Thursday, January 13, 2011

Abu Dhabi Speeding

I've realised it's been a long time since I blogged about driving in Abu Dhabi. I actually think I have become partially immune to the madness, because I don't come home every day thinking how lucky I am to be alive. I've become de-sensitised to it all. According to Caz, I have also started to adopt some of the local bad driving habits. I think maybe I have partially - it's a case of "if you can't beat them, join them" sometimes! And if you can drive down the highway at 100 mph at no risk to anyone else, knowing that you won't get flashed by speed cameras - why wouldn't you!

I am totally unfazed now by the flashing tailgaters on the highway. I just sit there in my lane if I am overtaking and move over when I choose to do so, not when they try to force me to. There is the occasional one where I do get out of their way because they are quite clearly psychopathic and will literally ram your car off the road because they have no fear/intelligence/respect/problem buying a new car if theirs is wrecked.

If I get the chance to block someone who blatantly has driven past the queue of traffic to barge in at the last minute, then I certainly will. Mind you - I would do that at home too, it's just it happens more frequently here. I just can't stand the "get out of my way because I am more important than you" attitude. In the UK you might shout "do you think you own the road!" - here, the answer could be possibly be "yes". Mind you, at home you might also get punched or stabbed.

There is a news story running here that they are cutting the "buffer" that allows you to drive up to 20kmph over the speed limit without penalty. In residential areas they are cutting limits to 20kmph (ridiculous) and 40kmph with no leeway.

They are doing this because they believe it will save many lives.

“I think this is a positive step forward,” said Mustafa Issa el Wazani, a senior engineering inspector at the National Transport Authority. “If we implement this correctly, it will have a huge impact in terms of safety.”

When are they going to do it?

The changes will take effect in two years’ time in an effort to reduce speed-related accidents, Brig Gen Hussein al Harethi, the head of the Abu Dhabi Police Traffic and Patrol Directorate, said yesterday.

In two years time! Deeerrrr! Why? If it is going to make such a great difference - do it tomorrow, next month - but don't leave it 2 bloody years!

They have already declared publicly that the highway speed limits and the speed at which cameras are set (also public announced - another FAIL!) will not change. Hooray I say. I am not a believer in the phrase "Speed Kills" when applied to highways. Poor lane discipline kills. Idiots kill. Not using mirrors kills. Driving on worn out tires kills. Driving with a family of 9 in your Nissan Tiida kills. Driving at speed in fog kills. Speeding per se, does not kill.

Here endeth the lesson.....Amen


  1. My wife has also commented on how my driving has changed. A thorough beeping that I gave someone not following the light prescribed to his lane (he was blocking traffic going straight because he wanted to turn left) was the source of a frosty few hours at home.

  2. Aaron.. I would have done the same! The worst place for this is on the Corniche heading towards Emirates Palace, where there is a lane on the left for U-turning before the left to Airport Road... there is ALWAYS some idiot who blocks the second lane from the left waiting to U-turn when that lane is on green to go towards Airport Road..... Geeesh it's annoying. The other place they do that is earlier on the Corniche just before the Corniche bridge turning left to Capital Hotel.