ABU DHABI // The UAE has only three known weighing stations on its roads - points along the motorway at which lorries can be pulled over by police for a weight check.
Abu Dhabi has one in Mussaffah on the road to Al Ain after the Mafraq bridge; Ras Al Khaimah has another; and there is one between Fujairah and Al Dhaid.
Amjad Al Saadi, operations manager of Roadlink General Transport in Abu Dhabi, said only two of these were operational.
"I just found out today that the Mussaffah weigh station is not working," Mr Al Saadi said.
There is no weigh station in Dubai, and senior officials at the Roads and Transport Authority have said they had no plans to install any.
Lorry drivers and operators say they are not often pulled over at the weigh stations for independent checks.
Most stop to weigh themselves because, for cross-border transport to Qatar and Bahrain, lorries carrying more than 15 tonnes of cargo for each axle can be fined Dh3,000, Mr Al Saadi said.
The only other points at which a lorry can be weighed are on entering and leaving cargo pick-up points, such as quarries.
Sanjiv Dillai, supervisor at Saif Bin Darwish Crushers in Fujairah, said the company placed no limits on how much a lorry could carry and drivers were left to decide how much was safe to carry.
"Lorries are weighed on entering the quarry and again when they leave, and we determine the load they have picked up," said Mr Dillai. "Most lorries average 65 to 70 tonnes of cargo per trip."
Abdulilah Zineddin, who holds a doctorate in traffic engineering and safety, said: "Certainly, there is a big lorry problem in Abu Dhabi when it comes to enforcement and education. The focus should be on who is responsible in enforcing the laws."
The Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi manages the weigh station there but does not have authority to fine or stop those with overloaded vehicles.
"There is a big policy gap," one source said. "DoT can't enforce any kind of law. It's like giving one a police building but you can't put anyone in jail."