Low-paid professions such as domestic and farm workers are proposed to be exempted from owning a car, according to a senior Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) official.
Also under discussion is a plan to have separate road lanes for buses, trucks, cycles and motorcycles as well as more pedestrian crossings, Abdul Mohsen Ibrahim Younis, CEO of the RTA's Strategy and Corporate Governance, told Emirates 24|7.
He said some of proposals will be implemented on a federal scale while some at emirate-level. He said these have been necessitated by the speedy 17 increase in the car population with the number of cars at more than 1 million in 2010.
Younis disclosed that there is a link between the growth of the population of Dubai, which is currently at 1.9 million and the number of registered vehicles in the emirate.
On the plan to reduce the life of on-road cars, he said only 10 per cent of the vehicles on the roads are older than 20 years.
Younis said the proposal for reduction of vehicle ownership for certain professions and to refrain from registration of old cars, are proposals from the Ministry of the Interior.
“Such suggestions are to slow down the 17 per cent increase in the number of registered vehicles annually. The number of registered vehicles in 2010 was 1,031,961 vehicles," he said.
“These proposals come within the plan of transport strategy which extends beyond the year 2020, and includes the expansion of road networks, the development of public and mass transport network, and the allocation of lanes for motorbike riders, cyclists and more pedestrian crossings. It also includes the development of cargo lanes in Dubai, as well as a set of transport policies and legislations," said Younis.
He explained that the proposal to prevent the registration of cars of more than 20 years was due to the large number of breakdowns that caused traffic jams and accidents on the roads, as well as the contamination of the environment.
Regarding the proposal to prevent certain professions from obtaining licences to drive cars, he said it will be for low-paid occupations that do not badly need to drive, such as domestic and farm workers.
Younis estimated the proportion of vehicles that are older than 20 years at about 10 per cent of the total vehicles in the UAE.
He said the implementation of this proposal will need the approval of the cabinet as it will be applied at the federal level and not Dubai alone, in order to prevent circumvention by registration of an old car in another emirate.
Younis added that the Ministry of Interior wil decided whether to go ahead with these proposals or not.