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Dubai: If you’ve just had a minor traffic accident, should you stay where you are and wait for the police to arrive? Will moving your vehicle to the side of the road cause problems with police departments?
Big or small, every traffic accident in the UAE must be reported to the police authorities of the emirate. In the event of serious accidents that could lead to injuries, the 999 emergency hotline immediately dispatches an ambulance with paramedical staff. So if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of a car accident, these are the basic steps to follow.
Step 1 – Don’t block the road
If possible, it is important for all motorists involved to bring the vehicles safely to an area in which they do not obstruct traffic. Turn on your hazard warning lights and take your car to the next safety location. In a social media post on April 26, Sharjah police urged drivers not to obstruct traffic, as minor traffic accidents can lead to long traffic jams. Instead, drivers should step aside and contact the responsible police authority.
Step 2 – Check that the passengers are okay
If there is a serious injury or accident, call the police helpline at 999 immediately. The call center will immediately dispatch an ambulance and police patrol to the location. Provide the exact details of your location, including any landmarks or road exits that can help officers reach you at the earliest.
Step 3 – report the accident
The command and control room at the Dubai Police Headquarters.
Photo credit: Ahmed Ramzan / Gulf News Archives
Call 999 and explain to the operator that you have been involved in a crash and that you need police assistance. Take some photos of the damage that has been done to your car, but make sure you don’t take photos of people as it is against UAE laws to take photos of people without their permission.
In the event of a minor accident where the guilty party has been clearly agreed by the two parties, the Dubai Police advise motorists to report the accident through the Dubai Police app.
How to log in using the Dubai Police app
• Download the app from iTunes or Google Play
• Click Report Accident Service
• A map with your location is displayed. Therefore activate your location services
• Click Report Accident and list the vehicles involved.
• Select the vehicle types.
• Take a photo of the damaged area of your vehicle.
• Enter the details of the driver responsible for the incident.
• Click Options and describe the cause of the incident.
• Enter your contact details.
• As soon as you have completed the process, you will be informed whether you can leave the scene of the accident. You may also receive a phone call from a police officer confirming the accident before the report is released.
In Dubai or other emirates, in the event of minor accidents, you may also be asked to visit the nearest police station to file the report.
Report a minor accident at a gas station
File photo of a police officer training staff in Dubai at Enoc to record accident reports.
Photo credit: Delivered
Drivers in Dubai can also report accidents at some Enoc gas stations, as Dubai Police have trained staff to receive reports of minor traffic accidents via the Dubai Police’s smartphone app. People can go to gas stations instead of police stations to avoid queues.
What if the other driver speeds away?
This is clearly against the laws of the UAE. If you find yourself in such a situation, try to at least write down the license plate or the make and model of the car.
Leaving or running away after an accident is illegal and can result in a fine of at least Dh500 and five black points on your driver’s license, as well as confiscation of the car for at least a week. The penalties can be more severe in the event of a serious accident.
Step 4 – Wait for the police to arrive
A minor traffic accident in Sharjah
Photo credit: Delivered
It is important to wait calmly when the police arrive at the scene and not to get involved in a dispute with the other driver. As soon as the police patrol arrives, you will need to hand over your driver’s license and vehicle card. Explain the situation to the police officers when they arrive at the scene. He will then investigate the accident and issue the appropriate tickets. While the parties used to be given a paper stating which driver was responsible for the accident, reports are now also sent by email. The accident report would determine which motorist is liable for the accident and which is the victim.
Documents that you should always have with you
As a driver, it is important that you always have certain documents with you in the event of an accident:
• Emirates ID if you are based in the UAE
• Copy of your passport if you are a tourist or visitor
• Valid UAE or country driving license
• Vehicle registration card
• Health insurance card (this is important if you are seriously injured and need immediate attention).
Step 5 – Fix any repairs with your insurer
Once you have the police report, you can contact your insurer for the next steps for insured repairs. If you drive a rental car, you must report the accident to the landlord, who will then inform you of the next steps.
The insurance company usually processes claims against the other party’s insurer for repair.
On February 17th, Dubai Police posted a message on their official social media channels about the steps to take if you are involved in a small traffic accident:
Even if your car gets hit while you are parked, it is important to notify the police. Without a police report, you cannot file a claim with your insurer. Pursuant to Article 41 of UAE Federal Law No. 21 of 1995, no garage owner is allowed to start repair work on a vehicle showing signs of an accident without approval from the licensing authorities.
As soon as you notify the police, they will cause an “unknown accident” according to the Dubai Police Call Center at a cost of Dh420. You can then submit the report to your insurer.
What to do if you damage property with your vehicle?
Even if you get into anything other than another vehicle that damages your car or any public or private property, you will still need to file a police report. If the accident is minor, you will need to follow the steps above to file a report with the police.