SHARJAH // Police in Sharjah handed out more traffic citations in a one-week period than ever before to kick off a no-nonsense safety campaign that is targeting any driver disobeying the rules of the road.
More than 6,600 tickets were handed out over the week that ended on Tuesday, said Col Mohammed Eid al Madhloom, the head of the Sharjah Police operations department, who is leading the open-ended campaign.
Particular attention was paid to drivers not wearing seat belts, who received more than 20 per cent of the fines.
"It's the biggest one-week figure ever recorded here," Col al Madhloom said. "Our team is already doing good work on the roads and hardly any traffic violation goes unreported now."
Almost 400 tickets were issued to drivers using mobile phones, while 150 motorists caught blocking traffic were also nabbed. Other common violations included speeding, unlicensed driving, street racing, illegal overtaking and parking offences.
Most citations were issued on the Emirates and Al Ithihad roads, followed by the Central Souq, Cultural and Al Zahra roundabouts. The Al Dhaid, Maleha and Bypass roads also came under scrutiny.
The emirate's police chief urged motorists to show proper care and warned that authorities had no plans to back down from their heightened state of alert when it came to road safety.
"We are continuing with the crackdowns," said Maj Gen Humaid Mohammed al Hudaidi. "Police patrol units have direct orders from me to be on the roads fining violators until motorists obey the traffic rules. Incidents where young unlicensed drivers were allowed on the roads were regrettable and parents needed to be stricter with their children, Major Gen al Hudaidi said.
The campaign seemed a good idea, even to some of those caught in its web. Mohammed Hamza, a Sharjah resident, liked the fact police were being more vigilant despite being fined Dh400 because his friend was not wearing a seat belt.
"I had not noticed he was not putting it on, but police insisted it was my responsibility as a driver to look at him," he said. "I know it is dangerous not to fasten a seat belt, and support the police in fining other motorists."