If everything goes as per chief minister Prithviraj Chavan’s plan, you would soon be able to hone your driving skills with a car simulator at your nearest Regional transport Office (RT0s), before appearing for a driving test.
“A car simulator costs around Rs6 to 7 lakh. The CM said that the government will appeal to private companies and banks for sponsoring the scheme under their corporate social responsibility programme,” said a senior transport official.
The plan, Chavan told senior officials during the inauguration of the bus driving simulator at the Western India Automobile Associations’ ( WIAA) driving centre at Churchgate on Saturday, would help reduce road accidents.
As per data, the state, on an average, loses 13,000 people in road accidents every year.
This figure is highest in the country.
The transport department has already approached the Union ministry of road transport and highways for requisite amendment in Central Motor Vehicle Rule 1989, so an intermediate driving test could be incorporated during issuance of licences.
At present, driving licences are issued to candidates after a computerised test and field test.
“A simulator-based test helps in understanding the behaviour aspect of candidates, which can’t be judge during a field test,” said another senior official.
Even the transport depart ment has proposed to install three heavy vehicle driving simulators at Andheri, Thane and Pune RTO offices, where a large number of drivers register for heavy vehicle licences.
Such a simulator would cost around 30 lakh and the transport department will sign an agree ment with the WIAA, which will be sponsoring these machines “From our side everything is ready and it will take a couple of months to install those,” Nitin Dossa, Chairman of WIAA.
Earlier, the WIAA had given a car simulator to the Tardeo RTO but on account of differ ences with regard to charging fees from candidates, the plan did not see the light of the day.
While inaugurating the simulator, Chavan also tested his driving skills on the simulator “Chavan made no mistakes on the simulator. He has great driving skills,” said Dossa, who was sitting next to the chief minister at the event.