Dubai: Dubai Police seized 1,847 vehicles within the last 13 months linked to illegal stunt driving across the emirate, said officials on Monday.
Brigadier Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, Director of Traffic Department at Dubai Police, said police seized 1,683 vehicles in 2016 and a further 164 during January 2017.
“We have a specialised team of police officers tackling stunt drivers who endanger others’ lives by their driving. The best solution to this problem is more enforcement on the roads, tougher punishments and to raise awareness among reckless drivers,” Brigadier Al Mazroui said.
He stressed that the rate of stunt driving cases fell in Dubai after Dubai Government decreed it illegal in 2015 followed by the seizure of vehicles and Dh100,000 in fines to recover cars involved.
“We tackled young drivers who organise stunt performance on public roads until the decree issued in 2015 and it helped cut 40 per cent of the performances. Even the stunt performance on the UAE National Day and new year’s eve became less now,” he said.
Dubai Police said that in one case, a driver was asked to pay Dh500,000 after a stunt performance on a public road that damaged public property.
“After the decree, young drivers started doing their stunts outside Dubai borders as they spend huge amount of money to modify their vehicles and can’t afford to pay money to recover their vehicles. Only one person paid Dh100,000 to recover his vehicle since the decree was issued in 2015,” Brigadier Al Mazroui said.
He said all vehicles were abandoned by owners and will be sold in public auction.
However, Dubai Police tried many times to speak with young drivers to encourage them to practise their stunt performance in designated racetracks like Umm Al Quwain or the one in Dubai but only 5 per cent of the drivers responded.
“Most of them prefer to perform on public roads in front of their mates or people. Many of them don’t have good experience in stunt performance like the City Walk stunt driver who caused damages and was arrested later,” Brigadier Al Mazroui said.
Earlier last week, the young motorist who performed dangerous stunts with his vehicle on a wet road in Dubai’s City Walk during rain and damaged property, was ordered to clean Dubai roads for four hours per day for a month as community service.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, ordered the 17-year-old Emirati driver and his companions to clean Dubai streets as punishment for his reckless behaviour.
The video circulated on social media, causing anger among people who demanded his arrest.
His vehicle has been impounded and he will have to pay Dh100,000 to get it back.