Cars drive on a busy highway intersection in downtown Abu Dhabi. File photo

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Pulling over to the side of the road to pray is not uncommon among bus drivers and other motorists in the United Arab Emirates. Now, however, they will most likely think twice before doing so in the nation’s capital.

Abu Dhabi Police have announced that drivers who stop their vehicles in undesignated places on the highways to pray will face a fine of Dh1,000 (about $272), according to Gulf News newspaper.

The measure is part of a campaign launched by the General Directorate of Abu Dhabi Police to raise awareness among motorists about the danger of offering prayers in undesignated places.

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Police said that some bus drivers, who transport workers and other motorists, continue to stop their vehicles on the side of the road for different purposes, including offering prayers.

Gulf News cited Lieutenant Colonel Salah Abdullah Al Humairi, Deputy Director of Abu Dhabi Traffic Department, as saying that motorists should use rest rooms and mosques at gas stations, in residential areas and at work sites, instead of stopping their vehicles on the side of the roads for offering prayers and other purposes.

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The amended regulations of the Traffic Law also include a Dh500 ($136) fine for those who stop their vehicles at intersections or turns and a fine of Dh400 ($108) for drivers who park a vehicle in a manner that causes danger to passers-by.

The Dh500 fine will also be applied to those who fail to take relevant safety measures if their vehicles break down.