What to do When: Road rage or traffic tantrums in Dubai

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What action can you take under Federal Penal Law on public obscenity

Dubai’s road rage has been an issue for some time now, with the authorities doing their best to temper the tantrums drivers are prone to throw with strict and serious fines and rules.

However, one of the big discussion points has been about driver’s abusing each other without ever getting out of their cars.

What if you are on the receiving end of a rude hand gesture while driving in Dubai?

What if a driver rolls down his/her window, verbally abuses you and then drives away?

General Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, Head of Dubai Traffic Police, clarifies the rules: “If the driver abuses another person (a driver or a person walking on the street), with a bad hand sign, it is not considered a traffic violation, because it’s not mentioned in the Federal Traffic Law. But, it is considered to a moral crime and the offender should be punished for it.

“The person who gets abused should stay calm and head straight to the nearest police station to report the case. Do not forget to take down the plate number of the vehicle. The police will take the right action, bring him/her to the police station and then hand him/her over to the competent legal authorities,” he said.

Al Zafeen pointed out that if this happens in front of a policeman, the official should stop the offender immediately and take legal action. He noted that such cases have happened and they were brought before the Dubai Courts.

Federal Penal Law on public obscenity

Lawyer Ahmed Al Yammahi said that as per Article (9) of the Federal Penal Law 1987, if any driver uses a bad hand sing to abuse another driver, or a passenger, or a pedestrian, it is considered a public obscenity crime.

The person committing this crime can be punished with not less than six months in jail. This punishment could be doubled to not less than a year if the offender meant to abuse a woman or a child (less than 15-years-old), according to Article 358 under the same law.

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