Truck drivers are stranded at the UAE-Saudi border at Al Ghuwaifat. Around 4,000 vehicles are waiting to clear the Saudi Arabia customs post. Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Gulf News

Dubai: Truck rest areas are set to be built on the country’s borders and highways.

A senior police official said on Sunday that long-distance truck drivers who come to Dubai may soon have facilities and space to park their vehicles.

Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai Police Chief, said that heavy vehicles and trucks are one of the main causes of accidents on the highways, especially when they park on the hard shoulder. He said drivers who came from faraway countries need a place to stop over and rest before continuing their trip.

“Many countries abroad have allocated areas for heavy vehicle drivers who drive from country to country in order to take rest and sleep before going ahead with their trip and we want to have such facilities here,” said Lt Gen Dahi.

“Sometimes truck drivers reach Dubai highways during the truck ban hours which restrict trucks from driving on that highway during specific hours which force the truck driver to park his vehicle on the hard shoulder on the highway,” said Lt Gen Dahi.

“We are cooperating with the authorities concerned to build special rest area facilities which will be a kind of stop along a highway for truck drivers to take a break,” he said.

Lt Gen Dahi said the rest areas will include various types of facilities which will help truck drivers sleep and rest before continuing their journey.

Major General Mohammad Saif Al Zafein, Chief of Dubai Police’s Traffic Department, said there will be designated rest areas for trucks.

“We want to have easy access for larger vehicles from highways, large parking spaces that fit these large vehicles,” said Maj Gen Al Zafein.

“We have laws limiting the number of hours a truck driver can drive on the highways, so it is essential for truck drivers to know the location of stops along their route,” he added.

He said that it was very dangerous when heavy vehicles such as trucks park on the hard shoulder.

“Sometimes drivers cannot see those trucks and that causes massive accidents,” he said

He said that in the past five months of this year 30 accidents had occurred involving heavy vehicles in which three people died and 53 were injured, seven seriously.

Maj Gen Al Zafein said that Dubai Police are cooperating with the authorities, including the municipality and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), to have such facilities for truck drivers.

Lt Gen Dahi said that Dubai Police will also call on authorities in other emirates to have rest areas for drivers of heavy vehicles.