Saturday, November 24, 2007

Yet more avoidable deaths

"Two men were killed and 21 others injured when a car hit a group of men working on a site near Global Village. Police said the motorist, believed to be speeding, lost control and hit a group of workers who were carrying out road maintenance."

What amazes me is that this doesn't happen on a daily basis. Not only because of the moronic, criminal driving we have to contend with but, equally importantly, because safety for roadworkers is virtually non-existent.

Their 'protection' is invariably a red flag and a few plastic cones.

To make it even more dangerous the 'warning' is usually, at best, just a few metres in front of them, and all too often the red flag is actually in the middle of the work. Even motorists driving sensibly have a hard time taking evasive action. And, of course, the last-second manoeuvres this forces on them increases the chances of an accident.

I flicked through some of my photographs and here are some examples:

The red flag man standing within the danger zone, no warning for motorists that they're approaching a danger area.

On the Sheikh Zayed Road racetrack, workers wandering around behind plastic cones.

On a dangerous junction in Dubai Marina, gangs of unprotected workers.

There's a whole safety issue here and it's not exclusively down to the companies arranging suitable protection barriers, the workers themselves - and their supervisors - urgently need education.

They need to understand that motorists need adequate prior warning of a hazard ahead. Grouping the work gang and the red flag man together, wandering around in the road, dashing across the road to move to a different part of the site are all recipes for disaster.

At the under-construction Interchange 6 there are concrete barriers, but still the workers wander in the roads, jump the barriers, work with their back to the traffic seemingly oblivious to the danger.


elle said...

Here in Abu Dhabi I often see the Munciple garden workers crossing the hi-way to get to and from the centre verge. What makes me mad is that they are expected to do this. It's not only dangerous to them but to the motorist too!

i*maginate said...

Of course this is a concern and I think most times it's apparent where roadwork is taking place but often there is not sufficient warning, and I think most residents have gotten used to this and expect it. Not to say that's acceptable, of course. The worst thing is that a newcomer or tourist who is not well-acquainted with the roads will not be familiar with the location of roadworks.

You know the single lane interchange that takes you out of Dubai Marina onto the SZR (Dxb direction)? They changed the lane markings twice because they obviously got it wrong, and it was v difficult to see the workers at a tight angle. Why, oh why, can't they get the marking right in the first place!

Sometimes roadwork also appears out of nowhere - and that's the scary bit. E.g. on Emirates Rd I was in the "fast" lane and a roadblock was in too deep and I had to swerve to avoid an accident! It was dark as well, and luckily I spotted it.

I hereby end my comment, which has as much clarity of structure as the roadworks in your pics.

Seabee said...

i*maginate, yes those are the sort of problems I'm complaining about. That single lane onto SZR you mention has other regular and highly dangerous hazards too. 1/ they regularly r-lay the pavers on the little pathway, so workers are often in the road. 2/ they keep sending people down the manholes to do something or other, and there's always just a very short warning with cones in the road. 3/ they have workers with brooms walking in the roads sweeping the sand away, with no warnings that they're there.