Dubai: As the weather changes in the UAE, you may experience rainy or foggy conditions while driving around the city or on long road trips over the weekend. However, there are some common driving mistakes that police authorities in the UAE regularly warn motorists against.
1. Taking photos while driving
Fine: Dh800, four black points
Taking photos while driving can leave you facing a fine of Dh800 and four black points.
In 2023, Abu Dhabi police warned 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 revealed by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai discovered 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.
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 is stopped or in case of a breakdown.
3. Changing lanes without an indicator
This is a violation, which is already quite dangerous in regular weather conditions. Add to that reduced visibility and difficult driving conditions and not using an indicator while changing lanes, it can become lethal. This is why police authorities conduct regular awareness campaigns to change the behaviour of motorists in the UAE, who are not using indicators in 47 per cent of lane change and lane turning instances, according to a study published by RoadSafetyUAE in 2019.
4. 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.
In December 2022, Abu Dhabi Police posted a video on their social media channels warning motorists that strict action would be enforced if someone was found to be driving recklessly. According to UAE laws, any action classified as 'reckless driving' can land you with a hefty fine of Dh2,000 in addition to piling on 23 black points and impounding of the vehicle for a period of 60 days.