An accident of a van and a truck on Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road near the Global Village exit. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News archives

Dubai: The authorities concerned in the UAE should immediately ban the use of minibuses to transport passengers before more lives are lost involving these vehicles.

The death of eight people in a minibus crash on Monday morning on Mohammad Bin Zayed Road in Dubai has once again raised questions on why these vehicles are still allowed to carry passengers.

It is time that the police and the transport authorities across the UAE take a unanimous decision to end this road menace.

Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

The box like 14-seater minibus is not a transport vehicle. Rather, it is designed to transport cargo for short distances.

But, in the UAE, these minibuses, which are actually death traps, are still being widely used to transport passengers especially blue-collar workers, low-income staff of companies, restaurants and supermarkets.

The Federal Traffic Council had announced last year it plans to phase out minibuses by 2023 all over the UAE.

It announced that schools would not be allowed to use minibuses to transport students by September 2021. A complete ban on all passenger minibuses will start as of January 2023.

Authorities are concerned about the high number of accidents involving 14-seater minibuses. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News archive

The 14-seater vans were banned to transport school children in 2013. But these are still being used in some other emirates.

There should be an immediate ban on using minibuses to ferry passengers before more lives are lost. Minibuses are the most dangerous vehicles to transport passengers on the UAE roads.

Stringent checks are also required to regulate movement of the minibuses as most accident happened when these vehicles are packed and over-loaded with passengers, and speeding on roads.

Also, minibuses should be fitted with an automatic speed control system with a maximum speed of 80km/ph.