Dubai motorists caught jumping red lights face Dh50,000 fee to get their cars back

Traffic laws include Dh100,000 charge to release impounded vehicle if driver caught taking part in illegal races

Motorists who break traffic rules in Dubai face stiff penalties under new regulations announced by Dubai Police. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Reckless motorists who break traffic rules in Dubai face fines of up to Dh100,000 ($27,228) after new regulations were introduced.

The traffic rules, which came into effect on July 6, have been set up to reduce dangerous driving in the emirate.

Here is a list of what your car can be impounded for and what you can expect to pay for its release.

  • Participating in road races without permission from Dubai Police – Dh100,000
  • Jumping a red light – Dh50,000
  • Driving recklessly in a way that endangers the safety of others – Dh50,000
  • Driving a recreational motorbike or quad bike on paved road – Dh50,000
  • Driving a vehicle with a fake or tampered number plate – Dh50,000
  • Hitting a police car on purpose – Dh50,000
  • Vehicle being driven by someone under 18 – Dh50,000
  • Impounding a vehicle for modification – Dh10,000
  • Escaping police – Dh10,000
  • Driving without a number plate – Dh10,000
  • Gathering to watch a race or stunt performance on roads – Dh10,000
  • Having tinted glass beyond the permitted limit – Dh10,000
  • Modifying a car to increase speed and noise level – Dh10,000

The impoundment time and fees for release are doubled if the motorist is caught reoffending within one year.

Existing traffic fines will have to be paid on top of the new fees, which have been introduced solely to release cars that have been impounded for traffic offences.

“The traffic fines will remain the same as per the traffic law. The changes are for fees to unlock the seizure of cars committing serious offences,” said Brig Juma Salem bin Suwaidan, acting director of the General Traffic Department at Dubai Police, at a press conference on Friday.

He stressed that the revised policy will target reckless motorists who repeatedly break the laws, rather than motorists who make basic human errors.

“The revised law will not be for all motorists in the emirate. It is for a small group of motorists who break the law on purpose,” he said.

“For example, if a driver accidently jumped a red signal, they will be fined only Dh1,000, per the law, and his car will be impounded for 30 days.”

A Dubai Police traffic committee will assess the cases, to see which instances merit being hit with the new fees.

“Drivers who race and perform stunts on roads or commit offences on purpose, will need to pay the revised fees before getting their cars [back]. Their traffic file will be locked until the outstanding amount is paid up,” he said.

Maj Gen Abdullah Al Ghaithi, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Operations Affairs at Dubai Police, said the amendments came as part of a campaign to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on Dubai roads in recent years.

There were 23 deaths, 348 traffic accidents and 211 injuries caused by jumping red lights between 2019 and 2022, according to figures released by Dubai Police.

There were more than 855 vehicles impounded during the same time for jumping red lights in the emirate.

Speeding, reckless driving and crossing a red signal offences killed 164 people and injured more than 3,260 people during the same period.

“The amendments are made to safeguard lives, protect property, and ensure traffic safety. The changes happened after we noticed an increase in deaths because of serious offences,” Maj Gen Al Gaithi said.

An average of 90 drivers a day were caught jumping red lights in Dubai last year, police data showed.

There were slightly fewer than 32,000 cases throughout last year.

Police said the offenders had received 12 black points on their licence in addition to a Dh1,000 fine.

The vehicles involved were confiscated for a month and owners were ordered to pay a Dh3,000 release fee at the time.

Motorists in Dubai caught driving faster than 60kph paid a total of Dh53.9 million in traffic fines last year.

Dubai Police reported 24,837 such speeding offences in 2022, of which 4,322 involved speeds faster than 80kph.

The worst offenders had to pay Dh3,000, with 23 points being added to their licences. Their vehicles were confiscated for 60 days.

There were 20,515 drivers caught exceeding the speed limit by 60kph last year. Each received a fine of Dh2,000, with 12 traffic points and faced a 30-day vehicle confiscation.

Updated: July 07, 2023, 11:08 AM