New railway law in Dubai… with fines and penalties

RTA calls on concerned entities to implement new law

DUBAI 29 July 2017: RTA’s Rail Agency called on all entities operating in the construction field, particularly those undertaking RTA projects, to cooperate in the implementation of the Executive Council Resolution No. (1) / 2017 governing railway systems in the emirate, to ensure safe and smooth transport for all.

Abdul Mohsen Ibrahim Younes, CEO of RTA’s Rail Agency said, “The Resolution aims to streamline the railway systems to bring them in line with the safety & quality standards required as well as the highest global practices of the industry. It ensures the integration of various mass transit systems in the Emirate and defines the respective roles & responsibilities of the Agency and the Safety Regulator to ensure the efficient and safe operation of the railway systems.

“The new Resolution aims to realise maximum safety and safe operation of railway transport, provide advanced and safer transit systems, protect the environment and maintain the natural ecological balance, and realise the vision of Dubai as a sustained and smart city.

It also seeks to avert any losses or negative effects, immediate or in the long run, inflicted on humans and properties because of the operation of railway systems. To realise the objectives of this Resolution, RTA assumes a host of tasks such as planning, designing and upgrading the railway network in Dubai as well as regulating the construction, improvement, operation and maintenance of the network in the Emirate. It also endorses the stipulations, procedures, controls, standards, specifications and manuals applied by the Agency and the safety regulator, and also endorses the conditions & procedures upon which the Agency and the safety regulator issue certificates as stated in this Resolution.

“The Resolution delegates to RTA the powers of ensuring that certificates issued by the Agency and the safety regulator as well as investigations carried out by inspectors are free from any conflict of interests. It also has to ensure that such investigations are carried out independently of owners, operators, contractors and other personnel associated with the provisions of this Resolution. It has to ensure the cooperation of the parties concerned in the Emirate as well as neighbouring Emirates in all matters that meet the objectives of this Resolution including the integration of railway systems and other transit modes. It has to make contracts and agreements relating to railway systems, and take appropriate measures to protect it. It also has to define areas designated as right-of-way for the railway network & surrounding areas including the endorsement of restricted activities, and endorse the policies, plans and programs submitted by the Agency and the safety regulator,” added Abdul Mohsen.

Compensation for Losses
The Resolution prohibits any person to practice any activity that may cause damage to the railway network or expose it to danger, or cause harm to the environment or others harms, because of exceeding the thresholds of noise & vibrations. The offender has to bear the responsibility for damages in respect of all losses incurred.

According to the Resolution, the said losses include losses inflicted to individuals, properties, the environment and the restricted use, be it temporary or permanent. The offender has to remove the offence during the period specified by RTA, and in the event of failure, RTA may remove the offence, whether by its resources or through the support of a third party, at the expenses of the offender. The offender has also to pay 25% of the removal cost as administrative fees.

Penalties and Measures
The Resolution penalises violators responsible for offences stated in Table (5) and (6) annexed to this Resolution and obliges them to pay the respective fine of each, without prejudice to a tougher penalty provided for in any other Resolution. The Resolution states that a written warning must precede the slapping of fines for offences in respect of which the Director General had issued a Resolution. The warning shall include the redressing of the offence within the period specified by the Agency or the safety regulator. Otherwise, the fine is imposed on offenders.

The fines shall be doubled for recurring offenders within one year of the previous offence, provided the doubled amount must not exceed AED500,000. The Director General, or authorised representative, shall take any of the following measures against the violator, over and above the fine due under Part A of this Article, and cease the activity pending the removal of the offence or abolishing of the certificate issued.

Law Enforcement and Grievances
RTA or operator’s employees, as named in a Resolution of the Director General, are entitled to practice law enforcement duties in proving the acts committed in violation of the provisions of this Resolution and the decisions issued thereunder. In so doing, they are entitled to file the law enforcement reports and may seek the support of policemen, if needed. All interested parties are entitled to submit grievances to the Director General from the decisions, procedures and measures taken against them under this Resolution within 15 days from the date of being informed of the Resolution, procedure or measure that have caused this grievance. This grievance has to be settled within 30 days from the date of submission by a Committee formed by the Director-General for this purpose, and its decision shall be final.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council, has issued Resolution No (1) for 2017 regulating railway systems in Dubai Emirate. The Resolution applies to all parts of the Emirate including the special development zones and free zones including the Dubai International Financial Centre.

By Sheena Amos