Starting from May 1, 2023, motorists in Abu Dhabi who fail to drive at a minimum signposted speed of 120km/h will be fined 400 Dirham ($AU162). The new minimum speed limit is aimed to encourage slower-moving vehicles to keep to the right-hand lanes, allowing for faster-moving traffic to travel unimpeded in the left lanes. The 62-kilometer stretch of the four-lane Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Road has a maximum speed limit of 140km/h with heavy vehicles restricted to a maximum of 80km/h in the farthest right lane.
Abu Dhabi Police conducted an online poll ahead of the introduction of minimum speed limits and found that 78% of the approximately 3,400 respondents were in favor of the new law. “Implementing the minimum speed is aimed at boosting road safety. It will urge slow vehicles to use appropriate lanes,” said Abu Dhabi Police’s Director-General, General Al Muhairi.
The new policy on minimum speed limits is expected to ease traffic congestion and improve road safety in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to a report in The National, the implementation of minimum speed limits is not new to the UAE; other roads have already seen similar limits put in place.
While this new law may be perceived as an unusual means of controlling traffic flow, it is a necessary step that demonstrates the UAE government’s commitment to ensuring public safety on its roads. The idea of introducing minimum speed limits is not universally popular, but it seems that the majority of motorists in the UAE are in support of this measure.
In most jurisdictions, traffic fines are levied for exceeding maximum speed limits or engaging in reckless driving. However, this new policy in Abu Dhabi contrasts with those in most other parts of the world, in that it penalizes motorists who do not drive fast enough. For those caught flouting the rules, the penalty of a 400 Dirham fine would serve as a warning to others who may be tempted to hold up traffic by driving too slowly.
In conclusion, Abu Dhabi’s introduction of minimum speed limits is intended to encourage better road manners among its citizens and improve their driving experiences. By establishing a faster-moving lane on the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Road, the government aims to reduce bottlenecks and make public transport more attractive to residents. While some may perceive the imposition of minimum speed limits as a harsh measure, it should be recognized as an important means of ensuring that drivers understand how to use the road safely and efficiently.