The United Arab Emirates General Traffic Department seeks to promote security of the public through availing information by publications with regards to traffic offences and penalties associated with particular offences. Drivers in the United Arab Emirates are advised to conform to traffic regulations and rules.
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In addition, fines have been enforced on traffic offences and suspension of driving licenses under extreme and frequent offences. The UAE have widespread high quality road network; however, driving license related rules differ from one emirate to another, although temporary, driving permits issued from one emirate are allowed throught the UAE.
Traffic regulations range from prohibition of drunk driving, use of mobile phones while driving, compulsory use of seatbelts to prohibition of children under 12 travelling in vehicle’s front seats. Speed limits are 80 kph in urban areas and 120 kph in open roads for small cars. Travelers are also prohibited to leave scenes of accidents prior to police permission.
With the use of radar and cameras, the police can strictly enforce these regulations. Parking regulations also exist in the city centre though parking bays, and multi story car parks are legally available. Moreover, paid parking is operated at the cost of Dh2 per hour in Dubai, with the purchase of tickets, which must be displayed on the screen.
Driving standards in Dubai have been deterred by fatal road accidents, irrespective of the good road network that has between eight to ten lane highways and even more on some stretches. Fatal Road accidents in Dubai roads have emerged as one of the world’s highest statistics whose prevalence has been tied to existence of among the worlds most powerful and expensive cars with fast driving.
With regards to the alarming prevalence, the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammad instructed the Roads and traffic Authority and the Police in Dubai to come up with safety traffic solutions and crack down on road regulations offenders. The police sought to focus on speeding and ignorance of traffic signals with the use mobile radars.
The United Arab Emirates road regulations generally encompass factors of traffic offences resulting into fatal motor accidents such as speeding, sudden breaking in super highways, use of mobile phones while driving, parking motor vehicles in undesignated areas, and failure of travelers to use of seat belts.
Among these factors, other wrong and bad habits among public road users include vehicles overloaded with goods and passengers, non-use of signals by drivers when shifting lanes and the use of places reserved for special needs persons.
Although ignorance largely contributes to the above-mentioned offences, lack of awareness of traffic rules remains the biggest contributing factor to offences. Foreign drivers who come into United Arab Emirates are leading in terms of lack of awareness of existing traffic rules conflicting with those of foreign countries they come from.
More to traffic regulations offences, other countries such as Afghanistan have high prevalence of road accidents due to the fact that their transport system is poorly developed. Their transport system is characterized by large potholes, unlit urban roads, and no traffic regulations enforced amidst poorly maintained vehicles, often overloaded and generally chaotic vehicle traffic (Global Investment and Business Center, Inc. Staff 39).
The United Arab Emirates has come up with a policy framework with respect to countrywide rules and regulations on traffic matters that impose penalties on specific offences. These regulations have been particularly emphasized and enforced on driving under alcohol influence.
There is zero tolerance in the United Arab Emirates for driving under influence on any slightest levels of alcohol consumption, with hefty penalties such as fines and even jail terms upon arrest being highly imposed. In case where individuals are involved in fatal road accidents where other parties are injured, the individuals are liable to arrest and a jail term that lasts from the period when third parties are hospitalized until the period they are discharged.
Drivers involved and persons liable to accidents may be prohibited from leaving the country where lengthy court proceedings are involved. In cases where a person dies in a road accident, drivers of the vehicles involved in the accidents are liable to payment of funds amounting to fifty five thousand dollars to compensate death of the accident victims (Walker and Butler 256).
Residents and non-residents of the United Arab Emirates must obtain the country driver’s license to be allowed to drive the United Arab Emirates, since foreign driver’s licenses are not recognized, with the exception of those from the United States. Among other recognized Driver’s licenses in the UAE are those that are issued by other Gulf Cooperation Council.
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The United Arab Emirates business industry, consumers and the society in general, incur various costs ranging from direct costs to indirect costs such as pain and grief of casualties and relatives. Direct costs incurred include medical treatment expenses for accident victims, loss of output due to victims’ absence from work, property damages, and costs associated with insurance claims and police.
Global Investment and Business Center, Inc. Staff. Afghanistan Foreign Policy and Government Guide. NY: Int’l Business Publications, 2000.
Walker, Jenny & Butler, Stuart. Oman UAE and Arabian Peninsula. NY: Lonely Planet, 2010.