Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Police have launched a campaign urging motorists to avoid overtaking from the hard shoulder on roads and always give way to emergency and Civil Defence vehicles, rescue teams, rapid intervention vehicles, police patrols and official convoys.

The campaign aims to raise awareness on traffic regulations among motorists, and encourage them to follow good-driving practices.

The police will enhance the number of traffic patrols and traffic monitoring via radars to catch motorists using the yellow line road shoulder, while raising awareness on traffic regulations, and the dangers of using the road shoulder and not giving way to emergency vehicles, as part of the campaign.

Awareness programmes and lectures on dangers of driving or halting on the road shoulder will be also be held across public and private sectors.

Brigadier Ali Khalfan Al Dhaheri, Director General of Central Operations at Abu Dhabi Police, said overtaking from the road shoulder is a very dangerous practice that endangers the lives of road users. He reminded that the road shoulder is designated for emergency use by ambulances, rapid intervention vehicles and police patrols to reach accident sites and provide emergency assistance.

Brig. Al Dhaheri pointed out that overtaking from the road shoulder is a major offence that will not be taken lightly, and that hefty penalties will be handed down to errant motorists who hinder the work of emergency services or official convoys.

Brigadier Khalifa Mohammad Al Khaili, Director General of Traffic and Patrols Directorate in Abu Dhabi Police said that motorists overtaking from the road shoulder will be fined Dh600 and get six black points, pointing out that severe penalties will be handed down to motorists for repeating the same offence.

Brig. AL Khaili added that motorists not giving way to police patrols, rescue and emergency services, ambulance vehicles and official convoys will have their vehicle confiscated for one month, fined Dh500, and get four black points.

He pointed out that 7,349 fines were issued last year in Abu Dhabi for overtaking from the road shoulder, recording a 23 per cent decline compared to 2015.

Al Khaili urged motorists to be patient in traffic congestions, desist from using the road shoulder and give way to police, emergency and rescue vehicles.

— The writer is a journalist based in Abu Dhabi