Mattar Al Tayer and other officials from RTA at the review meeting. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The safety of Dubai’s roads with an increase in motorbike delivery services has come in for a detailed review by the Road Transports Authority (RTA) and Dubai Police.

Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA and Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police held a meeting to discuss the matter. The discussions looked into the means of realising the strategic performance indicators and the targets of Dubai Traffic Safety Strategy along with RTA’s strategy for handling the demand for transport.

Al Tayer said: “RTA attaches paramount importance to traffic safety and is committed to implementing Dubai Traffic Safety Strategy and its zero-fatality vision such that Dubai will be the best city in the world in traffic safety. We are keen to streamline the business of the delivery sector to ensure its growth in an environment that caters to safety and security concerns. We are also keen on improving the traffic safety level of motorbike riders and road users, and serving the interests of all stakeholders. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a surge of demand for delivery service companies to meet the public needs of goods and products, which dictated the need to regulate the business of this sector to ensure delivering quality services to customers.”

Al Marri hailed the efforts of joint awareness teams which had yielded positive results. He added that such campaigns had achieved their targets in coaxing an improvement in the conduct of road users by engaging them in assuming responsibility and ensuring the concerted efforts of the community members towards serving the public interest.

New campaigns announced

The meeting discussed the scope of delivery service using motorbikes, an activity that has grown considerably over the past few years and become more important during the COVID-19 period. Consequently, the number of accidents involving motorbikes soared by 25 per cent from 300 accidents in 2020 to 400 accidents in 2021. Reasons for accidents were attributed to the lack of leaving safe distance, sudden swerving and jumping the red signal.

The two parties discussed the roadmap and outreach campaigns to step up the traffic safety level of this activity and examined the quality regulation applicable to motorcycles and their drivers. Measures taken included the introduction of specifications of protective gear for motorbike riders , which include elbow protectors, helmets and safety shoes matching the international standards and specifications. Measures called for preparing the training material for motorbike riders operating in this activity in cooperation with training institutes. The Delivery Service Excellence Award is being launched to reward the best-performing companies and drivers.

The two parties announced the launch of large-scale joint campaigns to educate motorbike riders working for delivery companies about the risks of over speeding and the negative driving practices. The campaigns will witness enhanced traffic law enforcement measures on delivery drivers to curb their malpractices and enhance their compliance with the traffic rules. Measures of licensing such drivers will also be more stringent.

Excellence Awards

Companies and drivers will be introduced to the Excellence Awards in the sector covering two categories. The first category covers the best two companies in delivery service, and the best two companies in delivery service via smart platforms and apps. The second category is dedicated to the best professional drivers where the top 10 drivers will be honoured each year. The award creates a competitive environment between delivery companies that prompts them to improve customer service quality and motivate drivers to abide by the traffic regulations and customers’ service.

Delivery Manual

The Delivery Activity Manual issued by RTA sets the requirements for licensing the facility and drivers. It details the required training and licensing, specifications for delivery boxes and driver uniforms, and the requirements for contracting with delivery companies in line with top international standards and specifications. The introduction of these measures aims to ensure compliance with the highest standards of safety and quality, reduce traffic accidents, and improve the level of services. Such compliance will contribute to serving the public interest and achieving the zero-fatality vision of the Dubai Traffic Safety Strategy.