Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced that it would re-open the left and U-turns at the intersection of Al Sayora - Al Safouh Roads, JBR, which is also used by the Dubai Tram, on March 2, 2016.
The announcement follows the charting of a comprehensive plan for zero accident in this vital area, especially after the operation of the Dubai Tram, and since road users have been accustomed to the existence of the tram.
Hussain Al Banna, Director of Traffic, RTA Traffic & Roads Agency, said: “We have set up a committee of RTA specialists where an international consultant has been appointed to draw up a comprehensive plan to realise the Tram/Roads Safety Strategy. The plan encompasses organisational procedures with 15 strategic recommendations integrated within a 5-year plan covering programs, procedures and initiatives to be undertaken in collaboration with the strategic partners with the aim of achieving zero accidents with Dubai Tram by 2020. Under the plan several preventive measures have been set to eliminate potential accidents between the Tram and vehicles in connection with turns at Al Sayora - Al Safouh Road intersection at JBR, and along the track of the Tram; which covers 10.6km including 11 stations.
“The team overseeing the plan for the safety of road users and Tram movement has developed the Tram/Roads Strategy comprising numerous quick wins including the signing-off of more than 100 comments relating to the safety of the tram and traffic movement as part of an action plan. Such a plan comprises several aspects relating to engineering matters, traffic movement, operation of light signals, awareness campaigns, training, traffic enforcement measures, and the coordination of technical and administrative procedures with strategic partners,” said Al Banna.
“We have introduced a feature in the traffic light signalling system whereby all light signals will turn red once the tram approaches the junction. Surveillance cameras are being installed to monitor all vehicles jumping the red signals in coordination with the General Department of Traffic at the Dubai Police. An awareness campaign is being undertaken in this regard and a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the RTA and the Dubai Police to ensure the safe use of these turns. Dubai Tram has got sophisticated technologies to warn the tram drivers in case of over-speeding, and the tram speed will automatically be reduced in case of no response from the driver. The tram operator has a code of conduct which is enforced in case a tram driver commits multiple offences posing risk to road users.
“Among the key factors underlying the closure of these turns was to offer a chance for motorists to acquaint themselves with the movement of the tram in this area. The re-opening of these turns is based on a preventive plan to fend off accidents and maintain the safety of the tram as well as motorists. The plan will be subjected to 3 months monitoring and additional measures will be taken accordingly, if needed. All road users have to abide by traffic and driving rules, and pay attention to light signals to avoid any serious accidents,” continued Al Banna.
“There is a plan to re-open the turn at the intersections of Al Sayora - Marina Roads, Al Safouh - Marina Roads, as well as the Marina and Al Shurta Roads on June 1, and on September 1, the RTA will re-open the turn at the intersection of Al Safouh - Al Gharbi Roads. The RTA is restructuring and revamping its plans & strategies for roads in the Emirate in keeping with the needs of road users under vision of providing Safe and Sooth Transport for All,” he explained.