Dubai: Motorists in Dubai are furious that they no longer have a 10-minute grace period after their paid parking tickets expire.
The 10-minute grace period has been abolished by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
The RTA parking inspectors are now entitled to issue a parking fine as soon as a parking ticket expires.
Under the grace period, RTA inspectors would allow 10 minutes past the paid parking time for motorists to either renew their tickets or drive away. However the authority has reversed its policy and inspectors are now issuing fines right away.
Radio 2: Feyaza Khan reports on RTA not giving a grace period
A Dubai Roads and Transport Authority spokesman said: "The parking inspectors are authorised to issue fines for vehicles even after one minute of expiry of parking ticket time."
He also said that motorists would still be given a 10-minute grace period in which to buy a parking ticket, from the time they park their car. This would give motorists time to get to the parking machine and back to their car.
"Motorists should utilise the mParking facility to pay and renew their parking tickets to avoid such fines," he added. However, motorists said it was illogical to give a 10-minute grace period at the time of parking the car in the parking zone.
"The RTA should rethink its policy of grace period and should facilitate motorists instead of making their lives difficult," said K. Kurram, an Indian national in Karama.
"How can an inspector know that a particular car is parking for less or more than 10 minutes if it does not have a ticket?" he said.
Gulf News received a number of complaints against parking inspectors who were rushing to issue parking tickets within minutes of the paid parking tickets' expiry.
Ameerah Shah said: "I got a fine within two minutes of expiry of my ticket and I was told that the fine is correct when I contacted the customer service centre to launch a complaint." She said she used to get a grace period of up to 10 minutes. She said that the RTA should have informed motorists about this change before starting to issue such fines.
However an RTA spokesman said motorists who parked in the paid parking zones in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi would still get at least a five-minute grace period after their paid parking tickets expired before they could be fined. The RTA spokesman also said that parking inspectors were authorised to issue parking fines even on holidays in cases of illegal parking.
How to pay
There are various options to pay for parking in paid parking zones in Dubai.
In addition to using coins, motorists can also use the mParking service to pay for parking tickets using their mobile phones.There are also various types of pre-paid cards and seasonal cards
Cards in Category A cost Dh700 for three months, Dh1,300 for six months and Dh2,500 for one year.
Cards in Category B cost Dh450 for three months, Dh800 for six months and Dh1,500 for one year.
Were you aware that the grace period had been abolished? Have you recently been fined immediately after your ticket expired? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org