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Speed limits reduced on Dubai's Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road, Emirates Road

Web Report/Dubai
Filed on September 14, 2017 | Last updated on September 14, 2017 at 07.10 am
Speed limits reduced on Dubais Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road, Emirates Road


The new limit will come into effect from October 15

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and the General HQ of Dubai Police had in September decided to reduce the speed limit on the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road and the Emirates Road from 120kmph to 110kmph across the sectors in Dubai of the above two roads.

The decision, which shall take effect as of October 15, 2017, has been taken as part of the two parties' efforts to curb traffic accidents and ensure the safety of road users.

Engineer Maitha bin Adai, CEO of Traffic and Roads Agency, RTA, said, "Lowering the speed limits on the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and Emirates Roads is a result of elaborate traffic safety studies and analyses of traffic accident data along with their causes over the past years. It resulted in addressing several traffic safety requirements such as pedestrian bridges, safety rails, and truck lay-by areas; which contributed to realising RTA's vision.

New signboards have been put up on the two major highways, informing the motorists about the new speed limits.


Why reduce speed limit

"The current capacity of the two roads is about 12,000 vehicles per hour per direction: 7,009 vehicles on Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road in the direction of Abu Dhabi where trucks account for 6 per cent of these vehicles. Traffic studies indicated the number of vehicles on the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road amount to 7,821 vehicles in the direction of Sharjah of which trucks comprise 12 per cent. On the Emirates Road, statistics show that the capacity of the Road in the direction of Abu Dhabi is 6442 vehicles (6% of them are trucks) whereas the number of vehicles heading to Sharjah is 3416 (14 per cent of them are trucks)," elaborated Maitha.

"The decision is mainly intended to curb traffic accidents resulting from over speeding, especially as the two roads witness huge volumes of heavy vehicles traffic in both directions. Controlling the speed limits is one of the most effective measures of reducing traffic accidents. The procedure of controlling the speed limits is based on several criteria highlighted by the design speed of the road, and the actual speed observed by the majority of drivers. It also rests on the extent of urbanisation on both roadsides, pedestrian traffic, availability of schools, mosques and other vital facilities. It also depends on the level of traffic accidents that took place on the road, traffic volume, and the high probability of serial accidents," she further explained.

Hotspots in Dubai

"According to traffic safety studies, several hotspots that witnessed recurrent accidents have been examined with the aim of taking corrective measures as per the speed management guide in Dubai.

This Guide includes flexible strategy and procedures for setting speed limits on roads at world-class standards. It also defines the relationship between the best speed limits and the smooth traffic flow, besides intensifying the basic engineering measures for addressing dangerous speeds. It also calls for intensifying advertising campaigns highlighting speed risks, increasing the use of the best traffic enforcement measures, setting principles for specifying speed limits and reviewing the existing speed limits.

"One of the key factors for controlling the speed limits in Dubai is through speed cameras (radars).

Accordingly, the radar tolerance or the difference between the speed limit and the enforcement speed, has been aligned with the world's best practices for the safety of lives of road users," continued Maitha.

Accidents on SMBZR and Emirates Road

Major General Eng. Advisor Mohammed Saif Al Zafein, Assistant Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, said, "The objective of reducing the speed limits on the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road and Emirates Road is to curb traffic accidents, especially fatal accidents, and step up the safety of users of both roads. Speed is a key contributing or associated factor for not less than 60 per cent of traffic road fatalities.

"Lowering the speed limit on the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road and Emirates Road is an outcome of extensive studies conducted by the Dubai Police and the RTA.

"During the first half of this year, the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road was the scene of 99 accidents resulting in six fatalities and 78 injuries. Last year, the road saw 196 accidents resulting in 33 deaths and 249 injuries. As for Emirates Road, it witnessed 40 accidents during the first half of this year resulting in 10 fatalities and 75 injuries. Last year, the same Road saw 86 accidents involving 29 deaths and 147 injuries," added Al Zaffein.

The RTA has succeeded in bringing about a quantum shift in the roads sector that merited the UAE to obtain the first ranking in the quality of roads worldwide over the past four years (2013 - 2016) according to the global competitiveness report issued by Davos Economic Forum.

It is noteworthy that a periodic revision of speed limits on some vital streets and highways in Dubai is made to raise or reduce the speed limits according to the condition of the road and the surrounding environment in coordination with strategic partners. 

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