Here’s yet another reason why you shouldn’t be racing on the streets of the UAE. In lieu of recent events where several lives were lost because of illegal street racing, the authorities are not having it anymore. Just earlier this month, a horrifying crash in Al Ain left four people dead and one with severe injuries.
The tragedy was blamed on negligent and rash driving on part of the two drivers who were behind the wheel at the time. One of the cars tried to change lanes as it was flying down the road, but couldn’t. Instead, the driver lost control of the vehicle and the car rammed straight into a light pole, killing the driver and passenger. In the meantime, the other car couldn’t avert tragedy either as it smashed into two pedestrians who were trying to cross the street. The two women were using a designated pedestrian crossing area but unfortunately lost their lives when the speeding car ran them over after hitting them.
To try and prevent any further mishap of such scale, the police forces of Abu Dhabi and Dubai have introduced new charges against those who wish to race on public roads. To begin with, offenders who are caught racing will have to cough up AED 2,000 and will be slapped with 23 black points. Furthermore, the police will also go ahead and impound the vehicle for a total of 60 days or two months.
It’s not just boy racers who will be penalized, but under UAE’s traffic laws, those who make illegal modifications to their car’s chassis and/or engines will also come under fire. Before making any changes to these parts of your vehicle, it’s mandatory to obtain the necessary approval from the relevant authorities. If motorists don’t follow the proper channels, their modified vehicles will be impounded for a period of 30 days or one month. Also, perpetrators will be fined an amount of AED 1,000 and incur 12 black points on their traffic file.
The authorities have cited the reasons behind the recent slew of street racing, especially in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The traffic police said that it was down to the irresponsible and reckless nature of young drivers, many of whom were pitting their cars against each other. This eventually leads to several impromptu street races across the Emirates, some of which end in disaster, while many more are on the verge of one. Such races tend to happen late in the night or in the early morning hours since the roads are usually not packed with traffic or people.
However, as we saw with the fatal incident earlier, street racing can always prove to be deadly – not just for the drivers, but unfortunately for innocent pedestrians as well. The traffic police also pointed out that many of these races are also conducted in populated residential areas, apart from the obvious highways which are aplenty in the UAE. The former raises the risks of casualties as most neighborhoods are not expecting a car or two to come blazing down the road. The authorities noticed that many of these illegal races were occurring during Ramadan, especially during the hours of darkness.
Apart from the introduction of steep fines, several black points, and impounding of vehicles, the authorities are also working on other measures to prevent further loss of life. According to Colonel Juma Salim Bin Suwaidan, who’s the Director General of Traffic Department at Dubai Police, creating awareness amongst the youth is just as important as it also works as a deterrent for these drivers from ever racing illegally on public roads.