x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Reckless drivers given community service

Reckless drivers are being forced to spend a day sweeping streets as punishment for dangerous behaviour.

Reckless drivers are being forced to spend a day sweeping streets or cleaning schools as punishment for dangerous behaviour. Al Ain police have launched a range of innovative public services for those who endanger the safety of others by speeding, drag racing, running red lights or breaking other traffic rules. Offending motorists will be fined and sentenced to a week in prison. On their release, they would be forced to carry out their public service, police said.

Drivers caught breaking the rules also face having their car confiscated for one month. New figures released by the police this week show 4,781 drivers had been fined for various violations since June 1, including 22 who face the social service punishment. A total of 426 drivers have had to do community service since a trial of the scheme was launched in December. Similar schemes are run in other countries, whereby offenders carry out public services for varying lengths of time for a variety of minor offences.

Lt Col Khalifa al Kheyali, the head of Al Ain traffic department, said traffic police were patrolling streets looking for motorists with "uncivilised driving habits" such as reckless driving, racing and ignoring red lights. Police hoped to reduce the number of traffic mishaps and deaths and injuries, and were also working to analyse factors that caused accidents and identify spots where they repeatedly occurred.

In addition to targeting drivers, police were also monitoring pedestrian behaviour to reduce the number of people killed while crossing the roads. A total of 1,115 jay walkers had been fined, while 102 motorists were fined for not allowing pedestrians to cross at crossings, Lt Col Kheyali said. Forty-eight motorists were fined for running a red light, 203 for not wearing a seat belt, 10 for racing, 100 for driving with unsafe tyres, 218 for exceeding the speed limit and 328 for breaking other road rules.

Lt Col Kheyali also warned parents against letting their children ride quad bikes, pointing to the number of serious injuries resulting from accidents involving the vehicles. @Email:hdajani@thenational.ae