Dh1,000 fine for Dubai YouTube stunt drivers

Court rules the defendants in a Sheikh Zayed Road stunt driving incident did not endanger the public.

DUBAI // The defendants in a Sheikh Zayed Road stunt driving incident, made famous on the popular video sharing site YouTube, have been fined Dh1,000 each after a court ruling that police had no case against them on charges of public endangerment. Saeed al Ghailani, who represented the police officer S S, 25, and the government employee S G, 20, told the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours that the May 1 incident had taken place during a sanctioned parade overseen by police. He also held that his clients were not the only motorists performing such stunts at the time. The defendants had already been fined Dh1,000 and Dh2,400 respectively after the parade by police, Mr al Ghailani said, questioning the court as to why they had been fined twice for the same offence. The men were the first defendants in Dubai to be criminally prosecuted for a road safety offence. The defendants were filmed performing doughnuts, or circular tyre burnouts, and driving a 4x4 on two wheels on the heavily travelled thoroughfare. S S and S G were arrested after an online video of the incident led to a police investigation. A public furore was raised after news of the online video hit the front pages of local and international media, which drew a quick response from Major Gen Khamis al Mazeina, the Dubai deputy police chief. "We will pursue any person across the country who will carry out such illegal activities and endanger people's lives," he said. "However, it is important to emphasise that such acts are individual cases and do not reflect the behaviour of Emirati youth, who in general are responsible individuals who know how to use cars." amustafa@thenational.ae