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Sun 5 Apr 2015 12:23 PM

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Experts say UAE drivers should retake test every five years

One in 70 kept a clean licence last year

Experts say UAE drivers should retake test every five years
(Getty Images)

UAE drivers should retake their test at least every five years to prevent accidents, road safety experts have urged.

Re-testing would help drivers improve their knowledge of new and existing traffic laws, prevent bad habits from creeping in and remind drivers of crucial skills, according to a report in The National.

“Over time we forget certain information,” Dino Kalivas, chairman of driver education at the International Road Federation, was quoted as saying.

“By re-testing we are illustrating to drivers that their skills need to be improved over time and, much like any form of education, it is a continuous process.”

Yury Duzhnikov, a sales manager in Dubai, wrote on the UAE’s Road Safety website: “People, regardless of their culture and nationality, become complacent once they learn a monotonous task such as driving.

“They think passing a test to get a licence is the only time they’ll need to follow all the rules. I guarantee that if we take 10 drivers and re-test them on the spot, nine out of 10 will fail, with at least one or two things they forgot they needed to do.”

Bad habits include neglecting to use indicators, too suddenly changing lanes, failing to check mirrors and using mobile phones while driving, the newspaper said.

The warning comes as official statistics revealed on Sunday that just one percent of drivers in Dubai managed to avoid any traffic fines in 2014.

The statistics from Dubai Traffic Police revealed that only 18,000 out of 1.3 million motorists kept a clean licence last year, about one in 70, reported 7 Days.

And an average of two people were killed on UAE roads every day last year, it reported last month, prompting road safety campaigners call for improvements in national driving standards.

However, Dubai Police reportedly told the newspaper on Sunday that the number of fatalities per head of population has dropped. The ratio of deaths per 100,000 has reduced from 21 deaths per 100,000 people eight years ago to three people per 100,000 last year, it said.

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