As Dubai is witnessing a boom in home deliveries, authorities have jointly announced measures to enhance the safety of delivery motorcyclists as 31 riders died last year. Image Credit: Courtesy: Dubai Police

Dubai: As Dubai is witnessing a boom in home deliveries, authorities have jointly announced measures to enhance the safety of delivery motorcyclists as 31 riders died last year.

According to Dubai Police, in 2021, 22 bike riders were killed as they were at fault in road accidents, while nine bikers died due to mistakes committed by other road users.

Colonel Jumaa Bin Suwaidan, Deputy Director of Traffic Department in Dubai Police, said 20,312 penalties were issued against delivery riders last year for traffic offences and 880 bikes were seized for violating traffic rules.

“We noticed a surge in complaints by road users against delivery bikers. We had run campaigns to raise awareness among them and make sure they were following the rules. The main offences were overtaking, not following lane driving, and not keeping enough distance between vehicles,” said Bin Suwaidan during a joint press conference with the Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

He urged home-delivery companies to educate their drivers about the importance of adhering to traffic rules and wearing proper protective gear to keep themselves safe on the roads.

Need for minimum 20 hours of training

Most motorcycle accidents were caused due to speeding, engaging with GPS locations on mobile phones while riding, reckless driving, irresponsible overtaking and ignoring traffic signs. In view of these offences, RTA said that riders need to have a minimum of 20 hours of training before applying for a licence to work as delivery riders.

Abdulla Yousef Al Ali, CEO of Licensing Agency in RTA, said that the updated training courses for delivery bikers require extra training, including two hours of night training. “We launched a package of initiatives to raise awareness among delivery riders. Dubai is witnessing a boom in the number of riders and also an increase in the number of deaths and injuries among bike riders. We are working to develop a regulatory framework for this sector to keep Dubai first in traffic safety,” Al Ali said.

RTA has developed a training material designated for delivery bikers as well as workshops and training for companies and riders. “We put a plan in place for this sector by increasing number of training hours and have regulation for the biker and the box as well as the rider’s [safety] gear such as helmets and protection kits. More than 10,500 drivers were trained in cooperation with their companies and driving institutes,” he added.

40 rest spots for riders

RTA and Dubai Police conducted more than 85 workshops for 12,000 licensed drivers in Dubai as well as delivering awareness messages. Al Ali said that RTA was considering an idea to have 40 rest spots across the emirate for bike riders.

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Moreover, Brigadier Dr Saleh Al Hamrani, Deputy Director of Excellence and Pioneering Department in Dubai Police, said there would be a new award scheme to encourage delivery service companies and drivers to stick to traffic rules and boost road safety.

“It is for the first time that a city will be rewarding delivery bikers to boost road safety. The award also seeks to improve the level of customer services provided by the delivery companies. Best drivers and companies will be rewarded after inspecting their records,” Brig. Al Hamrani said.