ABU DHABI // Drivers jumped red lights nearly 4,000 times in the first two months of the year.
They were caught by Abu Dhabi Police’s new no-flash cameras installed at major junctions in the city.
Offenders are fined Dh800, eight black points go on their licence and their vehicles are confiscated for 15 days.
The aim of the new cameras is not to make more money from traffic fines but to maintain driver and pedestrian safety and increase compliance with traffic laws, said Col Khalifa Al Khaili, director of traffic engineering and road safety at the traffic police.
He urged drivers to observe traffic rules, slow down as they approach traffic lights and junctions and avoid increasing speed when traffic lights change from green to amber.
The number of road deaths caused by drivers jumping red lights fell to six last year from 13 in 2012, and the number of deaths from speeding fell to 14 from 25.
In 2012, 9.3 per cent of severe accidents in Abu Dhabi were caused by drivers going through red lights.
The new cameras use an infrared light without a flash to detect offences including driving through red lights, vehicles crossing pedestrian lines, excessive speed and making turns or U-turns from the wrong lane.
They cover more than five lanes in each direction, scanning licence plates of all passing vehicles.
They can also determine the number and classification of vehicles and the average speed, as well as identify the number and direction of pedestrians crossing at red and green lights.
The advanced monitoring system has enabled the traffic police’s experts to continuously assess junctions and how they affect road safety, Col Al Khaili said.
The system is directly linked to a text messaging system that alerts motorists about road conditions.
The cameras are part of the traffic department’s monitoring project, which started in 2012 with cameras at more than 150 junctions in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Gharbia.
Last week the traffic police chief Brig Gen Hussein Al Harthi announced plans to instal additional cameras at traffic light junctions to capture images of red light jumpers.
Fifty of the 150 junctions with traffic lights in Abu Dhabi have already been fitted with these cameras.