Police will tomorrow launch an anti-tailgating campaign to warn motorists of the risks of following dangerously close to cars ahead - a major cause of rear-end collisions. The Abu Dhabi Police said in a press release today that the call for impatient drivers to leave substantial space between vehicles would prevent deadly accidents and expensive wrecks. Maj Gen Nasser al Nuaimi, the secretary-general for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, noted that such road intimidation has caused drivers to speed and make fatal errors. Traffic safety is "the responsibility of everyone," Maj Gen al Nuaimi said, stressing the importance of traffic campaigns for educating the public about defensive driving and highlighting high-risk road behaviour. He appealed to all drivers to co-operate and help to make the emirate's roads safe. As part of the campaign, police will be patrolling the capital in undercover taxis, lorries and unmarked sedans. While they abide by the posted speed limits, they will have their eye out for speeding drivers who tailgate, honk at and flash their high-beams at the officers. Motorists caught bullying other cars by driving too closely behind can face fines of Dh400 as well as four black demerit points from their licences. Traffic authorities said travel distances between two cars in the same lane should take into account reaction times for the driver to first register a perceived hazard, and then respond by braking.
A travel distance of less than two seconds behind another vehicle can be dangerous. If the driver is tired, elderly or distracted, his or her reaction times could be slower. An adequate space cushion around vehicles gives drivers better views down the road. This can also lengthen reaction times, especially when road conditions are slippery due to rain or sand, when tyres may not respond as effectively.