Dubai: Dubai Police are warning motorists the time may be nigh to slash speed limits to make roads safer.

The maximum speed limit may soon be reduced on Dubai highways from 120km/h to 110km/h while the minimum speed on highways will be increased from the current 60 km/h to 90km/h, said a senior police official.

Maj Gen Mohammad Saif Al Zafein, Chief of Dubai Police Traffic Department, told Gulf News yesterday that Dubai police have proposed a new plan to slash speed limits by 10km/h on the emirate’s main roads (which currently have a maximum speed limit of 120km/h) including Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road and Shaikh Zayed Road.

“Reducing speed limits on roads will reduce the number of accidents and traffic fatalities,” said Maj Gen Al Zafein.

“We are also working on reducing the grace speed limit granted which allows motorists on some internal and external roads to go an additional 20km over the posted limit without being fined,” he said.

Maj Gen Al Zafein said that the 20-km grace limit could be reduced to be only 10km. Driving on Shaikh Zayed Road, for example, would then be reduced legally to 110km/h.

“We are also proposing to increase the minimum speed limit on highways from 60km/h to be 90km/h which will also help in reducing fatalities on roads,” he added.

Maj Gen Al Zafein said that there are some roads in Dubai which do not allow any grace speed limit.

He said that the grace speed limit rules have been in place since 2011 for some specific kind of vehicles including mini-buses, trucks, heavy and light vehicles and taxis. “This rule will be implemented on all vehicles soon,” he said.

He said that the new initiative will help curb the number of traffic accidents.

Maj Gen Al Zafein said that police aim to reduce the rate of deaths on roads by 10 to 25 per cent this year.

He said the traffic fatalities in Dubai declined nine per cent last year with road accidents claiming 123 lives in 2012 compared to 134 in 2011. Traffic accidents, however, increased seven per cent in the same period.

“The decline in fatalities is attributed to strict policing. The police plan to reduce fatalities to zero per 100,000 of the population in the next seven years,” he said. Some 1,481 people were injured in 2,818 accidents last year across the emirate of Dubai.