Dubai taxis given 60 seconds to slow down
Taxi drivers to pay fines for not responding to new system alerts.
June 20, 2013 5:45 by Muhammad Aldalou
A new monitoring system by the Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai will soon ensure that, if taxi drivers refuse to adhere to the stated speed limits on roads across the emirate, they will face the consequences in the form of a AED200 fine.
Yousuf Al Ali, chief executive officer of the RTA’s Public Transport Agency, says they are trying to “control the cases of speeding” and improve safety on roads. Bad behaviour of taxi drivers – which, according to his quote in Gulf News, includes speeding – is among the most commonly received complaints by customers.
The AMAN (safety in Arabic) system, to be implemented in all 8,007 taxi vehicles owned by Dubai Taxi, Cars Taxi, Arabia Taxi, Metro Taxi and National Taxi, will initially warn the speeding driver through an ‘alert sound’.
If the driver is unresponsive within 60 seconds, a ticket will be issued in their name.
Repeat offenders will receive a AED400 fine, followed by being referred to the RTA’s disciplinary committee, where appropriate action, ranging from blocking the driver’s ID for seven day to termination, will be taken.
While we at Kipp headquarters – with our fair share of nightmarish experiences with Dubai taxis and drivers in general – normally salute any campaign that helps curb recklessness on the roads, we find this one to be a bit of a head-scratcher.
When most vehicles on the road can easily accelerate from 0-100km/h in 10 seconds or under, we can’t help but question whether a sixty-second grace period for a speeding driver to slow down is still 57 seconds too long. If the driver happens to be moody or just plain rebellious, one can only imagine what could happen in the span of a minute.
We do applaud the RTA for their constant campaign efforts to promote safety, we really do. Still, we feel it’s our duty to play the devil’s advocate and point out one major, and rather obvious, flaw in the plan. What’s to stop taxi drivers from speeding recklessly for 30 or 40 seconds, switch lanes thoughtlessly and illegally overtake other vehicles, only to comfortably return to the legal limit with plenty of time to spare?
Only time will tell.
Do you feel this system will help deter speeding? Feel free to share your horror stories as well as your pleasant ones.