DUBAI 20 February 2019: A ‘Smart Safety Bus’ for raising the traffic awareness among students in Dubai schools, has been launched by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
The objective of launching the bus is to maintain the zero traffic-related fatalities within schools localities, which has been maintained over the last seven years,, said Mattar Al Tayer, RTA Director-General and Chairman.
Al Tayer inspected the smart devices fitted in the ‘Safety Bus’ along with the programmes and apps on board which alert students on the rules of traffic safety and features of the bus. The interior and exterior design of the bus is tailored to deliver traffic awareness messages to students and encourage them to comply.
The project owner is School Transport Services (STS), which built the bus on a recent study that blends education with entertainment (Edutainment) in a bid to instill a sound traffic awareness culture amongst the upcoming generations. The new technique is considered much better than traditional means as far as the training of children on the principles of traffic safety is concerned.
The bus is therefore fitted with interactive e-screens displaying entertaining and educational materials, edited by traffic safety specialists at the RTA. The awareness devices extend outside the vehicle to include dangerous and most hazardous spots on the ground in the surroundings of the bus; which are highlighted in different colours. The hazardous spots make sound alerts when students attempt to cross them while solar panels on board power the screens and programmes.
Attendees of the bus launch included Maitha bin Adai, CEO of Traffic and Roads Agency; and Steve Burnell, Managing Director of School Transport Services.
The RTA is also coordinating with the Dubai Police on the implementation of the 5-Year Traffic Safety Strategy built on four key pillars: traffic monitoring and enforcement, vehicles and roads engineering, traffic awareness, systems and management as well as key performance indicators with Dubai traffic safety targets 2017-2021.
Road fatalities dropped from 21.9 cases per 100 thousand of the population in 2005 to only 2.4 cases per 100 thousand of the population in 2018, explained Al Tayer.
The ‘Smart Safety Bus’ will focus on raising traffic awareness of students aged 6-14. “Most awareness programmes run on board the bus are tilted towards educating students about the traffic safety procedures whether on board, around the bus or while crossing the road.
The ‘Smart Safety Bus’ programme highlights the hazardous spots in and around the bus that automatically sound off alerts when students approach them. Students are offered a thrilling practical experience of buckling up the seat belt for safety during traffic accidents. Various educational videos on traffic safety principles are shown in a fun way linked with questions to assess students’ understanding of the information provided. It also contains the interactive wall game enabling students on-screen games together with the safety pledge prompting students to take traffic safety issues quite seriously.
Delivering the bus programme comprises of two phases. The first one is designed for the second semester of the current academic year; which covers 30 private schools in coordination with school management and the Knowledge & Human Development Authority. Phase 2 will be implemented during the next academic year, covering 45 public and private schools in coordination with the Ministry of Education.