Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 July 2019

UAE drivers to have black points for minor offences wiped off licences

Abu Dhabi Police said those who had gained points despite being generally good drivers would be given a new beginning before a tough new regime of fines is introduced in July.
Abu Dhabi Police said those who had gained points despite being generally good drivers would be given a new beginning. Mona Al Marzooqi/ The National
Abu Dhabi Police said those who had gained points despite being generally good drivers would be given a new beginning. Mona Al Marzooqi/ The National

ABU DHABI // Motorists are to have all black points from minor traffic offences wiped off their licences.

Abu Dhabi Police said those who had gained points despite being generally good drivers would be given a new beginning before a tough new regime of fines is introduced in July.

The clean slate does not extend to those with black points for serious offences such as driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, or in a way that endangers the public.

Brig Ali Al Dhaheri, director general of police central operations, said the move was a form of positive reinforcement.

“Abu Dhabi Police is keen to launch initiatives to enhance positivity among motorists, and to maintain the safety of road users and protect them from traffic accidents,” Brig Al Dhaheri said.

Dr Britta Lang, of UK consultancy the Transport Research Laboratory, said the idea would show that a traffic points system was not about generating revenue, but encouraging better road behaviour.

“By announcing the cancellation of minor traffic offences before the launch of a more stringent set of traffic fines, the police aim to engage drivers in a more active role as responsible members of the community,” Dr Lang said.

“The better road users will understand what is required from them to promote safety under the new regulations after the fresh start this amnesty provides.”

Walter Viti, a UK road safety expert, said the black points system was a means of developing a safe-driving culture.

“But their subtraction or total removal does not do much to change short-term behaviour,” Dr Viti said. “The risk to cause a collision or occurrence of high-risk behaviour will still exist in the individual.”

From July 1, drivers who break road rules will face fines of up to Dh3,000 and have their vehicles impounded for up to three months.

Those driving without a number plate can be given a fine of Dh3,000, with 23 black points on their licences and cars impounded for 90 days. Drivers with 24 black points have their licences suspended.

Exceeding the speed limit by 80kph or more means a Dh3,000 fine, 23 black points and the vehicle impounded for 60 days. Those who exceed the limit by 60kph face fines of Dh2,000.

Road-safety experts welcomed the move to wipe points for minor offences, but sought clarity on its implementation.

“What if you commit an offence now?” asked Sonal Ahuja, a director of the PTV Group, which provides software and consultancy services for traffic planning.

“Does that mean you can commit any offence until June 30?

“The Government is doing a good act in pardoning offences by cancelling the black points but there has to be positive improvement.

“Otherwise, I’ll do something wrong in Ramadan and then I will be forgiven.

“The move should be seen as an enabling act and it won’t happen if there’s a lack of clarity.”

rruiz@thenational.ae

Updated: May 14, 2017 04:00 AM

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