x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 February 2018

Dubai police plan to beef up surveillance leaving traffic law offenders ‘nowhere to hide’

Emirate plans to double the number of surveillance cameras and equip traffic patrol cars with 360-degree camera systems.

First Lieutenants, Essa Ahmed, left, and Mohammad Al Badwawi survey traffic on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road. Reem Mohammed / The National
First Lieutenants, Essa Ahmed, left, and Mohammad Al Badwawi survey traffic on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road. Reem Mohammed / The National

DUBAI // Traffic police are introducing measures to ensure that drivers who flout road rules will have nowhere to hide.

They plan to update patrol cars with 360-degree cameras, double the number of CCTV units and instal more radars.

Newer vehicles in the traffic department’s fleet are being fitted with 10-camera video systems on their roofs.

The system covers all directions and captures high-resolution footage of everything occurring in the vehicle’s vicinity.

Cameras pointed in only one direction occasionally miss vital evidence, said Maj Salah Al Hammadi of Dubai traffic police.

The new cameras will be linked to a system in the police car that recognises plates of drivers who have outstanding traffic fines exceeding Dh6,000, court warrants or are known for suspicious activity.

Traffic officer First Lt Easa Suwari said the system was just one of the measures police were introducing to catch traffic offenders.

They also include increasing the number of surveillance cameras fitted on buildings, bridges and hidden sites across the city to 6,000 from 3,000 by 2020.

Their footage is under constant watch by more than 100 workers at any given time in Dubai Police’s traffic control room.

Lt Suwari said that if an incident was obscured from surveillance cameras, all on-duty traffic police have body cameras for storing video and audio records of conversations with offenders.

This is to protect the police and the offender, and provide evidence if required, he said.

Maj Al Hammadi said the measures were the latest efforts to help police achieve their goal of no road deaths by 2020. “We might not get there but if we get to one or two we’ll still be happy.”

Chief on officers’ list of the most-wanted are reckless speeders, tailgaters, swervers and those who used phones while driving.

The number of road accident deaths have almost halved in the past seven years, from 298 in 2008 to 158, but the department was determined to go further.

Maj Al Hammadi said Dubai now had more than 500 fixed-speed radars, which would be increased.

Meanwhile, he said the public could help police to reduce traffic offences by being their “eyes and ears” in the community.

Maj Al Hammadi encouraged residents to use the Kulluna Shurta (“We are all Police”) service, which relied on reports from the public and incidents caught by surveillance cameras across the emirate. People use the service by calling 8004353 or by visiting dubaipolice.gov.ae.

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For more:

Life of a Dubai traffic cop is anything but average

Dubai Police officers reveal biggest pet hates when it comes to traffic offences

Dubai traffic officers opt for friendly approach with offenders, as safety is top priority

A day in the life of a Dubai traffic police officer - in pictures

newsdesk@thenational.ae