x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

New measures to deter speeding on Abu Dhabi city limits

Speed calming mechanisms have been introduced to five new areas in the emirate.

ABU DHABI // New signs, painted pavements and sleeper lines will be introduced in five areas by the end of next month to curb speeding across the emirate.

The measures, to be installed before winter, will be placed in "transitional distances", where motorists increase or decrease speeds between rural and urban areas on all main roads under the mandate of the Department of Transport.The details come on the heels of a previous announcement that such measures were being taken.

The five areas include 300-metre stretches at each of the entrances to Abu Dhabi city in three locations: Al Shahama-Sas Al Nakhl Road (E10), the Abu Dhabi-Al Ain main road (E22) and Musaffah Road, as well as the entrances to Al Ain city and Madinat Zayed.

The official speed limits on these roads reach 120kph, with maximum limits reaching 140kph and 160kph.

However, these drop to 60kph, 80kph and 100kph as motorists approach inner-city areas.

One of the measures involves painting the pavement red to indicate a drop in the speed limit.

"This colour acts as an alert mechanism to ensure maximum and immediate attention of road users, indicating change in speed prior to entering low-speed urban areas," a transport official said.

Another measure involves the installation of sleeper lines. The devices - also known as rumble strips - alert inattentive drivers to potential hazards on the road, by "causing a tactile vibration and an audible rumbling sound, transmitted through the wheels to the car body," the official said.

Sleeper lines are usually applied either to alert drivers when they drift from their lane, or to warn them of a need to stop or a detour.

"In favourable circumstances, rumble strips are effective at reducing accidents due to driver inattention," the official said.

A separate initiative, completed in June, involved changing the numerals on speed limit signs from Arabic to English-only, to avoid confusion.

Previously, signs used both Arabic and English numerals, along with text indicating the vehicle type.The new signs have standard icons showing whether the limit applies to light or heavy vehicles.

The new signs have been installed at five-kilometre intervals, instead of the previous 10km intervals, to provide a more constant reminder.

Meanwhile, signs indicating changes in the speed limit along different segments of the same road continue to be installed.

However, officials said, all speed limits have remained the same.

mismail@thenational.ae