Lit­ter­ing mo­torists risk Dh1,500 penalty

Po­lice and mu­nic­i­pal­ity can is­sue sep­a­rate fines if of­fend­ing driver is seen by both au­thor­i­ties

Gulf News - - Front Page - BY SAJILA SASEENDRAN Se­nior Re­porter ALI AL SHOUK Staff Re­porter

Mo­torists who pol­lute Dubai’s streets by lit­ter­ing from car win­dows will be hit hard in the pock­et­book un­der new traf­fic laws is­sued on July 1, au­thor­i­ties warn.

If caught by po­lice throw­ing waste or cig­a­rette butts from a ve­hi­cle, in­con­sid­er­ate mo­torists face a new lit­ter­ing fine of Dh1,000 and loss of six black points while the fine for the same be­hav­iour wit­nessed by Dubai Mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials is Dh500.

The­o­ret­i­cally, if a mo­torist is wit­nessed lit­ter­ing by both au­thor­i­ties at the same time, the driver would re­ceive a max­i­mum of Dh1,500, of­fi­cials told Gulf News.

“In the past, the penalty was Dh500 and four traf­fic points and the new law made the penalty harsher to crack down on peo­ple who throw garbage from mov­ing ve­hi­cles. We see peo­ple do­ing that and it is not good be­hav­iour,” said Maj-Gen Mo­ham­mad Saif Al Zafein, As­sis­tant Com­man­der-in-Chief for Op­er­a­tions Af­fairs at Dubai Po­lice and head of UAE Fed­eral Traf­fic Coun­cil.

He said the po­lice were con­cerned about road safety [as it can dis­tract other driv­ers or harm pedes­tri­ans] and the en­vi­ron­ment and the penalty be­came dou­ble to tackle the bad be­hav­iour on the roads. He said throw­ing garbage in­cludes all types of waste, even cig­a­rette, and it is pun­ish­able by the law.

Dubai mo­torists, be­ware of lit­ter­ing. You can end up be­ing fined Dh1,500 if you are caught in the act by law en­force­ment agen­cies,

Gulf News has learnt. While the traf­fic fine for lit­ter­ing is Dh1,000 and six black points, it could go up to Dh1,500 if you are caught throw­ing waste from your ve­hi­cle by Dubai Po­lice and Dubai Mu­nic­i­pal­ity at the same time, of­fi­cials said.

Throw­ing waste from a mov­ing ve­hi­cle, whether it is toss­ing a cig­a­rette butt or tis­sue paper or food and drink pack­ets will now at­tract harsher pun­ish­ment af­ter new amend­ments to the UAE Fed­eral Traf­fic Law were en­forced from July 1.

“In the past, the penalty was Dh500 and four traf­fic points and the new law made the penalty harsher to crack down on peo­ple who throw garbage from mov­ing ve­hi­cles. We see peo­ple do­ing that and it is not good be­hav­iour,” said Maj-Gen Mo­ham­mad Saif Al Zafein, As­sis­tant Com­man­der-in-Chief for Op­er­a­tions Af­fairs at Dubai Po­lice and head of UAE Fed­eral Traf­fic Coun­cil.

He said the po­lice were con­cerned about road safety [as it can dis­tract other driv­ers or harm pedes­tri­ans] and the en­vi­ron­ment, and the penalty was dou­bled to tackle this bad be­hav­iour on the roads.

He said throw­ing garbage in­cludes all types of waste, even cig­a­rettes, and it is pun­ish­able by law.

“The fine will be on the driver even if an­other per­son in the car throws the waste. The driver will be fined Dh1,000 and re­ceive six black points,” he said.

In the first three days af­ter the new rule was im­ple­mented, Dubai Po­lice fined six driv­ers for this of­fence.

How­ever, this fine can shoot up to Dh1,500 if an in­spec­tor or su­per­vi­sor from the Waste Man­age­ment Depart­ment of the Dubai Mu­nic­i­pal­ity also catches the of­fence at the same time.

The mu­nic­i­pal fine for lit­ter­ing in a public place, whether from a ve­hi­cle or oth­er­wise, has not been hiked since 2015 and re­mains Dh500, Ab­dul Ma­jeed Ab­dul Aziz Saifaie, di­rec­tor of Waste Man­age­ment Depart­ment at Dubai Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, con­firmed to Gulf News.

“We don’t have a sep­a­rate fine for lit­ter­ing from a car or mov­ing ve­hi­cle. It is in­cluded in the gen­eral fine for get­ting rid of waste in public places im­prop­erly,” he said.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity fine for lit­ter­ing was changed to Dh500 un­der res­o­lu­tion No. 14 of 2015 is­sued by Shaikh Ham­dan Bin Mo­ham­mad Bin Rashid Al Mak­toum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chair­man of the Dubai Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil.

How­ever, Al Saifaie clar­i­fied that the vi­o­la­tion can be booked by both po­lice­men and mu­nic­i­pal in­spec­tors and sep­a­rate fines can be im­posed on the offender if they wit­ness the act at the same time.

In that case, the po­lice can im­pose a fine of Dh1,000 and the mu­nic­i­pal­ity can levy a fine of Dh500.

While the traf­fic fine is re­lated to road safety and mis­be­haviour, Al Saifaie said the mu­nic­i­pal fine is aimed at en­sur­ing cleanlines­s on streets.

“It is a vi­o­la­tion of two laws from two au­thor­i­ties. I can just say he [vi­o­la­tor] is un­lucky.”

He said 154 fore­men and in­spec­tors work­ing in three shifts across the emi­rate are au­tho­rised to book peo­ple lit­ter­ing.

In 2016, 2,939 fines were is­sued for lit­ter­ing in public places in Dubai. In the first six months of this year, 1,521 fines were is­sued.

Viren­dra Sak­lani/Gulf News

Throw­ing garbage from ve­hi­cles, even cig­a­rettes, will re­sult in a Dh1,000 fine and six black points for the driver. A mu­nic­i­pal­ity in­spec­tor can also im­pose an ad­di­tional Dh500 fine for lit­ter­ing.

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