August 31, 2017
At a time when the state government has made it compulsory for drivers to carry original licence with them from September 1 to avoid being penalised or punished, the Coimbatore transport department has on its part outsourced what it calls the road safety training programme to a private company. It would provide licence for two-wheeler users only if they produce proof of attending the programme.
Though sources in the department say Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India has taken up the assignment as part of its corporate social responsibility and would conduct free training programmes to two-wheeler riders, many feel it is a very good promotional activity for the two-wheeler manufacturer.
A company source says the two-wheeler riders who want to apply for licence in the regional transport office should undergo theory session on road safety for a day. Practical session, also for a day, is a must for women above the age of 18. “Our trainers will teach them about safe ride using our bikes,”he says.
The traffic park in the city would be used for this activity. A simulator which is placed there can be used by anyone undergoing the training.
However, the training is not necessary to obtain learner’s licence, says a transport official. Fearing that this decision might not go down well with the new vehicle users, he says, “Instead of saying that it is a rule, we have subtly said it is a new system.” This apart, those who are caught for drunk driving, helmetless ride and driving while talking over cellphone would be made to attend the training programme so that they get sensitised about road safety rules. Their licence or vehicle, according to the officer, would be released only when they attend the programme and produce the certificate.
The Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) would still continue to conduct classes for applicants, he adds. A driving institute proprietor says the move would not affect their business as the learners would approach them to learn driving and obtain learner’s licence. “Since the road safety training certificate should now be necessarily produced with the other documents to get permanent licence, we will ensure that the learners attend the programme and help them get it too,” he says.
While the police believe that this move would bring down the two-wheeler accidents in Coimbatore to a considerable extent, what leaves the road-users, who appreciate sending the traffic violators to attend the programme, wonder about the new system for getting licence is about the necessity to make the learners undergo the training session when such classes are conducted by the RTOs themselves.