MVD to conduct driving tests for individual candidates in Kerala

Hundreds of candidates have been affected after the driving tests were disrupted for the 10th day on Friday.
Motor Vehicles Department.
Motor Vehicles Department. (Photo | Facebook)

KOCHI: The Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) has decided to conduct driving tests for candidates appearing directly with their private vehicles starting from Monday, following an order from the transport minister’s office asking the regional transport officers (RTOs) to seek police assistance in case of “external interference”.

“We have decided to encourage applicants to apply directly and appear for tests in their private vehicles as the driving schools are not sending their candidates or submitting new applications, despite the department relaxing some of the modified rules. We have also identified alternative grounds to conduct the test in case the protestors refuse to give the usual test grounds,” said a senior officer. The department owns five grounds, out of the 86 centres across the state where the tests are held.

If certain candidates fail to appear at the allocated slot on a particular day, then those who have been allotted slots in the next couple of days can appear on that day itself, if they are willing. “We’ll prepare a waiting list by including the willing candidates who can then attend the test even before the dates allotted to them,” the officer added.

Hundreds of candidates have been affected after the driving tests were disrupted for the 10th day on Friday. While nearly 10 lakh applications are pending across the state, around 10,000 applicants are yet to get a test date in the Ernakulam region alone.

Meanwhile, the driving school owners, except those belonging to the CITU, will continue to protest against the modified rules introduced on May 1. “We will hold a Secretariat march on Monday (May 13), demanding that the order be withdrawn completely. Members of all the trade unions, except the CITU, will attend. We won’t cooperate with the tests till all the new rules are withdrawn,” said Arun Kumar, regional secretary, All Kerala Driving School Inspectors and Workers Association.

Among others, the new regulations seek to limit the number of driving tests to 30 per day. The driving test ground should have separate tracks for holding tests like angular parking, parallel parking, zigzag driving and gradient tests. The driving schools were also asked to replace vehicles over 15 years old that were being used for the tests immediately.

Giving into the demands, the state government promised to scale down some of the measures like increasing the daily slots to 40 (25 new; 10 retest) and providing at least six months for driving schools to replace their old vehicles. The direction about tracks was also made lenient.

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