The Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) has yesterday launched the Deaf Driver initiative to sensitize road users to deaf drivers, and alert motorists to vehicles driven by people with hearing disabilities.
In a statement made in a ceremony marking the launch of the initiative recently held in RTA premises in Dubai, Engineer Maitha bin Udai, CEO of RTA Traffic & Roads Agency, reiterated RTA’s keenness on delivering an educative message to all spectrums of the community, particularly road users.
She recollected the initiative launched by the Traffic & Roads Agency about hearing-impaired personnel two years ago in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs, and the Ministry of Education encompassing an educative bulletin written in Braille distributed to blind students who were integrated in schools. It also included delivering of lectures in sign language for the deaf community members in addition to several visits by traffic awareness teams to autism centers and schools dedicated to special needs persons.
“The objective of the Deaf Driver initiative is to educate drivers on how to deal with hearing impaired persons and alert them that the driver in front is deaf. We have therefore embarked on compiling a brochure to elucidate how to deal with personnel suffering hearing loss, and designing a poster to be affixed to vehicles driven by individuals with hearing disability. Readers of this poster will be aware that the driver is deaf and will not respond to alarm sounds made by other motorists.
“The core message of the initiative is to educate the public that deaf drivers can drive vehicles likewise other motorists, but their focus on the road hinges on visual & kinetic perception rather than the sense of hearing. Therefore, dealing with deaf drivers on roads has to be through optical signs.
“The main problem suffered by deaf drivers is the lack of hearing alarming horns sounded by other vehicles or sirens of ambulance, police and civil defense vehicles. They also experience the difficulty of communicating with others as the hearing impaired person depends on the language of lips and hands signs, hence it is critically important to communicate with deaf drivers through the body language coupled with hands movement illustration,” stated Maitha.
The ceremony was kicked off by reciting verses from the holy Quran and staging educative plays depicting the conditions of the deaf driver. Engineer Maitha thanked all entities contributing to the launch of this initiative headed by the Ministry of Social Affairs, and Al-Amal School for the Deaf in Sharjah. She concluded by reminding motorists of the vitality of focusing on the road while driving and expecting to encounter hearing impaired drivers. More info