Dubai's fines amnesty will encourage drivers to 'keep a clean sheet'

The plan allows motorists to renew their car registration without clearing their debts

The authorities hope the new system will encourage drivers to keep a clean record around the year. The National
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Drivers will be encouraged to take their foot off the gas after a decision to allow motorists to renew their car registration without clearing old fines.

The new system for Dubai will allow drivers to start a new year without paying the backlog from the last one.

Drivers that keep a clean record will see their past penalties waived, saving thousands or tens of thousands of dirhams.

They said the initiative will urge drivers to keep a closer check on the speed gauge.

“It will encourage people to be committed to the rules in the next year,” said Dr Amal Al Sabri, an Emirati dermatologist.

I usually drive under 100kph but I got fined a few times when I was in a hurry. Sometimes you do make a mistake

“People will want to follow the rules because they will get something back as a reward.”

She recently renewed her registration and paid fines of about Dh1,000 including parking fees. But she said some residents would continue to speed after they renewed car registrations under the new scheme.

“Every rule has pros and cons so there will be some who abuse it because they like to drive fast and they get a lot of fines. Such people cause trouble and are a danger to others."

Police said the aim is to ease the financial burden on the community, reduce accidents and road deaths by motivating drivers to stay safe.

As part of the initiative, motorists who keep an unblemished record for a year will be rewarded with a 100 per cent discount on fines. Those who drive for nine months without further penalties will have fines reduced by 75 per cent.

Albert Sabado, a Filipino sales worker who drives long distances for work, was relieved that more than Dh1,000 in penalties will be waived when he renews his licence in a few of months.

But he too believed that some motorists would continue to rack up fines.

“If you care for your money, you will be happy. But many drivers overtake without showing indicators and these are serious violations," he said.

"People like this don’t care about fines, they will keep driving fast. But it’s good for people like me.

“I’m usually a disciplined driver so if the speed limit is 80kph or 100kph, I will not even go 1kph over that. I have got mostly parking fines because the ticket slipped away from the dashboard. Only sometimes when I was in a hurry, I got a speeding fine.”

Syed Mohammed Junaid, a Pakistani who works in a landscaping company, was relieved that he would not need to pay Dh1,500 next month when he registers his car for the next 12 months.

“I will have to take a lot of care this year so this is a big saving for me,” said Mr Junaid who was caught driving above the speed limit on Dubai’s busy Al Khail Road.

“I will tell other drivers about it. I usually drive under 100kph but I got fined a few times when I was in a hurry. Sometimes you do make a mistake."