Sharjah: As many as 120 vehicles were permanently confiscated yesterday after a new order was implemented in the emirate of Sharjah to prohibit motorists from disturbing the peace in neighbourhoods.

According to a Sharjah Police official, the new rule is also applicable to vehicles that are registered in other emirates.

"Since the order was announced, we have confiscated more than 100 vehicles, including cars and quad bikes, whose engines [were modified] to make loud noises," the official said.

He stressed that the confiscated vehicles will not be returned to owners under any circumstances.

The new rule was issued by His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, who instructed Sharjah Police on Tuesday to permanently confiscate vehicles and motorbikes with modified exhaust systems that disturb the peace across the emirate's neighbourhoods.

According to the new rule that has been put into effect immediately, automobile workshops and other facilities will be closed down if they are found to be responsible for modifying exhaust systems or providing any other facility that allows any vehicle's engine to be louder than usual.

"Within one hour after the order was announced, Sharjah Police immediately confiscated a large amount of vehicles that were found to be flouting the rules," Major-General Humaid Mohammad Al Hudaidi, Chief of Sharjah Police, said yesterday.

Maj Gen Al Hudaidi also held discussions with the heads of police patrols on how to eliminate the practice of modifications in cars, quad bikes and motorcycles.

"These incidents tend to increase during summer as the youth are not in school, and spend their time in auto workshops, adding devices that modify their engines and exhaust systems," Maj Gen Al Hudaidi said.

Great disturbance

"Such modifications cause a great disturbance to residents and also pose a safety hazard to motorists who drive recklessly and ultimately, put their own lives at risk," he added.

Maj Gen Al Hudaidi emphasised that Shaikh Sultan's directive had authorised police to permanently confiscate all vehicles in the emirate if they are found to have been modified and cause unruly disturbances.