Local news: Cops, thieves and crashes
It’s been a busy week for the UAE Police, grappling with perennially inconsiderate drivers, suicidal road users, and all sorts of new crime.
The Gulf News reports that a new rule implemented beginning this week gives the approximately 20,000 members of Dubai Police the authority to stop drivers, issue traffic fines on the spot and impound vehicles whose registrations have expired. Earlier, only traffic police officers totalling about 800 could issue such fines. So don’t be surprised if you get pulled over by one of those police administrative guys driving around in white Corollas and Sunnys with red police emblems on the doors.
The Gulf News also reports that there was a pile-up involving six cars yesterday on the Dubai-Abu Dhabi highway near Ghantoot, the site of the infamous 200-car fiery destruction in 2008. Ten people were injured this time around, although we have no idea how incompetent one has to be for having pile-ups in clear day-time weather on a straight wide road.
The Emirates Business reports that criminals are now stealing number plates, specifically targeting cars of people who have gone on long vacations, and using the number plates on other vehicles, which are then used for illegal activities or to commit crimes such as transporting alcohol across Sharjah. Rental cars are usually involved. There is already a case of an Indian man, naturally, who is sitting in jail because a car that had been rented with his stolen passport copy was involved in a road accident. The vehicle was carrying “illicit liquor” and the driver fled the scene. So keep a watchful eye on your cars and passport copies.