x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Bus crash raises questions

Licensing regulations questioned after collision

Tuesday's crash has called into question the licensing rules for drivers of light buses.

A representative of the Emirates Driving Institute said no special training courses were offered to drivers as no additional skills were needed to obtain a "light bus driving licence" for the vehicles that can carry about 30 passengers.

"You only need to have had a car driver's licence for three years, a no-objection letter from your employer, and your visa must state that you are employed as a bus driver," the representative said. "That's all."

John Hughes, the regional manager of the traffic safety consultancy ARRB Group Limited, said: "Appropriate training should be a necessity for carrying passengers. In most countries, additional training and stringent requirements are in place."

Obtaining a licence to drive a school bus driver is more involved.

The Roads and Transport Authority says those applying for a permit to drive a school bus must hold a valid large-bus driving licence, for which additional training is required, be at least 25 years old, and be familiar with Arabic or English.

They are also required to obtain a certificate from the police showing they have no criminal convictions and no black points against their licence. They must also undergo a physical examination and be tested for drug and alcohol use.

* The National