Waterfalls, rain-fed lakes and streams gushing down mountains are among the beautiful sights the UAE witnesses when the heavens open up. The country has been under a rainy spell over the weekend, with more showers forecast for the next three days.

However, under the beauty of flooded valleys lurk dangers of water currents that can sweep vehicles and people away. To deter the so-called ‘storm chasers’ — who deliberately venture out to areas that are prone to flash floods — the UAE has now prohibited valley drives. The country’s Ministry of Interior recently announced stiffer penalties for traffic violations that pose a risk to lives during rains and adverse weather conditions.

Based on Khaleej Times research, there are now 10 weather-related traffic violations that come with fines of up to Dh2,000, 23 black points and confiscation of vehicles for two months:

Police forces have reiterated multiple times that motorists must focus only on the task at hand: Driving. They must resist the urge to click a photo or take a video no matter how beautiful the scenery is. Doing so is classified under ‘distracted driving’.

Earlier this year, the Dubai Police seized 90 vehicles whose drivers were caught performing stunts in the rain. This was among the many instances of motorists driving dangerously during adverse weather conditions.

Some motorists switch on their hazard lights when driving in foggy or rainy conditions. However, this causes confusion on the roads.

When foul weather affects visibility, police forces ban the movement of some vehicles — typically trucks and buses.

The following are the latest additions to the list of fines:

Many UAE residents drive to valleys to experience or film flooded valleys and dams without realising how dangerous the practice is. The new fine is expected to deter such motorists.

Some motorists drive into valleys flooded with rainwater gushing off mountains. Many have been caught in the strong currents, with vehicles getting swept away.

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