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RTA to block files of firms who don't register and test their trailers.

Dubai: After effectively implementing the heavy trailer testing system in Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has proposed to authorities in other emirates to adopt the system in order to curb the number of accidents caused by heavy vehicles.

Heavy vehicles are estimated to cause more than 20 per cent of accidents on highways, many of them due to ill-maintained and faulty trailers, claiming dozens of lives every year.

RTA has carried out regular awareness campaigns on roads, where vehicles are stopped on the highways and drivers are explained about the best practices and safe driving habits.

Taking the safety mission further, the authority recently launched the heavy vehicle defect management system, which makes registering and testing of trailers along with the heavy trucks mandatory.

"We are working with the transport firms as well as the police to create awareness and to strictly enforce the system. We have set up testing facilities for trailers which are divided into 10 categories based on the goods they carry," said Ahmad Hashem Bahroozian, CEO of RTA's Licensing Agency.

The tests differ based on the varying risk factor of the trailers, which is linked to the type of goods a trailer carries such as hazardous material, food items, inflammable material, oil, etc.

Bahroozian says the system has proved effective in reducing risks on roads in its initial phase and that is the reason why RTA is proposing to the Ministry of Interior to implement it federally.

"I think if the system is implemented federally it will have the desired impact rather than we having it only in Dubai because we see a lot of trailers registered in other emirates on Dubai roads and vice-versa. So having a common mechanism will really help in improving road safety," added Bahroozian.

The comprehensive project aims to step up the traffic safety on roads through minimising accidents caused by heavy vehicles, reducing the number of unsafe vehicles on roads and prompting the transport sector to care for the safety of heavy vehicles while also training drivers on positive attitudes.

RTA is approaching big transport firms with huge fleet of trucks and trailers to make them aware of the new system and those found guilty of not registering their trailers will face penalties.

"We are informing transport firms and trailer owners to register their vehicles and have them tested but if we find any trailer unregistered through our enforcement rounds then we will block the files of the firms," Bahroozian said.

He said once RTA has a better control over the heavy trailers the system will be introduced for light trailers as well. Light trailers include those coupled with light vehicles to carry luggage, jet skis, bikes, etc.

During the pilot phase, the RTA has succeeded in categorising more than 40 heavy vehicles representing nine different brands and varying models. The results substantiated the effectiveness of the system in providing a comprehensive database about heavy vehicles and their operational condition, feasibility of the system in eliminating faults through inspection and follow up.

The Ministry of Interior has agreed to coordinate with Abu Dhabi Police and the Federal Customs Authority to review RTA's project concept with a view of implementing the system federally.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Nov 12, 2012
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