Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 June 2019

'Hidden' speed cameras spark Dubai controversy

The unusual grey structures can be difficult to spot for drivers

One of the cameras on Al Khamila Street. Reem Mohammed / The National
One of the cameras on Al Khamila Street. Reem Mohammed / The National

Speed cameras installed at locations across Dubai are causing a stir among motorists.

The low, rhombus-like structures which are grey in colour, can prove difficult to spot when set in more urban surroundings.

Speaking to The National, a number of road users hit out at the idea the technology had been designed to make it harder for drivers to see and react to.

One of the cameras on Al Khamila Street. Reem Mohammed / The National
One of the cameras on Al Khamila Street. Reem Mohammed / The National

But other motorists backed the cameras, insisting drivers had nothing to fear if they kept to the speed limit.

“One of the ideas behind speed cameras is to get people to slow down, not to fine people,” said Dubai resident Aoife Kelly.

“Having the cameras hidden will ensure that people are fined but it doesn’t necessarily mean they will slow down.”

The cameras, which can be loaded onto trucks and moved to different locations, have so far been spotted on Al Khamila Street, Hessa Street, the Oud Metha Road and Al Asayel Road.

Their colouring can at times make them hard to see, especially when set against a backdrop of cement curbs and bollards.

“A number of these cameras are placed in areas where the speed limits are unreasonably low,” said Paul McCullagh, from Dubai.

“I don’t think they are a good idea and you have to wonder what the real reason they are there for is.”

Other motorists, however, had no issue with their use. “Don’t speed and you won’t get a fine… it’s simple,” said Australian Stephen Fairhill, 45, who works as a sales and leasing manager in Dubai.

“If you’re within the speed limit, which is set for all our safety, then you have no need to worry about cameras, hidden or not,” said Dubai resident Jennifer Wynne, 35 from Ireland.

Thomas Edelmann, managing director of Road Safety UAE, described the cameras as a welcome addition to the battle against speeding.

“The fact they are mobile units means they can be moved to any location at short notice which is a huge help in areas where speeding is a problem,” he said.

“If people know where the cameras are located they tend to start speeding again as soon as they are past them.

“That isn’t the case with these mobile units, which make drivers aware of the need to drive safely at all times as they don’t know where they will pop up.”

Updated: May 27, 2019 02:51 PM

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