Traffic lights to change for ambulances

February 18, 2014 - 6:15:07 am

Officials at the press conference yesterday.

Doha: The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) yesterday announced the commissioning of Emergency Vehicle Pre-emption System (EVPS) that will automatically turn on and off traffic lights for Civil Defence vehicles and ambulances. 

The new system will help Civil Defence vehicles and ambulances reach accident sites and hospitals safely and on time.

“Ashghal, in cooperation with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and the General Directorate of Civil Defence, has equipped more than 30 major intersections across Doha with the advanced system,” Hamad Al Tamimi, Director of Assets Sector, Ashghal, told a press conference yesterday. 

“So far, 15 ambulances and 10 Civil Defence cars are equipped with remote controls that can send signals to traffic lights hundreds of metres away,” he said. 

The EVPS system includes GPS devices with sensitive sensors to detect the signals sent from Civil Defence cars and ambulances. The system will gradually be installed at other locations in coming years and by 2017 there will around 66 subways which will be linked to it.

“The system will reduce significantly response time, and reduce risks of accidents as ambulance or Civil Defence car drivers will press a button on the remote control to open traffic lights on their way; and thus, ease traffic ahead of them,” said Yousef Al Emadi, Director of Road Maintenance and Operations, Ashghal.

The system consists of a device installed in emergency vehicles and some devices installed at intersections and a master software to manage the system at the Ashghal Traffic Control Room in Dafna.

“The new device will help streamline traffic, while ambulances transport patients and intervene in emergencies,” said Abdul Aziz Al Sada, Head of Safety and Traffic Control Section, Roads Operations and Maintenance Department, Ashghal. 

“Smooth traffic is taken into account, as the rest of traffic signals at an intersection will turn red before opening the way for Civil Defence cars and ambulances through the sensors mounted on emergency cars and traffic lights,” he said.

According to officials, the new service will be used in critical situations where there is a need to reach accident sites or hospitals in the fastest way possible.

A committee of representatives of Ashghal, the General Directorate of Civil Defence and HMC has been formed to monitor the system and assess and provide recommendations and suggestions for improving the system’s performance.

The Peninsula

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