Special radars, smart patrols: How UAE police track those who use mobile phones while driving

Violating traffic rule carries Dh800 fine along with four black points


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Thu 28 Jul 2022, 4:03 PM

Last updated: Sun 31 Jul 2022, 10:26 AM

The use of mobile phones while driving has become an addiction and it poses a major danger on the roads, say traffic authorities.

In its latest report issued on July 27, Abu Dhabi Police said it had fined 105,300 motorists caught on Abu Dhabi roads while using mobile phones during the first six months of 2022.

Police said the drivers were fined after they were caught talking or texting on mobiles, chatting on social media, browsing the internet, taking pictures or shooting videos with their hand-held devices while driving, blatantly violating the traffic law.

The fine for using a mobile phone while driving is Dh800 in addition to four black points.

Khaleej Times has identified the various ways in which traffic authorities can detect and track mobile phone offences on Abu Dhabi roads:

Advanced radars catch drivers using phones

In January 2021, Abu Dhabi Police deployed a new automated system to detect seat belt and mobile phone violations among drivers in Abu Dhabi.

Called Vehicular Attention and Safety Tracker (VAST), the system is aimed at reducing road accidents and enhancing traffic safety in the Capital.

The police developed the network of radar monitoring system to capture high-resolution images through Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered cameras. Motorists then receive a text message detailing the infringement.

Smart patrols fitted with advanced systems

The Abu Dhabi Police had in 2020 rolled out smart patrols that are deployed on various roads in Abu Dhabi to catch drivers violating traffic rules and regulations. Police said it deployed the smart patrols on the roads to enhance traffic safety across the emirate. The smart patrol uses advanced technological systems to detect drivers committing offences such as not wearing seatbelts, using mobile phones while driving, ignoring speed limits and others. The force will then notify the errant driver through SMS

Traffic officers in patrols and private cars

Traffic officers in either patrol vehicles or private cars also detect mobile phone offences. The officer books and issues a fine to a driver on spot or in absentia after they have spotted them using a mobile phone while driving.

According to traffic authorities, many road accidents are caused by lack of concentration and negligence mainly because of drivers talk on mobile phones, browse social network sites or take videos while driving.

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