Attorneys for an Omani bus driver at the centre of an accident in Dubai, which claimed the lives of 17 people and injured 13 have argued that a height barrier at the scene of the accident violated GCC standards and guidelines.
If convicted of the charges, the driver may face up to seven years of prison time as well as AED 3.4 million ($925,670) in blood money to the families of the deceased.
Speaking at the Dubai Traffic Court, the driver’s lawyer, Mohammed Al Tamimi, said that there was only 12 metres between a warning signboard and the barrier.
“The mistake is in the place of the height barrier according to the pictures in the accident scene,” he said, according to Gulf News.
Al Tamimi added that “the GCC guidelines for positioning advance warning signs states that if the road’s limit is 60 kilometres per hour, then the distance between the signboard or height restriction chain and the height barrier should be 60 metres, not 12 metres in our case.”
According to prosecutors, the speed limit at the scene of the accident is 40 kilometres per hour.
“It was too short a distance to stop the vehicle,” Al Tamimi added. “It is not the defendant’s mistake and not his negligence. Putting the height barrier in a wrong place caused the accident.”
Additionally, Al Tamimi alleged that no evidence exists that the bus was going at speeds of 94 kilometres per hour, as prosecutors have said.
A second defence lawyer, Mohammed Al Sabri, accused Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of making eight “mistakes” in a report about the incident.
A copy of the report was submitted to the court, which was requested to appoint an expert to examine the accident location and the RTA’s handling of the accident’s aftermath.
The passengers – who were returning from Oman following Eid Al Fitr holidays – included citizens of Germany, Ireland, India, Pakistan and the Philippines. A verdict in the case is expected on Thursday, July 11.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.