x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Bird's-eye view of jam that brought Abu Dhabi to a halt

A video showing the huge traffic jam that affected much of the capital earlier this month has been posted on the YouTube website by the police.

The traffic chaos caught on police video.
The traffic chaos caught on police video.

ABU DHABI // A video showing the huge traffic jam that affected much of the capital earlier this month has been posted on the YouTube website by the police, with the message that bad driving was to blame. The bird's-eye view, filmed from a police helicopter, shows vehicles crammed into junctions, with traffic from all directions at a standstill.

Police labelled the video "traffic congestion caused by bad driving". The jam began on the afternoon of June 1 in the Tourist Club area when there were problems with a crane near the junction of Al Najda and Sheikh Zayed the First streets, across from Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. The area was cordoned off, but gridlock spread throughout the city until nearly 10pm. Officials said it had escalated when drivers entered the junction even though the road ahead was blocked.

Hours were added to many journeys. An expectant mother had to walk to an ambulance to get to hospital to give birth after her car became stuck in stationary traffic. One resident who commented on The National's website said it had taken more than two hours to make the short trip from Sheikh Zayed the First Street to the traffic lights near Le Méridien hotel. The municipality said traffic lights were modified to ease the flow of cars and lorries. Police also directed traffic at some junctions to reduce the congestion.

mchung@thenational.ae Click here to see the video