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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 April 2019

Abu Dhabi road upgrades aim to reduce speed-related accidents

A plan to upgrade the emirate’s infrastructure was drawn up by the municipality in coordination with Abu Dhabi Police and Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council.
Drivers in Abu Dhabi should expect to see more speed bumps over the next two years. Christopher Pike / The National
Drivers in Abu Dhabi should expect to see more speed bumps over the next two years. Christopher Pike / The National

ABU DHABI // Speed bumps and other measures to slow traffic will be installed across the emirate over the next two years to reduce speed-related accidents, especially those involving pedestrians.

The safety plan, designed by the municipality, Abu Dhabi Police and the Urban Planning Council, includes improvements for footpaths and pedestrian crossings.

The municipality carried out traffic studies in 402 sectors of Abu Dhabi city, including all residential communities.

Michael Dreznes, executive vice president of the International Road Federation, was full of praise for the emirate’s urban planners.

“They have good data to tell them where their problem areas exist and they know what needs to be done,” Mr Dreznes said

“I have met many Abu Dhabi road engineers in the course of our training programmes and they are among the top-tier professionals in our industry.”

Khalifa City and Mohammed bin Zayed City will have their own road plans with roundabouts to be replaced by traffic lights and lighting, drains and pedestrian crossings installed.

In the first four months of the year, 1,837 people in Abu Dhabi were caught driving over 200 kph, police said. Their vehicles were impounded and they were sent to public prosecution.

In March, the municipality completed its speed control zones project and six speed-change warning signs were installed on the city’s main streets to alert motorists to reduce speed in these areas.

Nationally, traffic authorities have also come up with measures to curb tailgating, such as installing traffic cameras in ­Dubai and adding chevron road markings on motorways.

But Dubai’s tailgating cameras have yet to be activated. The plan was to have them operational as of July 1 last year but they were delayed by logistical problems, said Maj Gen Mohammed Al Zafeen, the Federal Traffic Council director.

Drivers caught tailgating are fined Dh400 and have four black points added to their ­licences.

At a meeting on December 30, the council approved plans to add chevrons.

The first set was to be added to a motorway in Abu Dhabi as a trial to observe their effectiveness, but no date was given for implementation.

Road safety experts said the markings would help to ease tailgating and the risk of rear-end collisions.

“Research has shown that the use of chevrons is generally highly beneficial,” said Robert Hodges, chief operation officer at Emirates Driving Institute.

“Using chevrons in the UAE will most likely guide and advise those drivers who habitually tailgate for reasons such as inattention, distraction and tiredness.”

rruiz@thenational.ae

Updated: June 19, 2016 04:00 AM

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