The Abu Dhabi police traffic department has cut all traffic fines issued within the emirate by half.

The reduction applies to penalties that have already been accrued as well as new fines.

A senior traffic official said the decision was made because hefty fines for traffic offences were leaving too many motorists heavily indebted to the government.

Ahmad Hussain Al Harthy, director of the Abu Dhabi Police Traffic and Patrols Department, added that all motorists would benefit from reduced fines “for now”, but in future they would be check motorists’ traffic records to decide whether the reprieve should apply.

Measures to make sure drivers don’t repeat rash driving habits will also be put into place.