On 01 July 2017, UAE Federal Traffic Law No. 21 of 1995, as amended by Ministerial Resolutions no. 177 and 178 of 2017 regarding license issuance and renewal and new traffic control rules and procedures were enforced across the seven emirates. Ministerial resolution No. 178 of 2017 which focuses on new traffic control rules comprises many new traffic rules and fines. These rules can be summarized as follows:
1. Mandatory seat belts for everyone
Whereas only drivers were sanctioned for not wearing seat belts under the old law, the new regulations provide that all passengers in a car are required to wear seat belts. Failure to do so will result in a fine of AED400 along with four black points. Children up to four years of age must be provided with a child safety seat. Failure to do so will result in in a fine of AED400 along with four black points.
2. Reckless driving
Reckless drivers will be sanctioned by a fine of AED2,000, 23 black points and impounding of the vehicle for a period of 60 days. The same punishment will apply to drivers who endanger the lives of others.
3. Driving under the influence
Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol will be sanctioned by a license suspension for one year, starting from the day of the verdict. The decision to impose a fine and/or jail term will be taken by the competent Court.
4. Traffic signals
The new regulations provide that motorcycle riders and motorists who ignore traffic lights will be fined AED1,000 and incur a penalty of 12 points. Their vehicle will also be seized for one month.
Ministerial Resolution No. 178 of 2017 also provides that using phones while driving or any other distractions will be fined AED400 and slapped with four black points.
6. Car window tinting
The new Ministerial resolution does not only provide prohibitions. It indeed allows car owners to use 50% tint in their car windows, thus ending the 30% former tint limit. Tinted windows are allowed on all windows except the front wind screen. There is however one exception: trucks and taxis are not allowed to use tinted windows.
Drivers exceeding the prescribed speed limits shall be liable to pay fine as mentioned in the table given below:
These new traffic regulations are based on the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda which aims for the UAE to be the safest place in the world. In order to achieve its vision, the UAE government shall use the road traffic death rate per 100 Thousand population as an indicator. One of the objectives of the new regulations is to protect the lives of road users and reduce traffic casualties from about 6/100,000 to 3/100,000.
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