New driving licences in the country shall be issued only for a period of two years, according to new amendments introduced to federal traffic laws. After that, licence renewal validity shall be 10 years for UAE citizens and five for non-citizens.
According to a ministerial decree issued by Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, expatriates are required to have a valid residence permit for the renewal of licences.
Published in the Official Gazette amending the executive regulations of Federal Law No. 21 of 1995 regarding traffic regulations, the decree has introduced stricter traffic laws for drivers in the country.
The licensing authority will coordinate with competent health authorities in the country to provide reports about people who have diseases affecting their ability to drive.
The new law rules out use of any kind of motorised bicycles or three-wheelers without proper registration and licence, with the final word on the type of vehicle being the licensing authority and the local authority in the emirate.
Drivers passing by residential areas, hospitals or educational institutions are to take utmost care in maintaining speeds so as to not cause any disturbances.
The drivers of public transport vehicles and vehicles transporting school students must stop only at the authorised places to let passengers and students embark and disembark. Drivers of all other vehicles must stop at a minimum distance of five metres when the side stand arms of these buses are open.
Motorists can allow children over the age of 10 or above 145cm length to sit in the front seats while on the road. They are obliged to provide car seats for children aged four years or less in the rear seats.
Motorists, take note of these new traffic laws:-
> Driving in residential areas
Vehicles shall not be driven in residential areas and around educational institutions and hospitals in such a way that it disturbs or endangers the lives of others. The speed prescribed in the residential areas shall not be more than 40km/h.
> Five-metre safety rule
Drivers of all vehicles must stop at a minimum distance of five metres when public transport vehicles or schoolbuses stop at authorised places to let passengers or students embark and disembark.
> Renewal of licence
The new driving licences issued for the first time will be valid for two years, while the renewed licences shall be valid for 10 years for citizens and five years for expatriates.
> Granting driver's licence
For the granting or renewal of driving licences, the age requirement shall be met. Applicants may not have diseases that impede or affect his ability to drive as certified by competent health authorities. He/she should pass the driving test conducted by the licensing authority and must pay the specified fees.
> Unlicensed motorised vehicles
It is not permitted to drive a motorised two- or three-wheelers unless they are registered and licensed by the licensing authority. No person may drive a motorised vehicle without obtaining a driving licence.
> Who are allowed to sit in the front?
The driver shall allow a child over the age of 10 or 145cm length to sit in the front seats of the vehicle and provide protective seats for children aged four years or less. This prohibition shall not be effective when there is a health barrier certified by the competent medical authority.
> Traffic routes for buses
The licensing authority is to coordinate with the authority concerned to regulate the transport in a particular emirate to allocate a bus route and determine the routes and times assigned for its operation. Other vehicles may not pass on the tracks designated for such buses, except civil defence, ambulance, rescue and police vehicles in the course of duty.
By Amira Agarib
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