Abu Dhabi has introduced new regulations to enhance traffic safety and regulate freight activities. Photo for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News archive

Abu Dhabi: All freight vehicles and operators in Abu Dhabi must be linked within the next six months to an electronic system and central database that aims to enhance traffic safety and regulate freight activities, the emirate’s public transport regulator announced on Wednesday.

In particular, each vehicle must be fitted with a linked electronic tracking device, the Department of Municipalities and Transport’s Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) has said. Once installed, the vehicle and operator will be registered on the Asateel platform, and issued permits to continue operations.

A tracking software will then help track freight vehicles, streamline operations, and monitor drivers’ compliance with traffic regulations. Vehicle movement data can then be used for planning purposes, and to extract performance indicators.

Required permits

In a statement, the ITC said the new Asateel registration requirements apply to all vehicles transporting freight in the emirate, whether light or heavy. The authority has also set up a dedicated website with all the standards required to obtain vehicle permits, as well as the applicable safety requirements and penalties for violators.

Freight companies and operators will be prohibited from carrying out transport activities after the six-month grace period if they do not have an ITC permit, as well as business licenses from the Department of Economic Development, the ITC said.

Permits issued by the ITC for heavy and light vehicles, as well as motorcycles, are valid for a year, with a two-month grace period for renewal each time. Meanwhile, driver permits are valid for two years, with a one-month grace period for renewal. However, the driver cannot operate a freight transport vehicle while the license is expired.

ITC rights

The ITC may suspend or cancel any permit if any of the requirements and conditions stipulated under the new Asateel regulations are not fulfilled, or if the data submitted to obtain the permit is proven to be incorrect, or if fines have accumulated without payment for a period of six months from the date of the violation. It is also not permissible to renew the operator and driver permits without paying the fines.

The new freight regulation standards also specify that all heavy and light vehicles and motorcycles registered in the emirate must conform to the approved UAE and Gulf standards, and any specifications, equipment, and any technical specifications, installations and requirements that the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) deems necessary to ensure security and safety on the roads.