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Dubai: If you have just received your driver’s licence you may be excited to hit the road and explore the UAE through this new-found freedom. However, there are some basic mistakes that every motorist should keep in mind, as listed within the UAE’s Traffic Law.

According to the UAE’s official government website –, the amended federal traffic law - Ministerial Resolution No. 177 of 2017 regarding issuing and renewing a driver’s licence – came into effect on July 1, 2017, with the aim to reduce traffic casualties from about 6 per 100,000 people to 3 per 100,000 as per Vision 2021.

So, if you want to play your part in ensuring that UAE’s roads are safe for all users, here are 9 mistakes you should steer clear of.

1. Throwing garbage out on the road

Fine: Dh1,000, 6 black points

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If you were planning to casually chuck an empty tea cup on the road while driving, think again. Littering the road while driving is one of the violations that can land you with a Dh1,000 fine along with six black points being levied on your licence.

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2. Not leaving safe distance between vehicles

Fine: Dh400, 4 black points

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Tailgating – or not leaving enough safe distance while driving behind other vehicles – can lead to a fine of Dh400, with four black points. In Abu Dhabi, your vehicle will also be impounded and a fine of Dh5,000 would need to be paid for it to be released.

According to Abu Dhabi police, safe distance can be measured by the ‘two-second rule’. This means that the distance between your vehicle and the one ahead of you should be enough for you to pass the same point two seconds later.

3. Overtaking on the hard shoulder

Fine: Dh1,000, 6 black points

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Hard shoulders are lanes to the extreme right or left of the road, which are clearly marked by yellow lines. Motorists who use the hard shoulder to overtake another vehicle will be fined Dh1,000.

In 2017, Abu Dhabi Police warned drivers that the hard shoulder is designated for emergency use by ambulances, for cars that have broken down and for police patrols to reach accident sites to provide emergency assistance.

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4. Crowding around accident sites

Fine: Dh1,000

Rubbernecking or crowding at accident sites impedes the arrival of ambulances, emergency vehicles, traffic patrols and civil defence, delaying life-saving assistance that people may need.

Last year, authorities also highlighted how crowding could also lead to additional accidents as motorists might try to step out of their cars to stand close to the accident site, or curious pedestrians might try to cross roads, oblivious to the movement of traffic, increasing the risk of run-over accidents.

5. Failing to fasten seat belts

Fine: Dh400, 4 black points

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The fines for not wearing the seat belt are stipulated in Article 51 of the UAE Traffic Law. Drivers who are found not wearing a seatbelt face a fine of Dh400 and four black points. If a passenger in the car is not wearing a seatbelt, they too face a fine of Dh400.

6. Using expired tyres

Fine: Dh500, 4 black points, car impounded for 7 days

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As per UAE laws, a tyre's validity is for five years, after which they cannot be used on UAE roads. Driving a car with expired, worn-out tyres will not just cost you in terms of a traffic fine, you will also have four black points levied on your licence and your vehicle will be impounded for seven days as per Article 82 of the Federal Traffic Law.

7. Driving without insurance or car registration

Fine: Dh500, 4 black points, car impounded for 7 days

If you fail to renew your driving licence or car insurance, not only will you pay late renewal charges, you can also face heavy penalties if you are caught driving with an expired licence. If you are found driving with an expired insurance or car registration, you will face a Dh500 fine, your licence will have four black points and the vehicle you are driving will be impounded for seven days.

8. Driving noisy vehicle

Fine: Dh2,000, 12 black points

During an awareness campaign in 2021, Abu Dhabi Police informed motorists that loud vehicles can create stress and anxiety among other drivers, road users and residents of neighbourhoods, especially for children and the elderly. Drivers found violating this law face a fine of Dh2,000 and 12 black points. If you want to know more about how loud a vehicle has to be to get fined under this violation, read our detailed guide here

9. Transporting passengers illegally

Fine: Dh3,000, 24 black points, Vehicle impounded for 30 days

Running an illegal taxi service, where you charge individuals in lieu of a transport service, is a serious offence and is one of the few violations that have 24 black points levied on the driver’s licence. You also face a fine of Dh3,000 and your car will be impounded for 30 days.