Dubai: Dubai Police is urging legislators to consider making some traffic violations criminal offences and prosecute offenders, a senior police official told Gulf News.

Major General Mohammad Saif Al Zafein, Director of Dubai Police Traffic Department, wants some traffic violations to be dealt with as criminal acts and the offenders referred to the public prosecutor to face charges of endangering people’s lives and affecting road safety.

He said traffic law and criminal law are separate in the UAE and unless someone flees the scene of an accident, or commits a crime in the car, they are only guilty of a minor traffic offence.

“There is a need to criminalise traffic law here, so, for example, one must be guilty of a crime for travelling 300 km/h,” said Al Zafein.

Al Zafein says those who drive at extreme speeds are putting lives in danger.

“I urge Dubai Traffic Public Prosecutors to cooperate with us in order to criminalise those who commit dangerous traffic violations which include over speeding, drinking and driving even if they did not involve in an accident, driving in reckless way and many other traffic violations,” said Al Zafein.

Al Zafein said the threat of prosecution would make a driver think twice about speeding.

“Being sentenced in a crime that means the person, at least, will find it difficult to get, for example, a good conduct certificate which will have bad impact on that offender,” he said.

Al Zafein added that the ultimate aim is to protect peoples’ lives and to keep roads safe.

“We want to reduce deaths on roads to zero per cent for each 100,000 of the population by 2020.

“We urge the public prosecutions to take the matter into consideration because the aim is to protect people and not to punish them."

Speed kills

Major General Al Zafein said that in Dubai five people have died in 38 crashes involving 51 cars this year as a result of speeding.

Three people died in 22 crashes due to reckless driving, with 34 cars involved.

This year, six people were killed and 234 injured in 140 crashes caused when drivers jumped a red light.