UAE speed limits: 20kmph buffer to remain

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on March 19, 2021 | Last updated on March 19, 2021 at 10.06 pm
Photo: Wam

No plan to unify speed limits, says minister as he addresses FNC member's concerns.

There is no plan to unify speed limits on roads across the country, traffic authorities told the Federal National Council (FNC) earlier this week.

ALSO READ: New radars to catch speeding violations in UAE

The speed buffer will remain in place, as they were designed depending on traffic flow for each emirate, they clarified.

Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior on Tuesday told FNC members that traffic authorities had set the speed limits on various roads based on technical reports by road and traffic engineers in each emirate to suit the movement of vehicles and traffic flow on those roads.

“The safety of people is the most important and it is always our top priority,” said Sheikh Saif.

The minister was responding to questions from FNC member Adnan Al Hammadi on why speed limits were different on some roads in the UAE.

Al Hammadi cited the example of Emirates Road, where the speed varies from Ras Al Khaimah to Dubai, with limit violators liable to different fine amounts.

He also noted that the minimum speed limits on some highways (60km/hr) was too low compared to the maximum speed allowed, stressing that it might disrupt traffic flow.

To avoid confusion and unnecessary fines, Al Hammadi suggested that the speed buffer should be cancelled on all UAE roads.

The speed buffer system has been in place in the UAE for quite some time and motorists were allowed to drive 20km/hr more than what is written on the road signs.

In 2018, Abu Dhabi removed the buffer system; however, it has remained in all other emirates.

Brig Hussein Al Harthi, deputy chairman of the Federal Traffic Council, said the speed limits were set in a way that suits the economic movement and commercial transport in certain areas.

He cited the example of Dubai, which has a large number of vehicles compared to other emirates, including many lorries plying on various roads despite having designated lanes.

According to Al Harthi, the number of vehicles on Dubai roads is 48.6 per cent of the total number of cars on UAE roads.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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