According to official sources, 11 RTOs in these three districts would get light motor vehicle (LMV) simulator, heavy motor vehicle (HMV) simulator and computer-based driver assessment test to help while issuing driving licence for LMV and HMV categories.
“Simulators and other equipment are being purchased as part of the Road Safety Fund under the World Bank-funded Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project – II,” said sources. The three districts were selected
considering the high number of road accidents, sources said, adding that the simulator-based issuance of the driving licence would help test the applicant’s driving skills in the real-time situation.
The RTOs at Meenambakkam, Tambaram, Sholinganallur, Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Sriperumbudur, Maduranthagam, Tirukazhukundram, Tiruvannamalai, Arani and Cheyyar would get these simulators. With more than 90 per cent of road accidents happening due to drivers’ fault, the simulation-based test would help assess the skills of the applicant in a much better way.
A senior official from the Transport Department said that none of the RTOs have simulators to test the skills of the applicants as of now. The driving simulator would enable RTO officials to know whether the learners’ licence holder has the basic knowledge of driving and road sense before securing the licence.
“Simulator test is like a computer based test where a real environment like different lanes, dividers, pits and roadblocks would be simulated, and applicants will be asked to drive virtually. One must pass the test in addition to the normal testing on tracks,” the official said.
At present, driving tests are conducted by RTO officials on tracks inside the premises during daytime, where the candidates do not face the difficulty of driving on public roads. “The simulation based driving test would have road signages, traffic awareness and knowledge of road safety, and also different driving conditions and terrain to test the skills of an applicant,” the official said.