No change in legal driving age

RTA says it has no plan to lower minimum age requirement to acquire driving licence

Gulf News

Dubai: The legal driving age in Dubai will remain 18, a senior Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) official said on Monday.

Responding to a media report on Monday, Ahmad Hashim Behroozian, CEO of RTA’s Licensing Agency, said that RTA hasn’t agreed to lowering the age limit required to drive in Dubai, adding that it is not authorised to specify the age limit to acquire a driving licence.

“UAE’s Federal Traffic Law specifies the age limit for driver licence applicants and RTA is only responsible for executing the law and regulating the driver licensing process,” said Behroozian, reacting to the report.

According to the law, the legal age to drive in the UAE is 18. However, a person can begin his or her driver training at 17 years and six months.

Behroozian said that the RTA does not favour reducing the minimum age set for driver licence applicants as it is contrary to the principles of traffic safety.

He added that the RTA calls for introducing greater controls and more stringent measures to the driver training programmes in order to make roads safer.

The suggestions to reduce the legal driving age have received support from some quarters of society over the last couple of years. In 2014, Gulf News reported a federal proposal to bring down the cut off age to apply for vehicle licences.

However, RTA has remained adamant that lowering the legal age is not a safe idea.

Speaking to Gulf News then, Behroozian had said: “I’m aware that there are some discussions going on right now at the federal level to lower the minimum driving age. But I believe it’s not particularly a great idea. Our data suggests that young people are more prone to rash driving and I would prefer to keep the current age limit of 18 years.”

The call to lower the legal driving age is being made with the idea of reducing the cases of underage boys breaking the law and driving without a licence. But Behroozian had told Gulf News that “legalising driving for underage boys just because they are breaking the law is not a great idea. I would rather rein in the law-breakers.”

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