Government workers’ start times could be staggered to ease traffic, police director says

Maj Gen Mohammad Saif Al Zafeen said the idea would involve allowing government employees to start their shifts 30 minutes apart.

DUBAI // The director of Dubai’s traffic police has said a plan to stagger government employees’ start times to ease traffic congestion is being considered by the Federal Traffic Council.

Maj Gen Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, who is also head of the council, said the idea would be discussed at the council’s next meeting, which will take place within the next week.

He said it would involve allowing government employees to start their shifts 30 minutes apart and, if agreed on, it would be suggested to the Ministry of Interior.

Maj Gen Al Zafeen said that employees could be divided into groups depending on their positions.

“Such proposals have been implemented in other countries and have proven to be effective in treating the problem of traffic congestion,” he said. “One of the main reasons behind so much traffic on the emirate’s roads in the morning is because everyone needs to be at work at the same time.

“Since the official shifts of the various sectors are all the same, it is normal to have traffic congestion, accidents and other obstacles that may disrupt the flow of traffic.”

Maj Gen Al Zafeen also said that the council members would discuss making university classes start and end earlier, adding that most students have their own vehicles that also add to congestion.

“We want to see if there’s a possibility of making the shifts of teachers and students earlier, before the shifts of [company] employees,” he said.

Published: May 28, 2014 04:00 AM