Date of Award

6-209

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)

Department

Civil Engineering

Abstract

The problem of road safety in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is eminent. According road crash data from the Ministry of Interior, from 1999 to 2007 the average percentage of deaths due to road crashes in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi was 42 percent of the whole UAE. The high death rate due to road crashes has enormous economic and financial loss to the Emirate. The previous research on road safety in the UAE reported that the aberrant driving behavior is one of the major causes for road crashes in the UAE. The aberrant driving behavior includes careless driving, speeding, tailgating, flashing, and disregarding traffic regulations. To control the aberrant driving behavior, and consequently, improve the road safety, a number of strategies have been implemented in the UAE over the last seven years. One of the strategies has been to increase traffic surveillance by installing speed cameras. Speed cameras have been recognized as an effective measure in improving the road safety in many countries including UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and European countries.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of speed cameras in reducing road crashes on some selected roads in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The road crash data of six years (from 2002 to 2007) was collected from the Road Traffic Safety department in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Using the before and after with comparison group methodology, the data was analyzed to assess the effectiveness of speed cameras. The study found that the speed cameras have been effective in reducing the crashes as well as severity of crashes along the selected roads. However, in order to realize maximum benefits of speed management strategies along these roads, the study recommends: 1) increasing the speed cameras. 2) Using other mechanism of traffic surveillance such as regular police patrol as this would help in detecting various types of traffic violations that cannot be detected by speed cameras such as: sudden deviation, wrong overtaking, following too close to the vehicle in front and tailgating etc…

In addition, it is recommended that in order to enhance the effectiveness of speed cameras on these roads and the entire road network in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the following actions could be taken:

  1. Appraising current road safety performance through high-level strategic review;
  2. Adopting a far-reaching road safety vision or goal for the longer term;
  3. Analysing what could be achieved in the shorter term;
  4. Agreeing targets and ensuring accountability across the road safety partnership;
  5. Setting Safety Performance Indicators (SPI);
  6. Continuous monitoring of targeted and other safety performance indicators;
  7. Establishing the effectiveness of specific road safety measures by carrying out before and after studies; and
  8. Reviewing and updating of policies and measures with re-distribution of resources towards more cost-effective measures; identifying delays in implementation requiring corrective action

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