1,220 unfit drivers suspended in Dubai

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) declared that the ‘No Worries’ initiative has contributed to reducing heavy vehicle accidents rate by as much as 40%.

The number of anticipated accidents involving heavy vehicles in 2015 was 279 accidents but only 146 took place thanks to RTA’s initiative launched in 2013 in collaboration with a number of public & private entities for issuing heavy vehicles driver permits to medically fit drivers.

“The ‘No Worries’ initiative, which had been launched by the Licensing Agency of late, has contributed effectively to slashing heavy vehicle accidents rate (trucks) which mostly occur due to health conditions, particularly amongst those suffering diabetes, hypertension, or other diseases,” said Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of Licensing Agency.

“The initiative, he added, mandates all truck, bus and taxi drivers to conduct annual medical examinations to verify that they are disease-free or they take appropriate treatment before being granted heavy vehicles practicing permits,” he continued.

“Thanks to this initiative 1,221 drivers have been suspended either due to medical reasons or for failing to take medication properly and on schedule. The initiative has succeeded in treating 500 drivers with diabetes or high blood pressure, besides issuing 100,000 professional heavy vehicle driver permits, and reducing the number of visits and simplifying service procedures such that it takes only one visit by the driver to be issued with a permit from a contracted hospital in Dubai. The services delivery outlets have been increased to 20 over the last two years, and the traffic safety level has been improved thanks to reducing physical-fitness related accidents. 1,221 drivers have failed to pass the health fitness test by the end of  2015, which reflects that the initiative has succeeded in controlling the issuance of profession practicing permits.

“The Licensing Agency has managed to carry out extensive improvement to the concept of the project since launched in 2013 and up to 2015. The Agency has adopted the drivers' medical standard applicable in Dubai, in collaboration with the Dubai Health Authority. The process is also aligned with standards adopted by the Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the UK. Therefore, obtaining the Professional Driver's Permit proves that the drivers have successfully passed the required medical tests, and that they are disease-free," added Bahrozyan.

“The initiative will be generalized gradually to other categories of drivers, where cab-drivers will follow next, then Dubai Tram operators, and finally public bus drivers. This year, private chauffeurs will be subjected to medical examinations, and later on, the procedure will be generalized across the UAE," continued Bahrozyan.

The ‘No Worries’ initiative" is held in cooperation with strategic partners from the public sector including the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Health, Dubai Police, and Dubai Health Authority, in addition to 9 private hospitals.

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