Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Smile - Your Are on Speed Camera!

It is becoming a big brother country with a lot of cameras on the roads these days. Certain roads have cameras for every 200m apart. It was reported few weeks ago that additional 450 speed cameras to be installed.

Worse or better, a new radar camera that can detect vehicles wanted for outstanding violations has been installed as well. The radar also can detect offences such as illegal overtaking, not using indicators and speeding.

The speed limit for major roads are 12okmph but it used to be like 160kmph (yes, I tried that speed every morning along sheikh zayed road before last week in the jebel ali area. Caught few times and recently a 400 Dhs fine!)

Police fined more than 1 million motorists from January to June, 2008, for traffic rule violations. The highest number of traffic violations was recorded in February with more than 270,000 traffic offences andan average of 9,400 per day. Last year, 2million traffic fines were issued. Speed cameras caught over 1.3 million drivers in 2007, fines totalled around 200 million Dhs.

Cameras do make a lot of money to the Police.

The new traffic rules as of 22nd of July issued as follow
Radar: 500 Dhs instead of 200 Dhs
Cutting a red sign: 1,500 Dhs instead of 500 Dhs for the first time & 3 days in jail for the second time.

All Dubai radars have been reset to catch if the speed is 10 Kmph above the street speed.
In other words, if the speed limit is 100 Kmph (like beginning of SHK Zayed Road ) drivers should not exceed 109 Kmph. [Before was if the road speed limit is 100 Kmph, the radar only was to catch if the speed is 120 Kmph]
Jumeira (Main Roads only) - The speed limit is 80 Kmph and radar will catch on 81 Kmph
Jumeira (Suburb Roads only) There are hidden radar cameras. The speed limit in these villas areas is 40 Kmph

Crossing the Yellow Line (Driving on the shoulder of a street)
A serious traffic offence committed by drivers, which is driving on the shoulder of streets (crossing the yellow line). As this is a grave offence and leads to reckless endangerment of the lives of other drivers as well as being a grave breach of Traffic Law, the Dubai Police has decided to take firm action to stop this kind of offence, which is as follows:
1. Impounding of vehicle for six months.
2. Applying the laws concerning fines and ancillaries thereof.
3. For those working as drivers, they must be deported and proof of deportation must be provided.
4. Six black points are given.
5. The driving license shall be withdrawn in case of committing this offence twice, and shall not be returned to its owner until he/she passes a difficult test and pays a fine of 3000 Dirham.
6. After all of the above procedures have been completed, the vehicle will be released.
Any offence will not be tolerated and the above penalties shall be applied to all offenders to preserve the safety of all drivers and users of the road, as well as to uphold the law.

And now Reckless and selfish drivers need to watch out because their movements will be tracked with the help of 20 new mobile video cameras, to catch people breaking traffic rules.

Stephen McBride wrote on Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Speed cameras are becoming more and more ubiquitous in the UAE. Dubai's Emirates Road and Sheikh Zayed Road in particular appear to be fully stocked with the speed traps. But are these cameras a solution to the escalating national accident rate. Are they really a deterrent?

The National recently reported Abu Dhabi had suffered 105 road deaths between January and April 2008. The BBC News website has claimed that Sheikh Zayed Road has “one of the highest accident rates per capita in the world”.
It would seem that if any nation is in need of speed cameras it is the UAE, but interestingly Swindon borough council in England, according to Reuters, last month voted to abolish speed cameras, as it argued they did not prevent road deaths. If this is true of Swindon, could it be true of the Emirates?
In the UAE most motorists would agree the roads are a chaotic free-for-all where accidents occur daily. The majority of road users are travelling a commonly covered route and know where the speed cameras are, enabling them to slow down to avoid the trap. Even if they do not notice the camera, the flash that accompanies every capture allows those travelling behind the offender at the same speed to slow down.

Other cameras, it would appear, are switched off and many more are clearly visible from a distance in daylight hours, especially since many roads in the UAE are long, straight highways. Even if drivers do not avoid the cameras and end up paying a fine, is there any evidence to suggest that being a few hundred dirhams lighter in the pocket really curtails speeding habits?

Swindon borough council’s critics would argue yes. The Wiltshire and Swindon Safety Camera Partnership, which operates their speed cameras, claimed a 69 per cent drop in deaths or injuries at the camera sites. The borough council’s arguments against the cameras were based on borough-wide figures that suggested an overall increase in fatalities since their introduction, but if the operators’ statistics are accurate then the cameras did do their job, and some other factors drove up traffic-accident occurrences outside the camera zones.
In the UAE, introduction of new non-flash speed traps are a sign that RTA is addressing the present cameras’ shortcomings. The new devices will not allow tailgating offenders the opportunity to slow down. This will lead to more fines and perhaps speeding will become too expensive a habit to indulge.
So the cameras’ critics would say the speed traps do not have the desired effect and tougher laws, harsher penalties and greater police presence should replace them. Others will say they have reduced fatalities, or they will suggest that it is impossible to make a determination of the devices’ worth and they should be left in place until definitive information can be gathered on their usefulness.