Process of issuing driving licence reduced to a farce in Chandigarh | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Process of issuing driving licence reduced to a farce in Chandigarh

punjab Updated: Jul 04, 2016 14:28 IST
Gurpreet Singh Chhina
Gurpreet Singh Chhina
Hindustan Times
Driving licence

The officials sitting on chairs are supposed to be actually in the car with the applicant taking driving test. (Anil Dayal/HT)

Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari’s recent admission that 30% of driving licences issued in the country are bogus brought to light an important issue — the process of issuing the document is flawed.

HT carried out a reality check on the way driving licences are issued in the city and found a system that lays more emphasis on paperwork over driving skills. Officials from the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) — the authorised agency for the process — did not check whether the applicant was aware of traffic rules. The test driving track at the Children traffic Park, Sector 23, had non-functional traffic lights. What was worse was that no official accompanied applicants when they took the test.

Class on traffic rules stopped

HT also learnt that till recently, all those wanting to drive on the test track were subjected to an hourly class on traffic rules and signs. Deputy Superintendent of Police (traffic) then questioned drivers on these rules. However, current DSP (traffic) Rajiv Kumar Ambasta claimed that the department had stopped conducting the classes as the administration was already testing driving skills of applicants.

Test on traffic rules discontinued

Till six months ago, the traffic police used to conduct a preliminary test of applicants on traffic rules under Rule 11 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989. This Chandigarh administration, however, scrapped this provision and the test has not been conducted since. The test also questioned applicants on the duties of a driver when his vehicle is involved in an accident. As of now, a cop claimed that just one or two oral questions from the motor vehicle inspector were substituting for the test.

The law on driving tests

Rule 15 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, that a driving licence applicant must pass a ‘Test of Competence to Drive’ to be conducted by the Licensing Authority or a person authorised in this behalf. The driver must know how to start an engine, know the functions of a handbrake.

RLA Amit Talwar said, “The Motor Vehicles Act does not list any specific guidelines on conducting the driving test. The inspector can assess driving skills in a manner he deems fit. The traffic police is supposed to hold classes on rules.” He added that the department was working on a proposal to shift driving tests to an automated driving testing system.

“The Motor Vehicles Act does not list any specific guidelines on conducting the driving test. The inspector can assess driving skills in a manner he deems fit. The traffic police is supposed to hold classes on rules,” Amit Talwar, RLA. said.

MAJOR SHORTCOMINGS

•The system lays more emphasis on paperwork over driving skills

•Officials from the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) — the authorised agency for the process — did not check whether the applicant was aware of traffic rules.

•The test driving track at the Children traffic Park, Sector 23, had non-functional traffic lights. What was worse was that no official accompanied applicants when they took the test.