Common GCC driving licence under study

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Daisy

DOHA: GCC states are taking a closer look at the possibility of issuing a single driver’s licence that would be valid in the entire region as a step forward towards seeking integration.

For this purpose efforts are on to make sure that member-countries have unified tests for applicants in order to be eligible to obtain a driver’s licence.

Currently, the GCC states have different criteria for issuing driver’s licences and if a person posses a licence issued by a GCC state, he can drive a car in another member-state only for a limited period.

The proposal of unifying the criteria for issuing a single driver’s licence for the region was discussed by senior traffic officials of the GCC states recently.

This was disclosed by the director of the Department of Traffic, Brigadier Mohamed Saad Al Kharji, in an interview to a local Arabic daily yesterday.

Senior traffic officials of GCC states meet periodically and the above proposal is under their active consideration, Al Kharji said. He, in fact, hinted that the ground work for the unified licencing system had already been done.

Replying to a question, the director said that the new vehicle number plates that were being talked about for quite sometime will be introduced within a month.

And plans are afoot to auction special easy-to-remember vehicle numbers much in the same way as Qatar Telecom (Qtel) does in respect of mobile phone numbers, said Al Kharji.

Talking about Al Shamal Road, he said radars are being installed every three to five kilometres all along the thoroughfare to check traffic rule violations and ensure maximum safety. Last August, eight radars were already installed on the highway.

Al Kharji also disclosed that the stretch of road between Al Manai roundabout and Al Jisra area in the heart of the city is to be developed.

Road expansion plans are also in the pipeline near Woqod roundabout on the way to the Industrial Area to cope with the rush the upcoming Barwa commercial city might attract.

About the use of seat belts the director of the traffic department said that the rule is being enforced strictly and even those who are found sitting behind the steering wheel of a parked car without fastening seat belt are to be penalised.

Asked why trucks could still be seen parked in residential areas overnight despite a law having been issued banning the practice, the official said it was because alternative parking space was still not available for them and is expected to be ready only by the year-end.

THE PENINSULA