UAE: Tough Penalties for Traffic Violations from March 1

Excerpts from UAE Media

Black points system to be applied for traffic violations in March

Abu Dhabi, Feb. 24: The ministry of interior has announced that it would apply the new amendments of the federal traffic law from March 1.

The new system will register black points even in absentia offences unlike the current system, which registers black points only for spot offences, according to Lt General Saif Al Shafaar, ministry undersecretary.

''Instruction by Minister of interior Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan lend proper attention to safety of all road users,''he affirmed.

The refined law, he confirmed, aimed at curbing reckless motorists by imposing tough penalties.

''The new stringent measures fit the federal government strategy to reduce road fatalities, protect individuals and properties and make roads more safer,''he maintained.

Under the new system, if a motorist scores 24 points in a year, his driving license will be confiscated for 3 months and his vehicle for a month.

However, if he acquires 24 black points in one year for the second time, his driving license will be confiscated for 6 months, and he will be required to take a driving test if he acquires 24 black points for the third time.

This new rule is applied for drivers who carry UAE driving license, international driving license or licenses from other countries.


Buckle up

DUBAI - FEB. 25: Leading doctors in Dubai have warned of the horrific consequences of children not buckling up in cars, on the day that a new campaign for child safety was announced in the emirate. Although the new police-backed campaign will urge parents and drivers to always use seatbelts while driving with children, safety campaigners say much more needs to be done to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries occurring on the emirate’s roads.

The two-week campaign will target schools and shopping centres highlighting the dangers of not buckling up, and helping to educate drivers and children on the necessity for seatbelts. Dr Faisal Badri, head of general surgery at Rashid Hospital, said: “We deal with a lot of cases here where children have not been wearing seatbelts.

“A few weeks ago we had an accident on the Hatta Road where three children all died because of injures they had sustained by not wearing seatbelts. On average we have to deak with two or three of these cases a month.”

Dr Babu Shersad from Dubai’s First Medical Centre said it should be mandatory for all children to wear seatbelts while travelling in cars saying many serious injuries were “totally avoidable”. Of the 332 people killed in Dubai last year in traffic accidents, 40 per cent of them were not wearing seatbelts, police have said. A number were children.

Dubai Police Brigadier Mohammad Al-Zafeen told 7DAYS: “If a car is travelling at 200 kilometres per hour and it’s involved in an accident, the impact is the same as if someone falls from the top of a 52-floor building. Seatbelts can dramatically reduce the injuries if an accident happens. They can save your life.”

Although welcoming the latest campaign, 7DAYS safe driving expert Bob Farrow said not enough was being done: “I think fines should be imposed on parents whose children are not strapped in.  “A two-week campaign is not long enough - it needs to be continuous and we have to keep pushing to get the message out. The authorities should be doing more to highlight the problem.

“It’s about education and explaining to people what will happen when their child goes through the windscreen in an accident at 60mph.” The new safety campaign starts on March 2.


Dubai police bust gang using fake credit cards

DUBAI - FEB. 25:A GANG of three men, all Turkish nationals, who have been using fake credit cards to buy expensive items in Dubai, have been arrested by Dubai Police

The trio, BK; SS and AZ was arrested between Feb.12 and Feb.22, said a source from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of Dubai Police.

He said they were buying valuable items of international brands from various shopping malls in Dubai.

On Feb.12, the Operation Room of the Dubai Police received information from a bank which was informed by a suspicious shop attendant in Hamr Al Ain that some people were using fake credit cards.

"We rushed to the area and arrested a Turkish national, one BK while the other gang members managed to run away," said a CID officer.

After becoming suspicious of "non-selective" shoppers, the shop attendant contacted the bank concerned, which informed him that the cards were not genuine. The bank immediately informed the police.

After arresting the first suspect, the police mounted a search for the other two gang members. "We found one, SS in a hotel in Naif area. He had more than a dozen fake credit cards and electronic items and cellphones in the room."

The third gang member, AZ was found hiding in a parking area in Naif . By searching his car the police found 16 Laptops.

After interrogation, the trio told the police that they were sending stolen items to their homeland, Turkey, and sharing the cash loot amongst themselves on spot.

This is the latest gang to be swiftly busted by Dubai police in a space of three weeks. At the beginning of this month, the same police managed to arrest a gang of five: four Georgian men and one Russian woman who had specialised in carrying out burglary and hijacking people moving with a stash of cash.


Indian worker commits suicide

SHARJAH - FEB. 25: AN INDIAN worker, Barneesh Koboula, 30, reportedly committed suicide on Saturday at his room in Industrial area six of Sharjah.

Koboula was found hanging by a rope attached to the ceiling fan in his room according to Sharjah Police.

The Sharjah Police Operations room received a call at about 6pm on Saturday reporting that a labourer had committed suicide. A team from Sharjah Criminal Laboratory, Investigators and Anjad rushed to the accommodation.

After completing necessary legal procedures and attaining permission from Prosecutor Mohammed Al Shamsi his body was taken to Al Kuwaiti Hospital to check if it was suicide only and there was no foul play involved.

The deceased's room mates said that he was not suffering from any physical or psychological disease. 

Meanwhile, a Pakistani, Mohammed Siddiq Khan, 74 died on Saturday evening after being run over.

