The recent tragedy near Al Ain that claimed the lives of more than 20 workers and injured the same number has put the issue of road safety on everyone’s minds. Add to that a car crash near Dibba on the weekend — where a family of six was all but wiped out with the deaths of five in the vehicle — and the issue of driver safety becomes more critical and timely. In the Dibba incident, the family’s vehicle was split in two, according to eyewitness accounts, after it was struck by a speeding car.
Other than the tragic deaths in both incidents, it appears on face value that nothing connects the bus and truck crash in Al Ain with the Dibba incident. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
In the case of those wishing to drive heavy trucks, there is nothing to prevent a person who has never driven before — not as much as a small passenger car for even one day — to apply for a truck licence. Yes, there is a training course provided and yes, the applicant has to pass, but that’s it. And once a driver is licensed to drive a rigid body truck, there is nothing to prevent him from driving an articulated lorry.
For those who obtain a regular driving licence, there is no uniform training criteria across the individual emirates. The only standard seems to be that they follow the rules of the road as enforced in the individual emirates.
It’s high time the licensing of drivers was uniformly revised.