Dubai: As the monster fog enveloped the UAE for most of this week, you may be confused about changes in speed limits that you have heard of. During periods of fog, and other weather conditions that lead to poor visibility, the maximum speed on Abu Dhabi roads is reduced to 80 km/hour. The reduced speed limit has to be adhered to by all motorists, with violators facing fines. Here is all you need to know about the rule, which was introduced in Abu Dhabi in 2019.
How do I know when the speed limits have been reduced?
Abu Dhabi Police sends out alerts through various channels to inform motorists of a change in road speed limits.
1. SMS alerts
2. Electronic signboards and road signs
3. Social media alerts
On January 19, for example, motorists received a text message warning them of the foggy conditions.
“Abu Dhabi Police call on motorists to exercise caution due to reduced visibility during the fog and to follow changing speed limited displayed on electronic information boards. Drive safely,” read the SMS, sent as part of the Police’s new alert system.
How to register for Abu Dhabi traffic alerts
On January 9, Abu Dhabi Media Office announced the launch of the urgent alert feature by Abu Dhabi Police, which warns motorists about unstable weather conditions such as rain, fog, dust, and during traffic congestion, and help them pre-plan alternative routes.
How to enable the feature:
1. Download the ‘Abu Dhabi Police’ smartphone app, available for Apple and Android devices.
2. Click on the ‘More’ tab and visit ‘App settings’.
3. Enable notifications.
Once notifications from the app have been enabled, you will be able to receive alerts sent by Abu Dhabi Police.
Electronic information boards
The modified speeds are also displayed on electronic information boards — both overhead and temporary ones. The police authority also informs motorists of the change through its social media channels.
Radar limits also change
As the entire smart system is connected, once the speed limits are reduced, radars will automatically flash if you are driving above the speed limit. So, if the road’s speed limit has been reduced to 80km/hour, the radar will flash if a vehicle travels at 81km/hour.
Can I drive at the regular speed limit if the weather clears up?
Abu Dhabi Police closely monitors the changes in weather patterns, through its smart system. Once the road is deemed safe to drive at a higher speed limit, the system will alert motorists that the speed limit has returned to normal through the channels mentioned above. If you increase speed before the electronic boards or SMS alerts inform you of the resumption to normal speed limits, you may face fines.
To know more about the best driving practices in conditions of poor visibility, like fog or a rainstorm, read our detailed guide here.
Those found to be driving above the stipulated speed limit face fines, which can increase depending on how fast the motorist was driving.
Exceeding speed limit by not more than 10km/hour
Exceeding speed limit by not more than 20km/hour
Exceeding speed limit by not more than 30km/hour
Exceeding speed limit by not more than 40km/hour
Exceeding speed limit by not more than 50km/hour
Exceeding speed limit by not more than 60km/hour
Black points: 6
Exceeding speed limit by more than 60km/hour
Black points: 12