KT patrols around school zones with Dubai Police
Dubai - KT teamed up with the Dubai Police as part of our SafeSchoolDrive campaign.
Keeping Dubai roads safe is not an easy task, especially during the peak hours. We experienced this first-hand on Monday when we got inside a police patrol as it managed traffic around schools in the new Dubai area.
KT teamed up with the Dubai Police as part of our SafeSchoolDrive campaign to support the cops' aim to ensure zero accidents on the first day of the new academic term.
At 7am, we set off in the patrol from the Al Barsha Traffic Police Department along with Second-Lieutenant Ali Abduljalil Alasmawi. We headed straight to Al Tanaya street in Umm Sheif, where a British school is located. Traffic was slowly building up and officer Alasmawi had his eyes peeled on the road to ensure there were no traffic violations.
As we drove in front of the school, we could see parents trying to cross the road where there was no zebra crossing. The officer slowed down his car, rang the warning beep and cautioned a parent that it was dangerous.
"See, it does work, but not always," Alasmawi said. According to the officer, some people argue with the police and refuse to own up to their mistakes. "That is when our job gets difficult."
A policeman was controlling traffic at the roundabout leading in to the street. "His presence helps reduce at least 50 per cent of the traffic jams here. Traffic piles up on one side and if there is no one to manage the traffic, this will turn into a huge block."
By 8am, the roads in front of the school were chock-a-block and we could see parents leaving their cars on the curb and on the roadside to drop off their kids.
"Will you be now issuing tickets to these cars?" we asked.
"No. We understand that it is late and parents want to accompany kids till their classroom. If they leave the car here for an hour or more, then I will have to fine them," said the officer with a smile. "We are not looking for traffic violations so that we can issue tickets. We do not have a target to achieve. In fact, we try to avoid issuing tickets and make people understand first."
From Umm Sheif, we headed back to Al Barsha and entered Al Na'ayat street, where two schools were located. Roads were jam-packed in front of the school. The officer parked his car and sprang into action. "I have to manage this now. Otherwise, the congestion will only get worse."
Alasmawi took position on the middle of the street as we trained our cameras on him. In less than 20 minutes, the bottleneck was cleared and he was back in the car.
"There are at least 16 patrol cars on the streets on this side of Dubai now. We do this job every day. But it is also important that people consider road safety as their responsibility, too," reminded the officer. He bid goodbye before driving off to his next call of duty.