(What we need more – automated driving test or automated enforcement? It is indeed a tragic when an infant dies due to another road user who cared less of the safety of others but other than feeling sad & saying our condolences, what we are doing to ensure another person does not dies in the same manner? Image source: the Net)
I was the first among the siblings to get a driving license although was not the first one to buy a brand new car in the family.
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Soon after I had joined to work in KL, it was obvious that there are times when I cannot rely on the public transport to travel between home and office. It was time to get my own driving license so that I could save up for a cheap bike. Knowing that it is good to have the kids to have driving license, my Dad was more than willing to sponsor the driving lessons and for us to sit for the exam.
I actually wanted to get only a motorcycle license since it was obvious back then that we will not be able to buy a car (at least for next few years). But my Dad insisted me to get a car driving license first before he allowed me to take the motorcycle license.
The problem was there was no car at home to practice so I had no choice but to rely on the little practice that I got at the driving school. I got a lousy instructor first so I did not get much proper practice then. He did not teach well and scolds whenever I make small mistakes. Soon the school replaced the instructor to another who is younger and more patience (I swear I did not complain the earlier instructor to the school’s management. It must be his other students).
Since my Dad wanted me to pass the car driving test first, I went for that exam first and believe or not, I ace it in the first try although I got 1 fail in the list – putting my indicators too late before I turn in. Once I passed the car driving test, I pestered my Dad for motorcycle riding license and I have some experience riding bikes at my Grandma’s house, borrowing my uncles’ bikes. Learning motorcycle at the driving school was easy although the final part of speeding and then braking hard without putting down your legs was tough.
This last part of the test was a pain when I finally went to take my motorcycle riding exams – I failed twice before I passed by the borderline on the third time. And that too I guess because of the examiner’s sympathy – it was the same guy who failed me in the 2 earlier tests.
Now the Road Transport Department have decided that it is high time for automated driving test:-
The Road Transport Department (JPJ) plans to implement its automated driving test or “E-Testing” system for driving schools nationwide by June. Its director-general Datuk Seri Shaharuddin Khalid said that under the new system, learner drivers will no longer have a JPJ officer sitting next to them during their driving tests, as this would all be done remotely.
The automated system would also be able to reduce waiting times for learner drivers as they would be able to secure driving tests more quickly. Besides automated driving tests, JPJ’s “table tests” are also on their way to being fully computerised.
So how the automated driving test works? An interesting video of a similar system in place in Delhi, India showing this works:-
Is it a good thing?
During the driving tests, you will see all drivers driving by the book – once entered the car, checking their rear mirrors, adjusting the seat, etc. And they will ensure they followed all the traffic rules so that they can pass. But once this is done and they are now back on the public roads, they are back driving like morons. Not putting on indicators when changing lanes was almost routine for most drivers even those driving brand new cars. Some speeding beyond the traffic limits, some drive way too slow as if they are out for a stroll in a park.
The other famed total disregard of the traffic laws would be the beating of the red lights especially pesky motorcyclists. Anyway the point is – it does not matter whether driving test is automated or not, it hardy makes any difference. The more important aspect of ensuring drivers follow the traffic rules, drive more defensively and ensure they drove safely is the need for greater enforcement.
We need more automated enforcement of the traffic laws more than automated driving test.