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Simulators to test your driving skills

The city’s youth, who got their licences from motor training schools, may have to take their driving tests again.

mumbai Updated: Nov 18, 2009 02:16 IST
Shashank Rao

The city’s youth, who got their licences from motor training schools, may have to take their driving tests again.

The state transport department is planning to recall all those in the age group of 18-23 who have learnt driving from motor training schools to take the test again.

This is likely to happen around June next year after the department completes installing simulators.

Simulators are like video games that would have all possible situations faced by drivers on road.

The plan has already been sent to the state finance department for approval of funds.

“We would get details of all those who have completed their driving course in this age group, those driving school buses, taxis and autorickshaws and ask them to give the test on simulators once installed,” said state Transport Commissioner Deepak Kapoor.

The reason: The transport department is unhappy with the way driving is taught. Several youth were found to be involved in accidents, officials said.

Once the simulators are installed, it will become mandatory for all to go through the orientation test after paying a nominal fee of Rs 50.

“Each simulator costs Rs 12 lakh and so the additional nominal charge,” added Kapoor.

The state transport department has applied to the Finance department for budgetary allocation for procuring 14 simulators for 14 Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) across the state.

The remaining 31 deputy RTOs will have to share this additional feature with the closest RTO and drivers will be sent there.

Once the proposal is passed, simulators can be procured within a month’s time. However, some Transport department officials believe that it will be difficult to procure all 14 simulators at the same time.

“We expect the state government to pass five to six simulators at one go due to its high cost. In that case, we will place these simulators at important RTOs in Mumbai and Thane,” said a RTO official requesting anonymity.

The simulator that is expected to upgrade driving skills will have conditions like rainfall, wet roads, steep turns and curves, bumpy and pothole-filled roads and driving during night.

The transport department is copying this idea from one private motor driving school that has already installed it.