ABU DHABI // Police caught 1,732 drivers who were speeding at more than 200kph on the Mafraq-Gheiwfat E11 motorway during the first six months of 2012.
From January to July, 392,277 tickets were issued, although casualties dropped by two thirds compared with the same period in 2011 reported Al Ittihad, The National's Arabic-language sister newspaper.
"The traffic and patrols directorate is tightening its traffic control in order to bring down the number of violations that lead to accidents, injuries and fatalities on the road," Brig Gen Hussein Al Harthi said.
"We are deploying patrols in city roads and motorways, increasing the number of stationary and movable speed cameras and using hi-tech devices to monitor traffic and catch reckless drivers … in a bid to preserve life and property," he said.
Police reported 10 deaths on the E11 in the first half of 2012, a drop from 29 in 2011. Critical injuries dropped by 34 per cent, from 32 to 21 and crashes dropped by 16 per cent, from 92 to 77.
Radar, speed control and education are factors for the lower crash rate, said Dr Tawfiq Al Tamimi, the section head for road maintenance with Al Gharbia municipality.
"There is improvement definitely but still I think, in this area, especially in the Western Region, we have a long way to go to be perfect or to reach the standard we are aiming for," he said. "First of all, most of the road is a rural area, it is open, there is not too much traffic and this encourages the young driver to speed up."
The two-lane motorway from Abu Dhabi to the Saudi Arabia border is largely unlit, used by heavy industrial traffic and believed to be the deadliest in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi's Executive Council approved funding in January for a Dh10 billion, three-lane motorway that will run parallel to the Mafraq-Gheiwfat motorway.
Al Gharbia municipality has submitted proposals to the Executive Council for more road works on internal roads that will reduce crash rates, like the elimination of U-turns.
"I think here we need more police patrols," said Dr Al Tamimi. "The enforcement needs to be improved and it's not easy."
Al Gharbia hopes to halve death rates by 2020.