RTA adopts advanced method to detect '&' rectify traffic black points


WAM Dubai, 22nd July 2009 (WAM) -- Work teams at Traffic '&' Roads Agency of Roads '&' Transport Authority (RTA) are currently engaged in developing an advanced procedure for detecting '&' rectifying Traffic Black Points in the emirate of Dubai.

The step comes in the context of efforts made to curb this recurrent phenomenon, educate motorists on how to avoid mistakes leading to tragic accidents, and reporting black points against violators.

In explaining this advanced mechanism, Hussain Al Banna, Director of Traffic Department at RTA Traffic '&' Roads Agency, said: "Areas witnessing recurrent traffic accidents are identified in accordance with international technical standards applicable in analyzing traffic accidents in areas classified under the scope of Black Traffic Points.

He added: "A systematic approach guided by scientific principles is adopted to detect black point areas in keeping with the best global practices, traffic safety guides, and scientific procedures '&' studies conducted in the field of addressing black points. This approach is based on several steps such as data entry of all traffic accidents in the emirate of Dubai, compiling '&' analyzing statistics through the applicable systems in the RTA, and identifying accident spots using GIS system; which does not allow for entering the same accident more than once.

"For this purpose Traffic '&' Roads Agency classifies short roads '&' junctions as black point spots if three accidents take place in a circle with a diameter of 150 meters over a period not exceeding 3 years. Parts of long roads are classified as black point spots in case of reporting 3 accidents in a sector extending 400 meters within a period not exceeding 3 years. The gravity of the dangerous spot is classified according to the resulting casualties and number of accidents that take place in the area.

"The mechanism of addressing black point areas is based on the application of scientific basis for rectifying these spots using the best practices worldwide through adopting the same procedures mentioned in identifying the locations witnessing intensive traffic accidents, where accidents are classified in the order of their types and reasons.

Among the accidents resulting in registration of black traffic points against violators is two vehicles collision (head-on, sideway or successive), static collision, vehicle overturn and other traffic accidents. The underlying reasons of accidents are well know and the top of which come excessive speed, reckless driving, jumping the red signal, lane changing, sudden swerving, negligent '&' inattentive driving, and others factors triggering traffic accidents causing extensive losses in lives and properties.

"Safety engineers at Traffic '&' Roads Agency are visiting sites designated as black point spots with the aim of monitoring and evaluating the existing situation taking into consideration a number of factors such as run-over accidents, intensity of pedestrian traffic, pedestrian traffic points, locations of the median, road speed limit, number of lanes, factors hindering visibility, road lighting level, type of road usage and the level of urban development. Safety audits are applied in conformity with the specifications highlighted in Traffic Safety Audit Guide in the Emirate of Dubai.

"Field visits made by traffic safety engineers are followed by recommendations, suggestions and solutions submitted for addressing the problems facing the said spots in accordance with the studies carried out by the concerned work teams. Following implementation of the suggested solutions, the area is subjected to surveillance for a specific period of time in order to establish the percentage of improvement of traffic safety situation in the area.

"Results concluded after application of black points addressing mechanism are evaluated and measured after making several modifications to these spots for periods ranging from 3 to 12 months.

"Thanks to the implementation of this advanced procedure for detecting and addressing black traffic points, constructive results have been achieved such as reduction of the number of mortalities from 29 to 10 at Sheikh Zayed Road in the sector between Defence Interchange and the 5th Interchange, following reduction of the speed limit from 120 to 100 km/h. The number of fatalities also dropped from 7 to 1 case at Al Khawaneej Road, following the closure of U-turns and reduction of speed limit from 100 to 80 km/hour.

"Not a single death case was reported at Al Amardi Road; which witnessed 5 fatalities before closing the U-turns. We can generally say that the drop in fatalities ranges from 30% to 70% in immoderate traffic accidents that took place in several black point spots such as Al Hudaiba Road following establishing of a crossing zones, and construction of humps at dangerous crossings of Midriff, closing U-turns at Al Amardi Road and other roads.

"About 33 suggestions made by Traffic Safety Section have been implemented to address black point spots registered in 2008. This covered some remedies such as revising the timing of light signals, constructing pedestrian crossings in areas witnessing recurrent run-over accidents, and erecting concrete barriers to protect road users in case vehicles go off the road to the right of way. 20 spots have so far been pinpointed for possible modifications; such locations are still under construction" said Al Banna in a concluding remark.

It is worth noting that RTA has also launched the campaign "Haseb" (Take Care) to enhance the traffic safety in Dubai through a number of awareness campaigns that aim to sort out wrong driving practices on Dubai's roads and streets.

WAM/TF