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Life in Dubai and its not so public Lores
Theres more to it than the eyes can see

Undercover police to target the boy racers

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Boy racers who are staging dangerous impromptu races on Dubais roads are firmly in the sights of a team of new undercover traffic police.

Brigadier Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, Director of Dubai Traffic Police Department, said a new road safety campaign launched by his office would provide the motivation for racers to stop.

'What these people are doing is illegal and we now have undercover police cars that can take control of such racers,' the top official said.

'We are also now using our radars to compile a record of those who drive above 50 per cent of the speed limit like racers and they may lose their driving licences. We will impound their cars and even confiscate the vehicles if they repeat the offence,' Al Zafeen added.

Dozens of young men and women say they race through Dubais traffic on a near daily basis in pursuit of 'glory', endangering the lives of those around them.

A 21-year-old, who would not be named, said he has participated in some 300 of such races in the past few months alone and there were thousands of bored youths like him who are always itching for the next race.

A 21-year-old Iraqi, Mahmoud Zaid, said: 'The races just happen.You pull up at a light, and you see a guy in a souped-up car next to you.You gun your engine, he guns his, and when the light changes, you take off.'

'We hit around 220 kilometres per hour, even in traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road. The race ends when one gets much more ahead than the other, or you get to where you were going, or just when you get bored with it,' he explained.

The drivers say because their races are small and unplanned, they avoid the police net on major racing implemented in February to stop large-scale illegal races that were organised on Dubai's roads.

'The [government] has not done anything yet to scare me off racing,' one young racer said.
'Even with radars, we manage. We all just slow down together, and then its a free-for-all after that. Radars are just obstacles, like other cars on the road,' added the racer, who says he races every day and has never been caught.
Racers said it would take stronger action to keep them off the roads – greater fines, threat of deportation or loss of licences.

The traffic police campaign, launched on Sunday, involves a greater police presence on the roads, the use of unmarked cars to catch offenders, recording licence plate numbers of dangerous drivers and heavy use of mobile radars, all of which will affect racers as well as other dangerous drivers, said Al Zafeen .

So far this month 12 people have been killed in accidents on Dubais roads and 91 have been killed since the start of the year. Last year an average of two people a day were killed in accidents in the UAE 292 in Abu Dhabi and 236 in Dubai many as a result of dangerous drivers.

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