Dubai : The number of motorists being fined for pulling into a Dubai street are so high that it's leading to a jam, with drivers lining up for their turn to get the police ticket.
The queues happen when drivers turning right on Al Maktoum Road for the Union Square Metro station or Dubai Municipality health clinic are stopped by traffic policemen waiting down the street — the access-way is only for public buses and taxis.
But the problem, motorists said, is that the road signs leading up to the turn are not clear. A right-turn sign for the clinic is followed by a no-right-turn sign which says: "RTA [Roads and Transport Authority] buses and taxis only." However, the warning becomes hard to see behind vehicles rolling into a bus station there. Shortly after that, another right-turn sign (for the Metro) comes up, only to be followed, again, by another no-right-turn sign. "Except RTA buses and taxis," it says.
Moreover, city authorities have closed down Street 8, the only right-turn on Al Maktoum Road that used to lead straight to the clinic. It now falls inside the no-go zone (except for RTA buses and taxis). "The new access-way is a trap," said an Indian motorist soon after getting slapped with a fine of Dh220 and two black points on his driver's licence. "By the time you've figured out what's going on, it's time to turn. You see everyone else doing it, so you assume it's OK."
As it turns out for them, it's not alright. Car after car gets pulled over by police officers standing on the road side. When parking space runs out, which it does every few minutes, drivers are told to come round a bend and fall in line.
"Why don't they stand right on the turning point itself and direct everyone to go straight instead?" said a Frenchman. "I was here last year, Street 8 was open. This new road looks the same. You can't tell the old one is closed."
Some motorists try to reverse out of the street as soon as they see the long line, but are almost always caught — and fined extra.