If you drive or intend to drive in the UAE, it is vital that you are aware of the traffic rules to be followed mandatorily. Failure to comply with the traffic rules and regulations in the UAE may result in hefty fines, negative points on your license ("black points"), revocation of your driver's license, imprisonment for major offenses, and vehicle impounding.
The Road and Transport Authority ("RTA") regulated and determines the registration, violations, fines for motorists and is responsible forplanning and providing the requirements of transport, roads & traffic in the Emirate of Dubai, and between Dubai and other Emirates of the UAE, neighboring countries.
UAE has a system of black points leading to confiscation of the driver's license. The maximum number of black points that a motorist can harbor is 24 points, and for serious offenses the black points are as high as 23 points. A license may be suspended, or the vehicle may be confiscated, if the set-limit has been reached. However, the license or vehicle may be seized for a specific period for certain offenses, even when the limit is exceeded.
The Ministerial Decision No. 178 of 2017 on the rules and procedures on traffic controls as amended by the Ministerial Decision No.243 of 2020 lays down a set of penalties on the violators of the traffic rules in the UAE.
Below mentioned are some of the common vehicle fines in the UAE:
- Speed Violation:
Fines are imposed for not following the standard speed limits set for each road or highways. The fines for such violations usually range from AED 300 to AED 3000 and/or black points and/or impounding the vehicle depending on the severity of the violations.
- Drivers' obligations inside the vehicle:
Not ensuring necessary attention on the road by using mobile phones while driving, allowing children under 10 years old or shorter than 145 cm to be seated in the front seat of a vehicle, not installing child seats for children under 4 years old in the vehicle, not fastening the seat belt of the driver and passengers, etc., are penalized offenses in the UAE. The fines for such violations range from AED 400 to AED 800 and may also attract black points.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol:
It is strictly prohibited to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and the UAE has a zero-tolerance policy for such violations. The fine for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is decided by the court and attracts a maximum of 23 black points, and the vehicle may also be impounded for a period of 60 days.
- Number plate fines:
Breaking rules in relation to the vehicle number plate such as using an unclear number plate, driving without a number plate, displaying the number plate at only one end of the car, and violating the rules of using the commercial plate numbers. The fines for such violations range from AED 400 to AED 3000 and/or may attract black points and/ or the vehicle may be confiscated depending on the severity of the violations.
- Hazard to other road users:
Fines are levied for driving in a manner that may potentially cause injury or inconvenience to other road users such as, driving the vehicle in a way that jeopardizes the driver or other's lives or their safety or security, driving against the traffic direction, not maintaining lane discipline, non-compliance to traffic signs and directions, tailgating, causing serious accident or injuries leading to death or permanent injuries. The fines for such violations start from AED 400 and in some cases the fines are decided by the court, and/or may attract black points and the vehicle may be confiscated depending on the severity of the violations.
- Non-compliance with the policeman's instructions:
Failing to follow the instructions of a police officer on the road is considered a violation. The fines for such violations usually range from AED 400 to AED 1000 and/or the vehicle being confiscated depending on the severity of the violations.
- Parking fines:
Parking violations include parking in a no-parking zone, parking in a designated handicap zone without a permit, parking in a fire lane, parking on a pavement, parking without securing the vehicle, improper parking etc. The fines for parking violations range from AED 400 to AED 1,000 and in some cases depending on the location and the severity of the violation it may attract black points as well.
- Road toll fines:
Salik is an electronic toll system that is used all throughout UAE, and the fines are levied on using a toll gate without sufficient credit in the account or without a salik tag, etc. The fines for such violations begin from AED 100.
- Driver's license:
Driving with a license issued by a non-recognized foreign country, driving a vehicle with a driving license issued for a different category of vehicles, driving with expired license, failing to surrender the license when the maximum black points are accumulated, etc. The fines for such violations range from AED 400 to AED 3000 and/or black points and/or the vehicle may be confiscated depending on the severity of the violations.
- Vehicles registrationand traffic permits:
Fines are issued for operating industrial, construction and mechanical vehicles and tractors without permission of the competent authority, driving a vehicle without insurance, driving unlicensed vehicle from the traffic department, using vehicles for purposes other than the designated purpose, using the vehicle to carry and transport passengers without permission, etc. The fines for such violations usually range from AED 300 to AED 3000 and/or black points and the vehicle may be confiscated depending on the severity of the violations.
- Pedestrians' safety and priority vehicles:
Fines are imposed on motorists for not giving way or priority to emergency vehicles i.e.., ambulance, police cars or official conveys, and not giving priority to pedestrians on designated pedestrian crossings, vehicles coming from the back or the left side of the road, etc. The fines for such violations generally range from AED 400 to AED 1000 and/or may attract black points depending on the severity of the violations.
- Overloading a vehicle:
Overloading a vehicle with passengers or cargo is illegal in the UAE. The limit of load is already pre-set, and it is the obligation of the driver to ensure that the set limit is not exceeded. The fine for overloading a vehicle generally ranges from AED 500 to AED 3000 and/or black points depending on the severity of the violations.
- Environmental hazards:
Causing harm directly or indirectly to the environment such as, spillage of load from the heavy vehicles on the road, driving an ill-maintained or damaged vehicle causing pollution, throwing waste from vehicles onto the roads, using the horn when not required, etc. The fines for such violations range from AED 500 to AED 3000 and/or black points depending on the severity of the violations.
For brevity, the number of fines and the amounts may vary depending upon the emirate in which the violation has occurred and the severity of the offense. Driving is considered as a dangerous activity and the UAE has taken the aforementioned steps to ensure smooth and disciplined driving amongst the motorists. In conclusion, motorists are advised to adhere to the rules and regulations set out by the RTA in order to prevent and protect road accidentsby using all the road safety measures.
- How will the new zero-tolerance drunk driving law affect your car insurance?
- Is The Spouse Obliged to Pay Traffic Fines Caused by Husband or Wife in The UAE?
- 5 Tips to remember after a road accidents in UAE
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.