Abu Dhabi bus driver
Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Driving in the UAE? Keep an eye out, not just for road signs but also road markings, which help regulate traffic and guide motorists. While road signs are easier to spot, you may miss a road marking and land with a traffic fine.

Lanes that are dedicated for public buses, for example, have the lane marked through a road marking, which reads ‘Bus only’ in Dubai or ‘Bus lane’ in Abu Dhabi. At times, the entire lane may also be painted red, to identify a bus lane. If you, as a driver, inadvertently drive into the lane, you will end up with a fine of Dh600 in Dubai or Dh400 in Abu Dhabi.

Parking at a bus stop

On May 29, Abu Dhabi’s Integrated Transport Authority (ITC) reminded motorists of the dangers of parking in lay-bys dedicate for buses to stop. In a post on its official social media channels, ITC illustrated how parking cars in these areas, even for a little while, is dangerous for road users as it makes it difficult for buses to stop in the lay-by lane.

In its post, ITC stated: “Parking in bus lay-by is prohibited as it endangers the safety of road users. Violating this rule will result in a Dh2,000 fine.”

In the past, ITC has also commented on how the practice of using bus stops to pick up or drop off people increases the risk of traffic accidents or results in bus service delays.

Dh 2000

Fine for parking in bus lay-by in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi bus stop
Motorists found parking at a bus stop will be fined Dh2,000. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Driving in bus lanes in Abu Dhabi

In 2020, Abu Dhabi Police also raised awareness on the fines that motorists face when they try to drive in lanes dedicated to public buses and taxis. Crossing over to a lane that is dedicated for public transport – even for a short stretch – will immediately lead to a fine of Dh400.

Dh 400

Fine for driving in lane dedicated to public bus and taxi in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Bus Lane
In Abu Dhabi, motorists trying to drive in lanes dedicated to buses and taxis will be fined Dh400. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Driving in bus lanes in Dubai

In Dubai, too, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has constructed special lanes for buses and taxis in the Emirate.

In the next five years, RTA plans to extend this to over 48km.

You can find these bus lanes at high traffic areas, which makes it even more important to keep an eye out on road markings, as you may inadvertently take the bus lane to avoid traffic. An easy way to identify the lane is to look for ‘Bus only’ or ‘Only bus, taxi’ written in a big font on the road. You may also see a bus symbol painted on the road, which indicates that it is a lane reserved for public transport.

According to the RTA, these lanes are dedicated not just to buses and taxis, but also police cars, civil defence vehicles and ambulances. Radars closely monitor these lanes to detect if any private vehicle is using the lane and motorists found violating this rule are fined Dh600.

Dh 600

Fine for driving in lane dedicated to public bus and taxi in Dubai
Dubai Bus Lane
According to RTA, a Dh600 traffic fine will be imposed on motorists caught driving in the lane dedicated for buses and taxis. Image Credit: Shutterstock

List of bus lanes in Dubai

Here is a list of bus lanes that are currently operational in Dubai. If you happen to be driving around any of these areas, keep an eye out for the road markings mentioned above:

• Al Mina Street to a point just before the intersection with Zabeel Street, in both directions.
• Naif Street – a 1km stretch
• Al Ittihad Road - 500m, exit before Al Nahda, Dubai, in the direction of Sharjah to Dubai
• Al Mina Street – 1,700m from Kuwait Street to the Falcon intersection
• Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah Street - 1.8km from Al Satwa R/A to Sheikh Rashid Street
• Al Khaleej Street - 1.7km from the Creek Street to Al Musalla Street
• Khalid bin Al Waleed Street - 100m from Al Mina Street Intersection to Street 16
• Al Ghubaiba Street - 500m from Al Mina Street intersection to Street 12