The Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) announced the start of annual medical tests of Private Chauffeurs employed by individuals or families as of August 1st 2017. The step marks the broadening of the scope of the annual medical test, which has been previously restricted to heavy & light truck drivers, and taxi drivers. The move stems from RTA’s keenness to step up the traffic safety and enhance the safety of family members through keeping the medical condition of chauffeurs under annual medical examination.
Explaining the move, Jamal Assada, Director of Drivers’ Licensing of RTA’s Licensing Agency said, “RTA had subjected all professional drivers to annual medical tests as a precondition for obtaining permits to practice 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 requiring medical testing of these chauffeurs with the expiry of their driving licenses i.e. 10 years.
“The step would protect the safety of families who hire private chauffeurs through checking their medical fitness to practice the job. According to the law, the permit granted to non-Emiratis shall become invalid in case of leaving 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,” explained Assada.
“The annual medical test of Private Chauffeurs would be carried out through RTA-approved hospitals and medical centres. 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 include epilepsy, heart attacks, eye & neurological diseases, blood pressure, diabetes and other ailments considered dangerous to drivers while sitting behind the wheels, and therefore pose risks to road users,” added the Director of Drivers Licensing, Licensing Agency, RTA.