On Tuesday we were told that car poolers would have to register, obtain a certificate, register their passengers' names, all had to be background checked...a surreal Monty Pythonesque procedure.
I gave the details in my last posting, below, and you'll see from the comments left that everyone but the RTA lives in the real world.
I don't read 7Days but thanks to a heads up from The Grumpy Goat I see there's a new statement from the RTA, made whilst furiously back-peddling. When you back-pedal you can't see where you're going, as is the case here.
Having gone into great detail the other day they're now saying we got it all wrong. What they said isn't what they meant at all.
I promise I'm not making this up, bizarre as it is.
The new statement says, in complete contradiction to the previous announcement:
"We do not want to discourage car pooling by slapping fines on motorists erratically. People are free to pick up their friends and relatives if they want to. They need not register with the web site which is being created for car-pooling in the coming days."
OK. So now we can car pool and we don't have to register. Great.
The statement goes on:
"Only those motorists who are intending to pick people who are not known to them (from the side of the road) should register their names on the site."
Hang on a second. Do they now mean only the driver has to register? What happened to the previous announcement that all passengers had to be named, registered and have their backgrounds checked?
It gets worse:
"Motorists will be given the certificate on the same day when they register on the site. People can show the certificate to inspectors if they stop them to ask about passengers in the car.
Help me out here.
People are free to pick up their friends and relatives and they do not have to register. But vehicles are going to be stopped by inspectors and drivers 'asked about passengers'. Drivers can explain the passengers by showing their certificate. But they DON'T HAVE A BLOODY CERTIFICATE, they didn't have to register!
Currently, RTA inspectors can issue a Dh5,000 fine to any motorist illegally carpooling. So if you're giving people a lift, you didn't register because now they say you didn't have to, but they stopped you and gave you a Dh5,000 fine anyway because you didn't have a certificate...well, you can call 800 9090 where:
...a committee...studies all such cases and cancels the fine of the motorist if they have been wrongly fined.
My brain hurts.
I have a suggestion.
The RTA should announce that all previous car pooling announcements are to be ignored. They should sit down and actually think it through. They could even ask some motorists to advise them. Then they should issue a new statement explaining whatever it is they come up with.
I have a suspicion that what they're actually trying to do is to get unlicensed, unofficial 'taxis' to register. Presumably as a prelude to
The new announcement is in 7Days.