'Forced to break rules': Sharjah residents welcome traffic fine waiver announcement after flooding

With unprecedented water logging, several residents were forced to abandon their cars


Ruqayya Al Qaydi


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Mon 22 Apr 2024, 8:49 PM

Last updated: Mon 22 Apr 2024, 10:39 PM

Sharjah residents have expressed their relief and gratitude after it was announced that all traffic violation fines during the recent record rains will be waived in the emirate.

Emirati Emad Zoubi was worried about receiving a fine during the rain for driving in the wrong direction. “There was a lot of water on one of the bridges, so I had to drive against traffic to avoid it,” he said. “In the circumstances, I was forced to break traffic rules as it would have been impossible for me to drive the right way. We thank the authorities for their understanding. The UAE leadership has once again stepped forward to assist everyone without exception."

The fine for driving on the wrong side of the road is Dh600. The driver also gets four traffic points, and their vehicle is impounded for seven days.

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Unprecedented rains

The UAE witnessed its heaviest rainfall in 75 years last week, surpassing any recorded precipitation since data collection began in 1949.

With flooding and unprecedented water logging, several residents were forced to abandon their cars.

One such resident was Anwer KM, who parked his car on a pavement in Abu Shagara. “I was driving and it soon became apparent to me that there was no way I could reach home,” he said. He then decided to park his car on a pavement close by. He shared a video with Khaleej Times that was taken just before he parked his car.

He then waded through the water for three hours to get home and was unable to come back to get his car for three days. “I was expecting to be slapped with hefty fines for parking and abandoning my car for three days,” he said. “But when I came back, there was no fine and I immediately felt a wave of relief washing over me.”

He said he is grateful for the decision. “I have already suffered many losses because of the rain that I was stressed thinking about how many fines I would have to pay,” he said. “I am so thankful for the understanding shown by Sharjah government towards people’s plight.”

Another Sharjah resident, Emirati, Ahmed Al Rahma, was also forced to drive in the wrong direction. "I was forced to drive against traffic because the tunnel I needed to pass was filled with water," he said. "I want to thank Sharjah Police for cancelling the violation under these circumstances."


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