Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 17 April 2024 6.01 PM IST

Driving test reforms should be practical


There is no doubt that the reforms regarding the driving test in the state, which will be implemented from May 1, will ignite a new controversy. It is natural for rulers to try for reforms that bear the signature of the times. But it should also be remembered how helpful such changes will be to the beneficiaries. Reforms can backfire if they have the opposite effect. Many of the new guidelines for the driving test have been criticized from various quarters.

New reforms announced by the Transport Minister will make all new drivers' license applicants hostile. It remains to be seen how practical the requirement that only geared vehicles may be used for the test. Nowadays, when electric vehicles and automatic vehicles are filling the roads, it is inconceivable to say that one should learn to drive in gear vehicles and follow the conditions of such vehicles in front of motor vehicle officials. This is a requirement that is not even in the central law.

Similar condition will be applicable for two wheeler test also. The two-wheelers brought for the test should be above 90 cc which can be operated by foot. The reason behind the new reform is that no one should get a license using small vehicles without gears and pass the test easily. No one can dispute that traffic rules should be strictly followed. Admittedly, there are many shortcomings in the current driving test. But compared to ten years ago, a lot has changed in this field. The increase in accidents in the state is not due to the increase in the number of people driving vehicles with driving license that can be attained easily. There are other reasons for that.

The new regulations are going to pose a lot of challenges to driving schools as well. To meet the additional cost, additional fee will be charged from those who appear for the training while making the equipment including camera on the dash board of the vehicles for the test mandatory. It is a good condition that only 30 candidates should be given a chance in a testing centre in a day, and ten of them should have failed the test before. But according to the rush of people, more test centers will have to be set up. Driving schools will also have to find wider training spaces to meet the new parking regulations. Urban areas will face a lot of crisis.

It should be considered whether the requirement to conduct the test driving of two-wheelers on busy roads is unnecessary. Today, traveling on our public roads is a nightmare, even for those with years of experience. So one can only imagine how stressful the test driving for license can be for a newbie right after training. Although the 'H' test, the biggest obstacle for those taking the test, has been eliminated, some new tests are even more challenging than that.

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