Traffic Fines

Old Jan 27th 2020, 6:56 am
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Default Traffic Fines

In > 250,000 miles driven over 17 years in the UK, I had never had a traffic fine and never had an accident. Then I moved to the UAE.

I've been driving over here for 9 months, and thankfully not had any bumps as yet, although countless near misses. Rarely does a trip down the E11 not see some 4x4 driven by a GCC national do something crazy and dangerous. Saudi plated cars are the worst, but I've heard a lot about (lack of) Saudi driving standards. Generally the UAE standards are mostly OK, but the key word is mostly, in the same way a derelict building might be mostly water tight. The "road arrogance" of some drivers in this country never fails to astound me, and road manners/courtesy is something that simply doesn't exist. If you get stuck out of lane approaching an unfamiliar junction, you are going on a detour as not much that chance anyone will let you in, and I've been driven off the road (I drive a Lancer) a few times

I did read an article saying that GCC nationals were involved in 85% of serious car accidents, but that article seemed to be removed from the new site between me reading it in the morning, and arriving at work 1hr later. I've no issue believing that.

However, I'm sure this has been discussed 1000000000 times before.

I keep getting traffic fines.
  1. I find it very easy to not know the speed limit on some roads - unlike the UK, I have found that trusting the speed of the traffic to be a very unreliable barometer of what the actual speed limit is. Quite often the limit is unclear or not what you expect it to be.
  2. I find cameras are really designed to catch you - we accuse this in the UK a lot, but over here it really seems to be totally true. Several times I have been caught now (at night) with cameras placed very soon after a speed limit change on a highway - it is very frustrating as I am slowing, as soon as I see (and can read) the sign, but it's coasting to slow (as is my natural style), rather than use the brake.
I don't consider myself to be a bad driver (usually the flag for 'I am a really bad driver'), I try to observe the speed limits, but..... keep getting fines. Is this just part in parcel will the lazy policing of road traffic in the UAE (relying on cameras - which give no context to the offence) and something we have to grin and bear - or is there any apps that can help me with this?

I do need to do quite a lot of miles with work, and often exploring new roads - but being able to prevent the 2 - 4 fines a month would help me a lot.

Any tips?

Last edited by JohnRFulton; Jan 27th 2020 at 7:28 am.
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Old Jan 27th 2020, 7:04 am
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Default Re: Traffic Fines

I've been here 10 years and got my first fine last week. Just saying...
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Old Jan 27th 2020, 7:11 am
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Default Re: Traffic Fines

Use Waze. It tells you the speed limit and where the cameras are.
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Old Jan 27th 2020, 7:13 am
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Default Re: Traffic Fines

More interestingly, is that the new tailgate cameras will fine both the tailgator and the tailgatee for not getting out of the way.



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Old Jan 27th 2020, 7:24 am
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Default Re: Traffic Fines

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
More interestingly, is that the new tailgate cameras will fine both the tailgator and the tailgatee for not getting out of the way.
I read this.

Very often you find yourself, travelling at the speed limit, overtaking vehicles - with somebody (usually a Patrol/Landcruiser) right up your ****, flashing and wanting past.

Do you want me to brake, slow down 30kmph, filter into the right lane, just to let you past - because.... that is what I need to do in order to let you past. Not doing this, will it be a fine-able offence?

Don't get me wrong, particularly on the E11 you do find people doddling along at 120-130 kph in the left lane, with 3 empty lanes to their right. I refuse out of principle to under-take. You can be stuck behind for 10-20-30 km quite easily before they decide to move over.

I do find the approach to policing the road quite lazy in this country. Cameras work for some things, but there is no substitute to a trained traffic officer who is able to apply common sense to a situation.

I use Waze btw, I just find it unreliable.

Last edited by JohnRFulton; Jan 27th 2020 at 7:29 am.
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Old Jan 27th 2020, 7:36 am
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Default Re: Traffic Fines

several speed tickets a *month*?!? Wow! Just drive a bit more slowly!
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Old Jan 27th 2020, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by FriendlyExpat View Post
several speed tickets a *month*?!? Wow! Just drive a bit more slowly!
Most of these are as a result of being caught out, usually rural. Doing 100 in an 80, thinking it is a 100, or not noticing the speed has changed from 100 to 80.

I find the cities easier to drive in than the towns and rural roads. I don't think I've been triggered much - if at all - in Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

To be fair, my first 2 months here I was triggered 8 times. The next 7 months I've been triggered 8 times. Not having cruise control doesn't help on the empty roads.

I'm doing about 5000 km a month

Last edited by JohnRFulton; Jan 27th 2020 at 8:01 am.
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Old Jan 27th 2020, 9:12 am
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Default Re: Traffic Fines

Originally Posted by JohnRFulton View Post
I'm doing about 5000 km a month
That's shit loads of miles so you'll naturally get a few as part of life. Just carry on and ask for a pay rise to cover the fines.
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Old Jan 28th 2020, 1:36 am
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Default Re: Traffic Fines

The Saudi drivers coming to party in Dubai on the weekends, were why I said in the other thread that I didn't like to drive on the E-11 on Thursday nights. They can be really, really dangerous.

I did about the same number of kms that you do now, each month. You need to just slow down and be disciplined. I realise the temptation on those long straight roads is to just gun it, especially since that seems to be the flow of traffic.

The police are also quite clever about where they put cameras, for a while they were putting them inside beat-up, rusted-out old cars on the sides of the highways. Nobody thinks to slow down when they see one of those.

