(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Road safety experts have hailed the recent proposal by the Federal Traffic Council to install a "control device" on the vehicles of youngsters for the first two years after acquiring their driving licence.
This comes in the wake of the Ministry of Interior's report in April this year which revealed that 45 per cent of all road accidents in the country were caused by young drivers aged between 18-30 years.
The traffic council plan will make it mandatory for drivers between 18-21 years to install a data recorder to monitor the driver's ability and behaviour, including speed, sudden lane change, and use of indicators and brakes.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, P.M. Abdul Razak, operations manager at Emirates Driving Institute, said: "There are monitoring devices (GPS tracker etc.) which can alert and register the driving errors, such as sudden swerving, speeding, not maintaining safe distance between cars and a hard brake."
He noted that most youngsters are trained in a vehicle with 1.6 litre engine and when they drive a bigger car, their behaviour drastically changes.
"If a control device can address the common mistakes the youngsters commit, it will save lives, money, time, and give their parents peace of mind," underlined Razak, adding: "It is both exciting yet frightening experience for the parents when their child passes the driving test."
Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, underlined: "Technology which can monitor the driving behaviour can play a vital role, especially telematics solutions (also called black boxes or control devices). It is vital to establish proper rules and control these rules stringently."
Edelmann also suggested evaluating driver's performance in the first five years. "Novice drivers should not only be observed by black boxes. When it comes to traffic fines, they must only be allowed to drive vehicles up to a certain horsepower/performance/vehicle type," he explained.
"They (novice drivers) must report back to the authorities once a year during the 0-5 year critical period. Once they match all the criteria of a staged driving licence, they can continue for the next year," Edelmann added.
He also proposed a review of the curriculum at driving schools. "The driving education process could be reviewed to make sure novice drivers have a better understanding of how vulnerable they are," he pointed out.
After installing the black box, a reward system for good driving behaviour will also improve road safety, according to Ian Littlefield, business development manager at RoadsLink.
"I am all in favour of black boxes being installed that provide data that rewards good behaviour with white points or lower insurance premiums, gift vouchers, public recognition," he said.