Abu Dhabi: A UAE-based social media celebrity has been jailed for three months, and fined Dh100,000, after he uploaded a clip that showed him driving at speeds exceeding 205 kilometres per hour.
The celebrity was convicted on charges of reckless driving and endangerment, the Abu Dhabi Court of Misdemeanours announced on Saturday.
A second individual who filmed the misdemeanour, and encouraged the celebrity to speed while driving for the sake of views, has also received a similar jail sentence and Dh100,000 fine.
Authorities have also impounded the luxury car, and confiscated the phones used to film and upload the misdemeanour. In addition, the celebrity’s driving licence has been suspended for six months, and both defendants have been banned from using the social networking site for six months.
The Court ordered that the video clip be erased, and that the two social media accounts be shut down, with their owners made accountable for all legal fees.
The Court explained that authorities regularly monitor social media accounts for negative behaviours, and that they had noticed clip showing the celebrity driving at 205 kilometres per hour on one of the main internal roads in Abu Dhabi island. The celebrity also went on to show off his car, and because his following includes many young people and adolescents, it was believed that the clip might encourage others to emulate the behaviour.
The Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution stressed that parading a vehicle on public roads and driving it recklessly is an irresponsible act that puts the driver, as well as other road users, at risk. Endangering lives in this manner is subject to a fine and a jail sentence for up to three years, the authority said.
It urged social media influencers to be responsible, especially as many young and impressionable users may see them as role models.