Extra road patrols rolled out in Abu Dhabi to boost safety drive
Department of Transport to provide 17 more patrol vehicles to clear debris at crash sites, which often causes further accidents
Road safety patrols will be stepped up across Abu Dhabi to help clear crash sites more quickly and reduce the number of secondary accidents caused by debris.
On Tuesday, an additional 17 patrol vehicles will be added to the Road Service Patrol (RSP) fleet, a free-of-charge service which was initially launched back in 2009 by the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC).
As part of its expansion, patrol vehicles will now serve the wider Abu Dhabi region, including Al Ain and Al Dhafra, bringing the total number of vehicles to 30.
Previously, the patrols served only Abu Dhabi island and some major main roads in the emirate.
We have added patrols along the main roads leading to Al Ain and Al Dhafra regions according to demand from road users
Hamad Al Afeefi, Department of Transport
“We have added patrols along the main roads leading Al Ain and Al Dhafra regions according to demand from road users,” said Hamad Al Afeefi, acting director at the traffic management division of ITC.
Operating on day, night and overnight shifts, the patrols will help to manage traffic throughout the entire road network on a 24-hour basis.
“The patrols team will work to clear accident sites as quickly as possible and remove obstacles from the road to help reduce the number of secondary accidents caused by debris,” Mr Afeefi said.
They will also provide assistance to broken down vehicles and offer a scope of other services including incident and congestion management, securing an incident scene, managing traffic detours and road closures, and removing debris and spillages from the road.
Each vehicle is stocked with equipment to respond to a number of issues including changing a flat tyre, topping up fuel and restarting flat batteries.
“The expansion of continuous patrols vehicles to the wider Abu Dhabi region will help to improve road safety across the emirate,” he said.
During a three year period, the RSP service has responded to more than 58,000 incident requests in Abu Dhabi, including 21,501 call outs in 2018.
“We expect this number to rise after roll-out of the additional vehicles and we will review the service after three months to determine if there is demand for more,” Mr Afeefi said.
The current average response time for RSP requests from motorists on Abu Dhabi island is 15 minutes. For requests outside the island in the surrounding Abu Dhabi area, Mr Afeefi told The National a patrol vehicle usually reaches a site within 20 to 25 minutes.
“The average clearance time for the majority of call-outs is just 30 minutes. With these extra vehicles deployed in Al Ain and Al Dhafra, we expect the response times to remain the same,” he said.
Motorists can request a service call-out through the interactive map on the Department of Transport's DARB mobile application or by calling 800 88888. Patrolling vehicles will also liaise directly with the traffic management centre if on-road cameras spot a need for assistance.
On September 25, Abu Dhabi Police launched a year-long campaign to reduce the number of road-related deaths to three per 100,000 people.
Through social media postings and coordination with the traffic authorities, the police aim to cut road fatalities by 25 per cent in the third quarter of this year compared to 2018.
Increased road patrols and the introduction of more smart monitoring systems across the capital will also help to tackle dangerous driving.
In 2018, road deaths in Abu Dhabi dropped by 25 per cent compared to the year before. A total of 149 people died in road accidents in the emirate in 2018, dropping from 199 in 2017. Major road-related injuries also fell, from 149 in 2017 to 120 reported cases last year.
Updated: October 1, 2019 03:00 AM