From Gulf NewsAbu Dhabi: More than 423,000 cars in the UAE will be unable to be sold in two years, as they will be more than 10 years old, officials have said.
While sale will be prohibited, registration of the cars can be renewed and the owner can continue to use it.
"Ownership transfer of over 423,577 cars which are more than 10 years old will be prohibited by 2010. This figure includes cars from all emirates except Dubai, so it will be higher," said Colonel Gaith Al Za'abi, head of the traffic department at the Ministry of Interior, on Monday, at a press conference. However, these cars could be sold for use outside the UAE.
Earlier this year, in line with the Federal Governments' strategy to ease traffic congestion, reduce accidents and curb motor vehicle pollution, the government announced the decision to begin phasing out cars older than 20 years from December 1.
"Around 144,317 cars will be 20 years or older by December next year. As and when they turn 20 the registration of these cars will not be renewed and thus will be taken off the roads of UAE," Al Za'abi said.
Moreover, in 2010, only cars less than 15 years old will be renewed which will lead to the banning of 322,533 vehicles by the end of the year.
The total number of cars in the UAE stands at 1.85 million, which means the country is amongst those nations having the highest car ownership per population in the world. With 541 cars per every 1000 of the population, Dubai has the highest car ownership in the emirates.
Al Za'abi stressed that police will organise intensive campaigns to ensure no banned cars remain on the streets.
"Once we stop renewing or registering these old cars, it automatically becomes illegal to continue driving them. Fines will be imposed on those found flouting the regulations and their cars will be confiscated," he said.
Police estimate that at least 30 per cent of accidents are caused by old cars which often break down amidst traffic, worsening congestion.
The decision will also improve the appearance of the city, he said, adding that old cars could be sold as scrap to workshops or shipped out of the country.
"Our primary concern is the safety of people and we don't want them to travel in cars that are not safe on the roads. It will encourage use of public transport besides helping the environment," Dr Nasser Saif Al Mansouri, General Manager of National Transport Authority, told Gulf News.
"It is a real crisis that buying a car is as easy as buying a TV. In some countries, like Singapore, getting the right to own a car is much harder and costlier."
"Public transportation is still in developmental phase, but with success stories like the bus service in the capital, more solutions like metros and light rails will follow shortly."
The new regulations from next month also ban taxis older than five years, the import of light vehicles older than five years and heavy vehicles older than seven years.
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