Just recently, Gulf News has confirmed that monitoring devices will be mandated for brand new heavy vehicles entering Dubai starting from August this year.
This decision came as a result of RTA’s expansion of its vehicle monitoring program, covering more heavy vehicles weighing 2.5 tons and above.
Unveiled in August 2017, the program preliminarily required heavy trucks that are more than two decades old to have a monitoring device installed, providing RTA with eyes and ears on the connected vehicle.
Approximately 7,000 heavy trucks are part of the remote monitoring system that enables detection of mechanical faults of the trucks and tracking of driver behavior.
The remaining half of the 14,000 heavy trucks that are over two decades old will be covered in the next few months.
According to Moosa Al Raeisi, Director of Monitoring and Enforcement at RTA’s Licensing Agency, in the second phase of the project, which will commence in August this year, all new vehicles entering the market will be pre-installed prior to the registration.
He notes that the system will ultimately cover all the 64,000 trucks weighing 2.5 tons and above. From August, even those trucks that are less than two decades old will be mandated to install the tracking devices. “In the event of non-compliance with the system, RTA would be obliged not to register or renew the registration of the vehicle until it is fitted with the system.”
RTA’s state-of-the-art Vehicle Monitoring Center is located at the RTA Head Offices. It tracks the connected vehicles live and collects all the data related to the vehicles’ operations before processing it to enhance road safety.
There is also a giant screen at the center that shows all the connected trucks in their various stages of operations, including the total number of trucks connected, the location where they are parked or moving, the hours a driver has been driving the truck, the driver’s behavior or if a specific vehicle needs maintenance, etc.
Al Raeisi adds that the program needs all heavy vehicle drivers to register under the system with all their details, including the mobile number. After the registration, the driver will get an RFID card, which he needs to scan each time he enters or exits his vehicle. “If a driver moves a vehicle without scanning his card, the monitoring center gets an alert.”
Involved in the upgrade is the installation of a device including the RFID scanners and driver ID cards, as well as a short training program about the system for motorists and fleet managers. Overall, the package costs AED 1,620 per vehicle and includes AED 500 yearly subscription fee.
Al Raeisi claims that Dubai Police is involved in the project and the transport operators and fleet managers can also access the system. “Once fully implemented, we will be able to intervene immediately in cases of major violations like for example if a truck is exceeding speed limit or stopping at undesignated location, etc.”
The devices are designed to track the number of driving hours clocked by the vehicle on a daily basis and the attitudes of heavy vehicle drivers such as sudden braking, reckless driving, over speeding, dangerous acceleration, driving in prohibited timing or places, and traffic accidents.
In the final phase, RTA intends to connect the system to commercial vehicles.
Al Raeisi concludes that there is already a law to have all commercial vehicles monitored and they are waiting for approval to widen the scope of the system. He notes that ultimately, all commercial vehicles will be part of the monitoring system.