Monday, May 30, 2011

Common driving licence syatem for all GCC

The GCC countries have agreed to a common driving licence system at a conference that took place Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

The three-day conference of directors of traffic departments from the GCC countries is being held to address common challenges, policies and procedures related to traffic issues.

"The UAE presented a proposal for a unified driving licence system. An agreement was reached to implement the suggestion of having a common driving licence for vehicles, including motorcycles, construction vehicles and private cars," Gaith Al Za'abi, director-general of traffic coordination at the Ministry of Interior, said.

"Further discussions will address other types of vehicles, including age and other relevant issues," Al Za'abi added.

The conference will also talk about the possibility of implementing a suggestion made by Oman for a unified form for driving licences containing sufficient background and security information to minimise fraud. "The agreed to procedures will be sent to the ministries of interior for a final approval," he said.

The UAE has also presented a proposal for an electronic web service or an electronic gate that links traffic data across the GCC countries.

"Some 70 per cent of the traffic exchange data among the GCC countries is related to fines. The e-gate will make this data exchange easier and accessible to the public. GCC residents can check online and pay traffic fines committed in any other country," Al Za'abi said.

Success rate

The directors agreed to hold the "GCC Traffic Week" at the same time yearly. They also assessed the success rate of previous traffic campaigns and agreed to maintain the successful ones. In the UAE the Emirates ID will soon be linked to the traffic department as well as the immigration and naturalisation department.

"With this linkage renewing residency means having to pay all outstanding fines or vehicle related fees such as registration, insurance, renting etc," Brigadier Hussain Al Harthy, director of traffic and patrols at Abu Dhabi Police, said.

Enforcing the speed limit helped reduce traffic accidents, according to Al Harthy. "Our procedures have helped reduce fatalities to 10 per 100,000 residents," Al Harthy said.