x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

One killed, 16 injured after unlicenced driver rear-ends minibus in Dubai, say police

The 20-year-old's licence was revoked in May after he exceeded his black points, according to Dubai traffic prosecution.

DUBAI // One man was killed and 16 others injured in a crash caused by a driver whose licence was revoked two months ago.

The Emirati driver, 20, rammed his 4x4 into a minibus carrying 17 Pakistanis at 7.45pm on Saturday in the fast lane on Al Qudra Road, near the Bab Al Shams desert resort in Dubai.

He was not paying attention and was not keeping a safe distance when he hit the minibus from behind, pushing it 25 metres before it hit a railing and then dragging it a further 32 metres before it came to a stop, police said.

The 4x4 driver, who was not injured in the crash, was arrested on the spot and interrogated by traffic prosecutors today. He remains in police custody.

The young man's licence expired in January and was revoked in May for three months because he had more than 24 black points.

"Driving the vehicle while his licence is revoked is by itself a crime," said Salah Bu Farousha, head of Dubai Traffic Public Prosecution.

He said prosecutors were considering charges of posing a risk to the safety of others, causing the death of others, damaging property and driving with an expired and revoked licence.

The minibus driver may also be charged with risking the lives of others. The maximum number of people permitted in minibuses is 14 including the driver, but the minibus had 16 passengers. "The gravity of accidents involving minibuses is because they carry large numbers of passengers and their safety levels as a vehicle are not high," Mr Bu Farousha said, and police always expect deaths and injuries in crashes involving minibuses.

Prosecutors will gather evidence from witnesses and complete their investigations before referring the case to court.