New traffic fines of up to Dh2,000 have been announced in the UAE. The Ministry of Interior posted on Twitter that the “new additions” aim to boost safety, especially during emergencies related to rainy and unstable weather conditions.
The new fines are:
>> Gathering near valleys, flooded areas and dams during rainy weather: Dh1,000 fine and six black points
>> Entering flooded valleys, regardless of their level of danger: Dh2,000 fine, 23 black points, and 60-day confiscation of vehicles
>> Obstructing the relevant authorities from regulating traffic; or ambulance and rescue vehicles during emergencies, disasters, crises and rains; and in flooded valleys: Dh1,000 fine, four black points, and 60-day confiscation of vehicles
When rains hit the country, it’s common among residents to go to mountainous areas to enjoy the pleasant weather. However, several warnings have been issued in the past to highlight how floodwaters can quickly swamp low-lying areas.
Generally, authorities in the UAE issue alerts for residents to stay away from valleys and dams during unstable weather conditions. Heavy rains usually result in valleys flooding quickly as water gushes down the mountains.
Motorists are also always warned to avoid crossing valleys during rains due to the risk of vehicles drifting. With these new laws and fines, it’s now illegal for residents and tourists to venture out to areas prone to floods during rainy weather.
There have been many instances of people getting stranded during a downpour. Multiple emergency response teams had to work around the clock to rescue hundreds of people when rains battered the country’s east last year.
The amendments to the traffic law aim to “reinforce existing procedures and underline the significance of adhering to instructions and safety requirements”, the ministry added.
According to Brig-Gen Engineer Hussein Al Harthi, chairman of the Federal Traffic Council, it is prohibited to enter valleys during rains, “despite the danger level”.
“These amendments are introduced alongside other significant and fundamental articles in the law, which urge road users — including drivers and pedestrians — to exercise utmost care and caution (during unstable weather). Motorists must not endanger their lives or those of others. They must abide by traffic regulations, signs, and signals, comply with instructions from police officers, stay in their designated lanes, and follow the guidance of police, traffic, civil defence, emergency, disaster, and crisis management personnel in emergency situations. Road users are also expected to avoid causing … harm, hindrance, or disturbance to others,” the official added.
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