Dubai: Within 24 hours of the new federal traffic law coming into effect on Saturday July 1, Dubai police recorded 1,279 traffic offences, Gulf News has learnt.
Official statistics obtained by Gulf News showed that 311 of the fines were issued in the presence of policemen as the new traffic law with harsher penalties to curb road deaths came into effect on July 1.
The most common fine, handed out 208 times, was for blocking traffic flow, an offence which carries a fine of Dh1,000.
“Lane discipline came second, with 125 fines issued, and parking illegally came third, with 98 traffic fines,” said Brigadier Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, director of Traffic Department in Dubai Police.
Meanwhile, Dubai Police issued three fines under a new provision in the law: penalising drivers who fail to ensure their passengers have fastened seat belts.
“It is the driver’s responsibility to make sure his passengers are wearing seatbelt, otherwise he can be fined Dh400 for every passenger not putting a seatbelt and 4 traffic points too,” Al Mazroui said.
He warned drivers that allowing children under 10 to sit on the front seat would also now lead to a fine of Dh400.
Drivers can be fined the same amount for failing to fix child seats for children under the age of 4.
Dubai Police fined 56 motorists for using their phone when driving. Nine persons were fined for being distracted while at the wheel. The penalty for both offences is a Dh800 fine and 4 traffic points.
“Using phone when driving is a major offence as it can cause serious accidents, especially on highways,” said Al Mazroui. “The list of new fines will help to have better roads.”
Tinting rules revised
The new law allows motorists to use window tinting of up to 50 per cent — up from the 30 per cent allowed by the previous law.
But within 24 hours of the new traffic law taking effect, police fined four motorists for using window tints exceeding the raised limit. Tinting past the legal limit carries a fine of Dh1,500.
Statistics have not yet been revealed for radars that caught motorists speeding since it takes more than 24 hours to tally radar fines issued on all Dubai roads.
Scope of the new law
The UAE’s amended federal traffic law came into effect on Saturday, July 1, bringing into force new regulations and fines for a wide range of traffic violations. Because it’s a federal law, this means it applies in every emirate.
Changes to the law include higher fines for higher speeds and confiscation of vehicles for longer durations for several offences. Officials expect the law to improve road safety and reduce the number of road fatalities.
Across the UAE, 725 people — almost two every day — were killed in traffic accidents in 2016, up from 675 the year before.
I was driving just over 20km/h more than the limit. Is my fine the same?
While the penalty for exceeding the speed limit has drastically increased to up to Dh3,000, the 20km/h grace window is still valid.
The grace window is the extra speed motorists can drive at without getting flashed by a radar. For example, if a road speed limit is 120 km/hr, you will get flashed by the radar at 141 km/h and above.