Dubai Police ‘zooming in’ on lazy drivers parking cars in spaces reserved for disabled motorists

Dubai Police has developed the new device - called ‘The Sergeant’ - to fine the owners of vehicles that sneak into special needs spots

Dubai Police has developed the new device – called ‘The Sergeant’ – to fine the owners of vehicles that sneak into special needs spots

Cameras are to be installed in Dubai malls to snap lazy drivers who grab parking spaces reserved for disabled motorists.

Dubai Police has developed the new device – called ‘The Sergeant’ – to fine the owners of vehicles that sneak into special needs spots without a permit.

Major General Khamis Mattar Al Muzaina, head of Dubai Police, revealed the radar yesterday and said police were working with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to place it in all malls by the end of the year.

The device will warn drivers by beeping for 20 seconds. If they don’t leave during that time, they will be fined.

“The radar contains a camera to take a picture of the car when it goes in and out from the parking space and calculates the time of parking,” said Al Muzaina.

The radar looks for a disabled tag. If it doesn’t find one, it sends the vehicle’s details to Dubai Police command room for prosecution. Under traffic law, the punish­ment is a Dhs1,000 fine and four black points.

Dubai Traffic Police said they have recorded 36,858 offences of people parking in disabled driver bays in the past four years and 8,871 offences in last year alone. The move has been welcomed by disabled people and support groups.

Al Muzaina said: “Dubai government cares for the rights of people with special needs so we launched this radar to serve them and prevent others from taking their rights by taking their parking, especially in rush hour at the malls. We received many complaints from special needs people about their parking places being taken.”

A staff member at the Autism Trust Foundation School Dubai, Jennifer Asuncion, welcomed the initiative as her drivers had “problems” finding reserved parking spaces.

“For example, in Dubai Mall the handicapped spots are always taken by people without handicapped tags.”

She said the radars will “definitely” help. “They have to install the radars in all of the malls. It will help us and other schools like us. It becomes
easier for the children,” she added. Neelesh Bhatnagar, director of Oasis Centre, also welcomed the radars.

“We all have witnessed cases where some people misused parking slots for differently abled,” he said. “This new initiative will certainly eradicate this anti-social behaviour.”

ali.shouk@7days.ae