It is undeniable that carpooling is one of the most beneficial ways of saving on transport costs. For many drivers, this not only saves on fuel costs but also reduces traffic congestion on the roads and carbon emissions in the long run. In addition, motorists also opt to carpool so as to avoid the inconveniences and congestion that come with public transport during peak hours. Despite its obvious benefits, carpooling was banned in the UAE in 2018 and is considered illegal transportation of passengers under the Federal Traffic Law. The penalty for this traffic offense is AED 3000 fine and 24 black points as well as confiscation of the vehicle involved for 30 days.
In 2008, the UAE began issuing the sharekni permits that legalised carpooling. The UAE was issuing carpooling or sharekni permits via the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) which allowed motorists to legally engage in carpooling. These permits were issued to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. Within a couple of years, the sharekni permits gained massive popularity because of its benefits. This was also very helpful in reducing environmental pollution and reducing congestion on the roads. However, following the ban of carpooling, RTA issued stopped renewing the Sharekni permits in December 2018. The government attributed the ban to safety concerns of motorists who used carpooling services.
Hefty fines for carpooling in the UAE
The 2017 amended traffic laws stipulated that motorists who engaged in illegal transportation of people will get a AED 3000 fine with 24 black points and confiscation of their vehicle for 3 months. Abu Dhabi Police have reported a rise in the number of carpooling cases in the recent past with 4,941 motorists being fined in 2018.
According to the authorities, these motorists pose various security and health risks as some of the drivers who conduct carpooling services are unlicensed and hence might not be traced in the event of an accident. In addition, unauthorised taxis pose a threat to the motorists using their services as they might not adhere to the safety regulations set out for public service vehicles.
Alternative means of cost-effective transport
Should you want to save on the costs of transport and avoid fines and inconveniences, you should opt for rental cars, some of which come at affordable costs. For as low as AED 30 per hour, you can get a rental car in Dubai or Abu Dhabi that covers extra charges such as insurance and parking fees. Besides these, the UAE government has provided various public transport options and you can use the shail to plan your journey ahead of time.
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