Bringing in a more scientific approach and cutting down on the possibility of corruption, Chandigarh will get an automated driving testing system for issuing licences by year-end. Order for the sensor and camera-based system, which has minimal manual reporting involved, has been placed, and work would begin at the Sector-23 Traffic Park by next month, it is learnt.
Known as the innovative driving test system (IDTS), it takes eight months to set up, and would cost around `1.5 crore.
At present, there is apparently too much discretion with the testing staff that examines each move and then gives a report. With the new system, equipment will keep a tab on whether the driver is abiding by the basics and knows the rules while on the test track. It would ensure no scope for corruption, said Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA), Chandigarh, Kashish Mittal.
“Formalities for ordering the system are done and we hope the work will start in April. By the end of the year, it will be in place,” said UT transport secretary Bhawna Garg.
For a learner’s licence issued for six months, there is already an automated system of a touchscreen simulator. Additionally, there are 25 questions with minimum 15 right answers required to pass.
At present, about 1,000 regional transport offices (RTOs) issue over 1.15 crore fresh or renewed driving licences every year. This means on an average, 40 licences are issued by each RTO on any working day and it can be as high as 130 licences per day in case of Delhi. This huge number makes it humanly impossible for officials to supervise so many driving tests before issuing a licence.
But about the final driving licence test, there were reports of corruption, as the passing was as high as 90% in some time periods. Officials said a duty shuffle within the department ensured the pass percentage came down to a level that was closer to reality. Now, the system will generate a report and the final signatures will be by the inspecting officer. The test recording and data ordinarily would be saved in the system for 30 days. The implementing agency for the IDTS is the Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) headquartered in Pune. Established in 1967 jointly by the Union ministry of transport and the Association of State Road Transport Undertakings (ASRTU), the institute has been providing its training, consulting and testing facilities to several states. The IDTS is in the pipeline in Pune as well, besides other cities.
While 80% of the payment is to be made upon acceptance of proposal, the rest is to be given upon installation, commissioning, trial runs and training of staff. There will be software warranty for a year, onsite warranty of two years for the cameras and one year for the rest.
A stringent licence regime is also on the priority list of the Union government as data shows driver’s fault as the reason for nearly 80% of the over 2 lakh accidents a year across the country.