By Neil Halligan
$3.4m collected in fines last year for crossing at incorrect locations in Dubai
Dubai Police issued fines of almost $3.5 million to people who were caught jaywalking in the emirate.
The latest statistics show that five people were killed and 94 injured due to incidents of people being run over during the first four months of this year.
Colonel Saif Al Mazroui, head of traffic police, said people are running across streets, “unaware that they are sprinting towards death”.
“They were unknowingly taking their last steps in life. A zebra crossing would be just a few metres away and they’d still avoid using it, all to save a few minutes,” he told Gulf News.
Al Mazroui said a total of 64,261 people were fined for not using designated crossing areas. Fines for each offence is $54 (AED200), which makes a total of $3,498,959 (AED 12,852,200) issued in fines during 2014.
Already this year, Dubai Police has fined 17,326 people for jaywalking ($943,386 in fines). Police will target areas where accidents have taken place.
“Time and time again, we insist the public use only designated crossing areas but it seems that it falls on deaf ears since they seem to do it right in front of police officers. We are going to apply strict measures for the public to pay attention to the dangers of crossing highways and streets from undesignated locations,” Al Mazroui said.
He added that motorists will also face a fine and six points on their licence for failing to give priority to pedestrians at zebra crossings. On its list of fines, Dubai Police can issue a fine of $136 (AED500) for not giving pedestrians way on pedestrian crossings.
As a regular pedestrian I experience very few motorists stopping for pedestrians at Zebra crossings. Even when Iâ€™ve been half way across a 2 lane zebra crossing, cars continue to drive not taking any notice of me in the middle. On other occasions while standing at a zebra crossing, drivers coming towards me have been so engrossed in their mobile phones that they are not aware of me contemplating whether to step out or not. For the few motorists who do stop, they risk being tail ended by motorists behind them driving too fast, too close and unaware of their surroundings. Motorists behind those who stop seem to prefer to blast their horns rather than allow a pedestrian to cross the road safely. Pedestrians should also be more street wise and cross when it is safe to do so and not play chicken with the traffic as itâ€™s not pleasant for a motorist to encounter someone randomly running out across the road in front of them.