Abu Dhabi: Police have cracked down on motorists by issuing more than 52,000 tickets during the first seven months of this year for not wearing seatbelts while driving.
Police have apprehended a total of 52,324 violators who did not wear seatbelts between January 1 and July 31 this year in Abu Dhabi.
Colonel Khamis Ishaq Mohammad, deputy director of the Traffic and Patrols Directorate, said that the aim of fining violators is to remind them that wearing seatbelt is for their own safety and can be especially useful in case an accident occurs suddenly.
“Wearing my seatbelt is a must for me, and I often remind my passengers to do so as well. However, I have noticed that many in my community do not put on their seatbelt and usually complain and argue with me when I insist that they do so,” said Nour Samir, a 24-year-old mother of one and a post-graduate student.
Many drivers who do wear their seatbelt told Gulf News that they do so out of habit and cannot move their vehicle if they are not buckled up.
“It does not feel right to me if I am not wearing mine [seatbelt]. My father taught me to do so ever since I was a teenager learning how to drive. I do know people who do not wear theirs despite getting into a few accidents over the years,” said Egyptian Mohammad Al Ashri, 25, a computer engineer.
Residents said tickets issued to violators to increase the level of safety on the roads are proving inefficient. “Public service campaigns are not doing much, from what I am seeing. People need to get more direct warnings like the ones they receive from tickets,” Nour added.
The official urged motorists to wear their seatbelts regardless of how long or short their road trip is, as these devices are very effective in protecting drivers and passengers from facing the full impact of a collision.
“Those found to be negligent of following this safety procedure can be fined up to Dh400 and may receive four black points on their driving record. The Abu Dhabi Police does not aim to make any financial returns from fining residents but we aim to raise awareness and to protect members of the public,” Mohammad said.
“We have also found that behind almost every traffic accident, there is a violation that has been committed by one or more of the parties involved,” he added.