One out of three fail Dubai driving test every day
The rest have to shell out approximately Dh820 for the additional test and the eight mandatory classes.
Dubai — Indian national Don Joe Martin, an engineering student, spent Dh7,250 to get his driving licence after four final test attempts.
“The first time I failed, I had 14 minor mistakes and no ‘immediate fail’ mistakes. The second time, I made an ‘immediate fail’ mistake while changing lanes, right onto the path of a van at full speed which made my inspector jump onto his brakes. The third time again, it was due to minor mistakes.”
At least 70 per cent of Dubai’s driving licence aspirants can relate to Martin’s story. According to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), an average of only 630 of the 1,800 students who attempt the road test daily pass it. The rest have to attempt it again and it does not come cheap, with a fee of Dh820 for eachadditional test.
Due to the high demand for classes, students have to wait for two to three weeks to get a call from the institute after registration.
“I registered for the classes on April 15,” said Indian national Priju Prakash. “I am waiting for the institute to call me for the theory classes, which, from what I understand, has a waiting period of at least three to four weeks.”
For working residents like Prakash, the class timings are a major setback. “I have to register for night classes, which start at 9pm and continue till 11pm. The weekend classes are very expensive.”
Inspectors’ state of mind
Many learners assume that passing a road test depends on the “mood” of the driving inspector and the performance of other test takers in the car.
“Testing systems can’t be called fair or unfair. It’s fair in some aspects and not so fair in many others. Yes, it is totally based on luck and the inspector’s state of mind at that moment,” Prakash said.
However, a trainer at one of the institutes in Dubai said: “Inspectors from the RTA take the final call. There is a sheet of checklists, which is shared with the test taker. Nothing is based on the ‘mood’ of the person. The system is transparent.”
Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of Licensing Agency at the RTA, said there is an on-going feasibility study to introduce smart systems for driver testing. At initial stages, the study focuses on the yard exercises, including parking maneuvers, emergency braking and slope tests. This is only an initial step towards automating the whole driver testing system which may include even the on-road driver testing. The technical parameters of the new system will be announced later, he said.
The RTA will implement ‘hazard perception’ as a new training and test requirement from May 15. “We have also updated some items in the practical training curriculum to enable trainees who cannot attend daily training due to their official duties. The new changes enable them to be trained for eight classes per day compared to four classes before,” said Bahrozyan.
“Additionally, we have extended the training hours at night to 11pm, which is equivalent to six more practical classes. The RTA is also looking at the feasibility of introducing e-learning for theory classes.”
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