x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Abu Dhabi schools trust police and own guards

School authorities claim that traffic problems are quickly brought under control by security guards and staff members.

Slow, heavy traffic files pass the Al Nahda School in Abu Dhabi as the students leave the school.
Slow, heavy traffic files pass the Al Nahda School in Abu Dhabi as the students leave the school.

ABU DHABI // School authorities in the capital say traffic problems are swiftly managed by officers assigned to supervise parents during pick-up and drop-off times.

The Little Flower Private School in Abu Dhabi, a villa school in a residential area, has two staff members and a security guard who monitor the three gates and report offences.

“We don’t see many traffic violations here except people parking in the wrong way,” a staff member said. “We call the police to get the cars out of the way.”

Jacob Matthew, a parent of two children at the school, said: “This is a one-way street but some do not follow the road signs. There is a no-entry sign but they ignore it.”

The father said he still did not see the need for the school to have guards taking photos of offenders .

Jessie Salientes, 37, a guard at Leens School and Kindergarten, is against any move to have security staff photograph drivers who breach laws and pass them on to police.

“It’s just an added responsibility,” Mr Salientes said. “Drivers who park usually leave their mobile numbers on the dashboard so we contact them. If not, the school would contact the police.”

Lizabeth Comia, principal of Twenty First Century Private Academy on Muroor Street, said the main issues were overcrowding in the car park at arrival and pick-up times, and cars speeding on the busy streets near the school.

There were minor incidents and crashes on the roads around the school.

“But these were resolved with the assistance of the community police and traffic police enforcement,” Ms Comia said.

The school has a security guard who monitors students, staff and visitors. It also has signs for the drop-off and pick-up areas, a car park and waiting areas.

“The signs help,” Ms Comia said. “At times the community police monitor the flow of traffic and conduct seminars for students and faculty on road and traffic-safety awareness.

“The biggest safety risk for students comes from crossing the busy street to get to classes.

“However, Abu Dhabi is committed to putting up a footbridge for the students and other people crossing the road.”

rruiz@thenational.ae