Abu Dhabi Police to reduce speed limit during hazardous weather from Sunday

The force is to cut speed limits during bad weather, such as fog and sandstorms

Abu Dhabi, UAE. March18, 2018.
Bridge workers and their bus take refuge at the ADNOC Samha petrol station due to heavy fog on the E11 highway.
Victor Besa / The National
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Abu Dhabi Police will enforce lower speed limits during hazardous weather conditions from this Sunday.

The force said reduced speed limits will be posted on electronic signboards on roads and sent out by SMS, the Arabic newspaper Al Bayan reported.

There was no mention of what the reduced speed limit would be, or whether it would vary depending on the severity of the weather conditions.

On March 17, Abu Dhabi police reduced the speed limit to 80kph due to severe sandstorms and winds that reached 50 kph in some places. Visibility was less than 2,000 metres on some roads.

The new policy has not been announced on the force's social media accounts.

Last November, Abu Dhabi's transport authority gave the green-light for a new safety scheme slashing speeds on roads during bad weather, such as heavy rain, sandstorms and thick fog.

The Department of Transport's traffic safety committee agreed a plan to cut speed limits to 80kph when visibility for drivers is reduced to 200 metres or less.

Motorists will be alerted to the reduced speed limits by notices on smart towers - structures displaying road messages - located on routes throughout the emirate.

The scheme will allow authorities to swiftly reduce limits and improve safety with quick effect during fog and dust storms.

A leading UAE road safety campaigner backed the initiative, but also called on motorists to use common sense and adapt to adverse conditions.

“It should go without saying that the speed limit has to go down and the distance between vehicles has to go up when visibility is poor,” said Thomas Edelmann, managing director of RoadSafetyUAE.

“The level of driver attention also has to go up as well. The main point is that speed should go down though.

“This is a great initiative and it is good to see authorities embracing technology to improve road safety and not just talking about it.

“This is also tangible proof of the technology that the UAE has to make these things happen.”