A major accident on Emirates Road. Image Credit: Dubai Police

Dubai: The police on Thursday warned Dubai motorists against driving at excessive speeds on major highways, a violation that can lead to hefty fines and scores of fatalities.

Just a day after a series of road crashes were reported across the emirate, authorities said that overspeeding is now the leading cause of “serious” traffic accidents.

“We advise you to adhere to the legal speed limits,” the police said on Twitter.

At least four accidents occurred in different parts of Dubai on Wednesday between 7am and 9am alone, causing heavy backups and delays on major thoroughfares.

Speed limit violation has caused UAE drivers thousands of dirhams in fines in a year, and at times, in just a few hours. So far this year, more than 260,000 people have been fined for disregarding speed limits.

A tourist who rented a supercar in July racked up a total of Dh170,000 in fines in under four hours after he roared through Dubai’s roads, ignoring speed radars.

According to UAE laws, a driver exceeding maximum speed limit by more than 60 kilometres per hour can be slapped with a Dh1,000 fine and lose the car to impound.

From January to June this year, Dubai Police recorded 1,250 major road accidents that killed 23 people and injured 884 others. In the same period last year, there were 1,447 major road crashes that killed 76 people and hurt 996 others.

Sudden swerving was cited as the top cause of serious accidents during the period, claiming the lives of 23 people and hurting nearly 300 others.

Drivers of light vehicles who didn’t use their designated lanes were identified as the second-leading cause of road fatalities, followed by those who failed to maintain a safe distance between vehicles.