Dubai: Private chauffeurs in Dubai will have to pass annual medical tests from August to stay in their jobs, the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) announced on Monday.
The medical test, which is already mandatory for other categories of commercial drivers like cabbies, truck and bus drivers, screens for several high-risk diseases including cardiac disorders, diabetes mellitus, epilepsy and neurological issues etc.
Jamal Al Sada, Director of Drivers’ Licensing at RTA’s Licensing Agency said that the step marks the broadening of the scope of the annual medical test, which has been previously restricted to heavy vehicle drivers, light truck drivers and taxi drivers.
He added that the move will step up the traffic safety and enhance the safety of family members by ensuring that the chauffeurs are medically fit to perform their jobs.
“RTA had introduced annual medical tests for all professional drivers as a precondition for obtaining permits to practise their occupations as per the federal legislations. Private chauffeurs would be subjected to this system as of August 1 this year, instead of the previous system which required them to undergo a medical test during the renewal of their licence every 10 years,” said Al Sada.
He emphasised that the step would protect the safety of families who can now hire chauffeurs after ensuring they are medically fit to do their jobs.
According to the law, the medical permit granted to non-Emiratis shall become invalid in case if the chauffeur leaves the job with the sponsor.
“A new permit for working with another sponsor would only be issued after the lapse of two years from the date of leaving the job unless the conditions of sponsorship transfer have been fulfilled,” said Al Sada.
The medical tests are mandatory both for the existing drivers as well as new applications.
Authorised by Dubai Health Authority (DHA), the tests could be conducted at Prime Health Care Centre, Aster Medical Centres, DHA clinics, Zulekha Hospital, Iranian Hospital, Canadian Hospital and Gulf Health Care Centre.
“The Professional Driver’s Permit is a proof of clearing the prescribed medical tests, and that the chauffeur is free from diseases specified in the traffic system. Tests screen drivers for epilepsy, heart attacks, eye and neurological diseases, blood pressure, diabetes and other ailments considered dangerous for drivers while sitting behind the wheels, and therefore pose risks to road users,” added Al Sada.