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Dubai traffic cop reveals fatal impact of motorists not using indicators

IndicatorsOne in four deaths on Dubai’s roads is the result of drivers changing lanes suddenly without indicating – and the toll is rising.

That was the message from the head of Dubai Traffic Police yesterday as he launched a campaign urging drivers in the emirate to use their indicators.

General Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen said the majority of motorists do not signal when changing lanes – a careless act that cost 41 lives last year.

Al Zafeen said: “Motorists must use their indicators when they move to the right or left. The majority of Dubai drivers are not using indicators. “We need to change this and to have more people using indicator lights to save lives on roads.”

He added: “Many young drivers are not using indicators and when you ask them they claim indicators are only for old people.” Last year’s death toll of 41 people from accidents in which drivers changed lanes suddenly accounted for a quarter of deaths on Dubai’s roads and was nearly twice the figure recorded for 2012.

And Al Zafeen said the problem was rooted in culture.

“Western drivers always use indicators while changing lanes as this is part of their culture. We need to have more motorists doing that as we look for zero deaths in 2020,” he said. To combat the problem, police will carry out a week-long awareness campaign, including distributing leaflets and hosting talks. Al Zafeen also acknowledged the punishment for drivers caught not using their indicators needs to be tougher.

The current penalty if caught not using your indicator is a fine of Dhs200 and four black points.

“There is a study taking place on traffic law and this must be changed in my opinion,” said Al Zafeen. The indicator-awareness campaign was welcomed by regular road users. One Dubai taxi driver said: “This has been the problem since I started driving a taxi seven years ago and is increasing now as the roads get busier.”


  1. They should also be going after all these manufacturers that import cars with rear indicators that flash red, if they are braking at night, it’s incredibly difficult to tell if they’re indicating or not. What possible justification could there be for not having rear indicators that flash amber/orange?

  2. This is definitely one of the most dangerous problems on Dubai’s roads. The vast majority, I think about 75% of drivers do not signal when changing lanes. Even when it is crowded, even on roundabouts (!!).

    I personally don’t mind even if someone is driving wildly AS LONG AS THEY SIGNAL! This way I at least know what they’re going to do so I can get out of the way. It is when they do things people are not expecting that the accidents happen.

    I would love it if police started pulling people over for not signalling. They should do this consistently for a long period of time (e.g. 6 months) so the fear of getting fined will spread among people and force them to change their habits. Unfortunately people in Dubai will never change anything just by “raising their awareness”. People here need to be coerced through fear of punishment.

  3. Maybe we can start by having the police use their indicators

  4. I welcome the news that the Police will start to act on this and agree with Doubleplusgood that it needs to be a combination of ‘Carrot & stick’. From my experiences here most people only indiate when there is a gap that they are going to squeeze into even if it was dangerous to do so!! I suppose we should be happy they know where the indicators are.
    I would ask the police to also look at this as a part of overall lane discipline as that is the cause of so many problems (the blame usually gets put on drivers in the outside lane rather than those that ‘cruise’ in the 3rd lane (i.e. 2nd from left lane). I often see people moving into this lane to make phone calls!?
    From an “old person”

  5. Well, I’m glad that the Dubai Police has FINALLY woken up to this and I’m not sure a week-long drive is the way to go. First and foremost, I think that Mr. Al Zafeen is wrong in giving all Western motorists a clean slip…I’ve seen far too many Western expats driving like maniacs. Secondly, its about time that the police take a more proactive approach to maintaining discipline on our roads. Rather than being passive onlookers, they need to pull offending drivers over and educate/fine them. The primary reason for Dubai’s roads being as dangerous as they are is the lack of adequate enforcement. Speed cameras and patrol cars need to be supplemented by unmarked police cars monitoring the roads for errant drivers. And not just during traffic safety week!

  6. I believe awareness should be raised on the “proper way of using indicators” rather than just using them. I drive from Dubai to Abu Dhabi daily, and the level of reckless driving I see on the way there and back is beyond dangerous.
    Motorists overtaking others over the yellow line (shoulder) with their indicators on (as if that makes it safe), cars cruising the left-most lane at 100kph with their left indicator on, cars zooming next to you and squeezing themselves in the “safe” distance you keep between you and the car in front of you (but using indicators) and then braking and causing mayhem, and the frequent Fast & Furious fan who is all over the 5 lanes using his indicators in a fashion that bends time and space……..
    More cruisers are needed patrolling the roads (especially on a foggy day like today where none was in sight – literally), and serious awareness raising tactics should be implemented and controlled, not only for taxis in Dubai but all over the UAE… Oh, and let’s put all those CCTV cameras to use.

  7. i think every body is wrong.and more off them dont know drive..ok maube 75% dont make signal..but the other 25% think taht the signal allow u to change the line with out any care. safety distance is a joke here and the probe of my comment is ask any one why you change line in my safete distance and they will replay..”you dont see i make a signal light” or “what is your problem” this mean for them there is not mistake coz they dont know what they conclusion..the 100 % dont know drive..coz you go to school and your instructor are same. cero knolege of rules.traffic sign and psicotechnical skill..tnx 25 year driver..”no fine.accident or incident”

  8. You are always second guessing what the driver in front, and on either side are going to do! Guess I must be old, as I always use my indicators.

  9. I have the same problem everyday. Hope all people indicate when changing lanes at all time and switches on the headlights at night or before sunrise. This is not just for u, but it’s for other motorist safety.

  10. When ever I use my indicator to change lane into a space the car i am trying to move in front of then decides to accelerate, an indicator is a challenge to some people to try and stop the person from changing lanes! Until these idiots stop using an indicator will make no difference to the accidents on the road!

  11. Bypass a car on highway ONLY from LEFT SIDE, unfortunately this is not respected at all,the Right side passing is the road to cemetery.

  12. Mostly taxi drivers are not using indicators they’re always overtake to other cars because they are looking always for passengers and running out of time…im 12 years in dubai already these case should be solved to avoid accident and lost of lives.

  13. There are so many studies that have proven the impact of speeding, driving while using phone and lack of indicators… Lets no talk anymore but act. we need law enforcement without mercy. No grace on the speed limits and when not using indicators: Fine and black points.

    And now we are on it, how can it be that for instance on the Satwa road, the speed limit is 80km/h; a road that has zebra crossings! On any road where there are zebra crossings, (Wasl, Jumeirah rd, Satwa Road etc), the speed limit should not be faster than 50km/h like it is in any other developed country. That is how you get to almost zero deaths in 2020!

  14. I’ve never once seen a Police car in Dubai using their indicators when changing lanes. Perhaps they should lead by example!

  15. It seems that too many people here think the shiny orange plastic on the 4 corners of the car are only for beauty and looks, not functional!!!


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