French motorist wins appeal against jail time in wrongful death case

Victim crossed Sheikh Rashid Road in Dubai while pedestrian signal was against him

Motorist's defence team said cyclist crossed Sheikh Rashid Road in Dubai when pedestrian light was against him. Reem Mohammed / The National
Motorist's defence team said cyclist crossed Sheikh Rashid Road in Dubai when pedestrian light was against him. Reem Mohammed / The National

A French motorist who was sent to jail for a month for causing a cyclist’s death in Dubai won his appeal against prison time.

The 50-year-old UAE resident denied the charges of wrongful death and damaging property at Dubai Traffic Court.

He was convicted in April, sentenced to a month in prison and fined Dh10,000 ($2,723).

The judges suspended his driving licence for three months and ordered him to pay Dh200,000 ($54,450) in blood money.

The court heard the driver hit the cyclist, who was trying to use a designated crossing on Sheikh Rashid Road, on November 2.

The cyclist – whose nationality and age were not disclosed – suffered fatal head injuries.

Emirati lawyer Awatif Mohammed told the court the cyclist crossed the road while the pedestrian signal was at red.

“While the cyclist crossed a red pedestrian signal, my client crossed a yellow traffic signal [and] not red,” Ms Mohammed, from Al Rowaad Advocates, said.

She said the cyclist's appearance took her client by surprise.

My client couldn’t avoid hitting him,” Ms Mohammed said.

According to Article 25 of the UAE’s Traffic Law, a yellow (amber) signal allows a vehicle to cross with caution if a complete safe stop is not possible, she told the court.

Judges at the Court of Appeal overturned the prison sentence but upheld the fine and driving licence suspension.

The driver's insurance company will cover the 200,000 payment to the deceased's relatives.

Updated: May 23, 2021 03:23 PM

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