UAE Traffic Law Amendments: Stricter Penalties for Road Safety


The UAE has recently taken a significant step towards improving road safety by implementing amendments to its traffic laws.Effective July 6, 2023, these changes impose penalties for various road safety violations. These amendments reflect a broader commitment by the authorities to enhance road safety, deter reckless driving, and protect lives and property. Of special importance is the impact of these changes in Dubai, where motorists need to be well aware of these updates to avoid substantial fines, license point accumulations, and vehicle impoundment. To aid compliance, the police have released a comprehensive list of the newly introduced fines and penalties for impounded vehicles. This article will focus on the key changes to the traffic laws.

Earlier this year, the emirate of Dubai introduced changes to the traffic law through Decree No. 30 of 2023. This decree establishes the framework for penalties related to traffic violations and the impoundment of vehicles.

When a Car Can Be Impounded

The new amendments introduce the conditions under which a vehicle can be impounded by the police. Articles 2 and 3 of the decree outline the instances when a car can be seized, and Articles 4 and 5 specify the penalties imposed for various listed violations.

New Fines and Penalties

The revised traffic laws in the UAE introduced fines and penalties, against breach road safety regulations. Some of the most noteworthy changes include fines for running red lights and reckless driving. Let’s delve into some of the key amendments and the associated penalties:

    1. Jumping a Red Light: An offence that endangers drivers and pedestrians, this violation incurs a fine of AED 3,000 and adds 12 black points to the driver’s license. Moreover, the vehicle can be impounded for a period of 30 days.
    2. Reckless Driving: Aiming to curb such behaviour, this amendment imposes a fine of AED 50,000 for reckless driving.
    3. Allowing a Person Under 18 to Drive: Enabling an individual under 18 years of age to drive leads to a fine of AED 50,000.
    4. Using Fake, Forged, or Obscured Number Plates: Fines of AED 50,000 highlight the importance of properly registered and identifiable vehicles, enhancing road safety and law enforcement.
    5. Making Substantial Modifications to the Vehicle: A fine of AED 10,000 discourages vehicle modifications that compromise safety and comfort.
    6. Riding Recreational Motorcycles on Paved Roads: To mitigate road risks, this violation attracts a penalty of AED 50,000. It is prohibited due to the potential hazards it poses to both the rider and other road users.
    7. Fleeing from Police Officers: Evading law enforcement results in an impound release fee of AED 10,000. Attempting to escape from police officers is a serious offence that compromises public safety and law enforcement efforts.
    8. Driving Without a Number Plate: Driving without a proper number plate hampers vehicle identification, impeding law enforcement’s ability to regulate traffic and ensure accountability. A fine of AED 10,000 underlines the significance of proper vehicle identification.
    9. Participating in Races Without Permission: Illegal Road races endanger not only participants but also innocent bystanders and other drivers. Engaging in illegal road races incurs an impound release fee of AED 10,000.
    10. Excessive Window Tinting: Excessive window tinting can hinder visibility for both the driver and law enforcement officers, potentially leading to accidents and difficulties in enforcing traffic regulations. The penalty of AED 10,000 aims to ensure that window tints adhere to permissible limits for safe driving conditions.
    11. Intentionally Hitting a Police Vehicle: Deliberately colliding with a police vehicle poses a serious threat to law enforcement personnel and their ability to ensure public safety. A violation that leads to a fine of AED 50,000.

Impoundment of Vehicles and Additional Measures

A critical aspect of the updated traffic laws is the impoundment of vehicles for severe violations. For these violations, owners must meet specific conditions to have their impounded vehicles released, including paying associated fines, rectifying the violation, and adhering to any additional conditions set by the Dubai Police.

Repeat Offenders and Deportation

Repeat offenders face escalated penalties. If a vehicle is impounded again within a year for the same offence, the impoundment period doubles, not exceeding 90 days. The release amount also doubles, capped at Dh200,000. Moreover, the law dictates that non-citizen drivers of heavy vehicles caught running red lights will be administratively deported from the UAE.

Impact and Awareness

The core goal of these amendments is to foster a sense of responsibility and awareness among UAE motorists. To ensure the effective implementation of these regulations, Dubai Police has initiated an awareness campaign. This campaign educates the public about the changes and potential consequences of reckless driving, emphasizing the importance of abiding by traffic laws.


Staying informed about traffic regulations and prioritizing safety is vital every time one takes to the road. By focusing on road safety, these changes contribute to a safer and more responsible driving environment.


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