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21 February 2024

Single speed limit across all UAE highways: Dubai sets cruise ceiling

Dubai Traffic Police head, Major General Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, heads the Federal Traffic Council. (Supplied)

By Bindu Suresh Rai

A single speed limit across UAE highways is the latest proposal in the works at the Federal Traffic Council, in a bid to reduce the number of road accidents across the country.

Under the directives of Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of UAE, Dubai Traffic Police head, Major General Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, is leading this authoritative body to crack down on the traffic menace and bring reforms.

Speaking to Emirates 24|7, Al Zafeen discussed the single speed limit proposal, saying: “The idea itself is one that we have discussed on several occasions but stems from the idea that we are one single country, so why do we have different traffic rules, limits in different cities?

“We are not just looking to set a single speed limit, but also reduce the grace limit in certain parts to set unified radar setting as well; currently it is 20kmph somewhere, 30kmph elsewhere.”

Al Zafeen says the proposal would be especially beneficial to new drivers and GCC tourists who drive into the country and are often confused with the limit and the grace set “on say, Sheikh Zayed Road, compared to the Fujairah highway.

“A confused driver is more prone to making accidents; all it takes is someone to slam the brakes suddenly after realising he mistook the speed or the grace limit on one stretch of the highway.”

The Traffic Chief is also eager to reduce the grace limit on radar settings, telling this website earlier: “I have put forth a proposal to decrease the current speed limit on major highways across the emirate, from 120km per hour to 110kmph.

“This applies to all the arteries, including Sheikh Zayed Road, Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Road and Al Khail Road.”

Al Zafeen said the reason behind this proposal was to curb reckless speeding on the major highways, which is the number one killer in traffic offenses.

Earlier this year, the Directorate of Traffic and Patrols in Abu Dhabi lowered the speed on as both sides of Al Raha Beach with radars will be set to 121kmph in both directions from Al Qanat Bridge (the Channel Bridge) to Sheikh Zayed Bridge.

The new speed limit was proposed to help prevent all the causes that lead to traffic accidents, resulting in deaths and serious injuries, mere days after a 57-vehicle pileup saw 14 people sustain injuries.

The accident was caused due to a thick blanket of fog, serving a grim reminder of a similar mishap in 2008 when a 250-car accident took place on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway near Ghantoot where three people were killed and more than 300 injured.