'No leniency' for drivers shunning UAE seatbelt law

UAE police out in force as new rules introduced

Dubai Police will be on the roads to catch drivers out this weekend. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
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Police patrols will be out in force tomorrow as mandatory seatbelt laws and a raft of other new rules are introduced, with officers warning there will be “no leniency” for offenders.

Drivers will be fined Dh400 unless every occupant of their vehicle is buckled up.

Altogether 17 articles in the law focus on re-examining traffic violations, with higher fines and more black points for some offences.

Extra patrols will be deployed on the roads to ensure motorists’ compliance with the new rules.

Among the newly introduced fines is the confiscation of cars whose drivers are caught endangering lives as a result of their driving.

“Our aim is to enhance safety on the roads and not to fine motorists. However, police will show no lenience towards those who are caught violating the rules and heavy fines will be given to them,” said Brigadier Saif Al Zari, commander-in-chief of Sharjah Police.

He said there is no excuse for failing to buckle up and that children cannot be placed on a parent’s lap on share a seatbelt.

“Each person in the vehicle must wear a seatbelt - one person-one seatbelt,” said Brigadier Al Zari said.

At least 90 police patrols will be on Sharjah’s busiest five roads this weekend watching for those shunning seatbelts, swerving between lanes and driving dangerously, among other offences.

“Special police patrols will be deployed across the emirate’s streets and will penalise those who do not comply with the new rules, including the use of seat belts for all passengers and children’s

“The new rules will serve as a strong deterrent to prevent motorists from committing violations. The hefty fines will make them think twice before breaking rules.”

Dubai Police will also be on the roads to catch drivers out.

“Stricter penalties must be imposed on traffic violators who might endanger themselves and others’ lives,” Colonel Saif Muhair Al Mazrouei, director of the traffic department at Dubai Police.

The UAE aims to reduce road deaths to three for every 100,000 people by 2021 from 5.99 for every 100,000 in 2015.

Other changes to the law cover the issuing of shorter driving licences, meaning drivers with a bad record or health problems are identified sooner. Residents younger than 21 will continue to receive a one-year licence, while new drivers will get a two-year licence. Expatriates will get a five-year, instead of a 10-year, licence.