RTA steps up road safety drive for schoolchildren

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By Shafaat Shahbandari, Staff Reporter  www.gulfnews.com

Dubai: The Roads and Transport Authority has stepped up its road safety campaign for schoolchildren with 771 fines issued against non-compliant schools and transport operators in the first three months of this year.

    Image Credit: Gulf News archives     Pupils get on a school bus on Oud Metha Road. Al Dossary said there had been a ‘revolution’ in school transport since the RTA took it over in 2008.
Image Credit: Gulf News archives Pupils get on a school bus on Oud Metha Road. Al Dossary said there had been a ‘revolution’ in school transport since the RTA took it over in 2008.

“The number is almost half of the total number of fines issued in the whole of 2011, which reflects increased monitoring,” said Eisa Al Dossary, Chief Executive Officer of the RTA’s Public Transport Agency, which regulates school transport.

On the contrary, the increase in fines could also reflect increased negligence on the part of school bus drivers or transport operators. However, Al Dossary does not see it that way.

“Last year, our inspectors issued 1,580 fines and this year in the first quarter alone we have half of it. What this indicates is that we are increasing our surveillance. Most of these fines are for non-compliance with safety standards and specifications, which range from not using the stop arm while dropping or loading students to exceeding the speed limit which is fixed at 80km/h,” Al Dossary said.

Highlighting the “revolution” seen in school transport since the RTA took it over in 2008, he said that the number of accidents had decreased by 63 per cent, and the number of casualties and abuse cases on school buses has also come down. More info