City's first simulator to test driving skills ready by Sept | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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City's first simulator to test driving skills ready by Sept

mumbai Updated: Aug 10, 2010 00:57 IST
Shashank Rao

By the end of this year, your lessons at the local motor driving school and tests at the Regional Transport Office (RTO) will get more challenging.

The city's first simulator has been set up at the Mumbai Central RTO to test drivers' skills in real-life situations such as heavy rain, pothole-ridden roads, ghats with sharp curves and at night.

It is expected to be operational in September. "We are waiting for the state government to sanction the simulator by next month," said Dilip Jadhav, transport commissioner.

On November 18, Hindustan Times had reported that the state transport department and RTO proposed to install virtual simulators to test the driving skills of a person who applies for a licence.

Worth Rs 14 lakh each, the simulators would be next be installed at the Andheri, Wadala and Thane RTOs.

The department will review the working of the simulator at the Mumbai Central RTO for three months, after which 30-odd grade ‘A' driving schools in the city will be instructed to install them within a year.

The transport department plans to set up simulators at all 45 RTOs and motor driving schools in the state.

"If the motor training schools, especially those given A-grade, fail to install simulators, we could downgrade them," said a senior official from the transport department.

There are 272 motor driving schools in the city, which have been graded as A, B, C and D based on criteria such as number of classrooms, condition of vehicles used for training, background of the trainer and maintenance of records.

After it is made mandatory, all driving licence applicants will have to go through the orientation test for a fee of Rs 50.

Initially private vehicle owners and heavy vehicle drivers would be asked to undergo the simulator test.

It would then be extended to taxi and auto drivers.