Dubai: 5-meters Safety Rule Not Enough


Dubai imposed a new five-meters rule for safety distance between cars, to reduce tailgating – which is the 3rd biggest killer on UAE highways. 

The new radar enforcement is being designed to reduce crashes caused by tailgating, said Maj Gen Mohammad Saif Al Zafein, Assistant to the Dubai Police Chief for Operations Affairs.

As part of its new “Keep a safe distance” campaign, Dubai Police will usher in new fines of Dh400 (around USD109) in July for tailgating motorists who are photographed by radars driving within five meters of vehicles ahead of them. The measure is the first step in the fight against tailgating, an endemic problem that claimed 26 lives in Dubai last year and another 11 lives so far this year, say police.
However, Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, said that while this initiative is on the right track, the minimum 5-meter distance needs to be increased by up to eight times to reflect standard safety distances abroad.
“Five meters is OK in stop-and start traffic,” said Edelmann, “but if you’re going 100 kilometers on Shaikh Zayed Road... 5 metres does not make any sense”.
Robert Hodges, CEO of Emirates Driving Institute, is an internationally recognized road safety expert said, commended this initiative as a good start, but also recommended police to study stretching the 5 meters to a greater distance.

“My professional opinion is that five seconds is nowhere near enough. Road safety experts around the world maintain the two- to three- second rule”, said Hodges.

The 2-second rule, for example, shows that a driver who leaves 2 seconds of travel time at 80km/h between their own vehicle and the car in front of them creates 44.5 meters of distance, which is a universally accepted safety gap in which to safely stop in the event of an emergency.
“During the 2 seconds, it will take the human brain 1 second to analyze and react and another second to do the braking that needs to be done,” Hodges told Gulf News on Wednesday.

" title="" target="_blank">2-second rule video by Kunhadi
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