“We are currently discussing how we can make the transport of loads by heavy vehicles safer,” says Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of the licensing Department at the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) Dubai.
“There are not many accidents caused by the unsafe transportation of heavy load. But considering the high risk these heavy vehicles carry, the safety of these vehicles is quite significant.”
Earlier this month, on February 4, at least 22 people died in a road accident in Al Ain when a heavily loaded truck crashed into a bus transporting workers. The initial report suggests that the truck’s brakes failed and it collapsed on top of the bus.
At present, each emirate has its own regulations in place for heavy vehicles. In January this year, the RTA implemented standardised driving license tests for heavy vehicles. Part of these tests is the classroom session, where future drivers are evaluated on driving attitude, behaviour and safety.
But this is not enough, believes Ahmed. “Currently, there are annual inspections of the heavy vehicles, and ad hoc and roadside inspections. But a violation is responded to with a fine. Then the vehicle is basically allowed back onto the road.
“What we would like to see is that the defects are resolved within a specified time. Just a fine is not enough. And there should be better control and monitoring of these vehicles. These regulations should be implemented on a federal level,” Ahmed says.