I was the opposite in that I vastly preferred country driving to city driving. I could not bear the Abu Dhabi traffic jams and the insanity of so many drivers in cross proximity. A couple of times I was actually run off the road right in the middle of town.



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Old Jan 28th 2020, 5:04 am
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Default Re: Traffic Fines

1) Political correctness means driving standards will never improve.

2) I agree 100% with JohnRFulton about radars being designed to punish normal people rather than speed maniacs. Dubai actually is better in this matter, as in most radars are designed to flash near traffic flow speed. Other cities are different -
wide 4 lane road with a radar speed of 80 kph? Or how about 60 kph in a 3 lane road without any pedestrian crossings? Or 80 kph at the bottom of a steep hilly 3 lane road ? you have to brake hard to ensure you do not get flashed

A maniac who drives at 180 kph and then brakes harshly before a radar is not made to pay anything. While someone getting flashed at 131 kph is a big bad driver who is "reckless due to overspeeding"

As for point 1, how many times I see Saudi plated cars speed up before a radar just to make to flash? Its amusement for them and the only reason they do it is because they know they will not be punished for it

The majority of fines I got are pretty much what he said - just after the speed limit changes on a road I do not frequently use
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Old Jan 28th 2020, 5:52 am
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Default Re: Traffic Fines

Over the years I have been here I think I've single handedly paid for one if not two of Dubai Police's fancy Police super cars!

Similar to you I often do high km.... prob averaged 4,500-5,000km a month over the last year. Also, like you these were mainly out of the cities. That said they were mostly on roads I know well in Sharjah, Fujairah, RAK etc.

Its a toss up to which was my worst month.... one was years ago where I got caught doing 160+ twice by hidden cameras. First time was the week after the DXB-FUJ highway had opened and the second was only a few days later on the old truck road in RAK where everyone drove flat out (that was one mental road). Both instance saw me receive a 1,000 dib fine, a lot of points and my hire car being sent on holiday for a month. As such, I ended up paying for 3 hire cars over that month plus the fines..... ouch. The second was last year when I was heading into AD quite a bit and they had just removed the 20 kmph grace.... unfamiliar roads and the change in approach (and me not automatically computing it) ensured I ended up with 9 tickets in one month! Again, ouch.

I did have one win tho. Again, it was years ago. I was coming out the back of Sharjah on my bike (GSXR 750) and was on an empty road and thought I'd give it a bit. I was just changing from 5th into 6th at something near warp speed when a camera appeared (and a rear facing one at that). There was zero chance of me even slowing so I went through it..... absolutely shat it for weeks but nothing ever came of it..... thank god as that would have been a mega fine / jail time.

All that said, I have been very fortunate over the last year to hardly receive any speeding fines which was a significant reduction from my 2-3 a month average. I'm not 100% sure why as I am still on the speedier side of normal but I have 'mostly' cut out going over 140 kmph and I actively try not to get drawn into an bullshit with the idiots in the LC's, Patrols etc. Travelling on familiar roads helps a lot too. That said, the biggest contributing factor to my ticket decline I think is due to my choice of listening pleasure. I have totally stopped listening to music now and just listen to audiobooks. These keep me nice and calm (unlike music which can get you jacked up depending on your genre of choice). I use Audible.com and get 2 books for something like 12 GBP. I then take the offer for an additional 3 for 17 GBP. If you choose right that can be 50hrs of listening, which for me is normally enough for the time I spend behind the wheel each month. Just watch out if you are tired tho as they can put you to sleep.

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Old Jan 28th 2020, 5:56 am
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Default Re: Traffic Fines

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
The Saudi drivers coming to party in Dubai on the weekends, were why I said in the other thread that I didn't like to drive on the E-11 on Thursday nights. They can be really, really dangerous.
When I was down on a project in Ruwais I would stay down there during the week and drive back on a thurs afternoon..... The KSA border road into Abu Dhabi was truly horrifying at times. Two lanes, lots of slow moving trucks blocking the RH lane and lots of Saudi's driving at 160+..... mental!
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Old Jan 28th 2020, 3:08 pm
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Default Re: Traffic Fines

Originally Posted by JohnRFulton View Post
Most of these are as a result of being caught out, usually rural. Doing 100 in an 80, thinking it is a 100, or not noticing the speed has changed from 100 to 80.

I find the cities easier to drive in than the towns and rural roads. I don't think I've been triggered much - if at all - in Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

To be fair, my first 2 months here I was triggered 8 times. The next 7 months I've been triggered 8 times. Not having cruise control doesn't help on the empty roads.

I'm doing about 5000 km a month
5,000km is a huge amount esp. without cruise control! And to be fair I know someone who's had 7 tickets in the last 2 weeks from the *same* newly installed mobile phone camera from their 8 minute drive into work...
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Old Jan 28th 2020, 4:37 pm
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Default Re: Traffic Fines

On my last visit the company give me a well dented, well used Hummer with the standard RSJ girders and bits of rusty chain hanging off the front and rear - first time I have enjoyed driving in the GCC, no issues cahnging lane. Also no traffic fines.
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Old Feb 3rd 2020, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: Traffic Fines

Got my first black points on Thursday. A MSPaint recreation.



Overtaking a couple of lorries somewhere about 10km from Ghayathi. Bedouin guy who collided with me was very shouty and aggressive. Police arrived, lots of shouty Arabic spoken and I ended up with 4 black points for swerving on the highway and an 1000 dh fine.

Neither car massively damaged, repairable but undrivable. Cosmetic and suspension damage.

Fair to say I feel a bit cheated. As I was in the work vehicle, the company I am working for are trying to sort it out for me, hence the MSPaint drawing - thought I'd share

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