Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 February 2020

21,000 Dubai motorists caught going 60kph over speed limit

Authorities said the startling number reflected a worrying attitude towards road safety

Thousands of drivers were caught speeding in Dubai last year. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Thousands of drivers were caught speeding in Dubai last year. Chris Whiteoak / The National

More than 21,000 motorists were caught driving more than 60kph over the speed limit in Dubai last year, official figures have shown.

Authorities said the startling number reflected a worrying attitude towards road safety in the emirate.

Out of 21,177 incidents, police officers said 23 resulted in accidents where a total of four people died and 19 were injured.

In 2018, speeding drivers in Dubai claimed the lives of 12 people and injured 26.

“Some drivers still over speed despite all our warnings and campaigns,” said Brigadier Saif Muhair Al Mazrouei, of Dubai Police traffic department.

Some drivers still over speed despite all our warnings and campaigns

Brigadier Saif Muhair Al Mazrouei

“Motorists remain unaware of the deadly consequences of speeding which can lead to losing control of a vehicle and very serious accidents.”

The issue of speeding motorists is an ongoing problem around much of the UAE.

Speed limits can vary depending on individual sections of road and in which emirate motorists are driving.

In most cases, the top speed drivers can travel on the fastest sections of highway is 160kph.

In more built up areas, however, the speed limit is reduced to around 40kph to 60kph.

Speaking to The National, Arif Al Shehhi, 43, told how he was now wheelchair bound as a result of an horrific car accident in 2000.

He revealed he had been a passenger in a friend’s car en route to Sharjah from Ras Al Khaimah when a tyre had burst.

Because of their speed, his friend lost control of the vehicle, causing it to overturn. Mr Al Shehhi is now paralysed from the waist down.

“The tyre was unfit for use but it was speeding that contributed to making the accident so severe,” he said.

“Speeding was the driver’s mistake as was the tyre exploding because regular checks can prevent a serious accident from happening.

“I believe that motorists’ mistakes, including driving over speed limits, are behind 80 per cent of accidents.”

Following the crash, Mr Al Shehhi went through eight months of intensive therapy to assist with his recovery.

His injuries led to him becoming depressed, but he later took the decision to start a new chapter by studying for a law degree.

“I was 23-years-old at the time [of the accident] and I had completely different plans that did not include me being paralysed from the waist down,” he said.

“The first challenge was to beat my depression and then to set new goals. Every motorist should stop acting as if he owns the road when behind the wheel.”

Updated: January 25, 2020 11:45 AM

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