Dubai: Dropping off and picking up your children during the school rush can be hectic, and can make parents or other motorists impatient. However, if you follow basic driving rules and adhere to the speed limit, you can make the entire experience easier for yourself, as well as others.
Through a post on its official social media channels on February 6, Abu Dhabi local transportation authority - Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) - reminded motorists that the speed of cars in school areas should not exceed 30km/hour. In Dubai, the legal limit for speed limit in school zones is from 30 to 40km/hour, according to Dubai Police (LINK).
Nine rules you should keep in mind during school drop-offs and pick-ups
On Friday, February 3, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) posted nine safety rules motorists must follow while driving in school zones:
- Don't use People of Determination parking spots.
- Use the school-designated areas for drop-offs and pick-ups.
- When picking up or dropping off your children, do not stop at the side of the road which is across the school (to ensure they do not need to cross the road).
- Do not use emergency vehicle lanes.
- Slow down and obey all traffic rules.
- Stop at the school bus stop sign.
- Obey school crossing guards' signals.
- Be alert and watch out for children near school zones.
- Avoid distractions or using mobile phones near school zones.
Traffic fines you should keep in mind while dropping your children off at school
While driving to school during the morning rush is stressful, if you do not follow basic traffic rules, it can result in fines. Here are some traffic violations you must keep in mind.
Dh1,000 for using parking spots reserved for People of Determination
Parking in spots reserved for People of Determination is illegal, and the violation carries a Dh1,000 parking fine and six traffic black points. Apart from misusing a parking spot for People of Determination, there is also a fine for people who misuse a parking permit that was issued to a Person of Determination. Whether you use an expired parking permit, or use one that was not issued to you, the violation will lead to a fine of Dh1,000. Additionally, the permit has to be displayed on the car’s dashboard window. If it is not visible, the driver will incur a Dh1,000 fine.
Speeding fines in the UAE
The UAE’s Federal Traffic Law - lays out clear fines and penalties for drivers who fail to abide by the speed limit of a given road. In school zones in the speed limit can range from 30 to 40km/hour.
Here are the traffic fines motorists might face if they do not follow the speed limits stipulated in school areas:
Exceeding the maximum speed limit by no more than 20 km/hour
Exceeding the maximum speed limit by no more than 30 km/hour
Exceeding the maximum speed limit by no more than 40 km/hour
Exceeding the maximum speed limit by no more than 50 km/hour
Exceeding the maximum speed limit by no more than 60 km/hour
Black Points: 6
Retention period: 15 days for light vehicles
Exceeding the maximum speed limit by more than 60 km/hour
Black Points: 12
Retention period: 30 days for light vehicles
Exceeding the maximum speed limit by more than 80 km/hour
Black Points: 23
Retention period: 60 days for light vehicles
Dh1,000 fine for not stopping for a school bus ‘stop sign’:
School buses in the UAE have stop signs installed on them that pop out from the side of the bus whenever a child is about to get off. Once the stop sign is shown, motorists must come to a complete stop and keep a distance of no less than five metres to ensure the safe and secure crossing of students.
If motorists ignore this sign, a Dh1,000 will be imposed on them and also face an additional 10 black points.
Here’s what you should do when you see a bus use the stop sign:
• On single-lane roads, motorists in both directions should stop at a distance of at least five metres.
• On a two-lane road, the drivers headed in the same direction as the bus must stop at a distance of at least five metres from the school bus on both lanes.
Dh800 fine for using a mobile phone while driving:
Not paying attention to the road or using a mobile phone, can land you a Dh800 fine and four black points, as per the UAE’s Federal Traffic Law.
In August 2022, Abu Dhabi Police reported that texting while driving increases the risk of the motorist ending up in a traffic accident by 23 times, whereas answering a call triples the risk.