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RTA 'issuing random fines'
By Ashfaq Ahmed, Staff Reporter
Published: December 05, 2007, 23:14
Dubai: Beware of offering friends a lift in your car as you may end up with a hefty fine, say some residents.
A number of residents have said they have been fined by Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) officials for sharing their cars with friends. They said the RTA inspectors did not listen to their explanations and issued fines for "using their cars as illegal taxis."
"I was slapped with a Dh5,000 fine as I stopped to pick up my friend who was waiting for me on the roadside," said Taufueeq A. an Indian banker.
He said an RTA inspector in plainclothes approached his car and asked for his car registration, he tried to explain the situation but said he was not listened to.
A manager from a leading tour and travel agency told Gulf News that his driver was fined when he dropped off his clients at a shopping centre.
I told my driver to drop the guests at a shopping centre but he was given a fine of Dh5,000 for ferrying passengers 'illegally.' We have to oblige our guests and often offer them pick up and drop off services but this practice will have a negative impact on the business," he said.
He said he approached the RTA to appeal against the fine but it was in vain. Similar complaints have been made by other residents who have said they are now scared to offer lifts to friends.
"I used to share my car with friends from Sharjah to my office in Dubai but I have stopped because one of our friends got a Dh5,000 fine for sharing his car with friends," said Sharma, a marketing executive.
When contacted an RTA official refused to talk about particular cases but explained that "car pooling" for monetary gain is illegal but sharing cars with colleagues going to the same location is allowed. "Our inspectors are well trained and they know who is sharing a car with friends and who is running an illegal taxi," he said.