Overtake on hard shoulder and face a month in jail, police warn

Violators also run the risk of a Dh600 fine for hard shoulder violations and six black points. While not giving way to emergency, police, and public service vehicles or official envoys can lead to Dh500 fine and four black points.

ABU DHABI // Motorists could face up to a month in jail for overtaking on the hard shoulder, police have warned.

The penalty falls under Federal Traffic Law number 21 of 1995 and is decided by the traffic courts.

Violators also run the risk of a Dh600 fine for hard shoulder violations and six black points. While not giving way to emergency, police, and public service vehicles or official envoys can lead to Dh500 fine and four black points.

“Overtaking on the hard shoulder of the road is a dangerous driving behaviour that poses a risk to people’s lives,” said Brig Gen Hussein Al Harthi, the director of the traffic and patrols directorate at Abu Dhabi Police.

Driving on the hard shoulder also could impede other emergency services he added.

To counter the problem, police have stepped up patrols across the emirate, Brig Gen Al Harthi said. 

A total of 4,930 offences were logged by Abu Dhabi’s radar and surveillance cameras during the first four months this year.

The new cameras installed at many major junctions use an infrared light without a flash. They cover more than five lanes in each direction, scanning licence plates of all passing vehicles. 

These cameras are programmed to detect traffic violations such as overtaking on the hard shoulder, jumping red lights, making turns or U-turns from the wrong lane, blocking pedestrian paths, excessive speed, and overtaking other vehicles at traffic junctions. 

The cameras are part of the traffic department’s monitoring project, which started in 2012 with cameras at more than 150 junctions in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Gharbia.

“It’s a good move since it will reduce the number of traffic accidents on our roads and prevent injuries and deaths,” he said. 

Brig Gen Al Harthi said said Abu Dhabi’s intensified traffic control is in line with the initiatives of the Abu Dhabi safety and traffic solutions committee to raise awareness on the dangers posed by overtaking on the hard shoulder. 

The committee ran a campaign earlier this month through newspaper advertisements and social media to tackle the problem. 

Abu Dhabi Police is a member of the committee. Other members are from the Department of Transport, Abu Dhabi Municipality, Department of Municipal Affairs, Health Authority Abu Dhabi and the Urban Planning Council.

“I had no idea that one can be jailed for overtaking on the hard shoulder,” said Abdullah Mohammed, 20, an Emirati university student. “The severe penalties will definitely discourage me and other drivers from violating the traffic rules.”

rruiz@thenational.ae

Published: May 18, 2014 04:00 AM

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