News | UAE

Dubai's RTA moves to upgrade vehicle testing

Real-time database updates, scaling up of technology and certification of technicians among proposed changes

  • By Shafaat Shahbandari, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 21:20 December 11, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
  • An inspector checks the tires for any damage on a car at a Tasjeel vehicle testing center in Al Qusais.

Dubai: A comprehensive analysis of the vehicle testing system by a special team from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has proposed a series of changes to the process of testing, which could force many unsafe vehicles off the roads, Gulf News has learnt.

Among the proposed changes are revised vehicle inspection parameters, upgraded equipment and a unified information technology (IT) system for testing centres that will come into effect in different phases from the beginning of 2013.

“We have completed a very comprehensive analysis of the vehicle testing system, looking at the process and technology currently in place and where are the areas that we can improve. We have done a lot of benchmarking with different cities and countries across the world. We have put a plan in place to implement the proposal of improvement,” said Ahmad Hashem Behroozian, CEO of the RTA’s licensing agency, revealing the details of the plan exclusively to Gulf News.

The initiative is part of RTA’s overall efforts to improve road safety and ensure the highest standards. “We are implementing more stringent safety standards at every level. The idea is to make Dubai roads safer and have in place international standards of inspection and testing,” Behroozian said.

Although wider parameters and stricter safety measures are designed for a comprehensive technical screening of vehicles, Behroozian insisted that the idea is not to impact people adversely. “Our intention is not to impact people adversely but we want higher safety standards. This could mean some vehicles which are currently on road may not pass, but a majority of vehicles registered in Dubai are in new and good condition,” he said.

The revised parameters will come into place from next year and will put the vehicle testing process on par with international standards.

Some of the key parameters that are currently looked into are vehicle identification numbers, brake system, steering and suspension, wheel and tyres, body condition, lighting and the engine compartment.

The broader parameters mean more areas will be looked into in terms of vehicle safety and GCC specifications.

From mid-2013, new testing equipment will be introduced at all testing centres and machines will play a major role in testing vehicles alongside technicians. “Machines will carry out most of the tasks, reducing the chances of human error and making doubly sure only safest vehicles enter the roads,” Behroozian said.

Among the proposed changes will also be a unified IT system for all vehicle testing centres, which will be owned by RTA and used by all the testing centres in Dubai.

Currently, all vehicle testing centres rely on individual IT sytems that are linked to RTA. In the new system, when the vehicle test is done, the data will automatically be entered in the RTA database.

“This will help a lot in the analysis of results, it will help us in controlling the kind of vehicles that enter the road,” Behroozian said.

Another key step in the revised testing process relates to the official certification of the technicians who carry out vehicle inspection.

The new system will ensure the technicians have a certain level of skills and they will have to undergo continuous training to make them familiar with the latest technologies used in vehicles.

As of November 2012, there were 1,127,332 vehicles registered in Dubai, around 80 per cent of which are less than five years old.

Currently, any vehicle that has completed three years since its first registration needs to be tested and re-registered annually. The testing is done by RTA authorised centres like Tasjeel or Al Shamil.

If a vehicle fails to meet any of the criteria, or if there is any thing wrong with any component of the car, the owner is told to repair or replace it. Once repairs are done, the examiner issues a pass certificate, following which the car is registered for a period of one year.

Comments (10)

  1. Added 16:50 December 12, 2012

    I agree about this enhancement in RTA testing control, this is only one part of making road safer, but there is ONE MAJOR point that RTA and the authorities should take in consideration seriously, is that a huge number of drivers are driving their cars with one hand on the steering and using mobile on the other hand! This make all cars UNSAFE on road even the ones passing RTA test control! Between 10 cars I always see 1 driver busy with his mobile driving dangerously!

    Mohanad, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 15:02 December 12, 2012

    I registered my car a month ago and it passed. the next day i found all the drive shaft couplings are all broken, then i found a problem in the brakes and now the transmition is broken, but i didn't see any thing in the passing report about these issues and they are the most dangerous in the car.

    amjad, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 14:28 December 12, 2012

    Just for the reporters info, currently all cars from the 1st year onwards you need to do the testing and renew registration and not after 3 years of first registration and yes, we should be ready for another increase on testing price.

    B.R., Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 12:10 December 12, 2012

    Very good initiative. If we will see the condition of some private cars and pickups very poor. Definitely the authorities must ban these type of vehicles from the road to provide safety to others lives. Like some of developed countries, RTA should fix the life span of vehicles up to five or ten years. This will help to our environment also.

    Anil, DUbai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 11:18 December 12, 2012

    One more area of control must be the odometer. The system must record km readings every year and not pass any vehicle which is susceptible of odometer/km reversal. Any accidents which may have resulted in dashboard/speedometer change must be recorded.

    KMP, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 10:33 December 12, 2012

    It's a great move from RTA for this new vehicle testing system, but one of the most important is the one who's controlling the vehicles. Even your car is brand new, if the driver doesn't have road discipline he can commit a road accident. One point which could aid in safety would be to stop cell phone use while driving. if can't avoid, use Bluetooth or speaker/earphone to free your hands. If the driver committed 2-3/yr normal or major accidents and it was confirmed that it was his fault, send him again for defensive driving lessons.

    lan, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 10:29 December 12, 2012

    The testing fees have already been increased from Dh50 to Dh120. Let's see and hope the price doesn't increase again.

    Erfan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 10:04 December 12, 2012

    Appreciate the initiative to ensure only road-worthy vehicles are on the road, but I can't see how this will enhance road safety. Sorry, but the person controlling the vehicle is where the problem lies and until that is addressed, roads will remain a dangerous place to be regardless of the vehicle. I would guess that accident statistics indicate 99 per cent driver error/negligence and 1 per cent vehicle failure...

    Fred, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 09:09 December 12, 2012

    So, testing price will increase for sure.

    sohail, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 09:04 December 12, 2012

    It is a positive step to enhance the quality of the cars on the road, but hopefully people commuting by car won't have to foot a bigger bill at the end of the day.

    Iftikhar, dubai, United Arab Emirates

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