x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Abu Dhabi police impound 2000 cars for running red lights

The Abu Dhabi Police have impounded almost 2,000 vehicles for running red lights to curb dangerous driving.

ABU DHABI // The Abu Dhabi Police have impounded almost 2,000 vehicles for running red lights since March to curb dangerous driving. Lt Col Ahmed al Shehi, director of the traffic department, said it was imperative to stop such driving since it often led to crashes, injuries and deaths. Those caught were fined Dh800 (US$218), had their cars impounded for 15 days and eight points added to their licences.

"A number of serious injuries and deaths have occurred as a result of motorists accelerating to beat the light before it changes to red," Lt Col Shehi said. "Red light runners have lost control of their vehicles, and in some cases, have overturned in them from the force of the impact" into oncoming traffic. He highlighted a case in July when three men were injured in a collision at the intersection of Muroor Road and 21st Street.

According to police, a white Mitsubishi Galant ran a red light and crashed into an oncoming car and a 4x4 on Muroor Road. The cars were badly damaged and the 4x4 overturned. In Dubai last month, a 35-year-old Briton ran a red light only to hit a 4x4 vehicle carrying tourists, killing his passenger and a Pakistani in the other vehicle. Lt Col Shehi said drivers should pay special attention during the next two weeks as many families would be on the roads celebrating Eid al Fitr. In March, Abu Dhabi Police began strict enforcement of new traffic laws under which drivers can lose their licence if they commit numerous driving offences.

Drivers who accumulate 24 penalty points have their licence confiscated for three months. The ban is extended to six months for repeat offenders and the licence can be lost for a year if a motorist receives three bans. Banned drivers have to attend a training course. Police said its investigative unit was keeping a watch on drivers who have had their licences suspended to ensure they did not drive while banned. Those caught are referred to the Public Prosecution for punishment that can include a three-month prison sentence or a fine of Dh3,000 (US$816) or both.

ealghalib@thenational.ae