A set of practical classes focusing on specialised skills required to drive heavy trailers and tankers will be part of all heavy vehicle driving courses in Dubai from the end of this year.
An additional theory class creating awareness about the dangers and requisites of driving an articulated vehicle is already mandatory.
The move comes following a drastic rise in fatal accidents involving heavy vehicles, with the first half of 2016 registering 27 such accidents compared to 15 in the whole of 2015.
Though the data suggests that nearly 60 per cent of the heavy vehicle licence holders go on to drive the articulated heavy trucks and tankers there is no provision in the UAE traffic law for the specialised training to drive such type of vehicles.
“This initiative reflects RTA’s endeavours to ensure the safety of road users, be it trailer drivers or pedestrians as driving such articulated trailers requires special skill to safeguard against any road traffic accidents. Phase I of this initiative began with intensifying theoretical training which required adding one training hour to raise awareness about driving such vehicles,” said Arif Al Malik, Director of Drivers Training and Qualification at RTA’s Licencing Agency.
He added that by the end of this year, the practical training will start with a five-hour training on manoeuvres, which will be generalised to relevant driving institutes.
“The manoeuvres include ensuring firm coupling of trailer and truck, parking the trailer in designated places especially reverse parking skills, and driving eight-tonne articulated trailers on highways among other relevant manoeuvres that ensure high degree of vigilance and attention while driving,” added Al Malik.