Train on a virtual bike first

Newbies can learn on a simulator at Andheri RTO

Published - August 28, 2019 01:54 am IST - Mumbai

Practice time: An applicant trying his hand on the bike simulator at Andheri RTO on Tuesday.

Practice time: An applicant trying his hand on the bike simulator at Andheri RTO on Tuesday.

Mumbaikars can get hands-on training on a bike simulator before they appear for a road test to get their licences, the first such initiative by any Regional Transport Office (RTO) in the State.

The simulator has been installed at Andheri RTO as part of a corporate social responsibility initiative of Castrol India, Two Wheels One Life, which is being executed by United Way Mumbai (UWM). Abhay Deshpande, regional transport officer at Andheri RTO, said they have been conducting training sessions on a trial basis over the past few months to receive feedback. He said, “The sessions will be held every day and will be open to all. We will recommend it to everyone who comes to get their learner’s licence for two-wheelers.”

Jayanti Shukla, CEO of UWM, who is executing the project, said the aim is to train riders on defensive driving skills. She said in addition to the simulator, learners go through a 45-minute training session on the basics of road safety.

Transport Commissioner Shekhar Channe said road accidents contributed to nearly 13,000 deaths annually in the State and was the chief reason for deaths in the 18 to 35 age group. “This is the only RTO in the State to have simulator-based training and I hope people take advantage of this and become better motorists. Earlier, people used to take a licence and learn how to ride, but that will change,” he said.

According to the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, in 2017, around 30% of people killed in road accidents were two-wheeler riders, 46% of whom were in the 18 to 35 age group.

Under the initiative, applicants for the two-wheeler learner’s licence are trained in defensive riding techniques, traffic rules, road signs, rules of the road and more. The training is imparted through classroom sessions, followed by hands-on training on the simulator. The initiative started as a pilot in May this year, and 2,382 people have been trained in 123 training sessions. Ajay Govale, director (community impact), UWM, said they were planning to extend the initiative to at least two RTOs in Mumbai soon.

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