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Tue 29 Sep 2009 07:02 AM

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80% of people support driving age limit increase

Majority of people think young drivers are reckless and make UAE roads unsafe - poll.

More than 80 percent of people support the idea of raising the driving age limit in the UAE from 18 to 21, in a bid to make the roads safer, according to an Arabian Business poll.

A total of 44.7 percent of respondents said they thought young motorists drove too fast and did not have the road awareness of safer drivers.

A further 33.8 percent of people agreed the move would help, but said it was not just young drivers to blame for dangerous roads, and that other measures should be introduced.

Last week, the head of Dubai Traffic Prosecution, Salah Bu Farousha, called for the minimum age to obtain a driving licence in the UAE to be raised to 21.

He said that 10 out of the 120 motorists who have died so far on the country’s roads were young Emiratis – a number he called “disproportionate”.

He said at the time: “Raising the age to 21 is necessary because the motorist would be more mature. Teenagers can use public transport until they can be trusted to get behind the wheel.”

However, according to the AB poll 19.4 percent of people disagreed with increasing the driving age limit.

Some 14.3 percent of people said they thought 18 was the best age to become a legal driver, while 5.1 percent said the age limit should be lowered.

A recent report released by the World Health Organisation has shown that the UAE's roads were among the most dangerous in the world.

Last year 1,071 people died on the UAE’s road and 12,273 were injured, the report said.

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Dellboy 10 years ago

Yesterday I was driving out of Abu Dhabi just after the Makta Bridge in the left hand ( overtaking lane ) with a Police Car in front of me. A speeding car came from my inside and forced his way into my lane ahead of the police car forcing the police car to swerve. At the same time a pick up overtook me in the left hand emergency lane almost hitting the swerving police car. Guess what action the police car took......................... yep nothing. Just carried on down the road turning off towards Massafa. With policing like that, sadly nothing will ever change.

Salim 10 years ago

Hi, Dont judge the police, these are true a violence and breaking the law but the police won't drive behind that guy. They will normally take his plate info and i believe they are equipped with cameras. I know some people who did wrong things while driving in the street and were happy to not being followed, but when they renewed their car they have a traffic fines + black points + ceasing out their car for a period time. Dont worry police might not make a big drama like us drivers do but they do write down details and fine him even without stopping them. I also agree because in the last 3 years drivers are going nuts, and the problem isn't just from youngsters but expats who drive mini buses or contractor buses as well. ALSO not to mention RTA drivers who drive outside of dubai, i once found a Bus in Sharjah belong to RTA who is driving in the last left line which supposed to be a high lane, and keeps on driving there.

jenny 10 years ago

what about the taxi drivers/pick-up drivers/bus drivers/minivan drivers who have apparently not had proper driver training? i staunchly refuse to believe that people who drive as recklessly as they do have been through the system.

Bagwill 10 years ago

Isn't it a case of education and enforcement rather than a blanket increase in the age limit. Many other countries have an age limit of 18 (or in some cases less) and do not have the number of issues that face the UAE. There needs to be some serious education of not only fist-time drivers but those who have been driving for some years. For example, there is no lane discipline resulting in those who want to drive faster just swerving around the road to get in front. Enforcement needs to improve. It is OK taking down details and the driver receiving a fine/points/etc., as he renews his (her)registration, but if the driver was stopped by the police taking up his time (thus resulting in his journey being delayed) and the police also having the opportunity to check both the vehicle and driver roadworthiness, then this may act as a future deterent. On the bright side, at least the authorities recognise there is a problem and want to do something to resolve it.

Omar 10 years ago

Enough death on the streets!Yes, increase the age limit to 23 TODAY! Also, increase the amount of fines by 500%!Increase the number of radars by 1000% (10 times)!Suspend licenses! I passed by Syria last week for a couple of days and although it's among the world's most corrupt nations, road safety has signficiantly improved by 50%!!!!!!!! in less than 1 year as per the recent WHO report!! due to hefty fines and 100 radars!Law enforcement is the best tool. Also, DECREASE the speed limit on all roads - 141 km/h (when radar flashes) on Abu DHabi - Dubai Road - That's INSANE!!!As if there was no speed limit!! Make it 120 MAXIMUM!!!! Same for Al Ain ROad - Emirates Road - Al Khail Road - Same on Fujairah road. The best tool is to increase the # of radars by 10 times at least!!! 40 classes to issue a driver's license - That's NOTHING - Make them 200 classes!!! UAE has one of the worst safety records in the entire world although it has the best infrastructure in the entire MEASA region. Until when Police will remain so light on drivers!All drivers (Locals, Asians, Arabs and even Europeans who seize the opportunity of very weak law enforcement by abusing the law instead of being an example i.e. drink and drive!)??

Dellboy 10 years ago

I appreciate what you say but how many accidents or even deaths will these guys be responsible for between now and the time they renew their vehicle registration. The police should pursue and take immediate action. It works in the real world, why not here ????

Salim 10 years ago

well long time ago they used to pursue these driver within the 80s and mid 90s, But many of the drivers who were running away from police while being pursued got them self into crashes which caused many death to these drivers who are running away from police pursue. So they got this new rule not to pursue them, take their detail and later we will deal with them, thats the story that maybe many people don't know the reason behind Police are not pursuing anymore.

giorgi 10 years ago

In my opinion rise of age limit less likely to have any positeve effect on traffic safety and hence I fully agree with Bagwill: rise of the age limit without adequate couching what and how to do in the road traffic, will not solve the problem: 18 or 21 years old people will drive in the same inappropriate way. Lane discipline is the most important in coupe with understanding of speed respect from "slow" to "fast" lanes. Unfortunately current fastest lanes on the roads are in the middle instead of left because of disrespect/non undesrtanding by majority of lane & speed matters: slow drive at the fast lane pushes others to a risky maneuvers. It could be a good idea to introduce necessity of annual validation for current driving licences through on-line testing: renewal of car registration should be subjected to the evidence of passing the test. At least this will increase awarness in general and hopefully contribute for better discipline on roads. Articles related with the lane and speed awarness should be systematically published in mass media.