Dubai: Rear-ending a car that has stopped suddenly is not always the fault of the driver of the vehicle at the back, especially if the car in front comes to an unexpected halt on a fast road, a senior police official said Sunday.
Speaking at the opening of a traffic awareness campaign under the slogan "Commit", Colonel Ali Ganem, Director of Bur Dubai Police Station and head of the campaign, said drivers who fail to observe simple traffic rules will be fined, and black points will be given for causing minor accidents and blocking traffic.
"Motorists should not stop suddenly assuming that if they are hit from behind, it will be the other driver's fault — because if their sudden stop or swerve causes an accident, they can also be held accountable," he said.
The campaign is targeted at minor accidents because these cause traffic jams and waste time.
The campaign, which runs until July 21, focuses on the four main offences that cause the highest number of minor accidents: failure to leave a safe distance, failure to check that a road is clear before entering it, lane discipline violations and stopping in the middle of roads.
Campaigns bear fruit
The ongoing traffic awareness campaigns have resulted in a drop in the number of minor accidents from 223,362 in 2009 to 200,044 in 2010, and a further noticeable drop in the first quarter of 2011.
"In the first quarter of 2009 there were 59,041 minor accidents, which went down to 47,536 in the first quarter of 2010 and further to 35,218 in the first quarter this year," Col. Ganem said. The campaign also aims to reduce traffic jams resulting from minor accidents, which often cause other drivers to stop their cars out of curiosity or to take pictures. "We always tell people not to stop their cars in the middle of the road if they have a minor accident, but go to a police station to get a report instead," Col. Ganem said.
He added if and when police personnel are required at an accident spot, a patrol will be sent. However, cars involved in minor collisions should be moved to a safe place and not left blocking traffic in the middle of roads.
The campaign includes television and radio programmes, distribution of 50,000 flyers through the post, postal stamps depicting the campaign logo, messages pasted at ATMs, text messages and 5,000 posters on the roads.
At a glance: Fines and black points
- Stopping in the middle of the road is punishable by a fine of Dh500 and four black points.
- Not leaving a safe distance is punishable by a fine of Dh400 and four black points.
- Entering a road before checking it is clear is punishable by a fine of Dh400 and four black points.
- Prohibited entry is punishable by a fine of Dh200 and four black points.
- Lane discipline violation is punishable by a fine of Dh200 and four black points for light vehicles, and Dh600 and six black points for heavy vehicles.