United Arab Emirates: New Driving License Category for Light Bus Drivers Launched

Update:

Under the new system, the candidate driver must undertake a yard assessment test, a road test and if there is the theoretical exam was passed longer than two years ago, this test must be re-done as well.
Under the new system, the candidate driver must undertake a yard assessment test, a road test and if there is the theoretical exam was passed longer than two years ago, this test must be re-done as well.

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Driving a light bus is now a special category of driving license

Drivers of light buses will no longer be able to get their driving licence without being tested for the specific criteria the transportation mode requires.

A new category of driving has been added to the curriculum of driving schools in Dubai by the Drivers Training and Qualification Department and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). Although the license for light bus drivers did already exist, obtaining this license is now subjected to a set of new rules.

Previously, a driver of a light bus was required to have a minimum of three years experience as a regular driver. After that, upon presenting the light vehicle driving license the person could purchase the light bus driving license and start driving, explains Hussain Al Saffar, Director of RTA Drivers Training and Qualification.

Under the new system, the candidate driver must undertake a yard assessment test, a road test and if there is the theoretical exam was passed longer than two years ago, this test must be re-done as well.

The requirements depend on the history of the driver, al Saffar explains. If the driver has less than three years of driving experience, he will be required to take training classes, and if the candidate is a new driver more training classes must be taken.

“The training classes and road test are similar to that of the heavy bus category, but customised to driving a light bus.

“The easiest way to obtain the light bus driving license will be for those who have a heavy bus license. These drivers do not need to take any tests, and can purchase the license,” he added.

“This revision is the first step in a comprehensive review process that will be undertaken later on and focuses on driver licenses of light buses in a bid to raise the awareness of drivers of these buses and shore up their different skills.

It is also intended to enrich the theoretical and practical knowledge of drivers through honing their driving skills and attitudes, particularly as light bus drivers deal with as much as 26 passengers; which warrants us to work towards enhancing their skills of safe and sound driving,” Al Saffar said.

In line with previous requirements, the driver will be asked to pass a medical test if (s)he intends to drive the vehicle for commercial purposes.

The legal age (21) to obtain the license and the fee structure remain the same, informed al Saffar.

Earlier, Ahmed Bahrozian, CEO Licensing at the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) explained that the licensing category was being reviewed as “there could be technical differences between a light vehicle and a light bus, which requires a different kind of training,” Ahmed added.

The new licensing scheme will be implemented in phases and has already commenced. “We are currently introducing the license for candidates with more than and less than three years of experience. In three month from now, we will introduce the option for the heavy bus drivers, and in 6 months the license for new drivers will be there.

“In 2014, we might introduce a special license for personal chauffeurs,” he added.

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