Delivery riders will have to complete longer and more varied training to obtain a licence under a new safety campaign launched by Dubai Police, in conjunction with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
Dubai Police said 31 bikers were killed and 253 injured in motorbike accidents last year.
The figures were revealed by Dubai Police during the launch of the safety drive that aims to ensure bikers are safer on the emirate’s roads after a sharp rise in the number of crashes involving motorbikes.
“Twenty-two of the dead were found to be responsible of causing the accidents,” said Col Juma Salim bin Suwaidan, acting director of the General Department of Traffic at Dubai Police.
“Three more deaths and 47 injures were recorded in the first two months of 2022.”
Police said 20,312 motorbike riders were caught breaking traffic rules last year and 880 bikes were confiscated.
Among the most common offences were overtaking from the hard shoulder, sudden swerving, incorrect parking, parking on the pavement and failure to stay in mandatory lanes.
Officials said the number of traffic offences by delivery bikers had increased amid a surge in demand for online food delivery during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We expect a similar increase for food delivery orders during the holy month of Ramadan, which is why we are intensifying awareness to ensure compliance with traffic rules,” said Col bin Suwaidan.
Under the new scheme, delivery riders will have to complete 20 hours of training before applying for a licence, up from the current 15-hour requirement.
In addition, they will have to undergo a minimum of two hours night training as part of the upgraded requirements for licensing.
“Most motorbike accidents happen at night. As part of their training, delivery bikers will train to drive at night under several scenarios designed to simulate day-to-day situations they face on the job,” said Abdulla Yousef Al Ali, chief executive of Licensing Agency, RTA.
Bikers will also be trained on how to drive amid distractions, such as locating a customer on the app or receiving notifications from the delivery company.
As part of the training, a delivery box is added to the motorbike to show riders how to maintain balance and place the order in the carriage correctly.
“The changes only apply for riders seeking to obtain a motorbike licence to work in the delivery sector,” said Mr Al Ali.
“Delivery riders applying for a motorbike licence are usually referred to driving institutes through the delivery company or the employer. That’s how we differentiate between employees working in the delivery sector and other riders applying for a motorbike licence.”
To increase road safety among licensed delivery riders, 10,500 have received additional training as part of collaboration between delivery companies and driving institutes in Dubai, Mr Al Ali said.
More workshops will be held to accommodate more delivery in the near future.
“Delivery companies can co-ordinate with driving institutes to upgrade the training of their staff as per the new requirements,” he said.
RTA and Dubai Police said 85 virtual and in-person awareness lectures have been held for 12,000 licensed delivery riders so far.
Increased safety checks will also continue to ensure compliance with traffic rules.