implementation of the new penalty in March 2017. The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department said the introduction of community service penalties has also led to a significant decrease in the number of drivers being prosecuted for reckless driving. Officials said 20 motorists have been prosecuted over reckless driving during the first six months of 2017 compared to 35 during last year. In the recent incident in July, the General Directorate of Community Services at Abu Dhabi's Public Prosecution handed down community service penalties to five young men - including four Emiratis and one from a GCC nation - after a court in Al Dhafra area convicted them of various traffic offences. These offences ranged from performing road stunts, reckless driving, driving without a license and driving a car without a number plate to using the car to make noise for residents. The men were ordered to maintain and clean public parks and the streets as well as serving petrol at stations.
Officials said the introduction of community service work has led to a significant decrease in traffic violations involving reckless driving. Director of Abu Dhabi Traffic Prosecution Abdullah Al Mansouri, said, "We had earlier tried to reduce the rate of traffic crimes by increasing the penalties - especially fines and jail sentences of less than three months - imposed against violators, but we found out that after serving the sentences the drivers were committing the violations again. This is why authorities decided to introduce the community service penalties and it's proving to be working out as the number of people being prosecuted for traffic violations has decreased."
Authorities said the community service has replaced detention in minor crimes that otherwise do not exceed more than six months imprisonment of a fine.