UAE News Today : Politics

How Driving Slow Could Put You in Danger and Cause Accidents


Although the first lane should be kept clear unless necessary, UAE residents often use it to drive consistently within the maximum permitted speed limit.

Driving slowly is not always safe: when a car occupies the high-speed lanes and does not yield to cars behind, it can cause real problems.

According Dubai Police, the first lane from the left is reserved for overtaking cars and emergency vehicles. Although the first lane should be kept clear unless necessary, UAE residents often use it to drive consistently within the maximum permitted speed limit.

Veteran instructors like Mohammed Asif warn drivers about the dangers of hogging the first lane. He said:

“Staying in the first lane of the road at a speed below the designated speed limit often creates more chances for accidents than one might think.”

“People driving at 130 km/h in the first two lanes of a road at 140 km/h do not expect to brake suddenly to go below 100 km/h. Therefore, forcing other people to drive at your (slow) speed is irresponsible.”

Asif said.

The authorities have applied fines to prevent slow driving on high-speed roads. In April 2023, Abu Dhabi Police turned to X (formerly Twitter) to notify residents of a fine of 400 dirhams for driving less than 120 km/h in the first two lanes of a highway at 140 km/h. The fine came into effect on the Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Highway connecting Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

“It’s not worth the fines”

Basma, a 34-year-old Egyptian expat, was shocked while driving from Dubai to Abu Dhabi over the weekend and was notified of a fine she had received while in the first lane of a highway with a designated speed of 140 km/h.

“I wasn’t aware of the 120 km/h rule when I went to Abu Dhabi. At first I thought the message had been sent to the wrong person because I had only been fined before for driving above the speed limit, never below.”

Basma said.

Dubai Highways and Transportation Authority (RTA) and the UAE authorities advise residents to constantly monitor updates posted on their channels regarding regulatory changes to avoid inadvertent violations of laws.

“You hear drivers fined for speeding quite often, but it makes sense that slow driving would also be fined, as it could endanger drivers who are not expecting a sudden drop in speed. Not going at highway speed is definitely not worth the fine.”

Basma said.

Never defy the rules

The best practice for road safety for yourself and other cars is to drive according to the rules and conditions set for the road, said driving instructor Asif. He often advises his students never to specifically challenge established rules regarding the maximum or minimum speed limit on major highways or streets in residential areas.

“When we are on the road, we cannot always know the other driver’s thought process and we cannot always judge their behavior correctly. It is always better to give way to drivers who request it.”

Asif said.

Abu Dhabi Police regularly publishes road safety notices and warning videos on its social media for UAE residents. According to the authority, the minimum speed limit imposed on the Abu Dhabi Expressway was aimed at increasing the safety of all drivers and reducing the chances of accidents.

News Source: Khaleej Times


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