ABU DHABI // Police did not let National Day get in the way of handing out tickets to drivers who went overboard decorating their cars. The Abu Dhabi Police and Traffic Department said motorists were fined for any "clear violation" of the instructions it gave last week on how people could decorate their cars. It would not say how many drivers it fined.
"We acted according to the official instructions," an officer said. "Decorating a car is permitted during the National Day holiday, but we told motorists that placing stickers or pictures on mirrors and windows are not allowed. That's dangerous. We fined everyone who violated the guidelines." Decorations must not cover the whole vehicle or block motorists' views. Windows and light must not be covered. Phrases or stickers that offend "public decency" are also not allowed. The fine for any violation is Dh200 (US$54).
Yesterday's fines did not include cases of offending public decency, the police said. Offending drivers were stopped by the police and were asked to remove the stickers before they could drive on. "They stopped me in the middle of the street," said Abdullah al Mazrouei, a 26-year-old Emirati student. "I was not actually aware of my violation of the law. I had pictures on the windscreen. Not the whole of the windscreen was covered, just one third of it.
"They explained to me it was wrong and insisted that I should remove it before I could continue driving. I don't, honestly, know if they fined me or not. I was blocking the traffic so I was asked to go." Police patrols were intensified from Tuesday, mainly along the Corniche. firstname.lastname@example.org