His Excellency Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, revealed the details of the maximum weights and dimensions of heavy vehicles permitted on UAE roads and the administrative penalties of their violations, as approved by the UAE Cabinet resolution No. 138 of 2023 that implements the federal decree No. 12 of 2023 regulating the weights and dimensions of heavy vehicles.
His Excellency Al Mazrouei underscored that implementing the decree is part of the UAE’s ongoing efforts to enhance road safety and reduce traffic accidents. It supports the infrastructure and transport sectors, increasing the road service life and reducing the carbon footprint of land transport.
The Minister highlighted that the resolution would enter into force in Q1 of 2024, after completing the installation of 24 smart electronic gates in coordination with the concerned authorities.
The Minister noted that as per the resolution, the maximum permissible gross weights for heavy vehicles vary according to the number of axles. Heavy vehicles with two axles must have a maximum gross weight of 21 tons, with three axles 34 tons, with four axles 45 tons, with five axles 56 tons, and with six axles 65 tons.
The resolution has also set the maximum dimensions of heavy vehicles as follows: the single heavy vehicle (integrated) must have an overall length of 12.5 m, overall width of 2.6 m, and overall height of 4.6 m, the truck head and semi-trailer must have an overall length of 21 m, overall width of 2.6 m, and height of 4.6 m, the truck head, trailer and semi-trailer must have an overall length of 28 m, overall width of 2.6 m, and height of 4.6 m, and the heavy vehicle carrying small vehicles must have an overall length of 23 m, overall width of 2.6, and height of 4.75 m.
As for the violations and fines, the Cabinet resolution states that the fine for a heavy vehicle exceeding the maximum gross weight by less than 10% of the weight during a single trip is AED 400 for each ton or part thereof. Whereas if a heavy vehicle exceeds the maximum gross weight by 10% to 20% of the weight during a single trip, the fine is set at AED 500 for each ton or part thereof. And, if a heavy vehicle exceeds the maximum gross weight by more than 20% of the weight during a single trip, the fine is set at AED 600 for each ton or part thereof, limited to a maximum of AED 15,000. In case of axle weight exceeding the specified maximum limits, the fine is set at AED 1,500 for each single axle, or group of tandem axes in a single trip. Whereas, exceeding any of the specified maximum dimensions entails a fine of AED 3,000 in a single trip.
The resolution also stated that an intentional evasion of weight stations or monitoring sites entails a fine of AED 5,000 and the fine for non-compliance with the controls of transportation permits for loads that are not easily divisible is AED 5,000 in a single trip. The fine for submission of incorrect information on the application for a transportation permit for loads that are not easily divisible is also AED 5,000, and the fine for non-compliance with the instructions of the authorized person is AED 2,500.
The resolution clarifies that neither the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure nor the competent authority may impose more than one fine for the same violation if it is committed during a single trip, even if the said violation is detected more than once.
In case of violating the maximum gross weight specified in the resolution and violating the maximum axle weight during the same trip, the fine with the highest value shall be imposed. And in case of a repeat violation of any of the violations specified in the resolution within one month, or where the value of the fines that have not been paid for the committed violations exceeds AED 45,000, the competent authority may impound the heavy vehicle, or prevent it from using the roads for a period not exceeding 30 days. The competent authority may set aside the impounding penalty against the owner of the heavy vehicle in return for the payment of a fine not exceeding AED 200 for each imposed impounding day, contingent on the payment of the unpaid fines against the committed violations.
As an exception to the provisions of the resolution, a heavy vehicle may exceed the maximum weights and dimensions in cases of loads that are not easily divisible, but only after obtaining a special transportation permit issued by the Ministry or by the competent authority according to multiple controls, including absence of practical alternatives for transporting the load, absence of impact on infrastructure or road user safety, specification of the appropriate permit period to complete the transport operation, and any other controls defined by the Ministry or by the competent authority.
Moreover, the resolution emphasized the importance for heavy vehicle operators to install the devices approved by the licensing authority to detect the weight, load, and dimensions of the vehicle and to connect these devices to the systems of the competent authority.
According to the resolution, concerned parties may appeal to the Minister, to the Head of Competent Authority or to those authorized by them, against any decision or action taken against them within 15 days from the date of being notified of the said decision or action, provided that such grievance is made in writing, is reasoned, and is accompanied with all the supporting documents. The grievance shall be decided upon within 30 days of its submission date and in accordance with the applicable procedures of the Ministry or the competent authority.
The provisions of the resolution are applicable to heavy vehicles that use the UAE’s roads, including ones that are licensed from other countries and are permitted into the UAE. However, vehicles owned by security, military, police, and civil defense authorities are exempt from the resolution.