Diplomats, families abuse immunity to break road rules

Police ask that those who can have fines expunged obey the rules of the road.

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DUBAI // When the car with diplomatic plates whizzed past on Sheikh Zayed Road at more than 140kph, being driven aggressively and swerving between lanes without indicating, Maj Gen Saif al Zafein, the head of Dubai Traffic Police, swung into action.

The police officer told his operations room that he was giving chase, and the hot pursuit began: so hot, in fact, that not only was the speeding car flashed by radar, but so was the traffic cop.

The chase ended near the cargo village in Al Garhoud, where the woman behind the wheel promptly claimed diplomatic immunity.

“I know what I am doing is wrong. I am sorry, but I am in a hurry. I need to take my child to school,” she told the officer.

Maj Gen al Zafein said yesterday: “The fact that she was driving in such a manner with a child in the car was even worse.”

The officer called on staff at diplomatic missions not to abuse their immunity.

“I urge them not to speed or drive recklessly, even if they can get their fines waived,” he said. “It is unacceptable behaviour.”

Maj Gen al Zafein was speaking at a ceremony honouring “ideal drivers”, a police initiative that recognises motorists who have committed no traffic offences for a long period.