Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has said an initiative aimed at taking unfit lorry drivers off the road has cut the accident rate by 40% in 2015.
The ‘No Worries’ initiative has meant there were 146 accidents involving heavy vehicles in 2015, instead of the 279 predicted to happen in line with past trends.
Medical examinations are now mandatory for drivers of all heavy vehicles to ensure they do not suffer from health conditions such as diabetes or hypertension which could lead to accidents.
Dubai Licensing Agency CEO Ahmed Bahrozyan said 1,221 drivers have been suspended either due to medical reasons or for failing to take medication properly or on schedule because of the initiative.
It has also led to 500 drivers with diabetes or high blood pressure being treated while more than 100,000 professional heavy vehicle driver permits have been issued.
The number of hospitals where drivers can take the examination has been increased to 20 over the past two years. The process has been designed in line with the UK’s DVLA’s standards.
“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 generalised across the UAE," said Bahrozyan.