Dubai chalks out plan for safe New Year celebrations Filed on December 30, 2013
Dubai chalks out plan for safe New Year celebrations

Police warn revellers that stunts and celebrations on public roads on New Year’s Eve will draw heavy penalties.

Dubai chalks out plan for safe New Year celebrations (/assets/oldimages/road_292013.jpg)Motorists will be issued tickets and their cars impounded for three to six months if they park in the middle of the road to watch fireworks. — KT file photo

With the target of zero road deaths in the country’s crosshairs for 2020, the Dubai Police are hoping to start the new year as they mean to continue with a warning to revellers that stunts and celebrations on public roads on New Year’s Eve will draw heavy penalties.

The Dubai Police have sent a warning to anyone hoping to ring in 2014 performing stunts or causing danger on the roads that there will be a ramped-up police presence on the night of December 31, with every junction in the emirate manned by a number of policemen, while car towings, seizures and traffic fines will be handed out liberally.

Dubai Police Commander-in-Chief Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina said rallies and driving stunts will not be permitted on the notoriously frenzied occasion.

All roads will be secured by police officials and traffic police who will facilitate traffic movement and assist the public to ensure the crowded occasion goes off without a hitch.

Al Mazeina called on all to abide by laws and warned youths from racing their cars, saying celebrations do not mean putting people’s lives at risk. The announcement comes days after Khaleej Times reported drunk driving accidents in Dubai were up a massive 43 per cent in the year to November, compared with the previous year.

He said that people often parked by the side of the road to capture photographs or admite the celebra tions who may be hit by errant drivers, while antics on the road would also further obstruct clogged traffic and increase traffic jams caused by the flood of people into the emirate.

“People are expected to come from neighbouring countries and other emirates to celebrate so the police have secured all areas of fireworks in coordination with the Dubai Civil Defence and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). Alternative roads will be assigned if (authorities) decide to close some roads.”

Al Mazeina called on the public to use public transport over the course of the day.

Dubai Police General Department of Traffic Director Major General Mohammed Saif Al Zafin said police would enact security plans and strategies prepared by a New Year’s Eve committee. This would include Dubai police officials deployed on all roads and junctions, with Diera and Bur Dubai traffic departments due to deploy more than 150 traffic police officers and personnel on main roads and celebration areas expected to see bottle necks, including Jumeirah, the Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall, the Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Road, and the usual trouble hotspots of Al Mamzar, Al Warqa and Al Riqa.

Al Zafin said that to ensure security and safety during the celebrations, police patrols would be stationed at every junction in the Dubai emirate, manned by four traffic police.

He called on people who intended to partake in public celebrations to arrive as early as possible and to park their cars in the dedicated areas, not on road sides.

Police would not tolerate any violations or traffic obstruction and would take immediate action against those who caused any chaos, unruly noise or traffic obstruction, he said.

The police would instantly lock wheels of those vehciles whose drivers had parked in the middle of roads in an attempt to catch fireworks displays, he said. Ther cars will be lifted to a police seizure area, while drivers will be issued traffic tickets for obstructing the traffic. Car seizures would last between three to six months, he said.

Amira Agarib

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