The traffic violation for drivers not wearing a seat belt can incur a Dh800 fine and four black points. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: GN Archives

Abu Dhabi: The new traffic radars in Abu Dhabi are all set to start catching errant motorists on January 1, 2021.

The new radars, which were installed across various locations of Abu Dhabi city, will snap photos of motorists who use their mobile phones while driving, as well as those who fail to buckle up.

The Vehicular Attention and Safety Tracker (VAST), launched by Abu Dhabi Police in cooperation with Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA), aims to reduce road accidents and enhance traffic safety in the emirate. The Data and Modern Technology team from ADDA worked closely with the relevant team from the Abu Dhabi Police to develop this joint analytical model by collecting, tracking, analysing and processing data using artificial intelligence techniques.

Police had earlier explained that the new radars will be able to capture high-resolution images through artificial intelligence-powered cameras. An automated process then analyses the images to detect seat belt and mobile phone violations.

If drivers are caught breaking the mobile phone or seat belt rule, they will then receive a SMS as a record of their violation, and a notice to rectify their behaviour.

Fines and black points

According to recent statistics, more than 22,000 motorists were fined for failing to wear their seat belt on Abu Dhabi roads during the first six months of 2020.

Abu Dhabi Police had registered 22,162 offences against drivers who were caught violating the safety seat belt rule from January to June. According to amendments made to the Federal Traffic Law, the fine for drivers not wearing a seat belt is Dh400, and the penalty for a child not in a car seat is also Dh400. In addition, four black points will be registered on the driver's licence.

According to Article 32 of the UAE Federal Traffic Law, handling a mobile phone while driving – whether to take photos or write messages – will lead to a Dh800 fine and four black points.

Earlier this year, Abu Dhabi Police implemented the tailgating smart detection system from January 15, 2020 to catch tailgaters — a dangerous practice and an all-too common sight across UAE roads, seen behind numerous road mishaps. Through the system, police also send text messages to notify violating drivers and warn them about the fines in case of repeated tailgating instances. The fine for tailgating is Dh400 fine and four black points.