The state government’s crackdown on motor driving schools is a timely and much-needed move. The Regional Transport Office (RTO) has been keeping a watchful eye on driving schools, and last year, ordered some 350-odd schools to upgrade their facilities and methods.
The proliferation of driving schools is a natural outcome of the increased ease in buying vehicles. Car loans are easily available and attractive offers on vehicles, especially during festival season, have led to an increase in vehicle owners.
The rules to get a licence are in place, but the implementation is erratic. The result is an outpouring of semi-skilled or unskilled drivers, and a rash of auto accidents. But the RTO has been cracking the whip in recent times, and this can only be for the good.
It has become mandatory for instructors to have a certain minimum level of education, and years of experience driving transport vehicles. The RTO has also implemented technology to streamline and improve the quality of the tests administered to licence applicants.
We regularly read about indiscipline on the roads, mishaps, big and small, and often instances of drivers speeding, breaking rules, and losing control. These drivers have the piece of paper stating they can drive, but they lack the driving sense that needs to go along with the knowledge.
Driving schools can remedy this. Maintaining lane discipline, obeying traffic signals, not endangering other vehicles -- these rules should be ingrained in the driver when he or she gets a licence. And a concerted effort can ensure that standards are raised and maintained.
The RTO is showing the way. Let us hope it continues in this vein.