How to Avoid School Traffic, Drop-Off Chaos

As the new year and second term of school begins expect high traffic and stress levels at drop-off and pick up times. However, a little courtesy, kindness, generosity and respect could make this experience a better one - for all.
How to Avoid School Traffic, Drop-Off Chaos
By Veathika
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With well in excess of half a million students in the UAE's private schools (270,000 in Dubai and 245,000 in Abu Dhabi alone), and 70% of parents opting not to take advantage of school buses or public transport according to the WhichSchoolAdvisor.com survey, schools across the emirates are, clearly, a significant contributor to severe traffic issues. Parents do not need to be told of course, with traffic jams to schools inevitably leading to chaos at school.

UAE schools themselves have tried to improve traffic management with well considered plans that include designated zones to ease traffic woes. Few however would claim to be completely successful at eradicating the chaos and stress levels as each day begins and ends.

Most parents point the blame at each other, rather than at the schools. Barry King, a father of two in Dubai told us that the most annoying part of dropping his daughters to school is "other people" who stop in the middle of the road right outside school to let their precious little ones out with no regard for anyone else and holding up traffic.

Abu Dhabi resident, Tamara Clarke agrees. “The parents who unload their offspring outside of the designated drop off areas are basically showing no regard for others. They know they clog up the flow of traffic and waste everyone else's time.”

Huda Abubaker Shalabi believes parents just need more awareness, and greater self-discipline. “Parents or chauffeurs behave irrationally and irresponsibly by either parking on the pavement or letting their kids run around or blocking other cars.”

Ronel Tichendorf believes some blame goes to schools with a "lack of parking spaces", however parents exacerbate this with "cars blocking others as the driver simply doesn’t want the inconvenience of parking further away and walking - like the rest of us do.”

So how can we make this better? Unsurprisingly a lot of your suggestions are common sense, they just need parents to act in unison. That is turn requires a little control - and patience, something often in scant supply first thing on a Sunday morning...

You told us, parents should:

  • Leave home a bit earlier in order to find a parking spot outside the school
  • Park in a parking spot or an area that will not obstruct other vehicles
  • Do not honk or shout at other motorists
  • Be patient and try not to overtake (especially the school buses)
  • Drop the kids at the designated drop-off spot
  • Be courteous and follow the road rules
  • Make sure your child has everything he or she needs before getting out of the car
  • Do not chat on the road after the drop-off
  • Slow down

Come the 6th of Jan, if all parents followed these rules we guarantee there would be a much calmer, more relaxed beginning to the year. Will you? Will your peers!? Perhaps our first resolution for the new year!

If you have any other tips and advice for parents making the journey for the first time in 2019, please share in the comments section below. We would love to hear your solutions...

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