UAE: 10 traffic laws, fines you must know when driving in school areas

There are several zones where motorists are required to slow down and be alert


Sahim Salim

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Published: Wed 31 Aug 2022, 9:24 AM

Last updated: Sat 26 Aug 2023, 1:16 PM

[Editor's Note: This article was first published in August 2022 during back-to-school season. With campuses set to reopen for a new academic year in a few days, this explainer seeks to remind drivers of safety rules.]

Yellow school buses are back on the roads once again as education institutes across the UAE reopened after the summer break earlier this week. Some parents are leaving their homes earlier so they can drop off their children to campuses, while motorists are factoring in the back-to-school traffic in their office commutes.

There are several school zones in the UAE where motorists are required to slow down and be alert. Priority in such zones is always the safety of students, guardians and school staff. There are several traffic laws that you could be breaking in such zones:

>> Speeding: Speed limits in school zones vary from 30 to 40kmph. Slowing down around schools is especially important as children tend to dart on to roads. Fines in the UAE vary from Dh300 to Dh3,000 — depending on the vehicle’s speed.

>> Using a mobile phone while driving: Calls and messages must wait. Answering that call from the office can result in a Dh800 fine and four black points.

>> Distracted driving: When driving, that’s what you must focus on. Don’t eat, drink, fix make-up or comb hair while behind the wheel. Distracted driving is punishable with a Dh800 fine and four black points.

>> Improper parking: Cars must be parked in designated areas only. Improper/haphazard parking is punishable with a Dh500 fine. Parking on pavements can attract a Dh400 fine. In case you leave your car in front of fire hydrants or spaces allocated for people with special needs, the penalty is a Dh1,000 fine and six black points.

>> Allowing kids to sit in the front seat: Children under 10 years of age or shorter than 145cm are not allowed to sit in the front seat of a vehicle. The fine for the offence is Dh400.

>> Seat belt violations: The driver and all passengers must buckle up. Failure to do so results in a Dh400 fine. The same fine applies if children under 4 years of age are not strapped into car seats.

>> Reversing dangerously: You have to check all around you while reversing, especially outside your child’s school. Dangerous reversing is punishable with a Dh500 fine and four black points.

>> Ignoring the bus stop sign: When buses extend the ‘stop’ signs, it means children are being picked up or dropped. The sign requires a complete stop for all vehicles on both sides of the bus within a distance of no less than five metres. Failure to do so is punishable with a Dh1,000 fine and 10 black points.

>> Not giving way to pedestrians: School zones would have several zebra crossings that help students and teachers cross the roads safely. Not giving priority to pedestrians at such crossings carries a penalty of Dh500 and six black points.

>> Dangerous driving: If a person drives in such a manner that it jeopardises people’s lives, it incurs a Dh2,000 fine, along with 23 black points.


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