By Shane McGinley
Drivers covered up numbers to evade speed cameras
Abu Dhabi traffic police have impounded 104 vehicles over the last six months for manipulating number plates in a bid to evade speed cameras, it was reported on Sunday.
Officials at the Department of Traffic and Patrols at Abu Dhabi Police said the vehicles were mostly owned by GCC drivers and revealed 80 were seized in the Western Region, 22 in Al Mafraq and two in Al Ain, the WAM news agency reported.
Col. Hamad Al Balooshi, Director of the Department of Outposts Traffic at the Department of Traffic and Patrols at Abu Dhabi Police, said the violations were repeated by certain Gulf nationalities and the offending owners had deliberately put pieces of paper over the plate numbers or had sprayed sand or mud over the digits.
Brig. Eng. Hussein Al Harethi, Director of the Department of Traffic and Patrols at Abu Dhabi Police added that motorists “manipulate the plate numbers to evade the payment of traffic fines and avoid the radar detections.”
The move is part of Abu Dhabi's aim to reduce speed-related death on its roads, with recent initiatives resulting in a 31 percent drop in fatalities in the first half of 2012.
"In the first half of 2012, road fatalities sank 31 percent to 131 from 191 in the same period of 2011. Serious injuries downed 10 percent from 197 cases to 131 for the same period under review," Al Harethi said in July.
The number caused by excessive speed also dropped by 21 percent after the introduction of new speed limit management strategies and the installation of more radars on roads.
"The Traffic Department will continue in its efforts to improve road safety in its bid to reach zero road fatality by 2030," he added.