Take the pledge for zero accidents in Dubai on September 2

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Photo by Shihab/Khaleej Times

Dubai - The Dubai Police are reminding motorists to ensure zero accidents on the road on the first day of school.


Angel Tesorero

Published: Thu 29 Aug 2019, 6:38 PM

Last updated: Thu 29 Aug 2019, 9:25 PM

Have you taken the pledge to drive safely as students head back to school on Monday?
With more than half a million pupils ready to start the new academic year, the Dubai Police are reminding motorists to sign the online pledge and ensure zero accidents on the road on the first day of school.
Colonel Jumaa Salim bin Suwaidan, acting director of the Dubai Traffic Police, told Khaleej Times that around one million residents signed up for the campaign last year. And for this year, more people are expected to take up the challenge.
"We are close to the start of the new school year, and we are again looking to have zero accidents, especially in the first week of school. We want to educate the drivers by making them sign the obligation letter, and then honour those who would keep their promises," Col Bin Suwaidan said.
Drivers can register by logging on to www.dubaipolice.gov.ae. By signing up, they vow to abide by traffic rules, including buckling up; leaving a safe distance between vehicles; giving way to official convoys and vehicles; giving priority to pedestrians crossing roads; and not using mobile phones while driving.
The initiative, called 'A Day Without Accidents', has successfully halved the number of accidents on the first day of school last year, as compared to figures in 2017, authorities said.
The 'biggest' reward
Aside from a certificate of participation, motorists who signed up can also enter into the draw for rewards, including an opportunity to get a 50 per cent discount on traffic fines.
"But the biggest reward is promoting a culture of safety, not just on Day One but throughout the school year," Dubai resident Andrei Avila told Khaleej Times.
"Unfortunately, I have seen a lot of bad behaviour around schools when it comes to picking up or dropping kids. As a father of two, I have committed myself to the road safety pledge, to make sure my children are in good hands."
Barry Cooper, deputy head academic at Brighton College Dubai, said: "With our school doubling in size this year, we are very glad to see this brilliant initiative. We would love to see this develop further and we welcome the chance to work with the police to reduce accidents to zero."
For Janecke Aarnaes, head of school at Dwight School Dubai, 'A Day Without Accidents' aligns well with the philosophy of everyday safety in and around schools.
"We join the Dubai Police in urging everyone behind the steering wheel to help us ensure that not only the first journey but every journey back and forth to school is a safe and happy one.
"Creating good routines for a smooth arrival to school will help our children thrive and prosper in a safe and positive learning environment."
Collective effort
Dubai resident and Lebanese expat Zahi Sabeh, who also took the pledge, said the success of the campaign lies on collective effort.
"All motorists must stay under the speed limits, and slow down around schools and homes. Precaution should be taken when driving in poor conditions, and it is always important to give away to pedestrians."
Jennifer Gonzales, community relations manager and governing board member at United International Private School, said "collaboration and discipline are two important values that we need to instil in everyone to make this campaign a success".
A mother and principal at Al Alfiah Filipino Private School, Marjorie Nazaret said student safety should also be a year-round effort, adding that everyone must target 'a year without accidents'.
Know the law
Failing to stop when the bus sign is on is a violation punishable by a Dh1,000 fine and 10 black points
How to do it right
>Around schools
1-Be extra alert and careful when you are driving close to schools
2-Drivers dropping or collecting kids must not obstruct traffic
3-Park your vehicle safely and even if the spot is a few steps away from the school (A few steps are good for you and your kids!)
4-Parents should have proper time management and leave early to avoid traffic delays around schools
Parents must educate their kids about proper road safety conduct
>Around school buses
1-Obey the yellow warning sign and flashing red lights
2-You must stop to allow safe passage for students
3-Be aware of students appearing in front or at the back of a bus that is about to cross the street
4-Be aware of students students crossing the street to reach the bus
5-Watch your speed and be ready to brake
>Students taking the school bus
1-Never run to or from the bus, just walk normally
2-Don't stand in the danger zone (if a child can touch the bus, he or she is too close)
3-Take your seat promptly, buckle up and sit properly, facing forward at all times
4-On the move: Keep the aisle of the bus clear at all times. Always keep your head, hands and arms inside the bus
5-Remain in your seat until the bus comes to a complete stop
6-Listen and obey: Always listen to the directions of the school bus driver and attendants.
Source: RoadSafety UAE

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