Abu Dhabi: Online celebrity jailed and fined for reckless driving

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A social media celebrity has been convicted in Abu Dhabi for reckless driving on a public road at speeds exceeding 205 kmph.

The court also convicted a second defendant for participating in the crime. 

They reportedly asked the celebrity to drive at high speed so they could film the incident and publish the video online to get more engagement and views.

Both accused have been sentenced to three months imprisonment and fined AED100,000 each on the two charges. 

The car and phones used in the crime were confiscated and the licence of the driver suspended for six months. 

Both accused have also been banned from using social media platforms for six months. 

The court also ordered the video clip be removed and erased, and the accounts that were used to post the footage also shut down.  

Local authorities spotted the clip on social media, where the online celebrity could be seen driving his luxury vehicle at high speeds on one of the main inner streets of Abu Dhabi Island. 

The video clip also showed the accused bragging about his vehicle and its horsepower, which authorities stated may affect adolescents negatively and encourage them to commit such acts, in addition to the dangers it may pose to the lives of others.

Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution pointed out the need for educational and community groups to cooperate with the concerned authorities and intensify awareness campaigns to reduce the recklessness of young individuals on roads. 

It also praised the efforts of the security and judicial authorities in dealing with such behaviour.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution appealed to social media celebrities to post responsible media content to their audiences, especially since most of their followers are teenagers and young adults who consider them role models. Noting that when celebrities behave in such an irresponsible manner, they incite others to behave similarly and expose themselves to legal accountability.

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