driving in the rain uae
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Dubai: On Monday, February 12, many UAE residents woke up to lightning and heavy rainfall, and the National Center of Meteorology (NCM) stated that unstable weather is expected till 6pm.

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While the rain can be a welcome change when driving around the country, motorists are also advised to always follow the necessary precautions, factoring in the driving conditions.

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In May 2023, the UAE’s Ministry of Interior announced three new weather-related traffic violations, which were added to the UAE’s Traffic Law. Here are 10 rules that you should keep in mind when driving in the UAE during the rain, fog or in a sandstorm.

1. Taking photos while driving

Fine: Dh800, four black points

Police authorities in the UAE regularly remind motorists that taking photos while driving is a traffic violation and they will face penalties.

According to Article 32 of the Federal Traffic Law, the use of a mobile phone while driving is harmful and is categorised as distracted driving. Statistics published by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in 2020, revealed that texting while 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.

2. Driving with your hazard lights on

Fine: Dh500, four black points

Another common traffic violation during conditions of reduced visibility is when motorists leave their hazard lights on. You can be fined Dh500, with four black points. Using your hazard lights turns on all the four indicator lights on your vehicle, so if you are driving and changing lanes, there is no way in which you will be able to indicate that to other road users. If the weather is so bad that you cannot safely see while driving, pull over to a safe place till the storm passes.

Use your hazard lights only when your car has stopped or in case of a breakdown.

3. Driving in foggy weather without lights

Fine: Dh400 fine, four black points

Article 104 (b) of the Federal Traffic Law states that driving in foggy weather without lights will end up with you receiving a Dh400 fine along with four black points on your driving licence.

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4. Driving in foggy weather in violation of the competent authority’s instructions

Fine: Dh400 fine, 4 black points

During conditions of reduced visibility, police authorities may issue a ban on certain vehicles from driving on the road, as a precaution. Article 104 (c) of the UAE Traffic Law states that in case the relevant authority issues instructions asking certain vehicles to not driving during foggy weather, violating that instruction will lead to a fine of Dh400 and four black points on your licence.

5. Changing lanes without an indicator

Fine: Dh400

Not using an indicator while changing lanes, especially during reduced visibility and difficult driving conditions, is extremely dangerous. This is why police authorities conduct regular awareness campaigns to change the behaviour of motorists in the UAE.

6. Reckless driving

Fine: Dh2,000, 23 black points, 60 day impoundment

Driving recklessly, which can include actions that endanger the lives of others, blocking traffic, jumping red lights or sudden swerving, can leave you with some hefty fines, especially when driving conditions are tricky during rainy and foggy conditions.

7. Gathering near valleys, floods and dams during rainy weather.

Fine: Dh1,000, six black points

This violation is aimed at stopping motorists from visiting valleys during raining weather or gathering near flooded areas and dams.

8. Entering flooded valleys while overflowing with rainwater, regardless of their level of danger.

Fine: Dh2,000, 23 black points, 60 day impoundment

9. Obstructing the relevant authorities from regulating traffic or ambulance and rescue during emergencies, disasters, crises, rains and flooded valleys.

• Fine: Dh1,000, four black points, 60 day impoundment

10. Not abiding by the changed speed limit

During weather conditions that reduce visibility, Abu Dhabi Police issues advisories to motorists informing them of a reduction in the maximum speed limit on the emirate’s roads. If you fail to adhere to the reduced speed limit, you can end up with a speeding ticket. Fines for exceeding the speed limit depend on how much beyond the speed limit you were found to be driving. For example, if you are found driving over the speed limit by 20km/h, you get a fine of Dh300. The fines increase incrementally, with the penalty for exceeding the maximum speed limit by more than 80 km/h, being Dh3,000, with 23 black points and the car being impounded for 60 days.