Dubai: Abu Dhabi Police have issued a warning on its official social media accounts, asking motorists to stay focused while driving or face a fine of Dh800 along with four black points.
In a video posted on March 27, the police authority released CCTV (closed-circuit television) footage of a traffic accident caused by distracted driving.
In the video, a four-wheel drive can be seen smashing into vehicles that had stopped due to traffic congestion. The motorists ends up hitting at least five vehicles in three lanes before the car comes to a halt after hitting a road barricade.
“The Traffic and Patrols Directorate warned motorists against the dangers of distracted driving which can lead to sudden swerving resulting from the use of mobile phone to surf the internet and social media sites, make a call [or] take a picture, among other distractions,” the post read.
What constitutes distracted driving?
Any activity that takes your focus away from driving safely on the road can be constituted as distracted driving. According to driving safety website roadsafetyuae.com, distractions could be visual (taking your eyes off the road), manual (taking your hands off the wheel, or moving your feet from the pedal), cognitive (being preoccupied, which takes your mind off of driving safely) or auditory (not being able to use your sense of hearing to track any traffic sounds).
Earlier this year, Abu Dhabi Police issued a warning to motorists that they would be fined for distracted driving if caught doing these five things:
1. Use of mobile phones
2. Eating and drinking
3. Applying make-up
4. Adjusting radio channels
5. Talking to passengers
Why it is dangerous
According to Article 32 of the UAE Federal Traffic Law, handling a mobile phone while driving – whether to take photos or write messages – will lead to a find of Dh800 and four black points.
Also, as distracted driving may lead to sudden swerving, as witnessed in the video posted by Abu Dhabi Police, you may also face a fine of Dh1,000 and four additional black points, as per Article 29 of the of the UAE Federal Traffic Law.
Statistics published by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in 2020, revealed that texting and driving increases the chance of being in an accident by up to 32 per cent while the reaction time of drivers falls by up to 50 per cent.
In 2020, Abu Dhabi Police reported that it had recorded 30,606 distracted driving violations. These are categorised as dangerous violations that can result in fatalities and severe injuries on the roads. The Police has therefore called upon motorists to focus on the road when driving, and to avoid losing control of the vehicle.