He was run over while crossing Wasit road near Adnoc Petrol Station in Al Nuaimia area in Sharjah.  Apparently, an over speeding vehicle hit him.

The motorist who caused the death of the old man did not even stop to rescue the victim and managed to run away before being arrested.


Chips with fake expiry dates seized

RAS AL KHAIMAH - FEB. 25: Inspectors at the Department of Public Health and Environment at the Department of Ras Al Khaimah Municipality seized 500 packs of chips which had fake production and expiry dates.

Mubarak Al Shamsi, director-general of RAK Municipality, said that the department had initiated necessary legal action against the violating food company that had distributed this item in the markets.

The punishment imposed on the company included an indefinite fine and a warning.

The company was also told to sign a pledge that it would never commit such a violation, which fell under the concept of "commercial fraud."

However, in case of repeating the violation, the punishment imposed on the company would be doubled as this kind of activity poses danger to consumers' lives.

An official at the Department of Public Health and Environment noted that the violating company faked the production and expiry dates recorded on the chips' packs by adding three months to the original expiry date.
Al Dhahiri opens a workshop on anti human trafficking in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, Feb. 24: Justice Minister HE Dr Hadef Joan Al Dhahiri opened Sunday at Abu Dhabi Intercontinental hotel a workshop on the human trafficking crimes.

The two-day workshop is being organised in cooperation with United Nations' Office for anti-drugs and Crime, and US embassy in the UAE.

Al Dhahiri reiterated the support rendered by the ministry to the international efforts on fighting human trafficking and crime, adding that "there is a close international cooperation with countries and organisations in line with the policies of the UAE in this respect".

He added that there is a commitment to join all the international agreements and protocols and set the national laws to meet the international initiatives on fighting all forms of crime.

Al Dhahiri referred to the procedures and laws enacted by the UAE in this regard, particularly the federal law number 51 of year 2006 on anti human trafficking, which was the first law issued in the Arab world in this respect.

He also referred to the federal law number 39 of year 2006, on international judicial cooperation in criminal issues.

He noted that the workshop will also be held in Sharjah on Feb. 27-28.

HE Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, state minister for Cabinet Affairs and head of the UAE National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, who attended the workshop, referred to the laws enacted by the UAE in line with its anti human trafficking strategy and domestic servants, citing the "jockey children and sexual abuse of women and children".

About 77, 000 child camel jockeys were rehabilitated as per directives from H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to back the UN's anti human trafficking programme.

"It is difficult to give accurate figures about victims at the national and global levels. There should be field surveys to establish close assessment of the real problem", he remarked.

Earlier, the UAE donated US$15 million to support the anti human trafficking drive.

The workshop was attended by 30 judges, attorney generals and international experts.


Crisis in the Creek

DUBAI - FEB. 25: Pollution in Dubai Creek is now reaching critical levels, causing danger to the public, a senior Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) official said yesterday. Khaled Al Zahed, director of the Maritime Projects department at the RTA,  said effluence released into the water from the sewage treatment plant at Al Awir were a major problem, adding anyone consuming fish from the Creek is putting themselves in severe danger.

“Fishing is very dangerous in Dubai Creek. They are poisoned with deadly bacteria, which in turn could harm the immune system of human beings,” he said. Al Zahed, who carried out research into the pollution, said the colour of the water was  also changing.

“It is turning red in winter and green in summer. This is mainly due to accumulation of different species of bacteria developed because of the release of effluence into the Creek,” he said. And a local doctor backed Al Zahed’s fears that the consumption of these fish could have disastrous consequences. “Already my hospital is flooded with patients suffering from nausea and committing and this could be due to eating of polluted fish,” said Dr Amar Hassan from Medcare Hospital.

Al Zahed has called on the authorities to enforce new legislation to decrease the water’s pollution levels, including dredging the Creek and making sure the sewage plant  treats its waste water further before flushing it, a move backed by Dr Hassan. “Dredging can be carried out to increase the oxygen levels to give birth to new marine life,” Al Zahed added.


UAE inflation will continue unabated

ABU DHABI - FEB. 25: The latest economic indicators for the UAE suggest that inflation will continue unabated, according to a UAE-based  bank. The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) said the Central Bank’s balance sheet has “ballooned”, another indicator of high inflation and that policymakers will take a “muddle through” approach to combat rising prices.

Although monthly figures are not released by the UAE Central Bank, the latest quarterly figures covering the third quarter of 2007 point to a 30 per cent growth in M2 (the domestic money supply). NBAD accepted that inflation will continue its upward trend in part because of “backwards- looking expectations”, but said that, going forward, the dollar peg policies would result in GCC rate cuts.

But overall, it argued that GCC inflation was not caused by internal or external deficits and that there was “some merit to the argument that it [was] temporary.

“So long as the US dollar maintains current levels, or even strengthens versus the euro, then the muddle through policy could be maintained.” The bank said the inflation figures raised questions over the effectiveness of rent caps that are now in place in the region, although it accepted that on an individual level, tenants had benefited from the policy.

It said the most likely approach to coping with inflation now was to “muddle through”. This would give policymakers the time to gauge the effect of new housing stock on prices - although with so little due online in the immediate future it was difficult to see how this would have much of an impact.




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