Radar traps gunning for bad drivers in Abu Dhabi
More than 2,500 vehicles were impounded for being driven at more than 200kph in Abu Dhabi from January to August 31 last year.
Traffic police cameras and radars recorded 2,494 offences in August and September last year. Bad lane discipline, overtaking on the hard shoulder and taxis stopping at undesignated pick-up areas were the most common offences.
Police also urge drivers to leave a safe distance between vehicles to maintain safety and reduce traffic accidents.
"If a driver travels at an excessive speed, they are more likely to lose control of the vehicle," said Col Jamal Al Ameri of the Traffic and Patrols Directorate.
The number of cameras fitted to traffic lights and radar cameras installed on motorways has increased substantially in recent months.
*What are the speed limits and where are the enforcement cameras?
Between January 7 and February 12, The National counted the old and new radars and cameras on the island, the suburbs and the motorways.
The map shows the radars that record speeding offences, and the high-tech cameras installed at traffic signals to catch anyone running a red light. The posted speed limit is also displayed on each street and motorway.
While most of the new cylinder-shaped radars are on motorways, they can also be found on Dhafeer Street (31st Street), Baynounah (32nd Street) and on Corniche Road near the Etihad Towers.
Drivers will notice a high density of radar cameras on traffic signals at Maryah and Reem islands, compared with streets located on the main island.
People tend to speed on those streets, traffic-light junctions and roundabouts where there are no radars.
For instance, the speed limit after Sheikh Khalifa Highway bridge is 100kph, and increases to 120kph along Jubail Island bridge. Because of the absence of radars on this stretch, motorists drive at speeds of 150kph to 160kph.
Many drivers speed up when traffic lights turn from green to yellow at junctions without cameras, such as Karama Street between Hazza bin Zayed and Shakhbut bin Sultan Streets.
Zayed The First Street, in front of LifeLine hospital, Hamdan Street near the Burger King outlet, Salama bint Butti and Mubarak bin Mohammed Street between Hazza bin Zayed and City Gold Club, also do not have cameras to capture offences.
Drivers pose a risk to themselves and other road users in Khalifa City, Mohammed bin Zayed City, Shakhbut City and Zayed City where there are no radars to detect common traffic offences such as speeding and sudden braking when approaching a roundabout.
In the second week of January, 40 new radars became operational on eight motorways: Al Ghweifat, Al Ajban, Abu Dhabi-Dubai, Abu Dhabi-Al Ain, Yas-Saadiyat Island, Al Mafraq-Al Shahama, Al Raha Beach and Al Shahinat truck road.
These radars join the 10 new cameras that were fitted to traffic lights in Abu Dhabi the previous month, bringing the number of equipped junctions to 36. Those devices use state-of-the-art infrared, no-flash technology to capture offences.
In November, 40 radars were installed and activated on several roads in Abu Dhabi covering the Mussaffah truck road, Al Maqta Bridge truck road, Abu Dhabi to Al Ain road, Umm Al Nar, Al Raha Beach, Sheikh Al Maktoum Road, Airport Road and Sweihan.
The increase in the number of radars is part of a comprehensive plan to improve traffic safety based on five main elements: architecture, awareness, control, assessment and quick response.
These five indices are used to set speed limits on all roads in the capital and to introduce awareness and control programmes, said Capt Ahmed Abdullah Al Muheri, the head of traffic safety.
"In a well-organised speed-management strategy and the placement of speed cameras is only one element of the process," said Simon Labbett, regional director of Transport Research Laboratory, which has assisted in developing Abu Dhabi's road-safety strategy.
"Visible enforcement is helpful to remind drivers of the realistic chance of detection and penalty."
Enforcement on its own, however, is not an effective solution.
"Taking the motoring public along with the process and creating the issue of speeding to be socially unacceptable should be the ultimate aim of a strategy," he said.
Published: March 1, 2014 04:00 AM