Dubai is synonymous with man-made folly. Their Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, stands over half a mile high. They have manufactured islands in the shape of palm trees and continents. You can play tennis atop a skyscraper or ski in a mall. Now they’ve extended their fantastical designs to everyday functionality, with new garbage bins that track speeding cars.Dubai Municipality has come up with a winning solution for dealing with motorists whose road skills are trash by embedding mobile radars in faux trash cans. Don’t hold your nose at the idea just yet! One of the devices captured 35,000 speeding violations on Dubai roads in February and March alone.
In February, according to Khaleej Times, a unit placed on Al Fursan Road detected 22,903 cars travelling in excess of 90kmh; and 9,217 instances when reached 110kmh. The radar also detected 152 instances when motorists drove between 131km/h and 140km/h. Stunningly, 11 drivers were caught speeding in excess of 140km/h – a 130 per cent increase over the legal speed limit of 60kmh.
Major-General Mohammed Saif Al Zafin, Assistant Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Police for Operations, said the radar registers vehicles travelling in excess of 90 kmh on roads with a speed limit of 60kmh. That the municipality finds speeds up to 50 percent over the state limit acceptable is perhaps an indication of how widespread a problem road-racing has become.
The radar, which is moved around to random locations, has sparked public debate on social media. Drivers assert that their trash bin disguise sets a trap, resulting in costly and repeated speeding fines. One resident posted on an online forum that he was fined Dh820 ($223 USD). The police reply that the design of the devices ought not matter, as the aim is to enforce safe driving and save lives.
This radar is also capable of capturing other driving violations such as failure to use seatbelts and use of mobile phones by drivers. Don’t try slowing down t fool the devices. They can monitor speeds of cars in a 150km distance.
The land of Lamborghini cop cars has tried to lure drivers away from their wheels for a day each year. Training drivers to stick to speed limits may have further-reaching life safety results.