Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 19 June 2024 9.47 AM IST

Big shots to conduct driving tests, corporates to build ground and track; small driving schools may get shut down


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Driving schools will have to find 50 to 70 cents of land to implement the Transport Department's proposed reforms of driving training and license tests. Several small driving schools may get shut down as this is a huge liability. Instead, big capitalists and corporates may take their place. The government's move strengthens the allegation that the reforms have been introduced to help corporates.

With the entry of corporates into the field of driving schools, the fees for driving classes will become more than double. Driving schools currently charge between Rs 7500 and Rs 11000 to assist a person in obtaining a driver's license. There are 1496 driving schools in Kerala. Each school has four to 10 staff members. The reform states that large driving schools should work together to set up the track and test ground, or corporate firms may do so. They will be charging a fee for each test. As per law, the Department of Motor Vehicles has the authority to levy the fee. It levies a fee of Rs 300 for driving tests alone. Minister KB Ganesh Kumar has directed that test grounds and tracks should be prepared by driving schools. Meanwhile, the Transport Commissioner's circular does not contain any instructions on how to construct the testing tracks.

When automated testing centres were introduced in 2017, reverse parking and stopping and taking the vehicle uphill were introduced. However, this was later avoided after the High Court ruled that there should be the same system of inspection everywhere in the state. Although driving tests are being conducted at 86 locations, the criteria are being followed only at 9 places. It is also pointed out that the directions in the new circular are against the Central Act.

  • As per the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, gears can be shifted according to the speed of the vehicle. The gear system of the vehicles is prepared according to the automotive industry standard. The Automotive Research Association of India gives approval to vehicles only after checking this. The state has no power to regulate this.
  • As e-vehicles are widespread across the country, the transmission (gear system) and fuel of the vehicles used for the test need not be considered. The Centre had issued a letter to the state government in this regard last year.
  • Applicants can use their own vehicle for the driving test. GPS and surveillance cameras are not mandatory.
  • The Motor Vehicle Department stated in its circular that cameras and GPS systems should be installed in driving school vehicles. However, there is no clarity in the case of private vehicles.

People will go to neighbouring states to get license

The cost of getting a driving license in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka is low. Therefore, those in the border taluks of Kerala will take licenses from the neighbouring states.

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