One in three driving schools in City operates illegally

Of the nearly 700 institutes, only 465 have got licence from RTOs

More than one-third of the nearly 700 driving schools in the City have not obtained the mandatory licence from the Regional Transport Offices (RTOs), thus cocking a snook at the norms laid down by the Transport department. 

Out of the nearly 700 driving schools in Bangalore (Urban and Rural) districts, only 465 are licensed, statistics from the Transport department show. The licences of 14 schools, including some in Ramanagar and Devanahalli, were suspended from April 2013 to February 2014 for non-maintenance of records and other reasons. 

The violations, however, do not stop here. Several licensed schools are running more than one branch in the garb of “pick-up points” for learners, in clear violation of the rules. 

As per the Motor Vehicle Act,1988, trainers at driving schools ought to have a specified qualification and the school premises should be properly equipped with simulator engines of four-wheelers or two-wheelers. 

But in reality, most driving schools straightaway put learners at the wheel. Also, as per the Motor Vehicles Act, driving schools must maintain proper records of attendance of the learners. But this rule has also been given the go-by. 

Many driving schools fail to submit the monthly records of the trainees, according to the Joint Commissioner, Transport, Narendra Holkar. “We keep holding awareness activities for driving schools from time to time.

Many of the driving schools falter on submitting the monthly records of the trainees,” he told Deccan Herald. “We provide them with study material, including CDs, with information on road safety, traffic signals etc. We regularly check the driving schools premises to ensure they have well-educated trainers and use techniques of teaching on how to drive a vehicle using simulators, etc.” 

In a crackdown in 2012-13, the Transport department even suspended the licences of over 300 driving schools who were not following the norms. They were found skipping the procedure of providing mandatory training to learners and even managing to get licences for some students allegedly in connivance with the officials. 

A senior official said that most driving schools were found to have failed in maintaining attendance register for learners. 

They also lacked adequate infrastructure, including teaching material for theoretical explanation of the vehicle, display for traffic signs in the school for teaching, etc.

As per the rule, schools must provide training for 21 days for non-transport vehicles and 31 days for transport vehicles. But many of them provide training for fewer days. Many schools also do not maintain Form 14, which keeps track of the attendance of licence seekers. 

Transport authorities had also made it mandatory that licence seekers’ education qualification certificates be verified from the institutions concerned after it was found that many driving schools would refer candidates without documents or sometimes false documents for a licence to drive transport vehicles. 

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