The events of international conference, hosted by the UAE for the first time in the region, will continue till March 30.
The conference coincided with the implementation of the executive steps of UAE Vision 2021 which is based on the aspirations of UAE President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to enhance the country’s international position. The Vision’s title is “We want to be among the first countries in the world by 2021” and that was announced by the man of this vision H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum who underlined in it the importance of a safe community.
The hosting and organizing of this conference by NTA comes within the efforts to implement the Authority’s strategic plan and strategic target as per the directives of H.H. sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan Minister of Public Works and Chairman of the Authority. The main targets include strengthening the trust of local and international communities in the levels of sea and lead traffic safety in the UAE.
The 15th version of the conference presided by H.H. sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan who formed up the Authority’s National Committee which been headed by Dr. Naser Seif Al Mansour, Director General of NTA. The members of the Committee represent all establishments related to road safety and inlucde Abdullah Salem Al Kahthiri and Nidhal Faisal Al Bataynah from the NTA, Brigadier Ghaith Hassan Al Zaabi from the Ministry of Interior, Khaled Hashem from Abu Dhabi Transport Department, Abdullah Al Zarri from Sharjah Transport, Maitha bin Uadi from Dubai Road and Transport Authority, Abdullah Saeed Al Shamsi from Abu Dhabi Municipality, Colonel Hussein Al Harthi from Abu Dhabi Traffic, Dr. Jihad Yousufh Asbeita from Emirates Driving Company, retired Brigadier Hassan Al Hosani from Emirates Association for Traffic Safety and Kent Gustafson from the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute.
The Conference was held for the first time in 1987 concentrating on Europe and North America. Africa joined the conference in 2000 session which was held in South Africa while Asia joined the conference in 2005 session which was held in Warsaw. Thus, the conference covers now four continents: Europe, Northern America, Africa and Asia. Though the conference concentrated on the four continents, the recent two versions (Bangkok and Warsaw) observed participations from South America and Australia. The Conference, therefore, succeeded in making big achievements and was able of attracting international road safety experts and decision makers.
The first versions of the conference were in Sweden in 1987, 1989 and 1991. The conference was hosted later by the Netherlands, France, The Czech Republic, Britain, Portugal, Germany, South Africa, Russian, Poland and Thailand.
The conference has been supported since the outset by leading organizations working in the field of road safety including the World Bank, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA), Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), Transportation Research Board (TRB), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), European Conference of Transport Research Institutes (ECTRI), World Road Association (PIARC), European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), US Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) .
The Swedish National Roads and Transport Research Institute had supervised the conference since the first session held in the eighties cooperating with the international supporting bodies and organizations and the hosting countries. The institution is a national institute affiliated with the Swedish Ministry of Enterprises, Energy and Communications that is well connected with international organizations working in its field of specialty. The institute manages research and consultancy projects all over the world, with a special emphasis on applied researches for road and transport safety pertaining to infrastructure, transport and traffic, traffic engineering, economy of transport and traffic, environmental effects, road users, railway engineering, and the planning, design and operation of roads and train systems.
The most important topics to be tackled during Conference are exchange of the new results are road safety, knowledge transfer, and exchange of the newly-approved practices. The conference covered diverse aspects related to road safety such as policies, and technical and developmental aspects pertaining to road safety strategies and methods of road safety management including speed management, accident recording systems, accident management and recording systems, black points systems, and their analysis and evaluation, teaching and training road users of divers social backgrounds, vehicle specifications, smart information systems, the creation of traffic engineering including road planning, and conduct matters and issues related to distraction, exhaustion, and taking alcohol and drugs.
During the conference, economic and fiscal affairs discussed in addition to cost calculation, evaluation, control methods, traffic regulations, and self-discipline methods. Further, the conference witness discussions of the topics of civil safety, traffic reduction, decreasing traffic flow, precautionary safety measures, and road safety related to road works, among others.
The success of the National Transport Authority in living up to its task of hosting and organizing the conference was but a translation of the international stature of the UAE. Such success was realized because of the close relations between the Authority and international road safety organizations, its active presence in international official circuits related to this field to which the Authority has given great attention since its foundation in order to realize its vision of Integrated Transport for Sustainable Growth.
Holding the Road Safety of Four Continents Conference in the UAE had its advantages for both the country and the region alike, as the conference had been attended by most safety research establishments and authorities from around the globe, therefore granted an opportunity to review most developed researches and best practices and share expertise with professionals in similar fields. Moreover, the conference attracted best research applications and international experiences, which in turn would enable the conference to contribute to a large extent to the transfer of international knowledge and expertise from advanced countries which enjoy developed systems of road safety. The conference in addition reinforced the UAE's position on the map of leading countries in field of safety research which consequently enhance the country's future interaction and enable it to capitalize on best international experiences. Worth mentioning that the conference focused on road safety in the region, and the UAE in particular, through introducing researches and applications pertaining to this field, as well as worksheets that display similar experiences witnessed in other countries, the thing that benefits the region, and the UAE in particular.
The conference schedule included an opening and concluding ceremony, visual presentations and worksheets presented by prominent speakers at the conference, as well as preliminary and public sessions that features speeches by the invited prominent speakers who would also take part in the conference opening and conclusion. It is also feature a public session in the beginning of the second day, in addition to oral presentations and debates. In total, the conference featured 140 presentation and worksheet tackling various themes. Furthermore, National Transport Authority has invited world-class speakers specialized in road safety, as well as many VIPs and technical professionals working in interior, public works and health ministries, municipalities, work, health and transportation departments.
Road Safety of Four Continents Conference targeted international research establishments and organizations in field of road safety, safety consultants, decision makers and representatives of international organizations on the global, regional and local levels, as well as many safety professionals working in constructional, conduct, legal, training and health sections, in addition to universities, academic institutions and research centers.
Worth mentioning is that the conference was supported and sponsored by a number of strategic partners being: Abu Dhabi Municipality, Abu Dhabi Department of Transport, and Emirates Driving Institute in the first level, as well as the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Public Works, Sharjah Transport, Decision Makers TV Channel, and UAE Automobile and Tourism Club.