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Under the current mode of testing, new drivers are tried on the theory part on a model town roads board, which checks for proficiency in road rules/FILE

Kenya

Motorists opposed to written test in NTSA changes

Under the current mode of testing, new drivers are tried on the theory part on a model town roads board, which checks for proficiency in road rules/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 16 – A motorists’ welfare lobby group has opposed a proposal in revised National Transport and Safety Authority which will see drivers only get licenses after passing the elaborate test comprising theory and practical exams complete with periodic continuous assessment tests.

Motorists Association of Kenya Chairman Peter Murima said the proposed curriculum is impractical adding that the driving task is a hands-on skill that requires years of training, retraining and road experience to master as opposed to sit-in exams that do not reflect true Kenyan scenario.

He noted that the theory-based exams starting next month will see new and old drivers, including many in the informal sectors subjected to superfluous academic tests.

“The 5 million-plus motorists are safe drivers and one or two reckless ones should not be used as a yardstick to subject all and sundry to rigors of elitist driver testing. Kenyan drivers are known the world over for their skills in driving on narrow sometimes potholed single carriage archaic roads safely. For example, the matatu driver and the truck driver are very experienced and good drivers,” Murima said.

“Road crashes are caused by many factors which include road design, corruption perpetuated by the same government agents in licensing and enforcement now purporting to introduce ‘changes’ It is common knowledge that the officials are too willing to issue DL in exchange for bribes. The halfbaked drivers let lose to maim and kill are a creation of licensing officers,” he added.

Under the current mode of testing, new drivers are tried on the theory part on a model town roads board, which checks for proficiency in road rules.

Unlike the previous training the drivers will now delve deep into topics like traffic safety as well as explore the impact of traffic crashes and acceptable alcohol limits.

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