Fri, Jun 24, 2011 - Page 2 News List

MOTC rejects trial road test proposal

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) yesterday rejected a planned trial road test program for driving schools, saying more planning was needed before the policy could proceed.

The Directorate-General of Highways had proposed launching the trial next month, but this was rejected at a ministry meeting yesterday.

At present, departments of motor vehicles or driving schools around the nation administer the road tests, in which drivers are asked to drive on a designated test route to -assess their abilities in a number of scenarios, such as backing into a parking space. Those tests are held in a controlled environment and not on the nation’s roads.

For many years, the directorate has said actual road tests were not possible as it would be difficult to locate suitable places to administer the tests. It also expressed concern that once such areas were made public they would be inundated with practicing learner drivers.

Critics say the current test cannot assess how drivers react in real situations and that many simply pass the test by memorizing advice given by their driving teachers.

Even after obtaining a license, many drivers remain reluctant to drive on actual roads, they say.

Department of Railways and Highways Director-General Chen Yen-po (陳彥伯) said the ministry considered it inappropriate that parallel parking would not be tested in the proposed road test.

The directorate’s proposal that the trial road tests would be held for three years before becoming mandatory showed it had yet to thoroughly consider possible scenarios, Chen said.

The directorate was asked to review its proposal and another meeting will be held next week, he said.

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