DUBAI – The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is considering extending the Intelligent Traffic System (ITS) to the entire road network of the emirate in the next five years, Maitha Bin Adai, CEO of the Traffic and Roads Agency of the authority, said yesterday.

“The RTA is considering to extend the ITS to cover all roads in Dubai in the next five years. A full assessment of signs is currently under way to upgrade performance and bring them in line with the highest technical standards. The RTA will introduce highly sophisticated traffic systems to uplift the standard and efficiency of traffic in Dubai,” said Maitha.

She added the aim of the project was to direct drivers to choose the least congested routes and direct them in case of traffic accidents or faulty vehicles before arriving on the spot of the incident.

Moreover, the signs would display awareness messages about traffic rules, prescribed speed limits and other directives necessary for maintaining safety of road users.

The RTA has already completed the installation and commissioning of 253 signs, including 73 cautionary signs displaying permissible speed limits, and 162 signs providing information about the condition of lanes.

These Variable Message Signs (VMS) are operated as part of the ITS and they provide information and guidance about road condition, such as road works, cautions and warnings of road condition, trip duration, expected delay time, end of maximum speed limit, slippery conditions, congested roads, accidents, blocked roads and other guidance necessary for alerting and guiding drivers.

Salah Al Marzooki, Director of Intelligent Traffic Systems Department at Traffic and Roads Agency, said the speed signs were operated automatically by traffic sensors programmed according to the maximum permissible speed limit on each road.

These systems detected the speed of vehicles on each track every minute and it then transmits this information to the control system which, in turn, was reflects on these signs and updated every minute automatically to alert motorists of the average speed of vehicles ahead.

As to the signs of the condition of the lanes, they were controlled and changed according to the condition of each lane. “For instance, if there is a traffic accident on a four-lane road that results in blocking traffic flow on the first lane to the extreme right, the VMS will automatically reflect this incidence,” he said.‘ The system also monitors traffic congestion on key roads and highways and detects abnormal traffic flow,” he said.‘

“The system includes sensors capable of detecting traffic accidents on the spot. In case of an accident within the zones covered by the system, the sensors will immediately detect a change in traffic flow and the nearest camera will automatically move to film the site of the accident or congestion, and send live images to the respective control centre,” he added.

The VMS at present covers Shaikh Zayed Road, Al Khaleej Road, Emirates Road, Shaikh Rashid Road, Abu Baker Al Siddique Road, Al Ittihad Road, Al Mina Road, Bani Yas Road, Al Maktoum Bridge, Al Garhoud Bridge, Airport Tunnel, Al Shindaga Tunnel, and the Floating Bridge.

The RTA called upon motorists to abide by the signs and comply with the guidance and input displayed.‘

These messages, which are illustrated in text and graphic formats, provide drivers and road users with important information as they describe the condition of traffic on key roads, bridges, tunnels and crossings in Dubai.

PUBLICATION: Khaleej Times Online
AUTHOR: Joy Sengupta
DATED: 16th February 2008