More than 1,300 fines have been issued this year to drivers who have left their vehicles parked with their engines running, Abu Dhabi Traffic Police and Patrols officials said yesterday.
Officials said the law has been enforced for two years despite recent reports saying it had been reinstated. The main purpose of this law is public safety, police officials said.
"The fact that drivers follow this [law] is crucial for the safety of both the public and the driver," said Col Hussein al Harethi, head of the traffic department. "If children are left inside the car, it's very dangerous - the car could heat up and go on fire, or children could suffocate inside the vehicle."
Col al Harethi said leaving a vehicle with the engine running could make the owner vulnerable. "The vehicle could get stolen or involved in other accidents. Valuable belongings inside the vehicle could also be stolen, including parts of the vehicle itself."
Leaving a parked car with the engine running could result in a Dh300 fine - and there is no time limit. "Even if it's just for a few moments, a car cannot be abandoned while the engine is running," Col al Harethi said.
Col al Harethi added that although no law exists for leaving children in a correctly parked vehicle with the engine turned off, any vehicle found with young children in the car and no adult present will be turned over to the police.