Dubai traffic law: New ‘harsh fines’ meant to help save lives, say police

164 fatalities recorded from 2019–2022 due to overspeeding, reckless driving and jumping red lights

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Angel Tesorero

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Published: Fri 7 Jul 2023, 3:33 PM

Dubai Police have underscored the recent amendments to the traffic law in the emirate are aimed at promoting road safety and protecting lives and properties. They are also aligned with the UAE's strategic objective of reducing traffic accidents and fatalities.

During a press briefing on Friday, Dubai Police said they have recorded “164 fatalities from 2019–2022 due to overspeeding, reckless driving, serious traffic violations, and jumping red lights.”

Several amendments were made to the traffic law in Dubai that came into effect from July 6. Reckless driving and jumping a red light are now among the serious traffic offences that will require motorists to shell out Dh50,000 to get their impounded vehicles released. A stiffer penalty of Dh100,000 will have to be paid for confiscated vehicles that participated in illegal road race.

Targetting reckless drivers

Major General Abdullah Ali Al Ghaithi, assistant commander-in-chief for operations at Dubai Police, said: “The legal amendments support the push towards preserving lives. The amendments target reckless drivers.”

He also clarified that the “harsh fines are against ‘vehicle impound release’, and are not the value of the traffic violation applied under the federal traffic law.”

“The changes in the new decree-law include a stringent penalty for releasing impounded vehicles and an additional penalty for impounding vehicles for new violations committed by drivers who endanger their lives and the lives of others by participating in races, performing stunts, causing chaos, deliberately jumping red traffic lights, and driving with fake or no license plates,” he further explained.

Presented to a special committee

Brigadier Juma bin Suwaidan, acting director of the General Department of Traffic at Dubai Police, enumerated the amendments to the law concerning vehicle impounding and release. He added each case is presented to a special committee in the General Department of Traffic that will determine whether or not the violation merits the fine.

He said Dh50,000 is the fine for releasing an impounded vehicle for these violations:

  • Jumping red lights
  • Driving with fake or obscured number plates
  • Deliberately colliding with police cars
  • Allowing individuals under 18 to drive vehicles
  • Gathering to watch or participate in illegal races
  • Riding recreational motorcycles on paved roads
  • Reckless riving that endangers lives, property and public safety

The fine of Dh10,000 needs to be paid to release an impounded vehicle with these violations:

  • Driving without license plates
  • Gathering to watch or participate in disorderly crowding around races or vehicle stunts on the road
  • Exceeding the permissible tinting limit for vehicle windows
  • Making fundamental changes to the vehicle that result in an increase in the speed or noise during operation or driving
  • Escaping from the police

Brigadier Bin Suwaidan added an impounded car that participated in a road race without prior permission from the police will carry a fine of Dh100,000.

Dubai Police can also administratively impound a vehicle if the total traffic fines have exceeded Dh6,000. The impounded vehicle shall be released after the owner pays the imposed traffic fines.

Awareness and education

Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Saud Al Rumaithi, director of Security Awareness in the General Department of Community Happiness at Dubai Police, reiterated there will be campaign that will run for seven weeks. "It consists of two stages, the first being the awareness and education phase and the second one will measure the impact and results of this awareness on motorists," he said.

The campaign will be carried through various online and print media outlets, as well as with strategic partners, including Dubai Roads and Transport Authority, driving institutes and petrol stations. The campaign will be implemented in cooperation with partners in Dubai Municipality, the Public Prosecution, the Supreme Legislation Committee, the Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs, the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology, Emirates Auctions, Al Nabooda, BMW-Dubai, and the Insurance Authority in Dubai.

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