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Changing lanes

Changing lanes

Traffic departments across the UAE are enforcing several new measures to reduce accidents and make the country’s roads safer.

June 22, 2009 11:21 by

The Abu Dhabi transport department announced it is introducing new parking fees and fines starting next month. The department said that there would be “rigorous enforcement” of its new rules and that both private and public parking spaces will be more tightly regulated. The emirate will be following in the lines of Dubai, and will be introducing new parking meters across the city.

Abu Dhabi is also running a three-month long campaign, cracking down on drivers using unsafe tires; since January 1, more than 8,558 drivers have been fined. On June 6, the traffic police in the emirate issued more than 50 fines to lorry drivers in just one hour for driving with worn tires, reported The National.

While the punishment for private vehicle motorists leads to the confiscation of the vehicle for a week and a fine of AED200, heavy vehicle drivers face a greater fine of AED500and six black points, along with the vehicle being confiscated for a week.

But it’s not just Abu Dhabi; in an interview with Gulf News, major general Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, deputy chief of Dubai Police, said that traffic fines in Dubai have been raised to help reduce accidents.

He told the paper that AED100 or AED200 fines were not deterring drivers, because “living standards are high here.” A single fine can now amount to AED1,000, he added.

Earlier this month, the traffic department at Dubai Police announced that it had seized around 14,000 driving licenses since the beginning of this year. While most of the licenses were detained because drivers violated traffic regulations, others were held because drivers failed to pay accumulated fines for long periods of time.

Last week, the Global Status Report on Road Safety, released by the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the roads in the UAE are some of the most dangerous in the world; the country has a death rate of 37.1 per 100,000 people. Road users in the UAE are almost seven times more likely to be killed than those in the UK, it said.

By imposing fines amounting to AED1,000, and a strict road regulation, it looks like the country may be able to change its reputation.

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