Supercar ban for inexperienced drivers called for after Ferrari crash

Stop inexperienced drivers and increase insurance premium say experts after Ghazi's deadly Ferrari crash

Image Credit: Supplied photo
Wrecked: The mangled remains of the Ferrari after the horrific crash in Motor City supplied photos

Dubai: Drivers without significant driving experience shouldn’t be allowed to get behind the wheels of supercars like a Ferrari or Lamborghini, parents and Dubai’s motoring fraternity said in the wake of a deadly crash last week.

Indian expat Ghazi Vahedna, 20, died in the early hours of July 14 when he crashed his father’s canary yellow Ferrari into a palm tree near Dubai Motor City, apparently unable to navigate a sharp bend.

The Italian supercar caught after it flipped over a couple of times. Ghazi died from shock and head injuries on his way to the hospital.

The incident not only left the family shell-shocked but has also raised questions about road safety, including whether there should be greater control over who drives such supercars.

The answer, however, came out loud and clear – from worried parents, fellow drivers in the UAE, including readers from abroad who read the XPRESS report last week.

“I appeal to the parents not to give the keys of such cars to their kids and prevent them from driving such vehicles till they get three to four years’ experience,” said a reader from Pakistan.

“Parents, think of the next time you give a fast car to a young racer or speed enthusiast who does not understand the difference between a race track and a normal road,” said another reader from Dubai.

The current UAE traffic laws however do not impose any restrictions on an individual from driving a car of his choice, so long it is within the category of the licence obtained, explains Ahmad Bahrozyan, CEO of the RTA’s Licensing Agency. Several developed countries, though, impose limitations on novice drivers, typically defined as those with less than three years of experience.

High premium

“Restrictions on such drivers usually get reduced as they keep gaining experience, but initially one of the restrictions often seen is on driving what are broadly called high-powered vehicles,” he told XPRESS.

“We raised this suggestion a few times at the Ministry of Interior and my understanding is it is under review. The reason why we haven’t implemented it in Dubai is because we feel it will be more effective if it is brought out at the level of the federal government because the UAE is very small and people from other emirates also drive on the roads of Dubai,” Bahrozyan explained. He, however, added there was no need for separate licences for supercars.

James Burnett, who established the Dubai Autodrome’s Race and Drive School, suggests another way out: “I don’t think there needs to be a separate licence for driving a supercar, but maybe there should be a premium for young drivers by the way of insurance. This is how the system works in Europe with the insurance being much higher for under-25-year-olds.”

Ramez Azzam, a racing instructor at Dubai Autodrome, explains how it works in Europe and the UK. “In the UK, the insurance policies are in the name of individuals and not vehicle owners. So typically it gets more expensive for a 25-year-old to get insurance to drive a Ferrari than for a 40-year-old to do the same. This practice sometimes goes a long way in keeping the young people away from the wheels of such cars.”

Your comments

  • Ali

    Jul 25, 2013 1:08

    If a 20 years old young man can afford a 900K+ Ferrari, do you really think high insurance premiums will bother him? The answer is not raising insurance, but maybe forcing them to take specialized and intensive training for driving high performance cars.

  • Ahmad

    Jul 25, 2013 11:25

    Before banning the young people from using super performance cars, they should ban 'super American movies' that incite people to drive recklessly - such movies are full of lies. Get furious, OK, step on the gas pedal and the problem is solved!!!! Only simple-minded peoplebelieve such movies.

  • Sarim

    Jul 25, 2013 10:58

    I'm sure if the parents are willing to give a car like a Ferrari or Lamborghini to their son/daughter, the high premium is not going to make a difference. Besides the car can be registered under an experienced driver's name but driven by someone else in the family.

  • don filio

    Jul 25, 2013 8:25

    sad to hear, another death... another young life lost.... please knowyour driving ability... respect the power of the car... respect otherdrivers....'speed don't kill it is irresponsible driving habit....

  • Faisal

    Jul 25, 2013 7:26

    Firstly I don't think its about super car or normal sport edition cars. Speed Kills - be it in a Ferrari or a Dodge Charger or any other car.Secondly parents should speak to their childern about theirresponsibilities, the way they drive on the roads and toward the society.Their action could not only affect their own family but others too. As for higher premium a person who can dish out money to buy a super car will not be much affected by a higher premium. I am really sad to hear about this loss. A simple mistake could end a life in seconds. May Allah help the family to overcome this loss.

  • John

    Jul 25, 2013 6:42

    In AUstralia, young drivers are not allowed to drive any car with an engine capacity of over 2 litres and never a turbo car for the first three to four years of them obtaining a driver's license. All young drivers start off on their learner permits (L) and can not exceed 80km/h and must be accompanied by a fully qualified driver at all times for the first year. Provisional license is obtained after they pass a driving test and a theory test and can not exceed 100km/h and can only drive a car up to 2 litres. Both L and P drivers must display L or P plates so the public knows they are new drivers. P plates come with 4 demerit points (black points), that's all they get for three years. If they lose them, they have to do the driving test again. Driving tests in the UAE have anything to do with learning how to drive, they only help the companies that own the driving schools. People get the license and just let lose on the roads with little experience. The UAE government should adopt the L and P license system like Australia.

  • joe Erasmus Bengers

    Jul 25, 2013 6:35

    To all my young drivers and riders, if you wanted to master driving, master it well. dont just learn driving. As per my knolwedge RTA is spending millions to give us the best roads in Dubai, not to speed but to have a nice smooth ride, Dubai Sports City has a race track and you have the best drivers in the world to train you,Dubai Government has spent millions in making those race tracks for us to get trained and enjoy a couple of laps. This is not Hollywood my friends this is Dubai RTA and in this City of Dubai they set the ruels to see that we all follow them. Next time when you press the throttle be sure the falcon eye of RTA will be watching you, please rememberthe road is not for speed the race track is...

  • Syed J Huq

    Jul 25, 2013 5:14

    It is horrific to note accidents resulting from driving SUPER FAST CARS. It is extremely difficult to keep young or old driver or those who drive such cars. Those who drive super fast cars should be told to test their skills at the race tracks or autodrome NOT ON ROADS, while on roads OBSERVE city traffic rules and regulations. High insurance may not be possible to pin on young drivers, but can be fixed on Young Owners of such cars. Once a person gets a driver's license the driver can drive any car.

  • asif

    Jul 25, 2013 3:41

    I disagree to the suggestion of high insurance premium, this is build on the assumption the young driver is earning and has some sense of how to manage his money; the question here is most super sport cars are owned by their families (Mom/ Dad). The young drivers who drive such cars arecoming from rich background increaseing insurance premium will not have any impact on this catagory of elite class. It is the responsibiliy of the parents to ensure their kids behave. Why should 99% of the average-income young drivers pay for the mistake of rich class.

  • Fouad Rafiq Charakla

    Jul 25, 2013 1:07

    The traffic auhtority should impose a 'speed lock' requirement on such cars. I don't think there's any road in the UAE permitting a speed of more than 140 km/h. Hence the speed of such so-called 'super-cars' should be limited to a very maximum of 160 km/h, if not 140 km/h.

Latest Comment

If a 20 years old young man can afford a 900K+ Ferrari, do you really think high insurance premiums will bother him? The answer is not raising insurance, but maybe forcing them to take specialized and intensive training for driving high performance cars.


25 July 2013 13:39jump to comments