By Staff writer
Authorities mull tougher penalties for those caught using mobile phones while driving
Motorists should have their cars confiscated if they are caught using a mobile phone while driving, according to Dubai Police.
And the fine should be increased from AED200 to AED1,000, it added.
The traffic section of Dubai Police on Wednesday launched a three-week campaign to warn motorists of the dangers of talking on their handsets while driving.
It plans to give lectures in schools and run social media competitions, and brochures will be distributed across the emirate to highlight the issue, The National reported.
The current AED200 fine and four black points on the licence is not tough enough, Dubai’s traffic police chief Said Al Mazrouei was quoted as saying.
“There should be harsher penalties, especially considering that using a mobile phone while driving can be more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol,” he said.
“It has been recommended that the penalty increase to AED1,000, 12 black points and vehicle confiscation for a period of 30 days.”
The Federal Traffic Council has reportedly submitted a proposal for higher penalties, but this has not yet been enshrined in law.
The National said that an average of 136 people a day were caught using their phone while driving last year and a total of 49,499 in 2014 and 35,734 in 2013.
Some 140 people caught speeding were using their phones while doing so, it added, while two people were killed in crashes in Dubai while on their phones.
“One man, who was crushed and killed upon impact, was extracted from his vehicle with his mobile phone still in his hand,” Al Mazrouei said.
Drivers are increasingly reporting offenders, he added. Last year 1,216 people filed complaints against other motorists for using their mobile phones while driving, compared with 946 in 2014 and 770 in 2013.
“It’s an offence even if a person is holding the phone while driving or even stopped at a traffic light,” Al Mazrouei said. “People should not take selfies in cars or send messages.”
Meanwhile the Times of Oman reported that drivers caught using their phones could be jailed for up to two years and pay a fine of OMR300 under legislative amendments approved by the Shura council on Monday.
The draft law was sent to the State Council and later to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. It was then sent back to Shura for revision. The council’s legal committee is still reviewing the changes, the newspaper said.
And how will the police be able to see the drivers using phones whilst driving when their car windows are illegally blacked out?
Most accidents are due to distractions.
I agree, but I think that laws should apply to all; not only expats and workers, but also locals and above all police officers!
Frankly, how many times have I seen a police officer on the phone whilst driving.
Practice what you preach!
Can the police tell if your glass is tinted?
Totally agree with this. Have observed this myself. With the legalisation of dash cams, can we send such recordings to Dubai Police for action without fearing a backlash?
Couple of weeks ago I noticed a police rescue vehicle driving very slowly on 52c street in Al Baada, and then taking a sudden right turn without using indicator.
I was not surprised when I saw the driver... he was busy typing messages on his phone..... Until today, I am sure he has no idea that he almost pushed a bicycle rider to the ground!