New Delhi: The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has notified new rules for driving training centres.
Under the rules, the candidates who successfully pass the test at any accredited driver training centre will be exempted from the driving test requirement at the time of applying for a driving licence, which is currently being taken at the Regional Transport Office (RTO).
The rules, which come into force from 1 July, will allow only those private driving training schools to function which have been granted accreditation either by the state transport authority or central government.
A senior official in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said, “This is one such step in tackling the high number of road accident-related deaths that take place each year. We need only skilled and trained people driving on roads, who are aware of rules and are cautious.”
According to a road ministry report, India recorded the highest number of deaths in the world due to road accidents in 2019 and accounted for 11 per cent of accident-related deaths in the world.
The official also said that only those training centres will be allowed to function which have been given the go-ahead by the authorised agency.
The training centres will be required to renew their accreditation after five years.
What the new rules say
The rules also specify infrastructure requirements for the training centres and minimum qualifications to become an instructor.
The authorised agency should ensure that training centres for two-wheelers, three-wheelers and light motor vehicles have a minimum one acre of land. Training centres for medium and heavy passenger goods vehicles or trailers need to have two acres of land.
The instructors should have passed Class 12, have driving experience of at least five years, and be well-versed with traffic rules.
The ministry has also prescribed a teaching curriculum. For light motor vehicle driving, the duration of the course will be a maximum of 4 weeks spread across 29 hours. The course at these driving centres will be divided into 2 segments — theory and practical.
People will be required to spend 21 hours learning to drive on basic roads, rural roads, highways, city roads, reversing and parking, driving uphill and downhill, etc. The theory aspect will encompass 8 hours of the entire course. This will include understanding road etiquette, containing road rage, traffic education, understanding causes of accidents, first aid, and driving fuel efficiency.
Studies on road accidents in India
A March 2021 study said that if the present trend continues, there would be roughly 17 accident-related deaths in India every hour in the future. To understand the financial impact of such road accident-related deaths on households, a study by the World Bank stated that the socio-economic burden of road crashes was disproportionately borne by poor households.
To treat those involved in road crashes, the entire household income in low-income households declined by 75 per cent and by 54 per cent in high-income households.
At the time, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said the figures were alarming and that appropriate policy steps would be taken to address the same.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.