x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Drivers warned of new residential speed limits

Police say 20kph to 40kph traffic rule will be strictly enforced.

ABU DHABI // New stricter speed limits on residential roads throughout Abu Dhabi emirate come into force from Saturday.

The new speed limits of 20kph to 40kph had been announced earlier but yesterday Abu Dhabi Traffic Police confirmed the date that they will begin.

Police warned the regulations will be strictly enforced to alert drivers of the changes to traffic rules.

The new limits will mainly apply in villa communities and areas with traditional residences.

"Some of these residential areas have expanded, some have schools, and drivers need to be notified as they approach those areas," Col Hussein al Harethi, the director of the traffic and patrol department, said.

Officials cited Al Mushrif, Al Shahama, Bani Yas and Al Waha as some areas where the new speed limits will be in effect. The regulations will apply throughout residential areas in the Western Region, including Madinat Zayed and Ghayathi, and areas in Al Ain, such as Al Yahar and Zakher.

The decision was in line with efforts to improve traffic safety across the emirate after a comprehensive study that compared Abu Dhabi roads with international standards, officials said. Actions are being taken to ensure drivers are aware of the changes in speed. In addition to signs, speed limits will be printed on shaded lanes, traffic patrols will be intensified and speed cameras will be adjusted.

Officials said speed limits in the following locations have not changed: Abu Dhabi to Al Ain (from the Baniyas Park Bridge to the Al Sadd area), Abu Dhabi to Dubai (from the Al Mufraq Bridge to Seeh Shuaib and from Al Shahama to Seeh Shuaib), as well as Suwaihan Road (from Al Shawamikh Bridge to Al Hair).

Meanwhile, in Ajman authorities said they had seized nearly 100 cars with illegal speed modifications this year as they target dangerously fast vehicles. Changes included replacing a six-cylinder engine with an eight-cylinder motor and using engines from other manufacturers, as well as modifying air filters and hydraulic systems.

"The number of seized cars so far is very high in just one emirate. We are planning on several campaigns next year with other emirates to create awareness about this problem," said Col Sheikh Sultan Abdullah al Nuaimi, the Ajman police deputy director general.

Modifications to boost a car's power output are illegal under federal law and licensing authorities cannot pass cars that have them, said Col Ahmed bin Darwish, of the Sharjah police patrol unit.

"Unfortunately such dangerous services were readily available in some garages at an affordable fee," he said. "A good campaign would be not to just target the drivers, but also the garages that make these illegal modifications."