Move to scuttle project - Commissioner

Motor Traffic Commissioner General A.H.K. Jagath Chandrasiri said yesterday a conspiracy was afoot to scuttle the pilot project aimed at preventing malpractices at the driving licence practical test.

On Cabinet recommendations, the practical test process was handed over to the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and the Automobile Association of Ceylon (AAC). We have outsourced 75 practical tests to the Automobile Association of Ceylon (AAC) and the balance 25 practical tests to the SLTB.

Addressing a media briefing held in Colombo yesterday, he said the project will be conducted on an experimental basis for the next six months.

“Since this move has led to loss of income for certain examiners, they have got together with some driving instructors, owners of driving schools and brokers to protest against this,” Chandrasiri said.

“We took this measure after considering the complaints by applicants about the difficulties and malpractices they face during the practical tests. It is necessary for applicants applying for driving licenses for the first time, to appear before the relevant branch on the correct date given by the Werahera branch of the DMT to face the practical test. On the other hand, many complaints have been received that applicants have to spend a whole day at DMT branches wasting their time to face the practical test. The congestion will be reduced with this new move,” he added.

“There are also allegations that those who fail the tests, bribe the examiner to obtain the license. All these malpractices have resulted in undisciplined and unskilled drivers who would be prone to cause road accidents which are on the increase in the country.

He said the examiners were given the task of regulating driving schools, but they have not done their job in a satisfactory manner. We will now create a new mechanism to regulate driving schools,” he added. 

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