Beware, new UAE traffic rules take effect this July
Seat belts for all passengers among other new rules introduced
Motorists in Dubai have once again been urged to refrain from activities that distract from driving as UAE prepares to roll out new penalties and rules to improve road safety, starting July 1, 2017.
Maj. Gen. Mohammed Saif Al-Zafin, Assistant Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Police for Operations Affairs and Chairman of the Federal Traffic Council, confirmed that the ministerial decision No. 178 of 2017 on the rules and procedures of traffic control and the new traffic violations and fines are set to be implemented by July 1.
Al Zafin said that the new traffic rules will be tough, adding activities - without quoting any examples - that distract drivers while they are driving, will result in a fine of Dh800.
He further elaborated that motorists caught busy behind the wheels using their mobile phone will be subject to fines.
The purpose of these new rules is to prevent drivers from being distracted away from the road and avoid accidents.
Major General Al-Zafin clarified that drivers can eat or drink when they stop at the traffic signal or when they are parked, takin all necessary measures to protect themselves. But they should not stop at the shoulder of the road without a valid reason.
With regard to the new seat belt rules, which has been made mandatory - for the first time - for all passengers (adults and children) in the vehicle, the official said if passengers did not fasten their seat belts, or in case there are not enough seat belts in the vehicle, they will penalised.
Al-Zafin explained that each vehicle on the road has a specific capacity for the number of passengers; hence each one should have enough seat belts, adding that if the number of passengers is more than that the vehicle's allowed capacity, the driver of the vehicle will be penalised for both over loading and not using seat belts.
Another major change in the law is the introduction of car seats for children who are less than four years. A motorist who does not abide by this will have to pay a fine of Dh400 and four black points.
Al Zafeen said that the doubling of penalties is not aimed at just slapping fines on people, but to protect lives of road users.
The Federal Traffic Council will continue to work towards reducing the number of casualties to three deaths per 100,000 by 2020.
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Al Zafin highlighted that the current year witnessed a significant drop in road traffic fatalities in the last four months in Dubai, and dropped by 30 per cent from the same period last year; the total traffic accidents deaths in the past four months reached 48 deaths, compared to 68 in the four months last year, due to various traffic measures taken by police authorities.
The official added that the new amendment will be subject to an evaluation period in addition to an awareness campaigns through lectures - specially among youth groups - workers and also using other mediums and means of communication spreading awareness of the new resolution as preparation before implementation in July.
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