Driver Alert: There’ll be red on the roads in Dubai

RTA experiments coloring asphalt to alert motorists to lower speed

DUBAI 11 June 2017: The Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has started coloring asphalt in red in parts of streets subject to change in speed limits, such as Oud Metha Street (near Bu Kadrah Interchange) along the extension of Dubai-Al Ain Road, where the maximum speed limit is reduced from 100 km/h to 80 km/h.

“The experiment had been carried out at a certain location of Oud Metha Street near Bu Kadrah Interchange along the Dubai-Al Ain Road. The process involved coloring all lanes in an eye-catching style such that the step would help in inviting the attention of road users to the new speed limit,” said Maitha bin Adai, CEO of RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency.

Asphalt coloring would be implemented in phases at locations subject to speed change in some other vital roads in the emirate of Dubai in a gradual timeframe. Therefore, we expect motorists to get used to it for their own safety, and avoid offences and accidents resulting from over speeding as per RTA’s vision of ‘Safe and Smooth Transport for All’.

In line with its policy and findings of the Traffic Safety Strategy for zero fatalities in road accidents of the Emirate, RTA has examined and implemented a proposal on Oud Metha Street in the sector where the speed limit is reduced from 100 km/h to 80 km/h. The proposal involves coloring vehicle lanes in red, drawing triangular markings on both sides of lane dividers, displaying the speed limit on each vehicle lane, and intensifying the cautionary signs for reducing the speed on the specified road sectors.

Sheikh Zayed Road

“It is stressed that this location is experimental, and the idea would then be implemented in the Sheikh Zayed Road near the 5th Interchange where speed is reduced from 120 km/h to 100 km/h. It would also be applied to the Jebel Ali-Lehbab Road near Lehbab where speed is reduced from 120 km/h to 100 km/h so that motorists can avoid over speeding and radar tickets.

“The experiment would be evaluated to verify its impacts on drivers’ attitudes. It is expected that the procedure would significantly increase compliance with specified speeds and avoid potential accidents,” continued bin Adai.

“The various development projects launched & implemented by RTA since inception have contributed effectively to decreasing the number of traffic accidents deaths by as much as 50 per cent. Traffic fatalities came down from 332 in 2006 to 166 in 2015, and mortality rate went down from 21.7 deaths per 100,000 peoples in 2006 to 3.5 per 100,000 peoples in 2016. These statistics have placed Dubai among the top five cities in the world in the traffic safety,” explained bin Adai.

“According to the three key elements of RTA’s traffic safety plans (drivers, vehicles and roads), systematic engineering measures are being taken to improve the traffic safety level. Road wise, RTA has recently taken a series of engineering measures such as changing speed limits of roads witnessing elevated traffic volumes or a change in the actual speeds in a manner that warrants re-assessment.

Excessive Speed

“As excessive speed causes 80% of severe traffic accidents, associated factors were examined as well. So a study was commissioned for improving the locations witnessing speed reduction to alert drivers to be more attentive and reduce their speed to match the engineering design of the road, and avoid being caught by radars,” elaborated Maitha.

“According to the engineering specifications stated in the Traffic Control Devices Manual, the proposal had been developed for coloring asphalt in red at a distance sufficient for motorists to lower their speed gradually without obliging them to apply brakes suddenly. We anticipate this course of action would contribute to cutting the number of successive accidents.

“Similar actions taken previously had contributed to reducing the number of traffic deaths on key streets and highways witnessing the largest traffic accidents in the Emirate. Accordingly, the number of traffic fatalities in the Sheikh Zayed Road had plunged from 17 in 2015 to just 10 deaths in 2016, and the number of traffic fatalities in Dubai-Al Ain Road receded from 10 in 2015 to just 8 in 2016,” explained Maitha.

The CEO of RTA Traffic and Roads Agency called upon road users to observe the new road markings and adhere to the specified speed limits to ensure their safety.

By Angel Chan