UAE - More than 13,700 motorists were fined for tailgating on Abu Dhabi roads during the first six months of this year, according to authorities.
The Abu Dhabi Police on Thursday said 13,759 violations had been registered against drivers for not leaving enough distance between vehicles from January to June this year. The errant motorists were caught by traffic officers and smart radars.
The new system detects the tailgaters for not leaving enough space between vehicles, and also the front vehicle for not giving way to the speeding car on the first left lane (if driving too slow). Both vehicles receive a fine of Dh400.
The tailgaters get four traffic points as well.
The driver's failure to leave a safe distance behind vehicles increases the risk of rear-end collisions as motorists may not be able to adequately control their vehicles in time if the driver ahead of them suddenly or unexpectedly stops," police said a statement.
The police added it had launched awareness campaigns that included displaying road safety messages on electronic bill boards on various roads, sending messages to drivers in different languages and through mainstream media and the police's social media accounts. The aim is to educate the motorists about the dire consequences of failure to comply with traffic laws and regulations, especially those related to tailgating.
"The campaigns are intended to reduce the negative practices committed by some drivers. Tailgaters intimidate other motorists by forcing them to veer off their paths. This is a very dangerous act which can cause serious traffic accidents," underlined police.
Thomas Edelman, managing director and founder of Road Safety UAE, had earlier told Khaleej Times that tailgating is a very dangerous behaviour and it is good that authorities are keen on catching the offenders.
"Over the last couple of years, tailgating has been the number three killer on UAE roads. Getting tough on tailgaters through the use of new technology to catch them so they can be fined is an excellent step," said Elderman.
"Not leaving enough space between cars is not only dangerous for the vehicle in the front but also for the tailgaters and the passengers as well as the vehicles around them."
He added: "It is a road etiquette not to bully the vehicle in front of you."
Elderman pointed out that to be able to slow down in time or even bring your vehicle to a standstill (if needed to have a clear view of the traffic situation), drivers should use the "three-second rule" under normal road and weather conditions.
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