The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has embarked on coordination with huge numbers of active social media users with the aim of diffusing traffic awareness messages through their personal electronic accounts.
Hussain Al Banna, Director of Traffic, RTA Traffic and Roads Agency, said: "New studies about the use of social media in the UAE have prompted us to explore new avenues for capitalising on this technology in realising our objectives as regards the safety of road users. The Arab social media report published by social media pioneers summit at the start of this year indicate that 81% of Arabs are convinced that social media channels have a role to play in easing inter-personal communication.
"Since last January, the Director of Traffic started communicating and coordinating with a host of public, private entities as well as public-benefit societies with the aim of enlisting volunteers for electronic awareness programmes overseen by Traffic Awareness Section, Traffic Department. Throughout the year, the programme will send awareness messages to volunteers who in turn will broadcast them through their social media accounts and deliver them directly to their friends," he added.
"A considerable number of volunteers, especially those affiliated to the Emirates Red Crescent, responded positively with the electronic awareness program, and started broadcasting messages to a broad audience; which indicates the success of the program and its ability to realise the objectives of the Traffic Department.
"The social media channels are no longer restricted to traditional media channels such as posters, print materials, radio or television adverts, as the social media channels feature high among media the channels for communicating and delivering information. This is particular relevant in a country like the UAE where the number of Facebook users has doubled three times over the past four years rising from 1.6 million users in June 2010 to 5 million users in October 2014 at a rate of 60% according to the Social Media Perspective in the UAE Report 2014 published by Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government," he continued.
The Director of Traffic at RTA Traffic and Roads Agency called upon the public, especially social media activists, to contribute to spreading the traffic awareness messages by featuring them in their accounts and portals, and dealing seriously with traffic issues as, he says, are closely related to the lives of peoples and can help reduce traffic fatalities in Dubai.