Serious traffic violations like street racing and jumping red traffic lights caused 894 accidents that claimed 66 lives in 2019 in Abu Dhabi, a top police officer has said. As a result, the police introduced stiffer penalties last month for such offences, with immediate vehicle impoundment and fines of up to Dh50,000.
Brigadier General Salem Abdullah Al Dhaheri, Deputy Director of the Traffic and Patrols Directorate, said the new traffic law took effect on September 9.
This came during a remote lecture on road safety organised by the Councils Affairs Office at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court. “The new impounding rules and fines were introduced after comprehensive traffic studies so as to reduce reckless behaviours among drivers and to reduce accidents.”
The serious violations include street racing; driving a car without valid number plates; causing damage to police vehicles; jumping the red light; failure to give priority to pedestrians; sudden deviation; speeding; and tailgating. Vehicles can be impounded for allowing children below 10 to sit in the front seat. Another cause for impoundment is racking up more than Dh7,000 in traffic fines.
Impounded vehicles that remain unclaimed for three months will be auctioned. And if the value of the vehicle is less than the fines due, the remaining balance will be added to the offender’s traffic file.