Speed limits being changed in the UAE

I was disappointed to read in the paper this morning that the road from Dubai to Abu Dhabi will have its speed limit raised from 120Kmh (70mph) to 160 (100mph).
Apparently this is in response to people complaining that the numerous radars currently placed on that stretch of road are annoying and that since the road is so new and wide, a faster speed limit is a good idea.
I think this is a shame. Currently the Emirates is looking to improve its road safety and the reason the radars are on the road is to stop people speeding, as speeding is proven to be the lead cause of accidents in the UAE, as reported in the local news. The recent news on campaigns to improve traffic safety is very welcome and I think this speed limit change will be counter-productive.
The road may well be modern and wide, but having regularly experienced how dangerous it is having people speed down it, raising the speed limit will surely just cause more deaths.
Many people in the UAE have large, powerful cars that can easily do 220KMh or over. To illustrate this, on Friday I counted two new Bentley Coupes, 25 Range Rovers, 7 Hummers and numerous Porsches – and we only drove to a restaurant for lunch and then to a cinema after. There are also numerous cars that pootle along at 100. My favourite is the grandly named ‘Nissan Cedric’. One of the worst problems on this particular road is speeding drivers whose vision is blocked by a small stretch of road that’s higher than the stretch in front. Coming over a small rise, they find themselves suddently encountering someone doing the speed limit who was previously out of view and is probably sitting in the wrong lane, or overtaking someone who is driving in the wrong lane. I’ve been in the latter situation a couple of times and it’s scary.
Increasing the limit will also lead to more vehicles driving at vastly different speeds, which will also make things worse. My Wrangler’s about as aerodynamic as a brick, so 140KMh is the maximum speed it’s comfortable to drive at when on my way to Abu Dhabi. Having Land Cruisers and Patrols appearing out of nowhere, flashing their lights at me whilst doing over 160 is not a nice experience and I can see it starting to happen more often.
I do sympathise with people who want to go fast down this road. It’s straight, wide and new, with little scenery. Letting rip in your new Ferrari, Porsche or Lambo must be a real pleasure. That said, I sincerely hope the trial period mentioned, along with an apparent review by a Swedish road safety body, end with the limit returning to 120Kmh.

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