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Sun 22 Jun 2014 01:50 PM

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Dubai drivers must give way to faster-moving vehicles

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

Dubai drivers must give way to faster-moving vehicles

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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MOSA 6 years ago

The last para for sounding the horn once and changing lanes, this means we basically have to overtake from the slower lane next to us - wouldn't that be considered as reckless driving too? I see a loooot of new fines coming our way. I really want to buy a motorcycle..

Barry Hinds 6 years ago

This is long overdue.

There are more than enough lanes on SZR to cope with the traffic but lane discipline is the problem with everyone driving between 80 and 120 km/h in every lane.

Koenraad Ghys 6 years ago

And STILL they don't get it! They never seem to understand the root of the problemm, which is the lack of enforcement of a BAN on overtaking on the RIGHT and the unawareness of the obligation to always keep to the right. This is how we are taught to drive in Europe and this is why the autobahn is safe at 200+ kph. In this article the Chief of Police suggests it is OK to drive on the left at 120 if all other lanes are free. But it should not be! If the road is empty one should ALWAYS come back to the right. Therefore: Pass on left, move back to right, pass on left, move back to right should be enforced. With hefty fines for those not retreating to the right or passing on the right. This is the MAIN cause for chaos on our roads and nothing else.

Doug 6 years ago

If you're travelling at the maximum speed and you don't move out of the way of a car travelling faster than you (ie. a car breaking the speed limit and breaking the law), you get fined?

What about the speeding driver? Did the director of the traffic police basically just say you're allowed to break the legal speed limits on the road?

What causes the rear-end accidents isn't slow drivers - it's speeding drivers who have no control over their vehicles.

OpenYourMind 6 years ago

Thanks for explaining the European lane speed system, I always found it bizarre and now I know why, - it requires constantly changing lanes and speeds depending on how busy the highway is, which is inefficient & dangerous.

It's far more sensible to pick a lane with the speed you prefer ( 60/70/80/90/100/120 ) and just stick to it. I bet the autobahn will see even less accidents if you adopt our system.

Habeeb 6 years ago

Well the left most lane is named overtaking lane for a reason. If you are driving at top speed, well and good but you are not responsible of controlling speed limit on the roads RTA is. We have people driving on the left most lane at 140 kmph and the one just next to it on the right at 100 kmph, this is what causes accidents as drivers cannot judge the cars coming on the fast lane. Also, the unless you got a twin turbo engine installed you cannot match the speed of the faster lane in the right amount of time safely.

What we need is to have directions on individual lane speeds, all of the lanes on SZR have the max-min exactly the same. A Lamborghini can travel on the right most lane at 140 kmph and the beat up Mazda on the fast lane at 60 kmph as both are within the RTA's legal speed limits on the road.

Jake 6 years ago

I'm glad that at least the UAE has its priorities right...I mean could there be any issue more pressing than not be able to exceed the speed limit if you want to? It should be added that vehicles worth less than 250,000 AED must not use the left most lane and have to make way at petrol stations. Stop bringing up the Autobahn! It only works when there is an etiquette and culture of defensive driving. Besides, speedlimits have been introduced in most parts of the highway network, reducing the number of accidents.

Ed B 6 years ago

The system described here, is not solving the issue, and will even increase the ego problem of the people that are speeding constantly on the most left lane, as they expect now for everyone to move miraculously away even when it not safe to do so. This is why, like described in some letters here, that the European system teaches us that you have to move to the right lanes as soon it is free; even if it means moving back to the a fast lane 30 seconds later. Passing on the right side is not allowed under any circumstance. This ensures safe traffic, and keeps drivers occupied with driving, as they are forced to observe what happens in front, at the back and at the side of them; instead of just lazy cruising on the road....

Also, why the minimum speed on the highway here 60km/h? It seems to me, that the speed difference with 120km/h is far to high. 80km should be the minimum. If someone wants or can only drive 60km/h, he/she surly does not belong on a highway correct?

MT3 6 years ago

Road traffic deaths per 100,000 inhabitants according to the World Health Organisation; Germany - home of the autobahn; 4.3, UK (where the above system described prevails) 3.5, Belgium 7.2 - UAE 12.7 - India 17.4, Pakistan 19.9. So who are the real exporters of death on the roads?

Herman 6 years ago

In between bouts of laughter at the preposterous comment made by 'Open your Mind' could I please ask him to do just that- Open Your Mind!!!
'Your System' is getting better but it is still flawed with the rules for overtaking in any lane you choose and the speeds that people drive at whilst weaving in and out of the lanes.
All drivers are responsible for driving safely but there needs to be a clear set of guidelines and then enforcement to fine the people infringing it regardless of plate number.
What happened to the increased driving speeds on the SZR to Abu Dhabi??? That's right increased crashes so they stopped it.