DUBAI // A police initiative that rewards good drivers with gift vouchers and the opportunity to cancel their black points has been launched and will be backdated to January 2012.
The initiative was launched on the same day that it was announced that the licences of 836 drivers who committed major traffic offences during the first eight months of the year have been suspended by Dubai Traffic Court.
Under the so-called white points system drivers of vehicles registered in Dubai are awarded a point for each month they keep a clean sheet of traffic or salik fines.
After 12 clear months, drivers will be able to exchange the white points in return for gift vouchers redeemable at select outlets, or use them to cancel black points accrued either before or after the clean sheet.
They will also be able to use the white points to cancel traffic fines accumulated after their clean sheet, as long as the fine does not apply to an offence that also resulted in a black point.
Drivers who have accumulated 12 white points but subsequently have their car confiscated will also be able to trade the points in for the return of their vehicle - provided it has been impounded for no longer than one month.
Meanwhile, drivers who keep a clean-sheet for five consecutive years will be entered into a prize draw for a car.
The scheme is being applied retroactively to January 2012, meaning that the first drivers able to redeem the points can do so January next year.
"This scheme is aimed at encouraging well-behaved motorists to continue to adhere to the traffic rules," said Maj Gen Mohammed Saif Al Zaffin, Head of the Dubai Police traffic department. "At the same time it will provide a motivation for others to became good drivers."
He said that drivers eligible for the rewards would receive a text message on their mobile phones to inform them.
Drivers who have accumulated 24 black points in one severe traffic violation will not be allowed to acquire any white points for a year.
Meanwhile, the head of Traffic Prosecution, Salah Bu Farousha Al Falasi, said 40 licences were revoked for one year following fatal accidents.
The remainder were suspended for periods of between three and six months.
Mr Al Falasi said that 662 licences were suspended for driving under the influence of alcohol and 19 for driving under the influence of drugs, with the remainder for causing various traffic accidents.
"Those whose licences were revoked if caught driving during the suspension period could face imprisonment of up to three months and a fine not less than Dh5,000," Mr Al Falasi warned.