By Andy Sambidge
New study shows drivers would welcome more unmarked police cars to curb problem
Speeding is the single biggest traffic safety concern for UAE motorists, according to a new survey.
The study, which polled 1,350 drivers across the country, found that the majority would welcome an increased use of unmarked police vehicles to curb the problem.
The survey, compiled by state-backed 999 Magazine, showed that 68 percent of respondents considered road travel in the UAE "relatively safe".
It said general carelessness remained the No. 2 concern, followed by drink driving, rubbernecking and jumping of red traffic signals.
Inconsiderate turning was at No. 6 on the list, followed by loss of control due to tyre blowouts, and not using proper child restraints or seatbelts.
The UAE has increased the number of fixed and mobile speed traps or cameras on the roads in an attempt to reduce accidents.
Speed limits on some of the more dangerous highways in the country have also been reduced, in addition to the aggressive nationwide campaign against speeding.
The poll, conducted by the official English monthly of the Ministry of Interior, found that the problem is not a lack of awareness of the laws with 97 percent of respondents confirming their knowledge of traffic penalties.
Two thirds of respondents said they believed the increased use of unmarked police vehicles would be a good idea.
Lt Colonel Awadh Saleh Al Kindi, Editor-in-Chief of 999, said: "We need to educate all the motorists, especially the younger ones, about the dangers of speeding.
"The number of deaths and injuries being caused by speeding-related accidents has already come under the official scanner."
Police efforts to reduce traffic-related deaths have been paying off with latest data showing a decline in road fatalities in 2011 by 12.8 percent compared to the year before.
So speeding is the main issue? What about tailgating, flashing people out of the way, trying to intimidate, undertaking and slamming on brakes because someone will not move over into a gap that is not big enough just to let some impaitiant person past who's journey is sooo much more important than others. What about those who go from the middle lane of a roundabout to the first then cut accross it and exit at the middle lane as it is the shortest route, sitting in the third lane at 100, overtaking on the hard shoulder, weaving in and out of lanes on the highway at 160 when the traffic is busy as they cannot wait, only to end up saving 2 minutes...........
Why is it that speed is always the issue? All of the above is dangerous driving and can cause serious accisents, even at low speed, why are they not addressing this?!!!!
I fully agree with the need for unmarked cars, especially in view of the driving I have witnessed a half hour before iftar time.
At the same time there is a recurring corollary problem of insufficient speed in the requisite lanes. I have witnessed drives who insist on doing perhaps 80-90, not even 100 in the left lane. In fact the left three lanes are usually congested leaving hardly anyone but trucks in the right lanes.
If you must cruise please I urge you move out of the way. People going at the maximum allowable speed are in an urgent hurry and not always just joy riders out to make you miserable. Insisting on going at your speed which is wrong for the lane is selfish and you are creating a traffic obstacle.
You are absolutely right. Speeding and disregard for rules is the biggest concern when driving in UAE.
There should be more police patrols and on the spot tickets for violater's rather then sole reliance on speed traps.
It would help if people moved over to the righthand lanes if they are not overtaking, then faster moving vehicles could pass by easily. Sitting in the second to left lane is not the correct way to drive, fact.
Also why are the police never ticketing those that use the hardshoulder as a pick off drop off point? These idiots then move into fast moving traffic from a stop postion causing all sorts of problems.
Another one while were at it, is why cant you go to the next turn-off and come back on yourself if you miss a turning. Reversing up a six lane highway is just so stupid and dangerous.
Really what needs to happen is that the police/ RTA issue highway codes in multiple languages, that are availble for free at all petrol stations. Its the only way people are going to start to understand the rules of road.
Rubbuis, there is no "urgent hurry" only people who think they are in a hurry.
Driving in Kuwait is a nightmare compared to the UAE. I found most of the drivers in the UAE normal.
I see more accidents in 5 minutes in Kuwait than I have seen in a week in the UAE.