Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 June 2019

More than 1,200 drivers caught by Dubai Police on first day of law change

Blocking traffic flow was top offence.

More than 1,200 drivers were fined by Dubai Police on the first day that new traffic laws were introduced.

The General Department of Traffic said 1,279 motorists were caught on Saturday.

The single most prevalent offence was obstructing the flow of traffic, a new offence with a Dh1,000 fine. A total of 311 drivers were stopped by police officers and handed the fine while others were being caught by cameras

“The most common fine handed to drivers was for obstructing traffic. A total of 208 traffic fines were rolled out to drivers obstructing traffic," said Brigadier Saif Al Mazroui, head of Dubai Traffic Police.

A lack of lane discipline - typically swerving across motorways with little regard for fellow drivers - was second, with 125 fines issued.

"Around 98 fines were issued for parking illegally,” Brig Al Mazroui said.

Interestingly, just three drivers were fined for failing to wear a seatbelt or failing to ensure everyone else in their car was buckled up.

It was not clear whether attitudes changed overnight and motorists buckled up, or whether police showed any leniency.

Read more: Dh1,000 fine for rubbernecking introduced in UAE

The introduction of the mandatory seatbelt law was among the most significant changes to traffic law on July 1 and had been called for by police and campaigners for many years.

Drivers will be fined the same amount for failing to fix child seats for children under the age of 4.

Brig Al Mazroui said 56 motorists were fined for using their mobile phones while driving, which was already an offence but now enforceable with a Dh800 fine and four black points on the driver's licence.

"Nine drivers were fined for being distracted while driving. The traffic fine for using a mobile phone or being distracted behind the wheel is a Dh800 fine and four traffic points, Brig Al Mazroui said.

Updated: July 3, 2017 10:23 AM