With over 80 per cent of road accidents being attributed to the drivers of various motor vehicles, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is contemplating to start a mandatory drivers training programme across the country.
Senior ministry officials said a policy draft is being prepared looking into the possibilities of extending some kind of training modules to people who already hold the driving licenses and drive on roads.
Officials said the draft will also suggest how such training programmes can be started at national level, the agencies which can help the government achieving it, the infrastructure required for launching training modules and the money that will be needed to begin work.
The central government, with the help of over 150 NGOs across the country, is already running two-day refresher course for the drivers of heavy vehicles and is spending Rs 710 per driver. Over 2.10 lakh people have so far been given the refresher training. However, this training is restricted to only truck drivers.
Senior ministry officials accept that the majority of people driving on the road do not have even the basic knowledge of traffic rules and regulations and right of way. With the number of accidents rising every year, said officials, there is an immediate need to give some kind of training to drivers to drive sanely and carefully on road.
Senior officials said it would be a “total training” programme. The government, said officials, will rope in various non-government agencies and private players who have the capacity and infrastructure to extend such kind of trainings.
“There will be three different kinds of training programmes - induction training, refresher training and a special training programme for trainers. The training will be a must for every licence holder in the country,” a senior ministry official said. According to estimates, there are 1.7 million people in the country who drive various motorised vehicles. According to senior officials, the 10th five-year plan had the provision for establishing special drivers training institutes.