By Andy Sambidge
Provisional licences, fitness tests form part of shake-up to cut fatalities.
Transport chiefs in Dubai have come up with a new set of proposals in an effort to make the city's roads safer, including a mandatory health fitness test for new drivers.
The proposals, which also allow a driver younger than 18 to start training and the issuance of provisional licences for rookie drivers, have been sent by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to the Ministry of Interior, UAE daily Gulf News reported on Sunday.
The RTA recommendations also include reducing the licence validity period of heavy vehicles' drivers from 10 to five years, the paper added.
"The main objective of revamping the driving licence system is to improve drivers' abilities and the level of awareness about safety on roads among drivers and pedestrians alike," said Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the Board and executive director of the RTA.
According to official statistics, 294 people, including 105 pedestrians, were killed in road accidents in Dubai last year while the emirate is losing around AED4.5 billion annually due to traffic congestion.
The proposals follow an RTA study that suggested that the majority of fatal accidents were due to beginner drivers who lack sufficient driving experience.
"Based on the study, we recommend restricting driving freedom of new drivers by denying them some of the privileges which are normally granted to experienced drivers," Al Tayer told the paper.
He added that the study proposes the adoption of a provisional licensing system to give only one year licences during the first three years to drivers less than 21.
The new drivers will also have a sticker or poster affixed on their vehicles.
using Vehicle black box system will reduce accidents by 50% i guess they should consider it for all commercial vehicles
It is all too good restricting driving freedom of new drivers who are less than 21 years of age, which are predominately locals. But what about "new drivers" who are more than 21 years of age and those who never interacted with cars until they arrived in UAE & other GCC countries? These are equal havoc to the traffic as those youngsters with their low skills in driving.
RTA must go one step forward by introducing Highway Driving Test. Most of the horrific accidents happens on the highways and majority of Dubai Drivers have no previous Highway experience from there home countries. New drivers must not be allowed on Emirates & Shk Zayed Highway for at least one year of there first license Without accompanying 1 years old license holder.