Abu Dhabi: Speeding motorists had better watch out! As many as 300 new mobile radars, which are not so easy to spot, have been deployed on the capital's streets.
With these sophisticated radars, called Snipers, traffic officials are hoping to slam the brakes on speeding drivers.
"In just two days, more than 250 motorists were fined for speeding," disclosed Colonel Engineer Ahmad Hussain Al Harthy, Director of Abu Dhabi Police Traffic and Patrols department.
Traffic police patrols and unmarked patrol cars have been provided with the new radars to help prosecute speed violators, he said.
"The radars, are part of a comprehensive strategy to curb traffic death toll and will be put to use round the clock."
They will cover the Abu Dhabi Emirate, including Al Ain and Al Gharbia (Western Region), Al Harthy noted.
Warning of harsh penalties for reckless drivers, he said 1,061 drivers were booked in 2009 in such cases. In addition, 185 motorists were charged with endangering others' lives and 447 for racing.
"Reckless driving, particularly speeding, continues to be a major concern as many deaths and injuries are caused by it," Lieutenant General Saif Abdullah Al Shafa'ar, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior, said yesterday. He was speaking after inaugurating the GCC Traffic week activities at Marina Mall.
Dubai to cut fatalities
Dubai is hoping to emulate some of the world's best cities with respect to campaigns that have sharply reduced road accident fatalities, said a senior official.
"Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has conducted studies to develop an integrated traffic safety strategy which is expected to reduce traffic accidents fatality rate equal to the level world's best cities by 2015," said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA.
Speaking after the launch of GCC Traffic Week activities in keeping with the theme ‘Beware of Other People's Mistakes,' he said that traffic awareness and safety were critical areas of RTA business.
Al Tayer said: "RTA believes that boosting traffic education and awareness among all road users is our foremost duty."
"The excellent cooperation and coordination between the RTA and the Ministry of Interior, Dubai Police and Driving Institutes has helped drop traffic accidents fatality rate in Dubai by 40 per cent in four years from 21 cases per 100,000 of population in 2005 to about 12.7 cases per 100,000 cases of population in 2009," he said, adding that various short- and long-terms projects had helped bring down accidents.
Anti-cellphone drive gains force
The latest statistics released by Abu Dhabi Police show around 4,716 motorists were fined this year for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving, making it the offence for which maximum number of fines were issued. "4,716 fines were meted out for using mobile phones while driving between the period from January 1 to March 9," Colonel Engineer Ahmad Hussain Al Harthy, Director of Abu Dhabi Police Traffic and Patrols department, said.
(With additonal inputs from WAM and Nasouh Nazzal, Staff Reporter)