x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Sheikh Abdullah thanks police after texting while driving stop

Road safety: Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has been pulled over by police for texting while driving - and he tweeted his thanks to officers for doing so.

ABU DHABI // Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has been pulled over by police for texting while driving - and he tweeted his thanks to officers for doing so.

His message on Twitter after the incident two days ago - which read "Thank you Abu Dhabi Police" - has been retweeted more than 1,500 times, and received many replies.

The penalty for texting while driving is a Dh200 fine and 4 black points on the driver's licence.

Abdulilah Zineddin, a road-safety specialist in Abu Dhabi, said there should be more widespread enforcement of the law on texting and driving. "There already are laws, but there should be more enforcement - meaning fining more people," he said.

He said that a warning was not an effective-enough deterrent, and since there is a law, the penalties should apply to all who are caught.

"I know the police are doing a great job in enforcing the law, but more people should be fined in order to learn," he added.

Mohamed Al Mahmoud, an Emirati motorist, said pulling over Sheikh Abdullah was a sign that the police were doing their job properly.

"The way Sheikh Abdullah took it was very positive and he was backing them up," he said. "That should motivate them." However, he suggested that preventive laws and education campaigns might be more effective than fines.

aalkhoori@thenational.ae