Drifting and swerving kill 13
DUBAI // Thirteen people died this year when their cars flipped over because of dangerous drifting manoeuvres or high-speed swerving.
Dubai Police on Wednesday said the significant rise, from three in the first half of last year, was caused by risky behaviour that would not be tolerated.
“Dubai’s roads are not the place to take risks and we will not be lenient with anyone breaking traffic laws,” said Brig Saif Al Mazrouei, director of the traffic police.
“It is important that people abide by traffic laws, which are there to protect them and others on the roads.
“Those wishing to speed or perform manoeuvres such as drifting should do so only in safe, controlled environments, such as the Dubai Autodrome.”
Omar, 28, takes part in officially organised drifting events and said he would never drive that way on public roads.
“It’s dangerous and if caught the penalties are too high,” the Pakistani said.
“I’d rather not take that risk and pay Dh150 to use a safe and designated track, instead of having my car impounded.”
Omar said drifters could also show off their skills at the Emirates Motorplex in Umm Al Quwain and Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, where safety crews were on hand.
Anyone caught driving dangerously faces a Dh2,000 fine and 12 black points on their licence. Their car will also be impounded for 30 days.
Kamui Mahtani, a motorsport enthusiast from Japan, said even the slightest impact could lead to a vehicle overturning.
“Sometimes, even if you are not speeding, it can result it in flipping over,” Mr Mahtani said. “Ten years ago, in Japan, my car flipped in a controlled environment.
“I was going no more than 40kph and was doing an emergency manoeuvre practice. I hit the kerb in a bad way and it flipped.”
Mr Mahtani, who has been in the UAE for five years, often goes to Dubai Autodrome.
“A controlled environment is equipped to deal with such incidents, whereas the public roads are dangerous for you and others,” he said.
The Roads and Transport Authority says speeding is one of the major causes of traffic incidents.
“We cooperate with Dubai Police to choose where to place radars, which contribute significantly in deterring reckless drivers and pushing them to adhere to speed limits,” said Maitha bin Adai, executive director of the RTA’s traffic division.
“It is important that drivers take into account other road users in order to not expose anybody to a traffic accident.”
Published: August 24, 2016 04:00 AM