x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Sure sign for speeders

As welcome as Abu Dhabi's new speed limits are, they need to be accompanied by clear signage so drivers understand the new rules.

Bright flashes, a moment of panic and the driver slows down. It's a sequence that might be a painful reminder for many, but at least the impact is on the pocketbook and not on the streets.

It would be fair to say that some of Abu Dhabi's drivers are in a state of shock. In December, the capital reduced speed limits in residential areas by 20kph, stepped up patrols and increased radar coverage to improve road safety. Many drivers have been caught unaware as they discover their fines for the month of January, as The National reports today.

Ann Duffy, who has been driving in Abu Dhabi since October, is one example. She had a clean slate until last month, but was slapped with five speeding tickets costing Dh2,700. "It was the first time we ever received speed violations, and it happened all at once," Mrs Duffy said.

Those that have followed The National's road safety campaign know the terrible toll that speed demons and other irresponsible drivers exact in innocent lives. Drivers, passengers and pedestrians should all appreciate that Abu Dhabi's roads no longer resemble a motor derby.

But as welcome as the new limits are, they need to be accompanied by clear signage so drivers understand the new rules. As Mrs Duffy put it: "People need to know exactly what that change is and what is expected from them."