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The announcement was made by the UAE’s Federal Traffic Council, as a way to encourage people to participate in the national initiative. Photo for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Pexels

Dubai: Get ready to be rewarded for being a safe driver. On August 28, motorists who have pledged to be part of the ‘day without accidents’ initiative in the UAE will have the chance to get four black points removed from their traffic files.

The announcement was made by the UAE’s Federal Traffic Council, as a way to encourage people to participate in the national initiative. The council announced that it will mark August 28 as a ‘day without accidents’, coinciding with the day children in the UAE return to school after the summer break.

How can I have four black points removed?

According to the announcement by the council, motorists will be required to sign the pledge to participate in a day without accidents, in addition to not recording any traffic violations or accidents on August 28, 2023.

A day without accidents – 6 rules to follow

Here are six ways in which you can practice good driving, as per the campaign advisory:

1. Always maintain safe distance

Tailgating or driving too close to the vehicle in front of you usually causes other drivers to get distracted or tense up or suddenly change lanes, which increases the risk of a crash.

Tailgating can lead to a fine of Dh400, with four black points issued on your driving licence, as per the UAE’s Federal Traffic Law. 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.

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2. Give way to pedestrians

According to the UAE traffic law, motorists face a Dh500 fine and six black points if they do not give way to pedestrians in designated areas such as zebra crossings.

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3. Buckle up

All passengers in a vehicle are required, by law, to wear a seatbelt, whether in the front seat or back seat.

Failing to do so will lead to the driver of the vehicle being fined Dh400 and slapped with four black points. Also:

• Children up to four years of age must be provided with a child safety seat. Violators will be fined Dh400 and slapped with four black points.
• The front seat passenger should also be at least 145 cm tall and not younger than 10 years old.

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Black points, or traffic points, are a penalty that is issued against some traffic violations. While some violations, like driving slightly over the speed limit or parking incorrectly can lead to monetary fines, behaviour that is more dangerous can lead to black points also being imposed.
A black point is issued on the driver’s licence. A motorist can get anywhere between four to a maximum of 24 black points. If there is a violation committed after a driver has 24 black points, the case is transferred to the UAE courts, with the licence being confiscated or suspended.

4. Respect the speed limit

Another important part of the ‘day without accidents’ campaign is urging drivers to always drive within the speed limit of the road.

Each road has signposts that clearly mention the maximum speed limit that should be observed. In order to discourage motorists from speeding, there are strict penalties for driving over the speed limit. The amount of fine that you may need to pay and the additional penalties that you may face – like black points or the vehicle being impounded – depends on the severity of the violation. If you are driving just slightly over the speed limit, you may have to pay a fine of Dh300. However, if – for example – a motorist decides to drive at 180 km/hour on a road that has a maximum speed limit of 80 km/hour, they would not only have to pay a fine of Dh3,000, they would also have 23 black points imposed on their licence and the vehicle impounded for 60 days. For a detailed guide on speeding fines in the UAE, click here.

5. Do not use your mobile phone, avoid distracted driving

An Abu Dhabi Police survey in 2022 showed that around 80 per cent of road deaths and serious injuries are caused by motorists on phones.

“Mobile phones distract drivers and can cause them to either make mistakes that they would not otherwise make or to react too slowly,” Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) states in its handbook for light motor vehicle driving.

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6. Give way to emergency, police and public service vehicles or official convoys

Not giving way to emergency vehicles leads to a fine of Dh3,000, impounding the vehicle for 30 days, and imposing six traffic points on the licence of the vehicle owner.

How you can pledge participation in a ‘day without accident’

If you want to play your part in this road safety initiative, you can pledge your support and participation online:

• Ministry of Interior website - https://portal.moi.gov.ae/eservices/OtherServices/AccidentFreeDay.aspx?SC=89
• Dubai Police website - https://www.dubaipolice.gov.ae/wps/portal/home/services/individualservices/daywithoutaccident?firstView=true&lang=ar

Once you visit either of these two websites, you will have the option to either register using your Emirates ID or UAE Pass, or simply by using your email address. You will only receive a certificate recognising your pledge to participate in the initiative, if you use your Emirates ID or UAE Pass to register.

What does the pledge say?
The UAE Ministry of Interior invites citizens and residents of the country to participate in the ‘Accident-Free Day’ initiative, by acknowledging and undertaking the following:
• I will leave safe distance from the vehicles ahead.
• I will give way to pedestrians crossing the road.
• I will buckle up my seatbelt.
• I will respect the speed limit.
• I will not use a handheld mobile phone while driving.
• Giving way to emergency, police and public service vehicles or official convoys.

Driving in school zones

With more cars and school buses expected on UAE’s roads as students go back to school, police authorities have also reiterated the need for motorists to be aware of road rules around school zones.

On August 19, Dubai Police announced that it had organised a series of lectures for approximately 217 school bus drivers from Emirates Transport services.

They also asked parents and motorists to always comply with traffic laws and regulations, including:

• Adhering to traffic signs
• Following the instructions of traffic policemen
• Displaying patience
• Staying within designated lanes
• Using parking spaces without hindering others and avoiding parking in unauthorised areas

If you want to know more about all the rules you need to follow when driving in school zones, click here.