Monday, September 27, 2010

Crossing the line

Here is a suggestion for an excellent moneyspinner that Abu Dhabi has yet to realise. Simply erect an enforcement camera that takes a snap of every vehicle driving on the breakdown lane approaching Maqta bridge.

Yesterday, my seventy-minute queue to travel five kilometres (at the dismal average speed of a 4.3kph walking pace) wasn’t in the least helped by the inordinate number of queue jumpers who razzed up the breakdown lane and pushed in at the end while the constabulary looked on. One of the overtaking masses clipped my door mirror. Somebody clearly doesn’t know how wide a Nissan Skyline GT-R is.

This morning I tried a different and improved route. Today the queue was only for ten minutes. In my boredom I counted cars. Three hundred. That’s one every two seconds, whizzing past me and the other queuers.

Given that driving in the breakdown lane allegedly costs Dh600 and earns six Black Points, some basic arithmetic suggests that fines of over a million dirhams could be collected in one hour on one breakdown lane.

An enforcement camera installation costs approximately Dh120,000 to install. It would pay for itself in under seven minutes.

Some sort of enforcement really ought to happen. Part of me is simply envious of those who don’t wait their turn and persistently get away with it. Another part recognises that shoving in actually makes the queue go even slower; queue jumpers are part of the problem, not the solution.

But my concern mainly relates to a friend whose wife was killed on a breakdown lane. She was changing a wheel and was hit by a car illegally overtaking on the hard shoulder. If these clowns aren’t dissuaded in some way, somebody will eventually kill someone.



Anonymous said...

Wow. Just wow. Boston drivers pale in comparison to abysmal Abu Dhabi drivers are.

Your revenue estimates discount the "Wasta reduction rate". That is, the number of tickets that would be magically wiped away by those with sufficient wasta.

The other alternative is to have intermittent blocks in the breakdown lane. Like a police car or something.

Neil Roberts said...

Agree 100%. Many studies have shown that the hardshoulder is the most dangerous place to be on a highway, I'm just amazed few people of been killed or seriously injured in this way. Many people in the UK, including truckers on the inside lane, will pull half onto the hardshoulder to stop these idiots. I suspect here, they would just swerve around you at 160kmph, probably taking your rear wing with them!

Mme Cyn said...

Of course the problem with blocking the breakdown lane is, well, breakdowns. If you've ever been forced to use one, you know how valuable it is to have one clear.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be a shame if that large bage of home-made caltraps sitting on your passenger seat accidentally flew out of the open window (it's certainly getting cooler now) and landed srewn around the hard shoulder during this rush-hour period. Damn I'd love to do that one day... sadly it would also catch out the innocent breakdown victim.
Cheers GlabrousDiver


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