The Dubai Police have fined more than 250 motorists for failing to fasten their seat belts since the new traffic law came into effect on July 1.
According to the amendments made to the Federal Traffic Law the fine for passengers not wearing seat belts is Dh400 per passenger. Moreover, four black points will be slapped on the driver’s licence, Khaleej Times reported.
A top official has said the Dubai Police will exercise leniency when penalising motorists if rear-seat passengers fail to buckle up, considering the recently of the new traffic law.
Major-General Mohamed Saif Al Zafeen, head of the Federal Traffic Council and Assistant Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Police said the force will progressively get stringent about seat belt violations, as using seat belts is crucial in reducing the death toll and injuries in accidents, especially among children.
“70 per cent of people currently do not wear seat belts while sitting in the front, but after the introduction of the new law, we expect that 100 per cent motorists, whether drivers or passengers, will fasten their seat belts,” said the major-general.
“Every person travelling in a vehicle must wear a seat belt or use a child safety seat. Child seats are mandatory for children aged 4 and under and for all passengers, including rear seat ones, and the front seat passenger must have a minimum height of 145cm and not be under age 10,” added Al Zafeen.
Al Zafeen pointed out that “in places like Europe, people are aware of the importance of using seat belts and the drivers always ask everyone in their vehicle to buckle up.”
“I visited Sweden recently and wore my seatbelt, but my companion in the back seat did not belt up, so the driver asked them to fasten the belt or to leave the car.”
He said the new seatbelt rule is the result of studying and reviewing experiments conducted in European countries that have achieved very low road death rates. Sweden, for instance, has only 2 deaths per 100,000 people.
In Dubai, the main goal of the amended law is reducing mortality down to 3 deaths per 100,000 from the current 6.1 deaths, Al Zafeen said, noting that last year, the UAE witnessed a tragic 725 road accident deaths.
He said, initially, the police will stop erring drivers and advise them on the importance of fastening seat belts to ensure safety. But the police will soon start fining people, as everyone is expected to abide by the seat belt rule in the fastest possible time.