Posted on October 07, 2017

The General Directorate of Traffic yesterday launched a programme — the first of its kind in Qatar and other GCC countries — to train people with special needs for obtaining driving licences.

The initiative was launched in a ceremony held at Dalla Driving Academy at Mesaimeer area yesterday. Under the programme, the first fleet of cars equipped with special features for training people with special needs were launched under a slogan “Min Haqi An Asuq” (it is our right to drive). The training cars will be distributed to all eight driving schools enabling them to provide training to the target section of the society.

The directorate also launched an iPad service enabling trainees with special needs to take the theoretical exam in the car without having to go to the examination rooms, allowing them to take the exam in any place. Fifty trainers from eight driving schools have been given certificates for completing an special course for training people with special needs for obtaining driving licences in the ceremony. “The programme was launched for this segment of the society that received varied support from state institutions in a bid to bring them to the main stream of social life,” said Brig Saqar Al Muraikhi, Director of Licensing Section at the General Directorate of Traffic, after handing over certificates to the trainers.

“The training cars for people with special needs are equipped with special features as per the comfort and safety of the trainees,” said Captain Khalid Al Ghanam, In-Charge of Driving Schools at the Directorate. Replying to a question by The Peninsula, Al Ghanam said that the new programme for training people with special need is mandatory for all driving schools and a circular has been sent to comply with it. Speaking about the iPaid, Al Ghanam said that learners from the targeted section of the society can take their theoretical tests through this device sitting at their cars at all driving schools across the country.

Dalla Driving Academy, is providing specialised in training driving instructors on skills to ethically and professionally deal with this segment. Qatar Society for Rehabilitation of Special Needs has announced to provide necessary support to help the people with special needs in obtaining driving licences. “The society will share the cost of training with driving schools for needy candidates , said Amir Al Mulla, Executive Director, Qatar Society for Rehabilitation of Special Needs. Dr Nidal Ata Abdel-Qader, a physiological expert was also invited to educate the trainers on how to deal with people with special needs during training. “The car is equipped with connections to help the trainee drive without the use of their feet as well as other connections to help push the brakes or accelerator,” said Hassan Nassar, Manager of Dallah Driving Academy.

Nassar said that the cars will have sign to show show other road users that it is for people with disabilities. The Manager said that the cars are prepared to comply with the conditions of every trainee. Speaking on the safety of the additional features, the manager said that only supportive tools were added to facilitate the learners without making any alteration in the main system of the car and the added features meet completely to the international safety standard. He also announced to launch a bus service to ferry the people with special needs from their homes to driving school soon.

source: The Peninsula