There was an article in the Gulf News recently talking about the RTA wanting more pedestrian crossings.
What the comments (see below) on the article highlight is that these crossings are failing to provide the safe passage that was intended.
Note the occasional comment from irate drivers who believe that pedestrians should not have right of way. Ugh!
RTA – Please provide some driver education on this matter urgently!
Police calls for more pedestrian crossings
By Alia Al Theeb, Staff Reporter
Published: May 06, 2007
This is what happens in most emirates in the UAE, hardly any motorists stop for people who want to cross at the zebra crossing and then they are forced to go into heavy car traffic.
The planned 17 pedestrian bridges is good news, but I reckon more is needed. The focus should be to remove pedestrians from the streets, not by preventing them but rather giving them separate access. Cost may be an issue, but can be minimized if we get back to basics.
Whilst more pedestrian crossings may help, educating people is also needed. On a daily basis people will cross the road in front of me regardless of oncoming traffic, even when there is a pedestrian crossing only three metres away. Teaching pedestrians that they don’t rule the road is a must.
It is a move in the right direction, but how about installing traffic lights at pedestrian crossings, because lets face it, half the people on the roads do not even care to stop at these crossings. Education plus stricter enforcement is also required.
I think the authorities should enforce strict laws for the pedestrians also, not just for motorists because many accidents are also caused due to fault of the pedestrian rather than the motorist. Even pedestrians have a very important role to play here.
Pedestrians are very callous because of the law that states they have the right of way. Pedestrians should be held equally responsible for causing the accident. Being a driver myself, I find it shocking to see people running across 10-12 lane highways. A driver cannot anticipate someone would be so foolhardy. Even on the streets of Dubai pedestrians cross or stand defiant in front of oncoming cars.
I think all the emirates should do the survey of the roads and find the places where the crossing of pedestrian is the most. According to the survey they should make controlled pedestrian crossing with the signals. I have also experienced that many drivers in UAE think that Zebra crossing does not give any priority for the pedestrians which is wrong. For this a traffic drive should be started by the transport authority to make the drivers aware that it?s their duty to give way to the pedestrians on the zebra crossing. Also heavy fines should be imposed on drivers not abiding by this rule, and it should be considered as a serious driving offense.
Ras Al Khaimah,UAE
I agree that most deaths are caused by people being run over at pedestrian crossings. Last week I was in Dubai near the abra pedestrian crossing there is only a white line on the road but there is no pedestrian crossing signal to show whether pedestrian can cross the road or not. It is a very busy road with people crossing the road to take the boat to go to Bur Dubai. There is a subway crossing there. The authority should close the zebra crossing or provide pedestrian crossing facilities with signals so that illiterate people can see the sign and cross safely.
I had crossed busy roads several times and sometimes I have escaped narrowly from accident. Sometime I had spent more than 1 hour to cross the road all this because of lack of pedestrian crossing at the right places. Especially, we need more underpasses on Sheikh Zayed Road.
It is good thinking on the part of RTA to build pedestrian crossings. But, according to me, building subways for pedestrains is far better than overbridges because it will be easily accessible and more user-friendly. Some of the current overbridges are not easily accessible and thus, some pedestrains are wary of using them.
We have pedestrian crossings in Abu Dhabi but no cars, especially taxis, will slow down when people are ready to cross the road.
I agree that we need more pedestrian crossings. One place is at Bur Dubai main junction of roads from Sindagha tunnel, Bank street, Bur Dubai bus stand.
The biggest challenge is in educating drivers to stop at pedestrian crossings. I once stopped at a pedestrian crossing when I saw a person waiting to cross the road – it nearly caused a huge accident behind me and created extreme aggression from motorists who hooted and gesticulated angrily. Drivers here give no right of way to pedestrians, unlike Europe, South Africa and USA where the pedestrian comes first.
I would suggest that some young policemen be deputed along the major pedestrian crossings for eg. schools, shopping malls, residential areas, to control this issue.
What is the point of introducing pedestrian crossings when they don’t exist to most drivers in this country, especially taxis. I have never seen a car stop at a pedestrian crossing unless there was a signal and if I stop the others always honk continuously.
The immediate step to be taken to curb pedestrian death is to build speed breakers where there is a zebra crossing. (Ed: Good idea!) All vehicles, especially taxis are running at high speed in these areas putting pedestrians lives at risk. Secondly, instead of erecting fence along the divider, it should be a concrete wall with a minimum height of 4 feet on top of which there should be sharp metallic grills so that the pedestrians can be prevented from removing the fence manually. This will eventually be a permanent structure too so long as people do not attempt to break the wall which is not an easy task. The pedestrian under passes will be fully utilised if such arrangements are made. Now few people use the pedestrian underpasses which were constructed paying huge amount and is found to be literally empty.
I agree that more pedestrian crossings and speedbreakers are needed to control errant drivers. I have been saved many times on Naif Road pedestrian crossing as drivers ignore the sign and do not allow one to cross, especially during the hot summer days!
This is a nice move. The main problem is that no one has the sense to stop the car when people are crossing the zebra crossing. They have to wait until there is no approaching car to use this privilege. I suggest that there should be a speed breaker before all pedestian crsossings so that cars are forced to slow down reasonably and let the people cross the road. (Ed: Good suggestion!) Tthere is a pedestrian crossing wthout stop light at Hyatt Regency roundabout, which is the most dangerous to cross as cars come so fast after the traffic light is green. They cannot stop and I have never seen anyone stopping at the pedestian crossing. This must be checked.
More crossings is not enough to solve this problem. Many drivers still don’t respect the right of the pedestrians and do not have the courtesy to stop at the crossings. What are they going to do about this?
S. Al K.