Despite a Dh400 fine and four black points for tailgating, Impatient drivers continue to place others in peril by speeding and repeatedly flashing their headlights at cars ahead of them. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: Despite awareness campaigns and penalties against driving too close behind other vehicles, motorists tell Gulf News they are yet to see fewer incidents of tailgating on roads and highways.

Impatient drivers continue to place others on the road in peril by speeding, tailing too closely and repeatedly flashing their headlights at cars ahead of them, said motorists.

“I drive on the highway almost every weekend and from what I’ve seen, nothing has really changed when it comes to tailgating. It’s still happening all the time, with other cars coming behind you and flashing their lights in a dangerous manner,” said UAE national Khalid Al Hammadi.

With a Dh400 fine and loss of four black points for drivers caught tailgating, Al Hammadi said he would support stricter punishments.

The recommended safety distance between vehicles is 56 metres at 100km/h. “I think the police should have the authority to seize the person’s car if they find them tailgating. If there’s a harsher punishment, drivers will think twice about tailgating. I would support having more police patrols on the highway to be on watch against tailgating and other dangerous driving habits,” Al Hammadi said.

56metres

recommended distance between vehicles travelling at 100 km/h

Glenn Navarro, a Filipino resident, said that he would support more police patrols to act as a deterrent. “We already have a lot of radar technology on the roads to catch bad drivers, but I think if we have more of a police presence on the road in the form of patrols, this will make drivers abide by the rules.

“Drivers can see the radars and if they’re out on the roads a lot, they know where the radars are located and speed up in between these, but police patrols at random places will make it more difficult for them to do that. They’ll be less inclined to break the rules if they know there’s a patrol on watch ahead on the road,” Navarro said.

Martin Barlow, a Scottish resident who commutes daily to work, said he is subjected to tailgating on a regular basis. “It’s really the same as usual and just as bad. I have a powerful car and drive in the fast lane, but I still have other cars flashing their lights at me and coming on my hard shoulder to try and get past me.

“I believe the fines for tailgating should be harsher because this is an extremely dangerous thing to do. Along with increasing fines, I think a person’s licence should be suspended if they’re caught repeatedly tailgating; so, for example, upon strike three, the police can suspend a driver’s licence,” he added.

Rafeek Hydos, an Indian resident, said he believed that more awareness campaigns were needed instead of stricter punishments and suggested cooperation between the police and community organisations.

“I haven’t seen tailgating go down on the roads, but I don’t think more punishments and fines are the solution. Instead, we need more awareness campaigns. The police are already doing a lot of good work educating people about the dangers of tailgating and that work can be strengthened by getting community organisations involved.

“There are a lot of community groups in the country, with a lot of members and volunteers. They can provide help the police in getting their message out to the wider community,” he added.

Tailgating worsening, say respondents

The results of the latest survey of UAE drivers asked about road safety reflects concerns on tailgating.

According to more than 1,000 people surveyed in September, “59 per cent agreed that cases of tailgating have increased” stated the “Road Safety Monitor”, an independent study commissioned by i-Insured in partnership with RoadSafetyUAE.

The latest number was “up from 51 per cent found in the sixth cycle of the study” in March, the study reported.

According to the seventh cycle of ‘Road Safety Monitor’, an independent study, 40 per cent of the motorists surveyed felt that UAE roads have become more dangerous, while around 60 per cent said that they see in an increase in swerving between lanes, one of the major causes of accidents.