Dubai drivers must give way to faster-moving vehicles

Motorists face fines for blocking even if vehicle behind is exceeding the speed limit

Motorists in Dubai who block fast-moving traffic on the highways’ fast lanes will face fines, according to the director of Dubai Traffic Police.

Speaking to Gulf News, Colonel Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, director of Dubai Traffic Police, said the large difference in speed between vehicles on the road is the cause of numerous rear-end accidents.

“What many people do not know is that if the maximum speed of the road is 120km/h and the minimum is 60km/h, this means that the speed on the lane on the extreme right is 60km/h and the next lane’s speed will be 70km/h and so on until you reach the fast lane,” said Colonel Muhair Al Mazroui told Gulf News.

He said people who want to drive at lower speeds should keep in the slower lanes and pointed out that vehicles must always give away to a faster-moving vehicle coming from behind.

“Even if someone is driving on the road’s maximum allowed speed on the left, and the vehicle approaching from behind them is faster, they must give way to them. If not, they could be fined for blocking traffic flow or for not giving way for vehicles to pass on the left,” he said.

The fine for blocking traffic and for not giving way for vehicles to pass is AED200 in each instance.

The number of fines being issued for people not giving way for vehicles to pass left appears to be on the increase.

Dubai Police issued 804 fines for the offence in 2013, while in the first five months of 2014 the number of fines issued has reached 540.

The police also issued 104,935 fines for vehicles blocking traffic in 2013 and in the first five months of 2014, they have issued 71,211 fines.

Col Al Mazroui stressed the people should not tailgate or flash headlights at people driving slowly.

“There is a fine for tailgating and if the police officer sees that the driver was driving aggressively and in a way that can cause accidents, that driver could be fined for reckless driving and putting people’s lives at risk, which is AED500 and a month’s impounding of the vehicle,” he told Gulf News.

There’s also a fine of AED400 and four black traffic points for failing to leave a safe distance between vehicles.

“The right way to deal with a slow driver is to notify them of your presence by sounding the horn once; if they do not clear the way, you should change lanes,” he said.

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Posted by: Rider on the Road

In the end from all below comments I can conclude

- Lack of lane regulations (overtaking / undertaking, Europe system vs US/Canada system confusion) in place
- Deficient education on the above by driving schools
- Lack of enforcement of the above by Dubai police
- Diverse driving public

to be the main causes of our traffic chaos

Now what is going to be done about it? Dubai deserves to be Nr. 1 in many aspects, and road discipline should become one of them as well. Imagine how a better lane discipline will result in higher road capacity, less traffic jams, more enjoyment for the wealthy able to drive their supercar or cruise their Rolls without the impediment of traffic chaos...

Please visionary leaders of this great nation make it possible!

Posted by: John

One of the main problems is the abnormally high speed limits in the UAE. Canada which is a huge and sparsely populated country has average limits of 100 kph, so Dubai which is small and congested in comparison should have a national limit of 70 or 80 kph on the highways and a limit of 40 or 50 kph on other roads

Posted by: Amir

Why Do you thin so Mr. John? Are you a traffic expert ? We all know that Germany size is a fraction of Canada yet, has three times the population of Canada, they have almost no speed limit you can drive up to 250 KM/Hr safely. You know why ? Because the drivers are better trained for their rights and others rights. In UAE most of the drivers consider that they own the road the moment they get into their cars, and they all want to drive on the left lane in a six lanes highway. One more observation, truck drivers in Germany are masters, I don't know under what category I could classify truck drivers here.

Posted by: procan

Some of the Canadian expats will confirm Ontario Canada we have the 401 Hwy it is one of the busiest highways in the world 600,000 vehicles per day and is not sparsely populated in this Province . The Toronto City core is conjested day and night. Yet there is still order via police enforcement. Its all about enforcement. There are 9 million of us in the Golden Horseshoe of Southern Ontario.

Posted by: Oldtimer

I do not think speed is the MAIN reason for accidents here; it is lane indiscipline (changing lanes without indicating the intention to do so, trying to cut in a long queue from the front, not giving way to fast moving vehicles by frustratingly slow cruising on the left lanes by morons). Some people think it is perfectly fine to stay on the fast lane of they are doing the max speed allowed, which is absolutely ridiculous. They should not think they are the enforcers of the road rules; leave that work to the traffic police. GET OFF THE FAST LANE AS SOON AS YOU HAVE FINISHED OVERTAKING. People have no choice but overtake from the right when morons stay put in the left lanes. That is the crux of this rule.

Posted by: Betty Wont

Start with enforcing lane discipline. It is illegal in the UAE to overtake from the right yet I have never seen anyone fined for it. People do it everyday with impunity.

Posted by: Wag the dog

I have to say I do it too, but you need to know why?!?! There is the fast lane that are used to race, then there is the second that is used by drivers who drive at the speed of 80 kmph and the third who drive at 90 kmph... so where does that leave someone who would like to drive safely, obey rules and not disrupt traffic. Education my dear is the key for a small place like Dubai!!!

Posted by: procan

Sam you are spot on with out serious continuous enforcement the rules of the road mean nothing. How about we send 1000 OPP (Ontario Provincal Police) officers on lend lease program. The worst that could happen is they would fill Dubai coffers with revenue and also there prisons with the worst offenders. Me thinks they soon would get the point eh. While your at it double insurance rates for offenders. Dubai wants to fix this mess then get serious .

Posted by: SAM

On a multi-lane highway, it is legal to pass on the right (Ontario, Canada) as long as the car is indicating its intention to do so; it is referred to as undertaking. It is also allowed in the USA, unless specifically prohibited per road signs. It is specifically prohibited by most European countries, but not Poland. UAE should make it clear via road signs if this practice is specifically prohibited, due to the mix of people here. Personally, I do not care one way or another; it will be another rule that will be ignored by the majority. What I consider a remarkable achievement however, would be enforcing road rules at pedestrian crossings.

Posted by: Mark

If someone strobe-flashes you to overtake, indicate right, but stay where you are until a good sized gap appears on your right. Ignore the person behind you and focus on your own safety.

I ride a sports motorbike, and I must say that 9 times out of 10 its the Emirati who sees me in his mirror a lot sooner than any other nationality! And they courteously make room for me to come past, and sometimes I am talking about single/double digit number plates. I wave my thanks, and many times the Emirati flashes me to say thank-you for your thank-you. Yes I am going quite quickly, but there is a respect for someone going faster than they are.

I hope that this shines some light on the thinking behind the Police statement.

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