Motorists beware: 100 more locations added in Dubai for speed cameras

Don’t run the risk of beating speed cameras in Dubai - authorities warn that speeding up to beat flashing green signals could get you a fine.

A speed camera on Al Wasl Road across from Safa Park in Dubai. The emirate is currently installing 100 new radar speed camera stations on its roads, but only 24 will have cameras in them. Antonie Robertson / The National
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DUBAI // Of the 100 new radar speed-camera stations being installed on Dubai roads, only 24 will actually contain cameras, police said.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) confirmed yesterday that it was installing 100 new radar speed-camera stations – the grey boxes that house the emirate’s speed traps – but said that it was up to Dubai Police to install the cameras.

Dubai Police said they plan to install only 24 new radar cameras, and that these would be activated only in May.

In 2011, more than 1.5 million speeding offences were recorded by radar cameras, the Dubai Statistics Centre reported.

That figure represented a leap of about 115,000 on the previous year, when 1.4 million speeding offences were recorded.

Included among the new radar cameras are those at traffic lights to catch drivers who speed up to catch the green light or jump a red light.

Dubai Police only recently calibrated the cameras at traffic lights to give them the ability to catch drivers who speed up on a flashing green signal to make it through an intersection.

Within weeks, police said they registered “thousands” of fines.

Although the offenders were caught during a testing phase, a spokesman for Dubai Traffic Police said the fines would be levied because these drivers had been caught breaking an existing law –  speeding.

Anyone travelling more than 20kph over the limit to make the light could have their car impounded while those going less than 20kph over the limit would face a Dh500 fine.

In 2011, 19,000 fines were issued for jumping a red light in Dubai – 1,200 more than in 2010, according to the Dubai Statistics centre.

In the same year, motorists jumping red lights were responsible for 199 accidents, and 63 accidents were caused by speeding.

The foundations, or casings, for speed cameras are managed by the RTA. Maitha bin Adai, chief executive of the traffic and roads agency at the RTA, said it had installed 450 radar stations, and 230 intersection camera stations.

However, not all of these contain cameras.

"In coordination with Dubai Police we have installed 320 radar speed cameras and 156 intersection cameras.
"It is imperative to review our law and compare them with the best international standards on a regular basis if we are to raise the safety standards on our roads."

With additional reporting by Thamer Al Subaihi