New traffic cameras to catch out tailgaters go live in Abu Dhabi this week

Abu Dhabi Police is cracking down on road offenders

Abu Dhabi Police reminded motorists that new traffic cameras detecting tailgating will be introduced this week. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
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Police in Abu Dhabi are closing in on reckless tailgaters with new traffic cameras to catch out offenders being rolled out in just two days.

The force released a video on social media on Monday putting motorists on notice that the monitoring technology will be activated on the emirate's roads from Wednesday.

Police said last week that drivers who did not leave a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them would be sent a text message warning them that they would be fined the next time they tailgate.

If caught again by the smart system, motorists will be given a Dh400 fine and slapped with four black points on their licence.

It is unclear what distance the cameras will deem to be tailgating but it will likely depend on the speed limit on the road.

Speaking last week to The National, Captain Mohammed Al Eisaei, head of traffic studies and research at Abu Dhabi Police, said the move aims to reinforce good behaviour on the road.

“Tailgating was one of the most influential reasons for serious accidents in 2018 and 2019,” said Captain Al Eisaei.

He said that motorists should use the 'two-second-rule' to avoid tailgating.

“A safe following distance behind any vehicle is generally known as the two-second-rule; the rule is that a driver should ideally stay at least two seconds behind any vehicle that is directly in front of his or her vehicle,” he said.

“The two seconds rule is useful as it can be applied to any speed,” said Captain Al Eisaei, “Drivers can find it difficult to estimate the correct distance from the car in front, let alone remember the stopping distances that are required for a given speed.”

“The two-second-rule gets around these problems and provide a simple and common-sense way of improving road safety,” he said.

Safe distance dots will be marked on two highways connecting Abu Dhabi with Al Ain and Dubai to encourage motorists to drive more safely.

“The safe distance dots along with the relevant signs, shall provide clear directions to drivers on what the safe following distance is,” said Captain Al Eisaei.

“It is important to know that automated enforcement of tailgating violation via speed cameras will register aggressive drivers only,” he said.

Police said an awareness campaign about the new cameras and the dangers of tailgating will be introduced in five languages.

A study conducted last year by UAE University showed tailgating and reckless driving caused half of all traffic accidents between 2012 and 2017. It also revealed that most of the culprits were drivers aged between 18 and 24.

While a quarter of young drivers surveyed by Road Safety UAE last year admitted to tailgating other vehicles.