(KHAMEIS AL HEFAITY)
Motorists in Dubai are still unable to pay their Salik fines despite improvements in the system announced by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
Motorists who drove through the tollgates on Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Garhoud Bridge without sufficient credit in their accounts said there is no mechanism in place through which they can find out how much money they owed.
The RTA recently waived fines for Salik subscribers for violations committed between July 1 and October 31. Non-subscribed motorists do not benefit from the waiver.
Subscribers who believe they have fines said they are still in the dark about how they are supposed to pay.
“I want to clear my fines, but there is no way I can find out about the due amount,” said Yahya Jabir, 34, an accountant.
When Jabir took his vehicle for its registration renewal last week, he managed to clear the other traffic violation fines, but he said he was surprised to find that no Salik fines were listed.
RTA has announced paying Salik fines was not a prerequisite for renewing vehicle registration but called on the public to make payments on time to avoid inconvenience. However, it has not informed drivers of how to view and pay their fines.
Jane Rayer, a senior media executive in Dubai who is not yet a Salik subscriber, said she accidentally drove through one of the road toll gates almost two weeks ago but is still not sure whether she was fined or not. “I have checked with the RTA and the online traffic fines inquiry but no Salik fine has been listed against my car registration,” she said.
An RTA official working with Salik customer care told Emirates Business all outstanding Salik fines could only be viewed by accessing the online traffic fine inquiry on Dubai Police’s website.
However, yesterday a number of motorists who tried to check their Salik fine status through that service could not see any listed fines, even though they admitted driving through gates without tags or without sufficient balances several weeks ago.
An official from Dubai Police Traffic Department’s fines section, which uploads all motorists’ fines, said no Salik fines have been uploaded yet despite a recent statement from RTA that Salik fines would be levied from January 1.
“We have not uploaded any Salik fines at the moment, but if motorists are interested in finding out about their fine status, they should call RTA customer care, I think they will help,” he said.
Salah Al Marzouqi, Director of Intelligent Traffic System (ITS) and Deputy Director of Traffic at RTA, recently said no motorist would be immune from payment of the road toll and promised that the fines would be posted on the website soon.
However, officials from RTA were unable to tell Emirates Business when offending motorists would be able to view their fines.
RTA made Dh70 million from Salik tag sales in the first two months after the system was put in place in July last year. The figure is thought to have more than doubled in the subsequent months according to officials. RTA has an annual target of Dh600m. Salik fines are Dh50 for first time offenders (without sufficient credit or tag); Dh10,000 is the maximum fine and Dh100,000 is the fine to be paid by motorists if they are caught cheating on the road toll system.
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