Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cut Speeding in Fujairah by Setting Speed Cameras at Lower Limits

The Fujairah Police are installing more speed cameras to reduce deaths and injuries but in their current review of radar equipment it would be good to look at setting the cameras to click at lower speeds.

Currently the fixed and mobile cameras in Fujairah give a generous measure of grace to speeding drivers.

According to a speed camera operator on Faseel Road (between the Hilton Hotel and the Beach Motel) where the limit is 80 kph, the camera doesn’t click until you are driving at 91 kph.

Another operator, who had hidden his camera behind a rubbish bin on Hamad bin Abdulla Street (Fujairah’s main street), said that his camera takes the picture when a car goes 91 kph even though the speed limit is 60 kph. What a big margin for error! He mentioned this soon after clocking one car at 118 kph hurtling down Fujairah’s main street towards the corniche!

Current Remedies
Installing more cameras seems to be the answer all around the UAE and installing them on every major highway at two kilometer intervals.

Some years back it was declared that every effort would be taken to hide cameras in order to catch ‘arrogant drivers’.

The strategy to move around mobile cameras is being tried to catch those who customarily speed and slow down when they come to a fixed camera.

More Effective Cameras
A further way to try and curb speeding has been to install a new model of camera.

A brochure advertising the highly sensitive and precise Sensys SSS speed cameras says that the cameras only flash at night or in low light. They are so effective that they can track a car from 150 metres away so braking just before and after passing a camera does not work. It ‘sees’ you before you can see the camera and say ‘Cheese’!

These new cameras also capture vehicles on both sides of a road and can monitor trucks and cars separately.

The cameras are linked to the control room and such is the clarity of their photos that the police can see whether or not the speeding driver is wearing a safety belt. It does not pay now to drive without a safety belt and speed at the same time.

Amazing Grace
On the Abu Dhabi—Dubai road the speed limit has been stated as 120 kph but the oral tradition is that the cameras only take a picture at 140 kph.

Similarly, on the accident prone Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai where the limit is 100 kph, it is stated that a 20 kph grace limit operates so that the picture is taken at 121 kph.

In New Zealand where a motorist was clocked by a speed camera driving at 55 kph in a 50 kph zone he appealed saying that there should be an 8 kph tolerance allowance. The judges threw out his appeal and maintained the fine saying that “as a matter of law, there was no tolerance to driving in excess of the speed limit.”

Limited Grace
A tolerance allowance of 20 or 30 kph on Fujairah roads seems excessive in light of car accidents being the number one cause of death in the emirate.

Show grace by all means but 5 kph is sufficient!

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Image: A conventional fixed speed camera on Faseel Road (parallel to Fujairah's Umbrella Beach) going toward the Beach Motel; a mobile speed camera on Faseel Road designed to catch speeding motorists heading towards the Hilton Hotel.

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