DUBAI // More than 260 transport companies with the worst records for traffic and safety offences are being targeted in a campaign to make the emirate's roads safer.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has contacted 268 companies whose vehicles have been found to have recurring problems such as defective tyres or lights, are overloaded or have licence plates that are not visible.
"Our large-scale inspection visits to various transport sites and firms will reflect on the improvement of safe principles and reduction of accidents resulting from failure to inspect vehicles," said Nabeel Al Ali, director of the RTA's monitoring and enforcement department.
The campaign aims to highlight the consequences and hazards associated with negligence about road safety rules, said Mr Al Ali.
"This is not about fining people, rather it is to show these companies our areas of concern, especially the management team who may not be aware of some of the risks involved," said Ahmad Bahrozyan, chief executive of the RTA's licensing agency.
Mr Bahrozyan said the RTA was careful to address the concerns of companies and not to affect their business.
"At the end of the day we have a monitoring department that is responsible for overseeing the transport industry," he said.
Mr Al Ali said companies should periodically check their vehicles' tyres and keep in mind factors that lead to their wearing out - the main causes being too much or not enough air, overloading and excessive speed.
"People in charge of those companies as well as the drivers are urged to correct violations to prevent recurrent offences in the years to come," said Mr Al Ali.
Rasheedullah Khan, who has been driving lorries for 15 years, said: "Most of the problems we have is due to both the driver and the vehicle being overworked.
"We have a very strict schedule. It leaves us with little time to address the safety of the vehicle.
"I only get a few minutes for prayer and if nature calls, other than that when I'm on the job there is no time for anything else.
"Losing a tyre is a disastrous loss of time and pay for us."
Mr Khan, 45, from Pakistan, said that once his shift was over the lorry was handed over to the next driver.
"All they check is the mileage and the fuel, they don't check anything else unless I mention a specific problem. Even then, sometimes it is overlooked," he said.