Obtaining a driver’s licence will become tougher come next year with the Delhi Transport Department in the process of instituting technology-based automated tests for drivers before granting these by mid-2018.
According to a source, these were created not only to ensure that drivers with “adequate skills” are granted licences, with a ripple effect expected to making the Capital’s streets comparatively safer, but also with the aim to nip corruption related to issuance of drivers’ licences across Motor Licencing Offices in Delhi in the bud.
Cost of construction
According to a senior government official, land has been identified for creation of testing tracks in the vicinity of almost all Regional Transport Offices (RTOs), barring Dwarka in south-west Delhi, which will be constructed at a cost of an estimated ₹ 1 crore each.
“Different teams tasked with studying similar systems already in operation in different cities such as Bengaluru are in the process of submitting their recommendations on the proposed system, following which it will be implemented,” said the government official.
“Land required for the project in Dwarka too is expected to be finalised soon. We expect the system to be in place by June 2018,” the official added.
Sources in the government said several possibilities were in the process of consideration. These include CCTV-monitored driving tracks in addition to fixing cameras on the dashboards of drivers being tested as well as attaching special computer hardware to test the driver’s skills.
Different varieties of testing tracks are used across the country to test drivers’ skills before issuance of licences. In Ahmedabad for instance, two-wheeler driving test tracks, up-gradient test tracks, 8-shaped test tracks, reverse parallel parking test tracks, reverse ‘S’ test tracks and full test tracks are in operation. Similar tracks are in place at Bengaluru and in multiple cities in Kerala.
“The idea is to minimise the level of human interaction at such offices. After bringing most services offered by the Department online, this initiative is among the most significant measures which will be taken to combat the influence of touts at our RTOs,” the official said.