DUBAI // The head of Dubai Traffic Police has called for a ban on parades during festive seasons, saying they create disorder.
In the space of two days, during National Day celebrations that took place on December 2-3, more than 600 fines were issued and 147 cars were confiscated for violating traffic rules in trouble spots on Dubai.
Maj Gen Saif al Zafein, the head of Dubai Traffic Police, said yesterday that he had submitted a recommendation to the Dubai Police Chief to ban parades during festive seasons.
"In principle, the parades are meant to be a sign of celebration, but there are some who participate for the wrong reasons. Certain people are using these parades as an excuse to practise unacceptable behaviour on our roads," said Maj Gen al Zafein, adding that the police chief was currently looking into the case and would make a decision on the matter soon.
Among the reasons cited for the ban are the disorder and noise the parades create, disturbing the public. He also said some modifications to cars could increase gas emissions and pollution.
During National Day celebrations, he said, some motorists drove aggressively, while others over-decorated their cars to the extent that it obstructed the driver's view and led to accidents.
Ovet the two-day period, Dubai traffic police deployed 150 patrols to supplement their daily 120 patrols in the Bur Dubai and Deira areas.
The patrols were looking for motorists who drove recklessly or performed illegal stunts on the roads, and their cars were confiscated.
Police also confiscated cars with decorated windshields and front windows. Tow trucks were deployed to Jumeirah Beach Road and the Al Mamzar area to speed up confiscation.
Over the two days, in the Jumeirah Beach Road and Al Mamzar areas alone, traffic police handed out 661 fines and confiscated 147 cars. These were identified as the two main areas for parades.
The cars that were seized will be confiscated for three months, in addition to any confiscation time stipulated by the fines.
About 98 fines were issued for endangering lives and reckless driving. The fine for both offences is Dh2,000 and 12 black points on the driver's licence. A further 108 fines were issued for unusual noise, while 91 drivers were fined for over-decorating their cars.
Drivers in Sharjah and Ajman also received fines for illegal car decorations during the National Day celebrations, police officials said. In Ajman 46 drivers were fined Dh200 for the offence, and had to remove their decorations in front of the police, said Col Sheikh Sultan al Nuaimi, the deputy director of Ajman Police.
"Most of the drivers we fined were young motorists," he said. "They have a habit of defying traffic rules. They can't see the road properly, and they are putting other people's lives at risk."
Prior to National Day, police also warned car decal shops about what decorations were and were not permissible.
In Sharjah, police said most motorists adhered to the rules and very few accidents due to obscured vision were reported. Final figures of fines and accidents for the emirate are yet to be released.
"Most drivers got our message that it is dangerous to drive with a lot of decorations on a car," said Col Eid al Madhloom, the director of Sharjah Police operations. "Celebrations should not bring a relaxation in traffic rules, as this results in the loss of lives."
* With additional reporting by Yasin Kakande
Drivers fined on Jumeirah Beach Road and in the Al Mamzar area between December 2-3
Number of cars confiscated on the spot in Jumeirah and Al Mamzar between December 2-3
Number of fines handed out for endangering lives and reckless driving
Black points that come with <saxo:ch value="226 128 168"/>a fine for reckless driving
Fine, in dirhams, for reckless driving
Fines issued in Jumeirah and Al Mamzar between December 2-3 for over-decoration of vehicles