Abu Dhabi: Speed limits on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai and Abu Dhabi-Al Ain highways will remain at 160km/h until local authorities issue further directives, a Ministry of Interior source told Gulf News.

The speed limits on these two highways were initially increased from 120km/h to 160km/h in May for six months on a trial basis as part of an Abu Dhabi traffic development project being carried out by a Swedish firm.

According to the source at the ministry, the pilot project by the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) is almost complete and the proposals are awaiting approval from Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Interior.

As part of the project, speed limits on many other roads and highways between Al Ain and Suweihan were increased from 120km/h to 140km/h.

"The revised speed limits of 160km/h and 140km/h will remain until the minister issues a directive after studying and approving the proposals concluded under the project," the source added.

The project is being carried out with the support of the Emirates Driving Company, which signed the agreement with VTI on behalf of the ministry.


The main task, the source said, is to understand the present situation regarding speed limits and the overall traffic situation in Abu Dhabi to help work out a programme for the new speed limit system.

After the project, the types of penalties will also be revised according to the survey results and analysis, he said.

The fines may be structured more to create an awareness than to punish. Effective fines will be introduced to help educate motorists about road safety.

For example, violators of traffic rules could be required to attend driver-training classes at the Emirates Driving Company as a form of punishment.

Radars help to curb accidents

Police say radars have helped in curbing accidents to a certain extend.

According to teh Abu Dhabi Traffic and Patrols Department, 142 people were killed and 2,416 injured in road accidents in the city and its suburbs last year.

The figures show 55 of the dead were youths in the age group

18 to 20, followed by 47 deaths in the age group 31 to 45.

However, the report shows a drop of 24 per cent in deaths from 186 in 2003 to 142 last year.

It also shows a drop of 22 per cent in the number of accidents last year compared to 2003. The 2,558 death or injuries, according to the report, were caused by 445 accidents.