Committee removes driving school provision to obtain licences
The joint select committee examining the new Road Traffic Act has removed a provision from the proposed law that made it mandatory for an applicant for a driver’s licence to obtain a certificate of competence from a licenced driving institution.
During an intense debate on the bill yesterday, Committee Chairman, Dr Omar Davies, said while he was not opposed to the establishment of licenced driving schools, he believed the requirement should be optional.
Head of the Island Traffic Authority, Ludlow Powell, told members of the committee that persons who are trained to drive at approved driving schools are better drivers and more disciplined on the roads.
Powell further said drivers who are not properly trained are believed to be responsible for most of the accidents on the nation’s roads.
However, committee member, Fitz Jackson, said he had reservations about this arrangement.
Jackson argued that a parent or someone with the requisite knowledge and skills could train his or her child and prepare them for the competence test administered by the Island Traffic Authority.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Audrey Sewell, told the committee it does not matter where the individual acquired the requisite competence as long as the person is able to satisfy the authority’s competence requirements.
Meanwhile, during yesterday’s deliberation, it was highlighted that there is no requirement for riders of motor cycles to pass a competence test.
The head of the Island Traffic Authority said this would change in the new legislation where riders of motorcycles would have to satisfy similar requirements as those applying for a driver’s licence to operate a motor vehicle.
Currently, persons with learner’s licence can ride a motor cycle but are not allowed to carry a pillion rider.
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