x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Dubai audit: danger waits by roadside

Roadside hazards and pedestrians pose the greatest threats to Dubai's drivers, according to an audit for the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

Roadside hazards and pedestrians pose the greatest threats to Dubai's drivers, according to an audit for the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). "The concrete barriers on the side are very dangerous if a vehicle crashes into them, so they should be replaced with plastic or energy-absorbing barriers," said John Hughes, the Middle East regional manager for Australia's ARRB Group, which carried out the audit.

"So if a car hits them it does not crash into a rigid surface, it is slowed down." In 2007, 40 per cent crashes that caused deaths or injuries in Dubai involved pedestrians, and of those, 19 per cent were attributed to hitting a fixed roadside object. The audit found that there was not enough space for pedestrians to wait for a signal to turn green, and said better signs and more education about road safety were needed.

Eng Maitha bin Adai, the chief executive officer of the Traffic and Roads Agency at the RTA, said the authority had recently fixed signs and added crossings. The study covered 1,906 kilometres of the Dubai road network, including Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Khayl Road, Emirates Road and some internal roads. The audit was conducted in August 2008 and took six months to complete. @Email:hdajani@thenational.ae