New drivers in Dubai need tram etiquette

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By Preeti Kannan  www.thenational.ae

DUBAI // Learner drivers are being trained on 10 new road signs and seven new markings that will take effect when the Dubai Tram begins operating later this year.

Cars for the Al Sufouh Tram system parked near the main station, waiting to enter service in Dubai on November 11. Antonie Robertson / The National Driving schools have introduced mandatory classes to teach students how to interpret the signs and avoid accidents while sharing the road with the tram, which will be launched on November 11.

The Al Sufouh Tram project is the first of its kind outside Europe and will be powered by electricity. The first phase will run along a 10.6 kilometre track from Dubai Marina to the tram depot near Dubai Police Academy.

The network will initially have 11 trams running through 17 stations, with another 14 in the second phase.

“We are teaching learner drivers the meaning of new and different road signs,” said P M Abdul Razak, assistant manager for the Instructor Training Centre at the Emirates Driving Institute, Dubai.

“We show them how to spot if a tram is coming from one or both sides, explain tram crossings, when to reduce speed, what the zigzag lines mean, how to drive in a tram box junction and what to do in an intersection where there are no signals and, most importantly, about pedestrian crossings on tram tracks.”

Mr Abdul Razak said because the tram was new to UAE roads, it was important that motorists paid attention. More info