Tough driving test likely for licence seekers

Impersonation during driving tests for getting a licence may soon be eliminated in the city once the transport offices here are overhauled on the lines of the Swarnim regional transport office (RTO) in Gujarat’s capital Gandhi Nagar. 

Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has already made it public that he is keen to replicate the single-window system of Swarnim RTO which allows licence applicants to fill a simple one-page form at a counter, eliminating long queues and touts.

For checking wrongdoing during driving tests, the new proposed system in Delhi will also have provision for taking finger prints of learner’s driving licence seekers at the time of filing of application and match them with the second set of finger prints which shall be taken just before the practical driving test for getting a permanent licence.

Officials in transport department acknowledge that despite their best efforts touts have not been completely pushed out of the licensing offices.

“We have heard about the Swarnim RTO and hopefully we will get to experience it very soon,” said an official at the Under Hill Road office of the transport department in north Delhi.

D H Shah, officer on special duty in Gujarat’s transport department, told Deccan Herald: “There is no scope for impersonation during driving tests in our fool-proof system.”

In Gandhi Nagar’s Swarnim RTO, a driving test track spreads over 4,500 sqm and offers a number of hurdles and tasks which test the acumen of licence seekers.

Highlighting the benefits of the Swarnim RTO, Gujarat Transport Commissioner Kamal Dayani said: “Delhi and other states will also be able to eliminate a lot of discretion that is there in the manual system for assessing driving tests.”

At the Swarnim RTO’s test track in Gandhi Nagar, the vehicle of each learner’s licence driver’s is fitted with a makeshift radio sensor unit – which helps map the vehicle’s movement – before the test begins. “The movement of the vehicle and the time taken by the driver to perform each of the task on the track is videographed and recorded on a computer using the radio sensor,” said Bhruguraj Trivedi, project manager, Gujarat transport department.

“We keep the video with us so that if any applicant disputes our computerised system’s decision to fail him in the test, we can show the clippings to him or her,” he said.
If the Gujarat model is any indication, the shape of things in Delhi transport offices may soon see a car driver being asked by a test official to part his or her vehicle in a given slot within two minutes. 

The learner’s licence holder may also be tasked to drive the vehicle on an ascent and run the vehicle in reverse gear on a track with radio sensor-fitted bollards along the pavements on both the sides.

“If a driver, while reversing the vehicle, touches the bollards more than once, he or she is disqualified and asked to take the driving test again,” said Trivedi.

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