Sudden change of lanes without indicating is the leading cause of road accidents in the UAE. Picture for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News archive

Dubai: Within three days of the amended federal traffic law coming into force on July 1, Dubai Police issued fines for 4,935 traffic offences, Gulf News has learnt.

Official statistics obtained by Gulf News showed that 1,333 of the fines were issued in the presence of policemen.

New UAE traffic law comes into force

Brigadier Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, Director of Traffic Department in Dubai Police, said the number of fines do not include speeding tickets issued by radars on Dubai roads.

Lane discipline violations were the most common, with fines handed out to 747 motorists. The offence carries a fine of Dh400 and two traffic points.

“This offence became harsher now from Dh200 in the old law to Dh400 and two traffic points in the new law. It is one of the bad driving behavior on the roads,” Brig Al Mazroui said.

Blocking traffic flow, an offence which carries a fine of Dh1,000, came second on the list with 724 offences, while parking illegally came third, with 526 traffic fines.

Meanwhile, Dubai Police issued eight fines under a new provision in the law: Penalising drivers who fail to ensure their passengers have fastened seat belts.

Dubai police issue 1,279 fines on first day of new traffic law

“We are focusing on seatbelt offence as 190 drivers were fined for not wearing seatbelt and eight drivers were fined for passengers who failed to wear seatbelt. The fine is Dh400 for every passenger not putting a seatbelt and four traffic points too,” Al Mazroui said.

Dubai Police fined 145 motorists for using their phone when driving. Some 60 motorists were fined for being distracted while driving. The penalty for each of these offences is a Dh800 fine and four traffic points.

“Using phone when driving is a major offence as it can cause serious accidents, We are focusing on this offence too as many people think its fine to use their phone when driving but it is not acceptable especially on highways. I hope this behaviour will be less now after the penalty became harsher now,” Al Mazroui said.

The UAE’s amended federal traffic law came into effect on July 1, bringing into force new regulations and fines for a wide range of traffic violations.

Changes to the law include higher fines for higher speeds and confiscation of vehicles for longer durations for several offences. Officials expect the law to improve road safety and reduce the number of road fatalities.

Across the UAE, 725 people — almost two every day — were killed in traffic accidents in 2016, up from 675 the year before.