Sunday, December 23, 2007

What chance do we have!

Another of those reports that has me sitting here shaking my head in disbelief.

One of the major topics of conversation in Dubai is the appalling standard of driving of far too many people. Two specific subjects that are very much part of those conversations are how ridiculously easy it is to obtain a Dubai driving licence and criticism of the standard of driving instruction.

A story in Gulf News gives us the good news and the bad news on those subjects.

First, the RTA has taken over responsibility for driver testing and the good news is that they've raised the bar. They've apparently made it much tougher to obtain a driving licence.

An RTA official is quoted as saying that they want only capable, qualified and expert people to obtain a driving licence in order to reduce the number of road accidents.

I don't often say it, but I applaud the RTA for doing the right thing.

Now for the bad news. The reaction of some driving instructors.

Their attitude gives an idea of what we're up against, and says a lot about their professionalism, their desire to produce good drivers.

How's this for a disgraceful figure: An instructor from one of the leading driving schools in Dubai said when 40 or 30 people who get trained by his school apply for driving test, only three or four out of them are be able to pass the test.

'One of the leading driving schools' and they only manage to train 10% well enough for them to pass the test!

And of course the instructor blames not himself and his colleagues but the strict test: "We work very hard to train a person on driving but unfortunately they are unable to pass the test due to strict testing rules adopted by the RTA officials conducting the tests."

See, they fail the test not because they're not trained well enough but because the test is too tough.

Another instructor says it has a bad impact on the trainer when a learner "...has to repeat the test again and again."

Well, how about training them well enough and not letting them take the test until they're capable?

Unbelievably she says that they have people who have to go for retest 10 to 14 times.


Surely at some stage in there they should be told that they simply don't have the ability to be a driver.

And of course this instructor is asking the RTA to make it easier for people to get their licence.

No thought for the quality of driver they're producing, the safety of both the driver and other road users. No, she simply wants to get licences for as many of her learners as possible, the easier the test the better.

Shaking my head in despair at all this, then comes the worst of all. The instructor says: ""We hope RTA will change their policy and be more flexible to help us to do our work professionally."

Habibti, if you were doing your job professionally you would be training drivers well enough for them to pass the test.

The RTA needs to bring in an additional test, that of the driving instructors themselves. If even 'a leading driving school' has a 90% fail rate, a major cause of our road accidents has been identified.


Anonymous said...

you dont have to be a rocket scientist to understand the stupid reasons the RTA gives to fail good drivers in the test........why dont u take a test now and lets see if u can pass in the 14 attempts

Seabee said...

Ah, you failed did you? So what are the stupid reasons?

TheBeansprout said...

Not many articles on Dubai's dubious driving ability make me laugh but I did enjoy this one. Judging by the absolutely appalling "skills" demonstrated by these supposed "professionals" around Jebel Ali I'm surprised that the pass ratio is as high as they state. For once, I'm quite happy to say "Well Done" to the RTA.

EyeOnDubai said...

Well said that man! I shared your disbelief at the same article - it's a subject I have long thought needs to be addressed at a very fundamental level. It ain't going to be easy, but...

We need a highway code, one set of rules which everyone understands and everyone uses

We need MUCH better instruction, not just in the mechanics of driving, but in roadcraft, courtesy and responsibility

We need a police force with the will to use the law, and prosecute to the full extent available those who flout it

Above all, we need and understanding that driving well and within the rules is actually faster, not just safer, and will go some way to easing the flow of traffic clogged up by the pond slime queue jumpers, hard shoulder bargers and general maniacs out there.

And breathe....


Keefieboy said...

Agreed, a 'Highway Code' is absolutely essential - such a thing may or may not exist in the UAE - I never saw one in a shop.

Anonymous said...

A very simplistic view .............

is itpossible that the RTA doesnt really judge drivers on driving ability, but passes/fails depending on their mood?

Seabee said...

anon, what could be more simplistic than believing that 90% are failed because of the testers mood?