Traffic, road behaviour better in last 6 months... but tailgaters still run amok

Traffic, road behaviour better in last 6 months... but tailgaters still run amok
Better road infrastructure in the UAE has helped cut down commute times dramatically, according to 63 per cent of motorists surveyed for the YouGov survey. - File photo

Dubai - The improved conditions also include better road infrastructure and shorter commute times.

By Sherouk Zakaria

Published: Wed 7 Sep 2016, 7:07 PM

In a positive turn of events for local traffic statistics, traffic conditions have improved countrywide over the last six months according to a large majority of UAE motorists. 
The improved conditions also include better road infrastructure and shorter commute times. 
The 3rd cycle of the UAE Road Safety Monitor, commissioned by Qatar Insurance Company and RoadSafetyUAE and carried out by YouGov, indicates that 78 per cent of the over 1,000 people queried across the seven emirates believe that traffic infrastructure has improved, with 63 percent of respondents saying they are experiencing shorter commute times now. 

Over half (53 per cent) said they have been enjoying driving on UAE roads in the past six months. 
Additionally, people's perception of dangerous driving has remained stable, at 55 per cent, while 75 per cent of say they notice less abrupt lane changing, and 65 per cent say there is less speeding. 
The only increasing and negative trend was tailgating, with 69 per cent respondents saying there are more tailgating motorists on the roads in the last six months. 
"With the results of three cycles of the UAE Road Safety Monitor, we are now in a position to start identifying perceived behaviour trends of UAE motorists, and not mere snapshots", said Thomas Edelmann, RoadSafetyUAE's founder and managing director. "It is very important to track these trends, as they shall help all involved stakeholders in the public and private segments as a feedback tool for their various education, enforcement and infrastructure initiatives."  

Opinions in opposite directions 
Some residents, however, are not so convinced by the results. 
Sharjah resident Sarah Abdelbary said she "strongly disagrees" with the claim that commute times have reduced. "I leave DIFC at 6:30pm to reach home in Sharjah at 8:45. My regular morning drive takes no less than one hour and 15 minutes, after I leave at 6:30am." 
However, another Sharjah resident, Thea Shengelaia, said: "The traffic from Sharjah to Dubai has improved. When I leave during peak hours, it is not as bad as before. The situation in Dubai has improved as well." 
Dubai resident Ahmed Al Yafei said the new infrastructure and roads added by the government "have certainly made some routes better." He added, "The new roads that irritated many people during the construction phase are finally showing results. The newly constructed bridge on Sheikh Zayed Road and the other one behind Dubai World Trade Centre has made a big difference in traffic flow." 
Another Dubai resident, Mathani Salah, agreed that traffic around Dubai has "slightly improved due to the constant road renovation and expansion." While traffic is still heavy, the roads enable a smoother flow, she noted. However, driver behaviour is yet to change. "Drivers are still in a rush and tailgate others to get to their destination as fast as possible. Awareness campaigns should be intensified in that matter," said Salah. 
Anete Thomas, a Sharjah resident, said that the traffic depends on people's behaviour on the roads. "I've taken the Sharjah-Dubai route many times during the same rush hour. When the police are monitoring the roads, there are fewer lane changes and people cutting in and therefore a smooth traffic flow. At other times, it's chaos... the same one hour and 15 minute drive could take up to 2-3 hours!"

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