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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

More than 12,000 motorists fined for using mobile phones while driving in Dubai

The figure is a 24 per cent drop from the same period the year before

More than 12,000 motorists in Dubai were fined for using their mobile phones while driving over the past three months, down almost a quarter from the same period the year before, police said on Sunday.

Colonel Jumaa Salem Bin Suweidan, deputy head of Dubai Traffic Police, said 12,257 traffic fines were issued to distracted drivers using their mobile phones between January and March this year.

The figure — a decrease from the 16,090 fines issued for the same offence during the same period the year before — averages around 136 fines issued per day.

Offending motorists incurred a Dh800 fine and four black points on their driving licences. The fine was increased from Dh200 after the Federal Traffic Law was updated on July 1 last year.

Col Bin Suweidan said 4,380 fines were issued in January this year, 3,582 in February and 4,295 in March.

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He said using a mobile phone for talking, texting or checking social media is classified as a serious offence and is one of the leading cause for major traffic accidents in the emirate.

Last year, Dubai Police also warned motorists against eating or drinking behind the wheel.

Though it may not be illegal, motorists were told they should refrain from any behaviour that could result in distracted driving.

Traffic authorities in the UAE previously said 10 per cent of crashes could be linked back to drivers using their mobile phones to browse social media or take videos while driving.

“The use of a mobile phone while driving disrupts a large part of the vital functions necessary for safe driving and the ability to act quickly to avoid danger is decreased while using a phone,” said Col Bin Suweidan on Sunday.

“Many drivers do not realise that using a phone while driving poses a threat to their lives and the lives of others.

“The lack of attention of the driver for a few seconds may lead to an accident that the driver and other innocent people may have to pay the price of for the rest of their lives.”