DoT holds workshop on new safety standards for freight transport

ABU DHABI: The Department of Transport, DoT, in Abu Dhabi has held a public consultation workshop on the proposed new minimum standards for road freight transport operators.

The event was aimed at seeking public and stakeholders’ feedback on implementing new safety standards of operating freight transportation services in Abu Dhabi. The workshop signaled the start of the consultation process that will conclude on January 31st, 2015, and the public can participate through the official website.

The department intends to use the public feedback on these standards to adjust them according to the best practices that would ensure both road safety and satisfaction of road users.

Mohammed Nasser Al Otaiba, Director of DoT’s Freight Division, said, “Setting minimum safety standards for operators of goods vehicles is an absolute must in Abu Dhabi. The launch of today’s public consultation shows that the Department of Transport values the opinions and experience of the private sector as this will allow us to set reasonable and workable standards for truck operators.” The introduction of the new minimum standards comes in response to research and surveys indicating that many freight transportation vehicles lack safety standards needed to operate on the roads of Abu Dhabi. During research conducted in partnership between the Department of Transport and Abu Dhabi Police in 2013, over 500 trucks were inspected at the roadside. Research found that the majority of these trucks did not fully adhere to the required safety standards. Another survey of the Emirate’s road network also observed that many freight trucks are parked unsuitably, especially in Mussafah industrial area.

According to the DoT plan, the proposed standards will apply to companies holding a general transportation commercial license to operate goods vehicles with an unladen weight of more than 2.5 tonnes.

The topic of minimum standards was included in the inaugural Abu Dhabi Annual Freight Survey distributed in November 2013. Respondents were overwhelmingly in favour of implementing minimum standards, with 98% stating that they agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal. This topic was also discussed at the Abu Dhabi Freight Master Plan Launch Event held in February 2014.