Minibuses to remain on Dubai school run despite safety concerns

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By Shafaat Shahbandari, Staff Reporter  www.gulfnews.com

Dubai: Minibuses and vans will continue to be used for school runs in Dubai despite concerns raised by the police recently about their safety, a senior RTA official has said.

Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News Archives A minibus drops off pupils in Dubai. Dubai Police have said that none of the accidents in the last three years involving vans were used in school runs. The picture is for illustrative purposes.
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News Archives A minibus drops off pupils in Dubai. Dubai Police have said that none of the accidents in the last three years involving vans were used in school runs. The picture is for illustrative purposes.

Around 30 per cent of vehicles used for school transport in Dubai are minibuses and vans, which traffic experts, including Dubai Police, are calling unsafe for transporting students.

Speaking at the School Transport Conference organised in April this year, Dubai Police Chief Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim had termed vans unsafe for school transportation and hinted at the banning of vans from school runs.

However, RTA insists there are no plans to phase out the vehicles any time soon.

“This [the banning of vans] was suggested by our strategic partners Dubai Police and we considered and studied the proposal. However, currently within RTA’s perspective there are no plans to phase out vans,” said Tareq Al Gaith, Director of Franchising & Enforcement Department, at RTA’s Public Transport Agency.

Interestingly, Al Gaith admitted that small vans are not as safe as big buses but referring to RTA’s safety measures he said: “There have not been any accidents involving school vans or minibuses over the last three years as we have implemented strict safety specifications, hence we don’t see any reason to remove them from the fleets suddenly.

There are safety concerns like vans make passengers more prone to injury in accidents compared to other vehicles, which requires to be studied extensively before taking any step.” More info