Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dubai urged to link visa to traffic record

Dubai’s traffic police chief has suggested linking residence visa for expatriates to their traffic record within an ongoing campaign to curb road accidents and attain a zero death target in 2020.

Major General Mohammed Saif al Zafin also revealed the emirate is considering raising the penalty for using the mobile phone while driving, saying the present Dh200 fine is not a sufficient deterrent.

“There is a need to link the issuance of residence visas to the traffic record of expatriates in order to push some groups who top the list of offenders to abide by traffic laws in the emirate,” he said.

“Introducing stiffer penalties and then linking them to residence visas will have a great effect on drivers’ compliance and on reducing road accidents and deaths…the police do not at all want to harm any people in their livelihood but only want to ensure they respect the law.”

Speaking at a seminar on mobile phone use in cars held in Dubai on Thursday, Zafin referred to a recent traffic police report that Pakistanis top the list of road accident causers, adding that there should be measures to deter them. He also proposed cutting the extra speed limit for motorists.

“I believe the 20 km extra speed limited allowed in Dubai is exaggerated and must be reduced to 10 km,” he said.

“The speed limits in some Dubai streets are not compatible with those roads and should be either raised or reduced depending on the nature of the road.”

Speaking about mobile phone use in cars, Zafin said Dubai is considering raising the current fine on the grounds it does not deter drivers.

“The Dubai traffic department is looking forward to increasing the current Dh200 fine for using mobile phones while driving because this fine does not provide enough deterrent to drivers,” he said.

He noted that motorists can use mobile phones while stopping at red lights but added they must end it once the signal turns green.