(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Over 425,000 motorists have had their Dubai traffic fines halved after they managed to maintain a clean traffic record for the last six months, the police announced on Thursday. The police had launched the fine discount scheme earlier this year to help drivers commit to driving safely.
The 425,371 beneficiaries have the chance to get all their fines wiped out provided they don't commit any traffic violations for the next six months. Staying clear of traffic violations for the next three months will get them an additional 25 per cent off the fines.
This means that if a motorist had a traffic fine of Dh1,000 before February 7 -- when the initiative was rolled out -- and he/she didn't commit any violation since, his/her fine would now be Dh500. Within three months, the fine would further be reduced to Dh250, provided the motorist maintains the clean record. By February 6, 2020, the motorist's fine slate would be wiped clean if he/she remains traffic violation-free.
Almost 80 per cent of the beneficiaries were men at 340,112, the police said.
The initiative, dubbed 'traffic fines settlement', has helped the police reduce the number of serious accidents. The emirate saw 14 per cent fewer accidents in the six months after the scheme was rolled out, as compared to the same period last year, a top official said.
"We also saw a drop of two per cent in the number of traffic fines recorded during this period as compared to last year. This drop might seem small, but assumes importance because the number of fines usually increases," Major-General Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, assistant commander-in-chief for operations at the Dubai Police, said.
The police recorded 1.7 million fines in these six months, he added.
If the initiative achieves its target and helps reduce the number of accidents and fatalities, the police will propose its roll-out across the country, Maj-Gen Al Zafeen said. "We will propose the scheme to the Federal Traffic Council. The Ministry of Interior will take the final call."
The officer said the programme is in line with the UAEs celebration of 2018 as the Year of Tolerance. "The primary aim of the scheme is to promote a culture of traffic safety. Its success reflects the willingness of the motorists to follow traffic laws," he added.
The police had launched the initiative under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The discounts are not applicable on Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Dubai Municipality fines.