Dubai likely to get dedicated centre for all driving schools

DUBAI -A dedicated centre for motor driving schools in Dubai is likely to be set up in the Nad Al Hamar area, officials said on Tuesday.

By (Our correspondent)

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Published: Wed 2 Jun 2004, 9:40 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:51 PM

This was revealed after authorities in the Dubai government put together a preliminary concept for the proposed centre on similar lines as the car showrooms area.

A number of driving schools and institutes had earlier approached the authorities to provide plots of land to practise their daily work, away from residential areas and congested roads.

"The project will be designed to accommodate some 2,500 vehicles that can operate at the same time," said Brigadier Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, Director of the Dubai Traffic Police Department.

There are 1,957 registered driving instructors in Dubai. Brig. Al Zafeen, a traffic engineer, said the envisaged project was being scrutinised by the authorities represented by his department and the planning division of the Dubai Municipality.

He said all driving schools would be transferring their operations to the new centre. The civic body is expected to complete their studies to execute the project, the official said.

Lieutenant Colonel Hani Jamal Al Sawalhi, head of the Traffic Engineering and Road Safety Administration, highlighted the importance of cooperation between the traffic and civic authorities in all areas relevant to the project.

He said among the 1,957 driving instructors in Dubai, 1,178 instructors were employed by small-size driving schools and 779 others were employed by major schools and institutes.

There are 249 women instructors, 150 of who were attached to small-size schools and 99 in major institutes.

The number of light vehicles for learning driving, according to statistics of the traffic authorities, has totalled 1,885 (of which 1,189 is operated by small-size schools and 696 by major schools), while the number of heavy vehicles has reached 4,621. Heavy buses totalled 3,719 operated by small schools. Light and heavy mechanical equipment and motorcycles are also used by small and big driving schools in the city.

The plans to set up the new centre came on the heels of a number of measures to revamp the motor schools business in the emirate. In February, driving schools of lower standards and capabilities when compared with advanced-level institutes were asked by traffic authorities to either provide better services or exit the market altogether. The decision was taken as Dubai Police moved ahead with the implementation of new conditions governing the licensing of driving schools in the emirate, aimed at providing better services.

Officials said the new licensing system for driving institutes was put together in line with the changes taking place, especially in relation to a strong-paced privatisation trend. They urged driving school owners, numbering over 200 in Dubai, to apply the new rules and requirements or "withdraw from the market to avoid bringing motorists of low driving skills on to the roads."

The officials said the low standards by motorists who learnt at poor quality driving schools usually take a long time before acquiring the licence, and when they do, they cause accidents because of their poor performance. They said the decision was in line with efforts to make Dubai roads safer for all. The new conditions stipulate that a school or an institute should be owned by a UAE national and has to have a permit from the licensing authority to work in the field. The manager should have a record of good conduct and with no previous criminal records. The entity should also have a plot of land to be prepared for driving classes.

The new system will also make it compulsory for the school management to use only licensed vehicles. These vehicles must be provided with instruments for learning including additional brakes, and a board on the roof that carries the name of the institute.

Number plates should also carry the letter `L' in red and its equivalent in Arabic. The letter should not be less than 10cm long. An intrinsic requirement will be the use of the curriculum endorsed by the traffic department for theoretical classes, and the appointment of a technician licensed by the licensing authority.

Officials said schools should immediately appoint a person able to explain traffic laws and regulations to driving license applicants, and a contract must be signed in this respect. Training permits have a set of conditions; that include that a coach should be of good conduct, not younger than 21 years old and has to pass a technical test.

The applicant should take at least six hours of theoretical classes to absorb the curriculum of the traffic authorities. The traffic authorities warned that no school or institute would be licensed without these requirements.

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