By Andy Sambidge
Abu Dhabi traffic chief says more patrols will target offenders on roads of UAE capital.
Police in Abu Dhabi have blamed tailgating drivers for 69 accidents over the past three months, which resulted in two deaths.
The statistics were revealed at the launch of a new campaign to reduce tailgating, which involves motorists driving too close to the vehicle in front, UAE daily The National reported on Monday.
Col Hamad al Shamsi, the director of Abu Dhabi Traffic Police, said two people died and 61 were injured while 50 drivers aged 18-45 caused most of the accidents.
Al Shamsi told the paper that an analysis of accidents over the three months demonstrated an increase in the number of crashes caused by tailgating.
Police are set to increase traffic patrols, especially in unmarked cars, throughout Abu Dhabi in a bid to catch tailgaters in the act.
The penalty for tailgating is a AED400 ($108) fine and four black points.
Separately, the paper reported that police patrol cars are being fitted with cameras to give control room chiefs live feeds from accident and crime scenes.
A live video feed from 260 patrol cars will be linked to the operations room in a bid to give officers the information they need to deploy appropriate resources, said Dubai Police chief Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim in comments published by UAE daily The National.
He added that while the system would be effective in handling traffic accidents and assessing the reasons behind them, it would not be used to catch traffic offenders.
I just wanted to add that they also cause undue stress and fatigue to the rest of us. By the time I get to work, which is a short 7 minute hop, I am exhausted, angry, very tense, and barely in a mood to get the workday started. They cause more than just physical harm, and they need to wake up to the fact that just because they do not always cause accidents physically, they do so mentally, and I believe that this is just as bad.
In my experience, some of the worst offenders are the drivers of minivans, labour buses and pick-ups, especially on two-lane suburban roads in areas like Shamkha, Falah and the stretch towards ADAT. The tailgating that goes on between 6.30am and 7.30am may cause a serious accident one of these days. These drivers are reluctant to overtake from the left and so literally rush at you with their beams on full, especially if you happen to be in a 'small' car!