Traffic Magistrate seeks RTO’s response to rationale of in-vogue driving tests for issuing driving licenses
Srinagar, Feb 18: The Additional Special Mobile Magistrate (Traffic) Srinagar has directed the Regional Transport Officer (RTO) Kashmir to appear before the court and seek reports from his Assistant RTOs regarding the conduct of driving test for issuing driving licenses.
Acting in a case filed through advocate BadrulDuja, the magistrate, Shabir Ahmad Malik directed the RTO to appear before his court on the next date of hearing. “The RTO shall seek reports from all his ARTOs regarding the conduct of driving tests for issuances of licenses,” read the order.
The magistrate appreciated the application regarding the rationale behind current driving test procedures. It also sought compliance regarding implementation of Rule 15 of Motor Vehicle Rules.
The applicant, Naveed Bakhtiyar, through his lawyer BadrulDuja told the court that the concerned officers have been conducting driving license tests of light motor vehicles. But the procedure adopted is driver’s reversing their car on curved paths through poles either forming eight (8) in reverse or otherwise.
His application said reverse driving test procedure is an outdated procedure where only the one who forms 8 in reverse is selected and that it is not scientifically or technically backed.
It said as per the Rule 15 of The Central Motor Vehicle Rules, the aspiring driver’s driving is tested through uphill driving, downhill driving. “The aspirants are also supposed to be tested for change in gear, use of hand brake, foot brake, overtaking, stopping of the vehicle in an emergency, proper use of accelerator, clutch, gears, anticipating the actions of pedestrians, drivers, adjusting rear-view mirror, and taking suitable precautions before starting the engine, etc,” it added.
The lawyer told the court that no person shall appear for the driving test unless he/she has held a learner’s license for a period of at least 37 days.
The applicant shall satisfy the person conducting the test that he/she is able to adjust the rear-view mirror; take suitable precautions before starting the engine and move away safely and smoothly straight ahead at an angle while at the same time engaging all gears until the top gear is reached, he said.
“Besides the applicant is to be tested for changing to the lower gears quickly from the top gear when the traffic conditions warrant such change, change quickly to lower gears when driving downhill; stopping and re-starting the vehicle on a steep upward incline making proper use of the hand-brake or of the throttle and the foot-brake without any rolling back, turn right and left corners correctly and make proper use of the rear-view mirror before signaling,” he added further.
The rationale behind the current driving test is unknown, contrary to the provisions of the law and not able to select expert driving individuals and professionals, said the lawyer, adding that it has led to “agent culture” across the transport offices which breeds corruption and incidence of accidents.