By Andy Sambidge
Transport authority sets out two-year plan to access speed limits on all roads in emirate
Dubai's transport authority is planning to review speed limits on all roads over the next two years in a bid to improve safety, an official said on Monday.
Maitha bin Udai, CEO of the Licensing Agency, part of the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), said speed limits would be assessed and revised if necessary.
The two-year programme comes as the RTA approved a Speed Management Manual which has been compiled by a British consultant.
"The RTA has chalked out a time frame over the next two years for assessing the maximum speed signs fixed all over roads and streets of Dubai Emirate including revising them, if needed," bin Udai said.
"The strategy of road safety in Dubai is a top priority aligned with RTA's vision and therefore every effort is continuously being made to make the roads of the Emirate the safest in the world," she added.
Among the key objectives of the strategy is to curb traffic-related mortalities to bring them in line with the rates of the most developed countries by 2015.
The RTA said it has made good progress as traffic fatalities has fallen from 21.7 cases per 100,000 people in 2007 to 6.7 cases per 100,000 last year.
"Despite the fact the traffic fatality rate in Dubai is better than countries such as Malaysia, South Africa and the United States, the RTA is still aspiring to place Dubai amongst the cities with the least traffic fatalities in the world," said bin Udai.
International studies indicate that increasing the driving speed by up to 5 percent over and above the specified speed limits result in the rate of traffic accidents causing injuries rising by 10 percent and fatalities by 20 percent.
Last month, figures showed the number of people killed on the UAE’s roads fell by 12.8 percent last year compared to 2010.
In 2011, the Interior Ministry’s General Administration of Traffic Co-ordination registered 720 deaths as a result of traffic accidents, down from 826 in 2010.
The total number of traffic accidents in the UAE declined from 7,642 in 2010 to 6,700.
So, reducing the speed limit will potentially lead to reduced fatalities, this is good news (although not new). Perhaps the UAE could consider raising the legal age to obtain a licence to 21 and ensure those new licence holders have a maximum of 8 points per year, as opposed to the 20-22 currently available?
Can someone please confirm or deny if the penalties are the same for UAE citizens/Nationals and expats when traffic fines are given? Colleagues have said UAE Nationals only have to pay a fraction of the fines an expat has to pay?
Also, a collegue has indicated that there are no appeals for fines issued by the RTA in Dubai. Why is this the case? What happens if a driver 'suddenly swerves' to avoid a pedestrian and receives a 250 AED fine for 'sudden swerving'? Isn't there an ability to lodge a complaint? Surely as the UAE is looking to increase its reputation for safe driving practice there can be greater transparency with respect to the right to appeal?
how about taking out the driving licenses from those that got theirs just by paying for it? how about giving fines to those driving on the left lane at the speed of 12o and a 100 meters before the speed cameras they hit the breaks so hard?
how about raising speed fines? after all, whoever is drivi ferrari at the speed of 180km/h won't even bother with a fine of 800 derhams. how about raising fines on those that switch lanes without using their indicators?
how about sending a message to everyone telling them that "giving the indicator, doesn't give you the right to immediately switch lanes"? those can reduce fatalities by 100%
Reducing the speed limit does not reduce the number of accidents or fatality rates. Having careful and stricter laws in obtaining drivers licenses is known to be the basic to reducing accidents and ensuring the people who are issued licenses know how to drive and are disciplined in maneuvering and changing lanes. Germany with the lowest accident / fatality rate in the world is a perfect example where there are no speed limits on the highway but yet lowest accidents in the world. The driving test and fines imposed to all drivers in Germany should be applied here. Simple
If they want to truly reduce speeding, they should just install cameras that monitor all cars' speed from one point to the next, rather than install a camera every 500 metres which disrupts traffic as people keep slamming on their brakes when they approach them.
Also, speed will never be the sole factor of accidents. Its pure carelessness, lack of observation and the disgusting arrogance of drivers that causes accidents. Its the ones who think they don't have to queue for a junction or turnoff, rather pull in at the last minute causing other drivers to brake/swerve, etc.
Its also tailgaters who think its fine to drive 6 inches from the car in front- especially if you're a minivan. Countless times we've seen serious accidents, deaths and injuries as a result of a vehicles tyre bursting and someone behind smashing into them because they haven't left any braking distance.
Do they even teach people about blind spots here? Or do they think a quick glance in the mirror is enough?
How about the authorities finally clamping down on illegal window tints of vehicles?! Illegal levels of window tinting have been discussed in all media time and again yet nothing is done to rid the roads of errant drivers who remain anonymous as they are obscured by too-dark or mirrored window tints.
Fixing this major safety issue is so simple. Have police visit shopping mall parking on any busy day and fine, tow away or impound the scores of vehicles sitting there.
Perhaps errant drivers would slow down if forced to make eye contact with their fellow human beings, rather than chasing them under the cover of anonymity behind their tinted windows.
1) If you hit a pedestrian who is crossing from the wrong place (a place thats not marked for crossing), you are not at fault. Even if he dies, you are not at fault. If you crash into someone while swerving to avoid that pedestrian, call the police and he, not you, will be charged. (this is the case in abu dhabi).
2) penalties are the same for all nationalities, all regions, anyone mentioning otherwise probably thinks locals get subsidized petrol cards and cheaper etisalat rates lol. The only difference is that locals (and long time expats) know the ways to lower the penalties. In Abu Dhabi, for the longest time, you could submit a claim to the 'court' and 99% of the time you would get a 50% reduction on your ticket. Now its an automatic reduction that applies to all without having to go to court
In response to HAA, Germany is not the safest country in the world to drive. (Please see EU road accident statistics on http://ec.europa.eu/sverige/documents/traffic_press_stats.pdf) in fact it is only the fifth safest country in Europe. The UK, which ranks second, does have a motorway speed limit. More importantly it also has a strict "black points" system which means you will get banned from driving if caught exeeding it four times.
I've no doubt that the increase in fine amounts is behind Dubai's welcome progress in reducing speeding and the accidents that directly result but, as one commenter pointed out, there are many here who are simply not incentivised by fines they are wealthy enough to regard as trivial. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this group is disproportionately liable for road accidents and injuries and I suspect that the RTA's heralded success will begin to falter unless license suspensions are imposed for fewer transgressions than under the current system
Strict enforcement of current speed limits and confiscating of licenses is the only way of doing this.
The police need to have radars in the vehicles and take an active approach to catch violating drivers. Its all too common to see patrols cruising in the far righ lane while people drive past at 140km without concern of being caught.
In my country, New Zealand, if you are caught doing only 4km over the limit you will be stopped and fined, with excessive speeds (above 20km) punishable with a court date and suspension of the license.
To combat this problem, start with strict enforcement and see how quickly the driving attitudes of people change.
Wow, courageous guy bolstering his skill of 240 kmph over the media site, do we have a test tracks? or possibly drove with permission? pls read through the second page...http://www.drivearabia.com/news/2010/04/01/first-drive-kia-cadenza-2011-uae-dubai-hatta-fujairah-al-ain/?wpmp_tp=1
If permited, other drivers on the road should know the timings and vehicle to look for and stop at the side of the road until the testdrive is over.
Mercedes is all show, BMW all Go!BMW!Seriously of you want a Mercedes C-class then you should be cross sopnhipg for a Lexus IS too. They are the most underpowered and uninspiring cars performance wise in the luxury market. If your simply looking for a Luxury sport appearance car then get the Mercedes C-class, Audi A4 or Lexus IS. If you want a true luxury sport performance car I would suggest the BMW 3 series or Infiniti G.