Exhaustion cases among bus drivers in Dubai down 88%: RTA

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has confirmed that the trial phase of ‘Al Raqeeb’ System a smart system to detect exhaustion signals in bus drivers sitting behind the wheel has shown a remarkable drop in such reported cases by as much as 88 percent in city and inter-city services.

The RTA reckoned that physical exertion can result in accidents that may undermine the safety of riders, besides having a direct impact on the operational efficiency of buses in terms of on-time arrivals. The system had been adopted in line with the smart city initiative launched by the Government of Dubai.

Adel Shakri, the Director of Transportation Systems, RTA’s Public Transport Agency, said, “The RTA is the first government entity responsible for public transport to adopt this system to monitor the drivers. The 88 percent drop in cases of exhaustion and fatigue experienced by bus drivers is indicative of the success of the trial phase covering 50 buses in an initial step. ‘Al Raqeeb’ system involves fitting a sophisticated device in front of the bus driver to monitor any indicators of fatigue, tiredness or illness suffered by the driver. The technological indicators about the state of the driver’s health are transmitted to the Control Room at the RTA where the case will be immediately responded to. There is also another smart system that monitors the driving attitudes in terms of exceeding the speed limit, disregarding safe driving principles, irresponsible use of brakes, sudden swerving and using the mobile phone while driving, among others.

“The two systems are being experimented on standard buses, articulated buses and double-deck buses covering Dubai city service or inter-city service. According to the results, a plan will be set up to implement the system in our bus fleet comprising more than 1,500 buses operated by more than 3,000 drivers. The RTA offers everything possible to support the public transport system, especially buses which are used by a large proportion of public transport riders,” added Shakri.