Team Proposals

The teams at PHTT 2016 created a remarkable range of interventions to reduce road traffic incidents among youth in the UAE. Take a look at their abstracts and presentation slides below:

Abu Dhabi

Team Abu Dhabi

This proposal introduces an innovative application of an existing speed detection technology. The technology has the capability to monitor drivers’ speed regardless of their location and time via microchips installed on vehicles during annual license renewal. The data collected, through monthly reports, would help identify speed violators and safe drivers, and would be used to identify those required to complete a safe driving rehabilitation program (SDRP) and those who would be eligible for safe driving rewards.

The SDRP functions similarly to other rehabilitation programs such as Anonymous Alcoholics, where participants attend group sessions facilitated by traffic incident survivors, to better understand the real human consequences and carnage of speeding. The rewards program aims to encourage safe driving practices by providing incentives to those who abide by the traffic laws in the UAE. The suggested intervention would help reduce the burden of speeding in the UAE and aid the nation’s objective of zero traffic fatalities by 2030.



Team Ajman

Speeding has been found to be the second instigator for fatalities in RTA’s in the UAE, with a rate of 26.9 % of all RTA related deaths, and remains very prevalent among young drivers aged 18-24 in the UAE. Currently, the primary deterrent for speeding infractions is monetary fines imposed on offenders by the Ministry of Interior. Despite this regulation, speeding remains the most common traffic violation, spanning more than 50 % of infractions recorded by the Ministry of Interior. Our team therefore proposes to introduce an alternative deterrent to reduce the rates of speeding; we propose to enforce mandatory community service hours on offenders. We have designed a pilot program for the American University of Sharjah, where student speeding on campus grounds previously has resulted in fines. Our program would substitute the monetary fines with mandatory community service, and ensure that the community service would be performed on time by placing registration holds on students’ accounts.



Team Dubai

Research findings prove that falling asleep while driving is indeed one of the major causes of road accidents. This leads to an increased risk of motorway crashes due to either falling asleep or reduced attentiveness to driving and the road conditions. Studies show that drivers aged 16-29, particularly young men, are the highest-risk groups susceptible to drowsy driving. These crashes tend to occur at night time when youth sleep too little. In a 1990-1992 North Carolina study, 55% of the drowsy driving crashes were caused by drivers aged 25 or younger. This also applies to UAE youth drivers, who frequently commute to and from different emirates.

Youth and adults alike face the effect of driving drowsy almost every day. A study shows that 82% of drowsy-driving crashes involve someone driving alone. With that in mind, we propose implementing a system that can effectively eliminate this danger by alerting the drivers through sound alerts using a sensory system installed in their cars when it detects elevated drowsy levels. The system would track high-speed eye blinking and be capable of detection and tracking of eye blink duration, and could thus be used to alert drivers and avoid the unrelenting effects of driving while being sleepy. Reducing youth drowsiness would create a significant positive externality on society as surrounding drivers are less likely to be involved in road incidents.



Team Fujairah

The problem our team wishes to address is the inexperience of youth drivers as a major cause of traffic incidents. According to Twisk (2007), the level of risk of traffic incidents is determined by a combination of experience and age, but lack of experience is the most significant determinant of risk. Our intervention aims to tackle the issue of inexperience by implementing the mandated use of 1) driving simulators, and 2) prescribed variation in driving conditions (especially differing road conditions), at the level of a single driving institution. We propose to introduce a component of driving simulation as a prerequisite to Practical Training, as well as a prescribed list of road conditions under which students must practice prior to taking their Road Test. We expect our intervention to result in more experienced young drivers, which will, in turn, reduce youth crash rates. The use of this proposal may provide drivers with more exposure to a variety of road conditions. However, some challenges may arise, such as the extent of effectiveness of this method, and the reaction of the public.



Team Ras Al Khaimah

The problem of reckless driving among UAE youth has increased in recent years. As the nation rapidly industrializes, many cultural and social stigmas prevail about new technology, and stigmas and social norms significantly influence driving behavior.

One cause of reckless driving, especially among teenagers and young adults, is the lack of monitoring by officials or by family. We propose to implement a device to detect driving behavior based on motion sensors, speedometers, gyroscopes, and other modern technology that can be easily installed in cars, which would link to a phone application with a notification system. The notifications would consist of brief SMS messages that would be sent to both the driver and his/her parents when the driver has demonstrated risky behavior or committed traffic violations. Each message would contain a link to the full report on the phone application. Every month the driver does not violate any traffic laws, congratulatory notifications would also be sent to induce reinforcement.

The notification system would ensure that parents would be kept up to date with their child’s safety on the road and the drivers themselves would be made more aware of their driving behavior through real-time feedback. This intervention would be tested on a sample group of UAE students who commute between emirates to attend university, and if shown to be effective in reducing their reckless driving behavior, would be available for the larger population and hopefully integrated into official car safety policy.



Team Sharjah

Our proposal to reduce the number of youth-related road traffic incidents in the UAE centers on a public awareness program against over-speeding with a focus on identity formation and nationalism. Targeted at university students, who make up 60% of the youth in the UAE, this program will primarily rely on community-based intervention and tailoring to specific populations.

In our intervention, one to two students would serve as ambassadors in their academic institution and facilitate peer-to-peer sessions on various different motivators for speeding such as road rage, prestige amongst peers, and thrill. The underlying theme in all awareness sessions would be each individual’s obligation to contribute to road safety in order to keep the country safe. The ambassador program would be complemented by strong messaging by national figures with strong social media presences, reward-based speed tracking, and mass advertising featuring the ambassadors.

In order to empirically evaluate the effectiveness of our intervention, we have a three-tiered testing system in place: short-term (the awareness of the central message), intermediate (shift in attitude towards speeding), and long-term evaluation (overall behavioral changes). These evaluations will be conducted through surveys and data collection devices on a pilot sample. Ultimately, we hope to achieve a long-term cultural change and approach to speeding amongst the youth of UAE.



Team Umm Al Quwain

To solve the problem of reckless driving in UAE, a successful intervention needs to reshape the key values and mentality of young adults. The most effective way of reaching or changing the youth’s mentality is through the youth-parent relationship. The UAE is a very family-oriented country that stresses respect for and obedience to parents. The aim of our intervention is to make parents aware of the possibility that their children are reckless drivers, teach them what they can do to change that and then provide them with the tools to do so.

The essence of the tool we are suggesting is an improvement on the ‘teen safe’ g-force tracking technology. By establishing a link between the device and the phone of the parent, parents would be able to take necessary action to reduce reckless driving amongst their children. The general idea is that the device would be able to notify parents whenever it records a speed that is above the maximum speed limit. Moreover, it would be able to provide parents with a video feed of their teen’s driving that could be accessed directly or a saved as a recording to monitor the change of lanes, a main cause of road accidents. The main challenge facing our intervention would be to make parents aware of this technology, but that can could overcome through targeted campaigns for awareness and training to use this technology.