bear the cost of camera installments in collaboration with the Department of Transport.
"The target of the government is to cover all school buses in the emirate and install cameras," he said. "We decided not to overburden schools with the expense of installing cameras."
In a recent move, Abu Dhabi launched a year-long road safety awareness campaign on Tuesday, September 3. Awareness campaigns are being run by Abu Dhabi police to raise awareness of traffic rules to motorists and school bus drivers.