x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Some motorists call plans by Dubai Police to reduce speed limits 'a bad idea', but others are more supportive.

Some motorists have criticised the plan to reduce the speed buffer as a money-making scheme rather than a safety initiative.
Some motorists have criticised the plan to reduce the speed buffer as a money-making scheme rather than a safety initiative.

DUBAI // Motorists have mixed reactions to Dubai Police’s proposal to cut the speed limit by 10kph.

Nearly two-thirds of the 1.2 million traffic breaches during the first seven months of this year were linked to speeding, the latest police figures show.

This has prompted the chief of traffic police to call for a reduction in the speed limit.

The maximum allowed on motorways is 120kph. Under the plans, the buffer for speed cameras would be reduced from 20kph to 10kph.

“Lowering the buffer over speed limits will lead to fewer accidents,” said Maj Gen Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, director of the general directorate of traffic at Dubai Police.

He said the number of bus and taxi crashes had fallen after the speed buffer for those vehicles was cut.

“Ninety per cent of traffic accidents occur because of excess speed,” he said.

But some motorists believe reducing the limit is a mere money-making scheme.

“This is a smart way for Dubai Police to make money,” said Umm Hashem, a 39-year-old businessman. “They will make a lot of money until people get used to the new limit.

“This is a bad idea. It will just result in more speeding fines, so they are just trying to make money again.

“If they want to reduce accidents they need to be stricter on who they give driving licences to. We need better drivers on the road, all reducing the speed buffer will do is annoy people.”

Others drivers support the idea, but believe more must be done to make the roads safer.

“There are just too many reckless drivers on the road these days, it is about time they reduced the speed limit,” said Noor Sayed Ali, a 30-year-old banker. “Lower speeds will reduce accidents and make them less deadly. Besides, 10kph slower will not affect your journey by much.”

“I think it is a good start,” said Samantha Harrison, a Canadian mother of two. “I don’t think it will make a big difference but it is a step in the right direction.

“Driving here can be quite scary. There are too many aggressive drivers on the road here.”

Motorists in Dubai committed 695,521 speeding offences in the first part of this year to July.

Most speeders are between the ages of 18 and 36, according to the police.

Maj Gen Al Zafeen said a similar initiative in Abu Dhabi, where the buffer on motorways was reduced to 20kph, resulted infewer speeding drivers.

malkhan@thenational.ae