Driving licence debate

Calls to raise UAE age to drive to 21 amid increasing accidents among young

The head of Dubai Traffic Prosecution has called for the minimum age to obtain a driving licence to be raised amid a "disproportionate" number of fatal crashes involving young Emiratis.

Salah Bu Farousha called for the minimum age to be raised from 18 to 21 after raising concerns about the high number of young drivers who have died in accidents this year, Dubai daily 7Days reported on Wednesday.

He said that 10 out of the 120 motorists who have so far died on the country's roads in 2009 were young Emiratis.

"This is a worrying figure and is a big percentage compared to the demographic map of Dubai, which is made up of more than 180 nationalities," he told the paper.

"Raising the age to 21 is necessary because the motorist would be more mature. Teenagers can use public transport until they can be trusted to get behind the wheel."

He also called for better driving education and awareness campaigns at colleges.

"Some young men are crazy and modify their cars and engines and then race them," Farousha said.

A recent report released by the World Health Organisation has shown that the UAE's roads were among the most dangerous countries in the world.

Last year 1,071 people died on the UAE's road and 12,273 were injured, the report said.

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