Dubai Police using new Cameras to combat phone use while driving
In Dubai, many motorists are frequently observed using their phones while driving, often quickly lowering their devices upon spotting police patrols or officers nearby. This practice poses significant risks to road safety and is not limited to police enforcement. In Dubai, the authorities employ technology, including radars and surveillance cameras, to detect and fine offenders engaging in this dangerous behavior.
The problem of phone use while driving
In a video released on YouTube, the Dubai Police Department explains how surveillance cameras equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) may be used to identify and track motorists who are engaging in distracted driving. These cutting-edge technology may snap images of people at traffic signals, turns, and crossings while they are texting, talking on the phone, or using social media.
Dubai's innovative approach to traffic enforcement
It's a common misconception that Dubai's radars only capture speeding violations. In fact, the Dubai Police introduced smart radars in 2020 that can identify multiple traffic offenses, including mobile phone use, illegal lane changes, and failing to wear seat belts. Mobile phone use while driving carries a hefty penalty in Dubai, including an AED 800 fine and four black points added to the offender's driving license.
The Dubai Police have released a number of public service announcements to warn drivers about the dangers of using their phones while behind the wheel. They played videos depicting accidents caused by inattentive drivers, some of which resulted in fatalities or serious injuries.
According to Major-General Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, director of the General Department of Traffic, some individuals only appreciate the risks when tragedy strikes. Momentary lapses in concentration, such as checking social media or texting while driving, can have devastating consequences.
The human cost and impact on road safety
Over the past eight months, mobile phone use while driving led to 99 accidents in Dubai, resulting in six fatalities. In the same period, the police documented 35,527 violations related to this dangerous practice.
While Dubai Police have identified other leading causes of fatal accidents, including failure to prioritize other road users, sudden swerving, not maintaining a safe following distance, and speeding, mobile phone distraction consistently appears as a contributing factor. The police stress the importance of preventing such distractions to enhance road safety.