Here’s how Dubai taxis are going to get safer

According to the RTA, the emirate’s taxis are already one of the safest in the world but Dubai is aiming to improve further. 

Meryl D'Souza February 12, 2017

According to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), the number of passengers using Dubai’s public transport system rose from 539.5 million in 2015 to 543.6 million in 2016.

The public transport system that comprises of metro, trams, buses, marine transit (abras, ferry, water taxi and water bus) and taxis (Dubai Taxi and franchise companies) saw a daily average of about 1.5 million passengers. To no surprise, the Dubai Metro carried the most passengers with 35 per cent of the total followed by taxis that accounted for 33 per cent.

Apart from being one of most used modes of public transport, The RTA’s Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) also hopes to make taxis in Dubai a lot safer by setting up a new driver monitoring system.

The systems will see onboard cameras installed into the entire fleet of over 9,500 taxis to track driver behaviour and spot declining attentiveness or sudden sleeping of taxi drivers to avoid potential accidents. Interestingly, this bit of news comes just days after we told you about brainwave-reading car headrests that could detect exactly what the RTA is hoping to identify and curtail.

According to the RTA, Accident rates in Dubai have dropped from 0.61 per 100,000km in 2009 to 0.23 per 100,000km in 2016. The figured achieved are said to be nearly on par with Singapore – one of the best countries in terms of public transportation that has an accident rate of 0.20 per 100,000 km.

Along with the safety-driven surveillance cameras, the DTC has also introduced a “Brake Plus” system – where a four-way flasher system designed to prevent rear and side collisions – and a 120km/h speed cap on highways to all DTC taxis. 

The RTA hopes to complete installing the cameras, which will be connected to the operation command centre (OCC) of the Public Transport Agency, by early 2018.