1279! That’s the number of traffic fines Dubai Police recorded on the first day after the new UAE traffic law regulations came into effect on July 1. Being publicized through the social media and the news for months now, the authorities have mentally prepared drivers and residents for this change.
From Day 1 numbers, it looked like Dubai residents had a tough time adjusting. Later numbers showed signs of adaptability with 59,777 traffic fines recorded during the first week of July compared to 94,964 fines in the last week of June, a decrease of 37% according to Dubai Police statistics.A 2016 survey conducted by YouGov showed that over 50 percent of the drivers in the UAE think using signal indicators are a sign of weakness, inexperience or just driving behavior that is out of habit or culture to them. Keeping this in mind, the newly introduced regulations seem like the right way to tackle this reckless road behavior.
The common population might feel a bit frustrated with the increase in traffic fines, however, these amendments come with a goal.
To bring down the fatalities in road accidents to a rate of 3 per 100,000 people by 2021, from an almost double 5.99 per 100,000 people in 2015, as part of the government’s ‘UAE Vision 2021’.
We’ve summarized some of the major violations on the list of new UAE traffic law and the corresponding fines accordingly:
- Driving with an expired license in the UAE can lead to a hefty fine of AED 500 in addition to four black points on your driving record and the possibility of your vehicle being confiscated by the local police as well.
- In the recent foggy weather conditions, driving with the hazard lights on will result in a AED 500 fine and four black points. Police advice drivers to stop in a safe area and refrain from driving when visibility drops to zero.
- If you weren’t the kind of person who is that comfortable wearing a seat belt while driving, get ready to buckle up. ALL people in a car must wear a seat belt and failing to do so will result in a Dhs400 fine and 4 black points for the driver.
- As tempting as it is for many people to check their social media accounts on highways and at traffic lights, the new laws penalize drivers texting or using their mobile phone while driving with a Dhs800 fine and 4 black points.
- While alcohol is legal to consume in the UAE through licensed venues, driving under the influence of alcohol will cost you a heavy Dhs20,000 fine and/or a possible jail term (which will be decided by the court). It will also incur 23 black points and the vehicle will be confiscated for 60 days.
- Almost all residents in the UAE require window tints to protect them from the scorching summer heat, but be aware that the official law is no window tints more than 50% will be tolerated and any percentage higher than that will get you a Dhs1,500 fine.
- Almost guaranteed on any major highway in the Emirates is multiple cars slowing down to “inspect” a close-by accident and thereby very inappropriately obstructing the way. This is one of the regulations I think people will be pleased with. Blocking the traffic and ‘rubbernecking’ during accidents will now cost you a Dhs1,000 fine and 6 black points. Some of us back here at Souqalmal.com wish it was more!
- We’re used to everything ‘over-the-top’ in cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, so a fancy and loud car is almost around every corner. As a way to ensure the comfort of residents and street commuters, driving a noisy vehicle or causing excessive noise disturbance will cost you Dhs2,000 and 6 black points. Sorry car enthusiasts!
- Focusing on families with this regulation, children under four need to be in child car seats now, and there will be a Dhs400 fine for drivers who allow children under the age of 10 and below 145 centimeters to sit in the front seat. [Related: Ideal cars for families with children]