x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

New licensing rules for young drivers proposed by RTA

The RTA may lower the age limit for learners' licences, and are also considering tougher regulations for drivers in their first three years on the road.

DUBAI // Young drivers may soon be able to get behind the wheel six months earlier – but face driving restrictions for three years after they pass their test.

Teenagers would be allowed to register for a driving licence six months before they turn 18, allowing them to learn to drive and take the test on their 18th birthday.

But for three years after that there would be restrictions on how, where and what they could drive, under proposals by the Licensing Agency at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai.

“What we are proposing is that those who are 17 years and six months old can open a traffic file to learn driving, but without taking the driving test until they turn 18,” said Ahmed Bahrozyan, the chief executive of licensing at the RTA.“This will make it easier for students who want to learn how to drive in summer holidays before they join university.

“There is a possibility we may introduce the novice programme and restrictions will be imposed on new drivers.”

The precise restrictions have not been decided, but Mr Bahrozyan said: “Some countries say that within the first year a driver should not drive alone, not drive on certain highways, and not own cars with engines of eight or more cylinders.

“Also, we hope that we can elevate this to a federal level, as not only Dubai drivers drive in Dubai.”

aalhaddad@thenational.ae