Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Interior has no plans to reduce the minimum driving age from 18 to 16, Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, told the Federal National Council on Tuesday.
"Reducing the age limit for new drivers of light vehicles was just an idea published in the media but this was never the view of the Ministry of Interior," Shaikh Saif said in a statement submitted to the council.
Shaikh Saif was answering a question raised by Ahmad Bin Shabib Al Daheri, First Deputy Speaker of the FNC.
Shaikh Saif, however, noted that the ministry was studying a new classification of driving licences and means of improving the driving standards and requirements for obtaining driver's licences in line with the international best practices.
The initiative, Shaikh Saif said, was undertaken in cooperation with the British Transport Research laboratory.
In October last year, Major General Mohammad Saif Al Zafein, Director of Dubai Police's Traffic Department, had proposed — in light of a study done by him — to reduce the legal driving age to 16 from the current 18. The proposal had triggered a massive countrywide debate with mixed response from the people.
Answering another query regarding disparity in traffic fines charged across the emirates from Hamad Harith Al Madfa, a member from Sharjah, Shaikh Saif said tickets attracted by traffic offences are standard across the UAE.
"However, excessive window tinting, which attracts Dh500 fine in all emirates, is charged Dh10,000 in Abu Dhabi in keeping with a decree from late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan," Shaikh Saif said.
The interior ministry is considering banning excessive window tints and reflective paint on cars.
Citing safety reasons, the ministry has called on motorists using such materials to get them removed as soon as possible.
Those who fail to comply with the regulations will face fines and penalties. However, officials have yet to announce a deadline for motorists to comply with the decision, should it be approved.
Until now, those wanting excessive tints require special permission from the traffic department. But if the new proposal is approved the department will stop issuing such permission. Also, those who were earlier given permission will have to get their tints removed.