Until such a time in the not-too-distant future, when railways can provide a safe and cheaper alternative to road transport, trucks will remain the lifeblood and backbone of the transport network between emirates and between the UAE and its Gulf Cooperation Council neighbours. And that means the fleets of trucks pounding the roads of the UAE need to be safe. Sadly though, surprise inspections of trucks have yielded some alarming results — with eight out of ten trucks failing the inspections carried out recently by the Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi.
Whether its poorly distributed loads that are improperly secured, poor brakes, tyres that have too many miles, too many nicks and not enough tread, mechanical defects, faulty lights and wipers or anything from a long list of faults that made the vehicles unsafe and dangerous to other motorists, the trucks were not fit enough to be used. Clearly there is an issue with enforcement. Why else would fleet owners even dare put unsafe vehicles on the road if they knew there was little chance of being caught? That has to change. And the immediate indefinite impounding of unsafe trucks will soon end unsafe practises.