White points system to be in place in 2012

A reward system of ‘white points’ for good drivers announced earlier by Dubai Police is currently under study and could be implemented by next year.

Suggested by Dubai Police Chief Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, if implemented the system would work to offer ‘white points’ as incentives to those who adhere to traffic laws for certain period. The points would then come handy to reduce penalty in case of a minor offence violation.

"The system will probably be implemented in 2012, and to prepare for it, all mechanisms need to be put in place, which we are working on now," Major General Mohammad Saif Al Zafein, head of Dubai Police's Traffic Department, was quoted as saying by Gulf News.

Maj Gen Al Zafein made the announcement while speaking at a four-day "Keep a Safe Distance" campaign held at Mirdif City Centre.

Focusing on the concept of keeping a safe distance between vehicles on roads, the campaign tried educate motorists through lectures, quizzes as well as informative pamphlets.

Winners in the quiz competition were picked in a raffle draw and received a watch each.

Failing to keep a safe distance between vehicles caused two deaths and 140 collisions in the first quarter of this year, police said.

It also caused 16 deaths in 574 accidents in 2008-2009 and 16 deaths in 448 accidents in 2010.

"Failing to keep a safe distance is often combined with speeding and bad driving habits in general, so it is hard to tell exactly how many accidents are caused by drivers' failure to keep a safe distance," Maj Gen Al Zafein said.

"But combating this habit goes hand in hand with curbing speeding."

He added: "Achieving good results in one automatically affects the other because it is often the same drivers who commit both offences."

Although the definition of a safe distance varies depending on speed, Maj Gen Al Zafein said the best rule to follow is to use the driver's own judgment of how much space he needs at a certain speed to be able to stop suddenly.

Emirati Formula Gulf 1000 racer Haytham Sultan Al Ali was present at the police pavilion in the mall along with his racing car to spread the word among young people.

"I am here as a young race driver to advise people who like speed to go to special tracks where they can practise their hobby and drive fast cars," Al Ali said.

"These race tracks are organised and supervised by police and have all safety requirements, which is why they should be the place to race, not our roads," he added.

University students who keep a clean traffic record should be rewarded academically by their universities, said Major General Mohammad Saif Al Zafein, Head of the Traffic Department.

"Students who drive carefully should be helped by giving them an extra mark or two to help them pass because encouragement plays a great part in making people, especially the youth, abide by traffic laws," he said.

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