S. Anil Radhakrishnan

New norms to be introduced in January

Deaths in road accidents are mounting in State

All heavy vehicle driver aspirants will be trained

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) will revamp the Computer-aided Learner’s Licensing System (CALLS) for issuing learner’s licence to all class of motorists in the State to help them have a good understanding of all aspects of driving.

Under the norms to be introduced during the Road Safety Week in January, the department will revise the topics covered by the test. Besides, the questionnaire from which the computer asks questions to driver aspirants will be updated by introducing all aspects of road safety, driving and road signage.

At present, 12 correct answers to a list of 20 questions are what is required of a person to get a learner’s licence for any class of motor vehicles. “Under the new norms, the candidates will have to answer more questions and all aspects will be covered to ensure that those who start driving are well-versed with all aspects of driving,” Alex Paul, Secretary, State Transport Authority, told The Hindu.

Road safety experts have been demanding a change in the norms and updating of the questionnaire used for conducting the test. It was pointed out that one could get a learner’s licence merely by learning the road signage. Mr. Paul said the department was trying to give weightage to all aspects in the new norms.

The decision to revamp the granting of learner’s licence comes at a time when deaths in road accidents are mounting in the State. Renewal of driving licence has become more of a procedure. The new norms are expected to bring in a sea change in the granting of driving licence.

Along with this, the department has worked out plans to conduct the learner’s licence test in Kannada and Tamil. At present, the test is being conducted in English and Malayalam in CALLS centres.

Road safety experts have been complaining that the department does not make any attempt to assess driving skills of the candidate or to update him on the developments and regulations. Mr. Paul said the proposed driver training centre being set up by the department at Chevayoor in Kozhikode district would address the issue and all heavy vehicle driver aspirants would be trained at the centre.

The department has decided to involve the road safety clubs in the State in a more efficient way in the road safety programmes in the coming days and to create awareness among the road users.

Stakeholders such as the Public Works Department, the police and non-governmental organisations will be roped in to create awareness among the road users during the Road Safety Week.