Motor simulators to test skills of Delhi Police PCR van drivers
The Delhi Police Control room drivers are being tested on a newly-installed simulator in the motor training workshop at Old Police Lines in north Delhi’s Rajpur Road. The exercise is suppose to help them respond swiftly and drive safely without compromising on road safety, which sometimes takes a backseat during emergency situationsdelhi Updated: Feb 18, 2018 22:58 IST
Every day since January 5, a batch of Delhi Police has been hitting other cars, violating traffic norms and even crashing into road dividers or pavements, all in a bid to become better drivers.
The Delhi Police Control room drivers are being tested on a newly-installed simulator in the motor training workshop at Old Police Lines in north Delhi’s Rajpur Road. The exercise is suppose to help them respond swiftly and drive safely without compromising on road safety, which sometimes takes a backseat during emergency situations.
A simulator replicates real life driving situations via 3D imagery and enables the driver to test his driving skills. These drivers will be graded based on their performance on the simulators which have 13 driving parameters, ranging from over-speeding to lane discipline to avoid accidents. They would then be given remedial training to address their shortcomings.
Special commissioner of police (women safety, airport and modernisation) Sanjay Beniwal said the simulator test was initiated to upgrade the skills of the drivers running the PCR van fleet.
“Our main goal is to improve their driving skills through the simulator test where the mistakes can be identified based on the grading and suggested remedies to rectify them could be suggested,” said Beniwal.
Another senior police officer said though the drivers are experienced hands, yet it has been observed that some of them tend to make errors such as brushing against other vehicles and speeding.
“Some of them do not follow traffic signals as they feel they are immune from prosecution. Anyone or a combination of these mistakes can cause an accident,” the officer said.
According to Beniwal, all the PCR van drivers, nearly 2,000 of them, would have to take the test in the course of the next few months.
“We haven’t made any roster though. For now, the drivers who visit the workshop to get the vehicles repaired or serviced, are taking the test. Every day around 15-20 vehicles come to the workshop and each driver sits on the simulator machine during the retrieval time. Because all vehicles have to go for servicing periodically, all the drivers would eventually take the test,” said Beniwal.
On the test, he said the machine comprises three screens, placed adjacent to each other. The one in the middle is the windscreen view that is what a driver sees in front in a real situation while the other two on either side show the rear views from left and right side.
“The settings for the simulator tests — the road condition that the driver would be subjected to — would be given by us. We test how they would respond when they are wading through heavy traffic, or whether they read and follow the various road signs or not. We also test conditions such as what happens when they have to suddenly apply brakes, or steer away to avoid collision,” said DCP (PCR) Devender Arya.
After testing, the machine dislays the results, grading the driver under three categories — A, B and C, the best being A. This will be followed by an online written test, which all the drivers would be asked to take. The questions of the written test would be different for each driver depending on their simulator test performance and the combined scores will be used to then determine if any refresher course or separate training is needed.
The PCR unit aims to eventually test all the 2,000 odd drivers deployed to drive the PCR vans in the city.
At any given time, 700 to 800 PCR vans are out on the city streets and have to do both patrolling duties as well as be the first responders in case crimes are committed. Their job may involve chasing suspects as well. Given the shortage of ambulances in the city, in cases of violent crimes or road accidents, these vans also rush the victims to hospitals.
Some of the drivers, who have taken the simulator test, say that applying brakes while they are moving at a high speed becomes a problem.
“We are forced to apply brakes frequently while driving when other vehicles move haphazardly. This is dangerous for us or the people we are ferrying in the van. I have had a few close shaves on the machine too,” said driver constable Rakesh Kumar.
Another driver Ravinder Antil said one thing he learnt from the simulator machine was to use the clutch judiciously as overuse leads to a lot of fuel consumption and adversely affects the performance of the vehicle in the longer run.
Some of the 13 parameters which are tested during the simulator test
Number of accidents: Counts collision with other vehicles or objects
Delay caused in applying brake: Taking too long to release the brake pedal fully
Speeding: Travelling beyond permissible limits
Clutch riding: Taking too long to release the clutch pedal fully
Lane violation: Failing to signal while changing lanes
Signal violation: Running a red signal/ Stop sign
No indicator while turning: Failure to signal while making a turn
Engaging parking brake: Whether handbrake is engaged or not after driving
First Published: Feb 18, 2018 22:58 IST