post published 17-Aug-2021

Dear Thomas,

Thank you for your recent newsletter, which I always find an interesting read.

On the subject of tailgating, I am sure that I have raised this before, but the problem is lane control.

People in the UAE drive on the principle that there is a fast lane. a slow lane and a middle lane for cruising.  My understanding of the international standards of driving on highways is that, (unless marked “slow vehicles only”,  there is only one driving lane and two overtaking lanes.  The objective is to drive in the rightmost lane that is available to you, moving to the left only to overtake, and the. moving back to the right most lane.

In the UAE, everyone wants to be first! There is no consideration shown for other drivers, and so the majority of people cram into the left lane to overtake all the “slow-coaches” on the right.  Consequently the left lane becomes the most congested (and slowest) lane on the highway with everyone tailgating the car in front.

It is, frankly, ridiculous.  But with the rules of the road as they are, it is perfectly legal to stick to the right lane and pass all of the slower traffic which is hogging the overtaking lanes on the left.  (This is not the same as the offence of undertaking which involves a lane change to undertake on the wrong side).  I have driven many times between Al Ain and Abu Dhabi on the speed limit keeping firmly to the right lane and only moving to the middle lane when needed to overtake the occasional jingly truck.  In the meantime, passing all the tailgaters stuck in the left lane.

If only everyone moved over to the right, all of this chaos and danger could be avoided.  Let those who want to break the speed limits do what they like.  They can pay the fine!  Much safer to let them fly past you, than block the left lane.

It is the people who lack proper lane discipline who cause most of the problems on the road.  I feel such people should have their licenses suspended and not get it back until they have done another 4 or 5 hours training to correct their bad behaviour.  But sadly the traffic police only seem interested in issuing speeding tickets which are easy and profitable and can be done remotely from an office.

Kind regards,

Andy Woolford.