MVIs worried over new driving test rules in Kerala

Under the new directions issued from the transport minister’s office, motor vehicle inspectors (MVIs) should conduct the ‘road test’ before the 'ground test'.
An international driving licence aspirant undergoing test in Kakkanad. This image is used for representational purposes.
An international driving licence aspirant undergoing test in Kakkanad. This image is used for representational purposes. (Photo | Albin Mathew, EPS)

KOCHI: A large section of the motor vehicle inspectors in the state are apprehensive over two new stipulations included in the fresh driving test rules introduced by the motor vehicle department (MVD), which they say would increase the risk of accidents during the exercise.

So far, the candidates were required to clear the ‘ground test’ before they appear for the ‘road test’. Under the new directions issued from the transport minister’s office, motor vehicle inspectors (MVIs) should conduct the ‘road test’ first. Also, vehicles with dual-clutch and break (Dual Control System)’ can no longer be used.

“Earlier, we used to have an idea about the driving efficiency of a candidate before subjecting him or her to a road test. Now we have to accompany the candidate, having only a Learner’s Licence, for the road test. With the vehicles also not having dual control systems, we can’t interfere on a real-time basis if they panic. This increases the risk of mishaps,” a senior MVD officer said.

Further, the officials would be listed as accused in the FIR in the event of a mishap and there would be no insurance coverage either. Earlier, assistant motor vehicle inspectors (AMVIs) would conduct the ‘ground test’ first and only the successful candidates needed to be given the ‘road test’.

“This further increases the period of the tests, besides increasing the failure rate of candidates,” the official pointed out.

Vinod A S, general secretary of the Kerala Motor Vehicles Department Gazetted Officers’ Association (KMVDGOA), defended the new directions but admitted there is a base for such concerns.

“The concern is there. But, in a majority of instances, candidates appear for tests after being trained by the driving schools. Hence, candidates will at least have a basic knowledge of driving after the course. But the road test needs to be given bigger importance and we’re implementing the new direction,” he said. MVIs are also unhappy that they have to file reports to junior officials. AMVIs should wait for the ‘road test’ reports from MVIs before they can start the ‘ground test’. “The issue of hierarchy is also there,” the officer pointed out.

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