Dubai: School bus drivers and supervisors in Dubai will have to undergo training in firefighting and pass psychological and language tests, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said on Thursday.
The authority said it has rolled out a new training programmes for school bus drivers and supervisors designed by specialised international institutes.
The step is in line with the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to engage school bus drivers across the UAE in specialist fire-fighting training programmes.
Shaikh Mohammad had issued this order after visiting a school boy who helped evacuate his classmates after a fire in their school bus in Kalba.
The training of school bus drivers and supervisors contributes to making school buses the first choice of parents, which makes upgrading their qualifications so vital, the RTA said.
“Candidates now have to undergo psychological and language tests before being endorsed for registration in the basic theoretical and practical training courses for obtaining professional permits,” it said.
Psychological and language tests were made compulsory for drivers engaged in passenger transport activities in Dubai from October 2017.
The new announcement expands the rule to school bus drivers and supervisors as well.
“It is important to establish that nominee drivers and supervisors have the psychological and mental stability together with a proven ability to perform their jobs in an excellent manner. They also ought to have the ability to communicate with the bodies concerned in the emirate such as the ambulance, civil defence and police,” the transport authority said.
The objective of the new training schedule is to raise the calibre of school bus drivers and supervisors’ category to bring it in line with the top operational standards of the industry, RTA said.
The new training module emphasizes on adopting safe and defensive driving techniques and familiarising trainees with the way of coping with emergency cases, such as fire incidents.
They will also have exposure to the management of students’ movement during daily trips as well as safe bus stops.
“The stress on safety is a key component of the training programmes to embed the culture of safe and enjoyable transport in the conscience of students,” RTA stated.
The training is tailored to maximising the safety of students in-transit, which, the authority said, will also have a positive bearing on encouraging the public to use public transport and reduce traffic congestion, especially during peak times.
Drivers Affairs Department at the Public Transport Agency has improved several safety aspects relating to school transport to maintain the zero-accident record of journeys from and to schools, it said.
“Such improvements conform to the standards of the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) as well as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) in the UK.”
“The modules have been revised in the second half of 2019 and endorsed by the National Confederation of Driving Schools (CNAE) in Spain and were made ready for the start of the new academic year 2019/2020.”