Dubai drivers to face ban, $8,167 fines for tram accidents

Motorists who are involved in violations when the system launches in November could be banned from driving for up to one year

An artist's impression of the Al Sufouh tram project

An artist's impression of the Al Sufouh tram project

Motorists who jump a red light at an interchange with the new Dubai Tram project will be fined up to AED30,000 ($8,167), according to regulations laid down by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai.

Penalties of up to AED30,000 will be handed to drivers who cause an accident that leads to the death of one or more people, with the fine being no less than AED10,000.

The regulations, which aim to encourage high safety standards, also says the driver will be banned for at least 30 days and up to one year for the offence.

Crossing a red traffic light at the tramway intersection and causing a non-fatal accident will carry a fine of between AED5,000-15,000 and a ban of up to six months, news agency WAM said.

Crossing a red traffic light without causing an accident will be punishable with a fine of AED2,000-5,000 and a ban of up to three months.

The penalties are included in a resolution issued by Sheikh Hamdan to regulate the tram system "in order to provide citizens with a safe and convenient means of transportation".

The tram is expected to lift about 27,000 riders per day at the start of operations in 2014, and the ridership is bound to hit 66,000 riders per day by 2020.

Eight trams will operate in the initial phase, slated for November 2014, and are expected to lift about 3,500 passengers per hour per direction.

The tram will run for 20 hours a day from 5am until 1am helping to reduce the level of traffic that builds up along the roads around Dubai Marina and JBR.

The project was originally scheduled to be completed in 2011, but has been plagued by cash concerns in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Designed to stretch 14km along Al Sufouh Road, the tram is set to be the world’s first to run with ground power feeding the entire line, eliminating the need for overhead wires.

The first phase of the project will span 10.6km and cost AED4bn, and will see 11 of the network’s 17 stations open to the public.

On completion, the tram will link with the Dubai Metro at three stations along Sheikh Zayed Road and will also tie-up with the monorail on the Palm Jumeirah.

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Posted by: Peter Higgins

I am frequently fined when I am out of the country, so it is clear that many fines are fictitious or erroneous. Another problem is that, the details on the fine are all in Arabic, and even when translated into English they communicate nothing. My last one just said "turning right in an unauthorised place". I have no idea what this means, or whether it is in fact related to me or my car at all. It is just not worth challenging, as the fine is AED250, but the effort is immense! Consequently, the penalty becomes just an arbitrary tax, in no way encouraging safer driving.

Posted by: sunbreeze

AED 30,000 is the cost of one life...I did not know till now!!

Posted by: SA1

It is not is penalty for car accident...which can very well happen and unfortunate part of life. Unless it is drunk driving which can get more severe punishment in prison.

Posted by: Mark Williams

I watch everyday people in JVT blatantly driving through red lights because they don't deem it necessary for their lordships to stop. The level of driving in Dubai is pretty awful yet I still don't see police patrols until there is an accident. I would love to see more of you guys out there hitting these ignorant drivers hard as they just ignoring your rules especially with phones and driving. If the message was getting across then you would not see this behaviour however it's blatant and in your face especially when some twerp is driving between two lanes speaking on his phone leaning into the passenger seat which tends to be a familiar habit of those known to cause most accidents in Dubai and I'm not talking about locals or westerners. If you disagree then just refer to the statistics they are there in plain site. The tram violations are merely the government having to add rules to a new form of transport here.

Posted by: PPM

Lane changing that leads to an accident is all too often the fault of badly set up wing mirrors. People move across without realising somebody is coming up alongside them.
Properly set up you should be able to see a car come up in the rear-view mirror then it will move to the wing mirror and then to the corner of your eye.
However, I drive past a driving school every working day and only one in 10 or less of the instructors has mirrors set correctly. The others just have 3 mirrors all looking directly behind them and none covering the blind spots along the side.
If the instructors don't know how to drive safely then how can they teach safe driving? I also wonder how did they get to be instructors in the first place?

Posted by: leo50

interesting to see the proposed fines for traffic violations for a yet to be introduced entity. Every day now, traffic conditions on the roads continues to deteriorate with drivers persistently ignoring regulations and endangering lives and property. Ignorant people jump lanes, swerve into lanes at will with no signal or notification. Traffic lanes on the Sheikh Zayed Road is everyday blocked at one point or another as drivers obstruct the slow lane to make a right turning in front of traffic which has obeyed the road regulations. Very rarely in over 30 years have I seen the police either booking offenders or even stopping them when they have a presence in the vicinity of these regularly occurring misdemeanors. It doesn't give one much confidence in the stated intention to start penalising offenders in the future does it?

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