Dubai: Motorists who drive slow in the fast lane of the highway, posing a threat to themselves and to the lives of others, can be fined even if they are driving over the minimum speed limit, the Director of Dubai Traffic Police has warned.
“What many people do not know is that if the maximum speed of the road is 120km/h and the minimum is 60km/h, this means that the speed on the lane on the extreme right is 60km/h and the next lane’s speed will be 70km/h and so on until you reach the fast lane,” said Colonel Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, Director of Dubai Traffic Police.
People wanting to drive at lower speeds should keep to the slower lanes but most do not follow this rule and even drive at the minimum speed in the fast lane.
Many rear-ending accidents are caused by large differences in speed between vehicles on the road, Col Al Mazroui said. “A vehicle that is moving fast on the road suddenly encounters a vehicle going much slower and hits it because the brakes can’t stop the car in time.”
“Even if someone is driving on the road’s maximum allowed speed on the left, and the vehicle approaching from behind them is faster, they must give way to them. If not, they could be fined for blocking traffic flow or for not giving way for vehicles to pass on the left,” he said.
Blocking traffic and not giving way for vehicles to pass on the left both carry a fine of Dh200.
In 2013, Dubai Traffic Police issued 804 fines to people for not giving way for vehicles to pass on the left and 540 in the first five months of 2014. They also issued 104,935 fines for vehicles blocking traffic in 2013 and 71,211 in the first five months of 2014.
The fast lane is meant for emergencies, such as people who are trying to get to a hospital, and should be used accordingly, Col Al Mazroui explained. “No one has the right to drive in the fast lane if he is blocking the way of others, even if he is driving at 140km/h.”
If someone is blocking the way on the fast lane, he said, one can report them on 8007000 or 8004353, which also can be used to report any traffic violation.
No flashing headlights
One should not tailgate or flash their headlights at people driving slowly, Col Al Mazroui said, as it can confuse the driver and lead to serious accidents.
“There is a fine for tailgating and if the police officer sees that the driver was driving aggressively and in a way that can cause accidents, that driver could be fined for reckless driving and putting people’s lives at risk, which is Dh500 and a month’s impounding of the vehicle.”
The fine for not leaving a safe distance is Dh400 and four black traffic points. “The right way to deal with a slow driver is to notify them of your presence by sounding the horn once; if they do not clear the way, you should change lanes,” he said.
Col Al Mazroui added that they “urge people to abide by the speed limit and the traffic rules and regulations, as well as give way to other drivers, as some have emergencies”.