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Questioning the Need for Speed?

200 speed

Though six digit fines make for eye-catching headlines the socio-economic cost resulting from speed-demons' is a far more serious topic which needs more attention says Eva Fernandes.

September 16, 2012 7:29 by

Is it natural to read the heading of a story called: “Dubai VIP racks up Dh9.4m in traffic fines with 12,740 offences” and just shrug? Probably not, but then again if you live in the Emirates…


The story goes a ‘Very Important Person’ who owns “many” vehicles over the past year and a half has committed 12,740 traffic violations racking up more than Dh9.4 million in fines. Just last month, police had released a list of traffic offenders in Dubai which featured an unnamed Bangladeshi woman who owed  Dh201,140 fines for 257 violations.


In May, reports emerged of an unnamed UAE national woman who made it to the top of the first quarter of the year traffic violation fines (yes, there is a list for that) for racking up a bill of Dh134,040 in just four months.


A quick thumb through a variety of UAE papers will unfortunately reveal many other such record grabbing traffic-fines and with all the superlatives describing traffic records, one can’t help but consider whether we need a change in the focus of such stories. Consider the findings of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development which found car accidents cost the UAE nearly Dh17bn in socio-economic losses in just three years (2009-2011). Perhaps the proposed white points is not enough to change a mindset-but a more holistic attempt at education?

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