Issuance of Driving Licenses is discussed in detail in MVRs of 1965, NHSO 2000, and in the Pakistan Road Safety Strategy 2018 – 2030. The first two of these were implemented when safety was not considered seriously and the absence of detailed SOP permitted various Licensing Authorities to partially modify the rules. These practices later became precedence and as a result, few basic requirements are not being adhered to.
- Types of Licensees are at points different in both these rules and the practice in vogue like moped, motorcycle & its attachment, categories of LTV & HTV and procedure of endorsement for PSV.
- Highway codebook has not been revised for years and the same is not readily available in Provincial languages too
- Possession of one lower category vehicle license and mandatory experience for each type of applied license is not being followed religiously
- As per available records, only 20-25% of persons driving or riding hold a license, and about 30% of these are not holding the license for the vehicle in their use
- Age limit for different categories and experience required for PSV is different
- Motorcycles don’t have the PSV addition but are now being used as a paid employee with new trends like Bikea, Uber, Food Panda, etc
- Medical tests and record-keeping of the same is not given due importance
- Additional tests needed to confirm drug addiction of drivers and staff are not there
- For PSV, HTV, and long route hauling vehicles staff other than the driver has no registration or proper record
- Insurance of vehicles, driver, staff, goods carried and passengers are not in conformity to present international standards
- Classroom training (by registered schools) for subjects mentioned in MVR is not being implemented
- The requirement of holding licenses for all vehicles being ridden or driven is not being ensured.
- Concepts of safety especially “Safe Road User, Safe Vehicle, Safe Road, Safe Driver, Safe Speed” etc are completely ignored
- Testing of applicants ability in few cases are left to the mercy of “Untrained” examiners
- Use of computers and especially simulators is neither visible nor planned
- The timing and process of licensing offices are not “Customer Friendly”. Very limited facilities are available for visitors and candidates
- There is no minimum education limit defined for any category of driving license
In view of the above and to streamline procedures for safely adopting better techniques it is proposed that:
1. Rules be implemented in their true spirit
2. Steps to be taken for implementing the vision
3. Traffic offices are redesigned to perform 24- 7 and as customer friendly
4. Medical, physical state and appearance of licensing applicant be treated as most important
5. Awareness campaigns are organized on safety, right of way, road sense, insurance, and age & experience needed for every type of license.
6. Also on the basic license of Car /Jeep/MC other categories be added when eligible, tested and qualified
7. Records for all training, courses, tests, challans for all drivers and vehicles operating in the respective area of responsibility be maintained.
8. Repeat clause for offenses with rules for cancellation of licenses be enforced
9. Gap between the number of vehicles and the right type of licenses be reduced
10. Driving schools be registered and they are given a role in the assessment of candidates
11. Most of a present lot of drivers will not be able to understand the documents and signage on CPEC routes
12. Use of computers for record-keeping, ready access to data, the right use of data and addition of computer & simulator testing be adopted
Way Forward – Proposed
- Detailed discussions with relevant authorities on these observations for framing and implementing a countrywide SOP
- Understanding and adopting “VISION” for Safer Road Travel promulgated by GOP and formulating respective missions and steps to be taken for their implementation by all DLAs countrywide.
- All licensing offices to operate 24-7
- Types and categories of licenses with age and experience for each be redefined
- Mandatory training prior learning license and simulation-based assessment for all renewals be agreed in principle and implemented soonest
- Minimum of matric for all licenses with immediate effect and from 2022 FA with speaking English (or Chinese)be made compulsory for all CEC routes drivers. Same rules are applied for renewal cases too.
- Promulgation of “Competent Authority” for rule 23 of 69 with revision of fees be agreed, promulgated and registration of existing mushrooms of driving schools be completed ASAP
- Training of trainers for driving schools teachers, assessment officers of DLAs be initiated
- Procedure for implementation of MVR 1965 Clause for driving-related associations be agreed, published and implemented
- Availability of High Way Code Book in all languages be ensured
Under Ministry of Communications meeting of all provincial and district Licensing Authorities at NTRC be organized to agree on revised rules of business and eligibility conditions
S O P – Countrywide
1. Training by approved institutes will be mandatory and only after this training FIRST Learning license of Car/Jeep/MC will be issued
2. Highway Code Book with the addition of subjects like Road Sense, Right of Way and Give way Arc will be provided to each participant as a personal copy
3. First Driving License will be issued for ONE year with next renewal for three and subsequently five years each
4. Each driver will maintain his own record book of medical tests, training, challans, and subsequent additions or deletions to his or her license
5. Medical, lab tests, and insurance will be a must for drivers of PSV, LTV & HTV, and other specified categories
6. PSV for each category including MC will be issued after one year of holding a license of that category and after review of his driving performance and challans.
7. Attending short “attitude and public dealing” training will be mandatory before issuance of PSV License
8. REVISED categories of Motor Cycle, HTV & LTV with age and experience required for each up gradation will be publicized and also included in revised High Way Code Book
9. Training certificate from registered driving school will be must for issuance of all types of licenses
10. Comprehensive new education standards requirement campaign be initiated
11. License cancellation, an increase of fine for a repeat, and subsequent cancellation with imprisonment for regular offenders will be ensured
12. Data of license holder, his previous offenses and penalties, etc must be readily available to all officers on duty
13. Old license holders will have to add required categories, when eligible, after going through assessment at the next renewal
14. Linking of data with NADRA to ensure “ One CNIC- One License”
15. E-challans, its information through phone, payment of fines, and reaching the limit of cancellation will be communicated regularly to every license holder, driver, his or her employer, and vehicle owner.
16. Parents, vehicle owner, and teacher of the school, institute, center, etc will also be responsible for ensuring “Safe Roads” & “Safe Road Users” and NO underage driving or riding,
17. Awareness for PPE, Lane Discipline, and observing Right of Way will be mandatory
18. Cancellation of licenses and imprisonment (when started) will be included in the daily media brief.
-Published on pages#36-37, October-2020 edition of MOBILE WORLD Magazine