Cameras to change at midnight, amid warning to morning commuters
Drivers warned there will be no leeway around speed changes to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road and Emirates Road on Sunday
Dubai Police has warned there will be no leeway for drivers exceeding the new speed limit on two major roads from on Sunday, with cameras automatically set to catch anyone hitting 130kph.
The limit on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road and Emirates Road through the Dubai section will be changed at midnight reduced from 140kph. The actual reduction was from 120kph to 110kph, but, as on many major UAE roads, there is a 20kph 'buffer'.
The roads pass through other emirates and the speed limit there will remain unchanged.
“Traffic police teams will change speed settings on radars just before midnight, and the usual number of traffic patrols will be monitoring traffic on the roads in the morning, so there will be no need for more patrols,” said Brigadier Saif Al Mazrouei, head of the traffic department at Dubai Police.
The reduction aims to cut down the number of accidents and road deaths, as speeding contributes to nearly 60 percent of road traffic fatalities, said Major General Mohammad Saif Al Zafeen, head of the Federal Traffic Council and Assistant Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police. He said cameraswill only flash at vehicles going more than 130kmph.
“There is a grace window of 20kmph, giving drivers up to 130kmph, which is quite a good speed that won't much affect the time you take to reach your destination,” said Brigadier Al Zafeen.
He said that the decision was a result of studies by Dubai Police and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), that showed a large number of accidents happened on these two roads.
In the first six months of this year, 76 people died in road accidents in Dubai, including 10 on Emirates road and eight on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road.
Some commuters claimed that it is the manner of driving and not the speed limit itself that causes many accidents.
“I don't think reducing speed will reduce the number of accidents. I take this road five days a week, and I see that drivers behaviours are behind almost every traffic violation,” said Saeed Mahmoud, a media consultant.
He said tailgating is the most concerning practice.
“Every single day a driver brings their car one metre behind mine in an intimidating way - so I give way. It's not like I'm driving at 60kmph, I would be driving the permitted maximum speed, and that means that he wants to over-speed, so do you think that a speed cut would stop bully driving?” said Mr Mahmoud.
Khalid Abdul Hameed said a change in traffic culture was what was truly needed, and only then a decline in road accidents would be achieved.
“When people learn how to use their indicators, how to really give way, how to remain in lanes according to their speed, things will be different in a good way on roads,” he said.
Ayman Halawah said the speed cut is a good idea, but visitors from other emirates may get confused.
“Drivers may forget to change speed between emirates, if one was coming from Abu Dhabi, after two hours driving at 140kmph on Abu Dhabi roads, I don't think he would instantly pay attention once he crosses over to Dubai,” he said.
This could cause more accidents if a driver hits their brakes suddenly to reduce speed once they realise they're in Dubai, he claimed.