UAE | Traffic and Transport

Official: Motorists causing fatal accidents should face probation

Bu Farousha suggests various steps to help discipline erring drivers

  • By Bassam Za'za', Senior Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 October 23, 2011
  • Gulf News

An accident site in front of Atrium Building off Shaikh Zayed Road in Dubai
  • Image Credit: Javed Nawab/Gulf News
  • An accident site in front of Atrium Building off Shaikh Zayed Road in Dubai. The increase in fatal accidents is due to wrong and unlawful individualistic traffic behaviour, regardless of the driver’s nationality, a top traffic official said.

Dubai: A top traffic official has suggested that motorists convicted of causing fatal accidents should be placed under a mandatory judicial probationary procedure.

The judicial probationary procedure requires that defendants, who are found guilty of causing fatal accidents by traffic courts, be placed under judicial supervision and observation for a period that is not less than one year, said senior Chief Traffic Prosecutor Salah Bu Farousha, Head of Dubai Traffic Public Prosecution (TPP).

"I call on legislators to amend the UAE Traffic Law by including an article stipulating that defendants convicted of causing fatal accidents be subject to a judicial probationary procedure. During the probation period, traffic prosecutors will provide traffic courts with quarterly reports briefing the judges on the defendants' traffic discipline and behaviour," Bu Farousha told Gulf News.

His suggestion comes in light of supporting Gulf News' campaign "Make It Safe".

"We highly support Gulf News' campaign and hope it creates effectual difference in road safety and respecting traffic rules and regulations. The suggested procedure will ensure that the defendant does not commit any serious or dangerous traffic offence during the probationary period. The new stipulation [once approved and introduced into the Traffic Law] will also require that a defendant be subject to an obligatory enrolment in a driving institute to improve his/her attitude towards abiding by traffic rules and regulations," said TPP's Head.

Public awareness

Bu Farousha said Gulf News' safety campaign is an excellent initiative that will create public traffic awareness and ultimately help in making the roads safer and clear of dangerous and inattentive drivers.

Deliberating more on the suggestion, Dubai's Senior Chief Traffic Prosecutor said: "The defendant will have to undergo a community service programme for a certain period of time. The community service programme will include specific tasks such as presenting lectures to students about the hazards of inattentive and unlawful driving."

On the other hand, Bu Farousha pointed out that after a minimum six months of being subject to the probationary procedure, the defendant has the right to ask for the probation to be lifted, following a certain procedure.

"The defendant can file a petition to the traffic court requesting that he be pardoned for the remaining time of the probationary period.

"However, traffic prosecutors will submit a report about the defendant's traffic behaviour during the probationary period before the traffic court decides whether to lift the probation or not," he added.

‘Road deaths'

Bu Farousha pointed out that the TPP has and always will be strict in enforcing the traffic law, particularly with individuals who are involved in fatal accidents. "I don't believe that having multiple nationalities in one society is a main cause for increase in road deaths.

"On the contrary, the increase in fatal accidents is due to wrong and unlawful individualistic traffic behaviour regardless of the driver's nationality. And the proof is quite evident as there might be a large number of individuals from the same nationality but only a few from that nationality may be involved in fatal accidents," he added.

Comments (4)

  1. Added 13:54 October 23, 2011

    Recently I have noticed people are driving more recklessly and without patience. This, I think, has increased after the opening of schools, probable because now there is more rush on roads. Also, have seen increased number of people talking over phone and texting while driving. Authorities need to take more strict action over this.

    Farhanullah Qureshi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 11:30 October 23, 2011

    Life is more important than any thing. People who use mobile phones while driving and making fatal accidents shall be treated as killer. It shall not be taken as accident, it shall be taken as a murder.

    pradeep, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 10:49 October 23, 2011

    Failing to belt up is one of the common cause of fatalities. If proven that the vitcims were not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident, insurance coverage should become void. That would force all drivers to belt up and also ask others in the car to do so and thereby reduce the fatalities. Same for using mobile phones. This would work than the regular fines .

    Subramoniam, ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 09:58 October 23, 2011

    Great idea. I would even extend this probationary period to all who cause crashes because of their behaviour. There are still too many who are driving dangerously, starting from not using indicators when changing lanes until flashing at pedestians in residential areas if they want to pass the street in designated areas. This can't be acceptable!

    Thomas, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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