Violators who offer an illegal car lift service have been fined as much as Dh10,191 since the start of 2019 up until the middle of August.
This is because the crackdown against the unauthorised practice has been stepped up by the Sharjah Road and Transportation Authority (SRTA).
The SRTA’s director Abdul-Aziz Al Jarwan says that inspection teams focus on illegal transportation that is offered to the public in private motor vehicles and company cars.
Offenders are then handed stringent penalties.
Al Jarwan says that a fine of Dh5,000 is given for the first violation by the SRTA.
As much as Dh10,000 is given for a second offence.
If there are three violations, there will be legal action taken against the driver of the vehicle.
Al Jarwan says that the crackdown is designed to promote taxi use within the emirates due to a sharp fall in the last few months.
There are 39 officers in the SRTA inspection team, all of whom have authorisation to apprehend violators and issue fines.
A number of field inspection campaigns have been carried out by the team, with more to come.
Three hundred eighteen violations were discovered, and 259 fines were issued during an inspection just made during Eid Al Adha.
All parts of Sharjah were covered by the inspection, particularly industrial areas that are situated close to shopping centres and labour accommodation.
Al Jarwan encouraged the general public to report any illegal practices to the SRTA call centre, which receives comments and enquiries from the public 24/7.
A Sharjah Traffic Department officer says that various Sharjah patrols have noticed private and rented car drivers loitering around shopping malls and other places often frequented by expats from Asia in order to offer lower rates than are provided by metered taxis.
The SRTA makes every attempt to offer public transport users the best services and promote mass transport to reduce traffic congestion and pollution, according to the Department of Transport Activities Control director Rashid Khalid Al Nuaimi.
Al Nuaimi adds that the department is also closely working with the SRTA quality control services section to offer taxi services at areas of increasing demand.
These areas include the likes of hospitals, shopping malls, Sharjah public events and Sharjah Airport.
Campaigns to catch these illegal drivers have recently been organised by the Sharjah Police.
The official warns that the police could confiscate all such vehicles, which would also include rented cars being used for the transportation of passengers.
Enforcing the law and implementing regulations that pertain to public transportation is something that the police are keen to do, as it will maintain the emirate’s security.
The official points out that security is affected by the illegal practice, as is traffic congestion.
Any such vehicles that are involved in an accident will see the passengers and driver unable to claim car insurance as the vehicle would not have a public transportation licence.
Car insurance is vital to protect against the financial consequences of accidents and is mandatory by law in the United Arab Emirates.