Plan to slash traffic fines 'bad for road safety'

RTA official says cutting fines will encourage speeding in Dubai.
NEWS

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A scheme by Dubai Police to slash the cost of traffic fines for drivers with existing penalties is unlikely to help deter motorists from speeding or driving dangerously in the future, a senior Roads and Transport Agency official said.

Dubai Police said Sunday they would offer a discount to drivers with existing fines for a limited period, on the condition that the penalties were settled in full. The move follows a decision by Abu Dhabi to halve the cost of existing traffic fines for offenders.

“My argument would be, if you’re worried about paying fines, don’t speed,” said Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO for licensing at the RTA. “The way [they are] looking at it is that people are being burdened a lot with fines and, in this tough climate, they are not able to pay them.”

Full details of the fine reduction were not available from Dubai Police on Monday.

Bahrozyan said more money should be invested into public awareness campaigns aimed at highlighting the dangers of driving dangerously. “I think continued awareness campaigns and more targeted campaigns on the disadvantages of speeding would prove effective - as they have in the past,” he said.

Speeding is responsible for 80 percent of road accidents in Dubai, government data shows. Dubai motorists notched up AED324m in fines in the first quarter for motoring offences committed around the UAE, compared with AED252m in the same period last year.

The most common offences among drivers included exceeding the speed limit by up to 40kph, and disturbing traffic flow, the RTA said.

Dubai Police said in June that its traffic force aimed to cut fatalities on the roads from 70 per 100,000 people, to zero deaths within the next nine years.

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