Last-minute shocker for traffic violators

DUBAI — Some of the motorists seeking renewal of their car registrations in Dubai are being caught unawares after being informed at the counters that their cars will be impounded for indulging in serious traffic offences.


Amira Agarib

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Published: Sat 7 Apr 2007, 8:30 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:37 AM

The vehicles are being generally impounded for a period of 15 days to one month, depending on the seriousness of the violation.

However, what is irking these motorists is that despite the General Department of Traffic having gone high-tech in its services, they still learn about the fines, especially the serious ones, at the last moment. For example, some of the services that are already available now include alerts on traffic fines on mobile phones or Internet.

For a violation committed several months back, which some may even forget over a period of time, motorists get the shock of their lives when told their vehicles will be impounded.

Gita S., a resident of Dubai narrated how the traffic police official at Tasjeel informed that her car was to be impounded for having crossed the yellow box in December last year. “If the fine alert was issued to me earlier, I would have been mentally prepared for the impounding of the car,” she said.

She quipped: “Earlier, the Dubai Police would inform us of the fine by fax. I wonder why they have stopped this system?”

Another motorist about to go for the renewal of her car’s registration said she was too nervous about the outcome. “I may have invited some fines for the violations committed over the last one year of which I am unaware. I only hope my car does not get impounded,” she said.

Elsadiq Abu AL Arabi, a 40-year-old Dubai resident said the Traffic Department should inform the drivers about their offences immediately. “It is not right to penalise motorists in this manner,” he said.

When contacted, Issa Aman, Deputy Director of General Department of Traffic Department at the Dubai Police said the Traffic Department’s drive was aimed at making the roads safer. Motorists can get information about their traffic fines from the Dubai Police web site and kiosks, he added.

Besides, the police is also sending out details of the fines on their postal address of violators.

The official also clarified that the Traffic police was facing problems in posting the information about the fines mainly because of incorrect or incomplete postal addresses provided by motorists. Moreover, some motorists fail to furnish their new postal addresses in case of change of residence and the fines posted by mail either returns back or never reaches them. This results in accumulation of fines and thus the person comes to know of it only at the time of registration, the official pointed out.

The Traffic police had recently sent out some 10,000 traffic fine notices to violators by post, but a large number of the letters came back, with only 200 people receiving their traffic fine notices, the official informed.

However, the official admitted that in some instances, delay may have occurred in registering the traffic fines by the concerned police stations. But the police issues every detail to the violator, including the car number plate, the location etc., he added.

“Prior to issuing the traffic fines, the police also verifies all the information to ensure that the car details are correct,” the official explained.

The official also disclosed that the General Department of Traffic would soon start sending SMS messages to people, informing them about the traffic fines. At the same time, violators will be provided pictures as proof of their violations through SMS alerts, he informed.

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