UAE Fines Over 300,000 Motorists for Slow Driving in Abu Dhabi Last Year

asmaa - | Arab News

Last year, 300,147 motorists in the UAE were fined by traffic departments for driving below the minimum speed limit, a significant issue that has contributed to various traffic accidents.

Abu Dhabi's New Minimum Speed Limit

These statistics, released by the Ministry of Interior, highlight the dangers associated with slow driving on busy roads.

The federal traffic law stipulates a fine of Dh400 for those who drive below the minimum speed limit and fail to give priority to vehicles coming from behind or from the overtaking lane. According to this law, the right lanes are designated for slower vehicles, while the left lanes are reserved for faster and overtaking vehicles, ensuring a structured flow of traffic.

Enhancing Road Safety and Efficiency

In a bid to enhance road safety and traffic efficiency, Abu Dhabi implemented a new minimum speed limit of 120kph on the first two lanes of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Road in both directions in May 2023. This strategic move aims to prevent traffic accidents and improve traffic flow on one of the city's major highways.

The maximum speed limit on this road is set at 140kph, and the newly imposed minimum speed limit of 120kph applies strictly to the first and second lanes from the left. Vehicles unable to maintain this speed are directed to use the third lane, where no minimum speed limit is specified. This ensures that slower-moving vehicles do not obstruct the flow of faster traffic in the designated high-speed lanes.

Heavy vehicles, which typically cannot maintain such high speeds, are required to use the last lane. This lane is exempt from the minimum speed rule, accommodating the slower pace of these larger vehicles without disrupting the overall traffic flow. The differentiation of lanes based on speed capabilities is a measure designed to minimize the risks associated with significant speed discrepancies among vehicles traveling on the same road.

The enforcement of these speed regulations is crucial for maintaining safety and efficiency on the roads. Slow-moving vehicles in lanes designated for faster traffic can cause sudden braking and erratic driving behaviors from other motorists, leading to a higher likelihood of accidents.

By imposing a higher minimum speed limit in specific lanes, authorities aim to ensure that vehicles traveling at vastly different speeds are adequately separated, thereby reducing the risk of collisions and improving the smoothness of traffic flow.

Additionally, these measures help to streamline traffic, particularly on major highways where the volume of vehicles is high and maintaining a consistent speed is essential for preventing congestion. The introduction of a minimum speed limit is part of a broader strategy to enhance road safety and ensure that all drivers adhere to speed regulations that are appropriate for the conditions of the road and the capabilities of their vehicles.

The implementation of a minimum speed limit on certain lanes in Abu Dhabi reflects a proactive approach to road safety and traffic management. By fining drivers who do not comply with these limits and clearly designating lanes for different speeds, the authorities aim to reduce traffic accidents and improve the overall efficiency of the road network. This strategy not only protects the safety of motorists but also contributes to a smoother, more predictable driving experience for everyone on the road.

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