UAE traffic chief mulls raising minimum speed to make roads safer

General Mohammad Saif Al Zafeen says difference between speeds on roads considered hazardous to motorists

UAE’s head of traffic wants to change the minimum speed of 60kph on the country’s highways in order to reduce the gap in speed that vehicles are travelling and make the roads safer.

General Mohammad Saif Al Zafeen, head of the UAE Federal Traffic Council, says the current minimum speed should either be increased or scrapped altogether, as it has been in Abu Dhabi.

 “The difference between 60kph and 120kph is too much and not safe for motorists,”he told 7Days newspaper. “It’s impossible to have a difference that is half of the speed limit on the road.”

He added: “Imagine you drive at 140kph and you find someone in front of you driving at 60kph. It will cause accidents and casualties.”

He said if the rest of the UAE wasn’t going to follow Abu Dhabi’s move to scrap it, then the minimum speed limit should be increased to 80kph or 100kph.

The proposals will be put before members of the traffic council today (Thursday June 26).

“Dubai has many visitors coming for vacations and the blue sign for the minimum speed limit does not show clearly the meaning of the number. We need to have different signs or write the speed limit on the roads,” Al Zafeen added.

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Posted by: Mark

I remember that the Dubai Police we very keen to have a minimum speed of 80 kph from the very start, and frankly they have been proved right. And they should know, they have to clean up the mess from these accidents caused by high closing speeds.

This morning on the SZR near IBM 5 or more cars had to take decisive action to avoid a driver going at only 60 kph, as he peered myopically over his steering wheel oblivious to the mayhem he was causing.

So even if the RTA ran just a 12 month trial I am sure they with see an improvement if the minimum speed is increased to 80 kph.

Posted by: Mark Renton

For those deriding the "crazy" rules, you may be interested to know by comparison:

ACPO guidelines in the UK recommend not fining anyone doing less than 79mph in a 70 zone (127kph in 112 zone), not too different to the UAE policy.

Driving at the speed limit is not a justification for sitting in the outside lane of a UK motorway and you should move out of the way (when safe to do so) of a faster vehicle. The fact that he may be speeding is not relevant. Again same as UAE policy. This latter policy was the subject of a major public information campaign in the early days of the UK motorway network (according to my father, who is old enough to remember these things).

Please also remember that the speedometer in your car is not accurate and most likely will be over-reading the speed you are doing, so even if it says you are doing 120kph someone may be wanting to overtake you without actually breaking the speed limit.

Posted by: Glen

Who can take speed limits seriously on roads of the UAE when your first speed limit indicator, "A ROAD SIGN" has room for violation by none other than the authority who determines that sign.

When the authorities say what they mean on a speed sign and show, that they mean what they say, by fining violators for exceeding that speed sign, then and only then will the motoring public take them seriously.

As George Thomas has said, it is the people who abide by the rules of the road who are penalised for obeying those rules, while those written rules are being broken firstly by the lawmakers themselves and secondly by road users who want to find every loophole in the law for their own interests and not for the interest of other road users and road safety.

Posted by: MAHESH MANOHARAN - Sri Lankan

Fully agree the speed limit of 60 is too low in comparison to maximum speed limit,
My feeling is 70 % of the maximum limit is ideal.
For example when the max spedd limit is 100
minimum limit to be 70
When 120 then 85.
I always admire when i visit AJMAN. you get the timings of the change over of signals from GREE TO ORANGE AND RED !!!!. WHY THIS CANNOT BE IMPLIMENTED IN ALL EMIRATES TO PREVENT ACCIDENTS ????

Posted by: Mr.Obvious

I witness dangerous situations created by slow drivers on the road almost daily, usually it is someone who crosses into my lane without increasing their speed, forcing me and drivers behind me to break sharply.

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