Gee, guess who got her very first UAE speeding ticket today? Yep, you guessed it, the speed demon pictured above in the Lexus.
I was busted in a section of desert that separates our neighborhood from the one where the kids' school is located. It's a small stretch with just a few roundabouts that I travel several times daily. I confess, I usually go just under 120kph on this road. Today, I was reminded it has a speed limit of 80kph. Why 120kph? Because, there are no speed cameras on this stretch YET. I'll throw in that most people go well over 120kph on the same road.
Yes, it's a really bad habit to base your speed on where you know the cameras are, but it happens. I know people (my husband) that can tell you where all the cameras are on most of the roads around here. Even if you don't know, they aren't forward facing in Abu Dhabi like Dubai, so you can see them pretty easily and slow down before they zap you. I know speeding is bad, but here going too slow can get you killed. 120kph is like grandma speed in the land of Porsche, Lamborghini, and Ferrari.
Excuses, excuses, excuses, I know. I couldn't even give any to the officers running the speed trap, because they couldn't speak English. They all acted like they didn't know what to do with me, because I was asking why I was pulled over. One was finally able to say "speed" and "camera", but they never told me how fast I was going.
The funny part is I was the only female in a lot of about 8 offenders with more steadily being pulled over. Any guesses on the make up of the rest of the group? If you guessed local males, you win. This is even funnier, because I'm constantly complaining about how they drive and here I end up getting busted with them. Go figure!
After a few minutes of hoping and praying I would get a break, an officer came back to my car with a ticket. It was all in Arabic, and the only Arabic I can kind of read are the numbers. Still, without being able to read the words, I wasn't sure what was what.
My landlord was kind enough to translate it for me when I got home. It seems I was going 113kph, just 12 over the buffer of 101kph that they allow. It's going to cost me about 300 dirhams thanks to a half off special on tickets they have going on right now. Should I be proud that I'm getting a coupon rate on my 600 dirham violation?
Seriously, I've learned a lesson. Gone are the days of just looking out for speed cameras. Now, I have to watch out for random cars on the side of the road that could be part of a potential sting operation. Seeing that random cars on the side of the road are common here, I guess I have to slow down.