Saturday, May 05, 2007

RTA - the toll, speed limits, stuff-ups.

My least favourite organisation, the appallingly incompetent Roads & Traffic Authority (RTA) is in the news again.

Just scroll down to my last couple of posts on the Sheikh Zayed Road toll and on minimum speed limits. (Samuraisam has made some interesting comments on the toll by the way).

Now today there's news in Emirates Today, my least favourite newspaper, that after the Director of Dubai Police's Traffic Department pointed out that it was a 'grave mistake', the RTA is reconsidering its earlier decision to set the minimum speed on highways at 60kph.

As we've come to expect from the RTA, that was another decision made without thinking it through. Knee-jerk instant and inapropropriate decisions are being made, which have to be changed later.

The management of the toll, as I've been saying, is another one.

Now they've added to their mistakes by appointing Emarat to handle the card sales and by the compressed time frame. The report in Gulf News says:

"According to the agreement, the RTA will provide the Salik cards and the application forms to Emarat. The RTA will train some of Emarat's employees on Salik's system and provide them with the required technical support in order to cope with any technical defects in the users' service system."

So we're going to have 'some' petrol station employees trained on the system and able to 'cope with any technical defects'.

Yeah, right.

According to the RTA's website, there were 740,000 vehicles registered in Dubai in 2006. A lot of them are going to need Salik stickers. The kits go on sale on June 15 and the toll starts on July 1. Can you imagine the chaos in those two weeks!

But then chaos is the name of the game whenever the RTA is involved.

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