Dubai: Local authorities are beefing up against reckless motorists who race during the month of Ramadan in a bid to keep UAE roads safe.
The awareness campaign was launched after a horrific traffic accident in Al Ain left four people dead and one with serious injuries. The accident took place on the fourth day of Ramadan when two motorists raced against each other, and ran over two women who were crossing the road from the designated area.
Abu Dhabi and Dubai Police announced on Tuesday that offenders will be heavily penalised with a Dh2,000 fine, 23 black points on their traffic file and the vehicle will be impounded for 60 days.
Under UAE traffic law, it is also illegal to modify a vehicle’s engine or chassis without appropriate approval. Violators will be fined Dh1,000 and slapped with 12 black points. Their vehicle will also be impounded for 30 days.
Traffic police said that young, irresponsible drivers tend to race against each other on highways and residential areas, who not only endanger their own lives but also the lives of other motorists and pedestrians. Police also pointed out that especially during Ramadan, street races happen late at night and into the early morning.
The UAE adheres to a zero-tolerance policy for reckless driving and will take legal action against street racing.
Colonel Juma Salim Bin Suwaidan, Director General of Traffic Department at Dubai Police, said educating the youth is key to preventing illegal races and that Dubai Police is willing to open a dialogue with young drivers on social networking sites.
Residents on social media, such as @khalid4000k, said that the Dh2,000 fine was not a strong deterrent and should be increased to Dh200,000 in order to have a financial impact on motorists.
@budoor_a1 said: “It’s a good initiative. Last month, I was driving between 180 - 200 km/h on Maleha Road and was stopped by police, who gave me a Dh2,000 fine and impounded my car.”