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Driving Schools & Scientific Test Track

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My wife needed a 2 wheeler license, and went to Jnanabharati / Kengeri RTO yesterday. They don't conduct tests on their Mysore Road location anymore, and are requiring that the test be taken at the new 'electronic / scientific' test track at Mallathahalli. See this DH Report for more on the facility itself.

To her (and my) surprise, she found out that the driving schools were agitating against the introduction of this new facility, as it would be 'difficult' for their students to 'pass' the automated test. What life? I don't know the other side of the story; but couldn't help laugh at their demand. Whole point is to make it not 'easy' to pass the test, and then take out human intervention in the process. But that would mean, for a change, these schools would really have to teach 'driving' and cannot just 'guarantee' licenses anymore, right?

Her experience was for the most part pleasant. RTO hasn't fully shifted its operations yet (heard 24/Sept as the date). So, she had to apply in Mysore road facility but take the test at Mallathahalli. It is apparently in a not-so-easy-to-find location without signboards any where, so she had to drive around 45 minutes to locate it. Except the testing inspector, she found no one else (since driving schools were busy agitating and no one was taking the tests). He made her drive around the '8' loop which she passed. Another 20 minute drive back to Mysore road location and she had her photo taken for the license.

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Ravi_D's picture

Video of the automated track

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Found this video of the test track on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vO8TQvZWNyI

Rs 1.8 Crore test track! If it truly improves driving standards, money well spent. Not sure how scientific is its design. Is the lane width enough for a large sedan? Does it test everything that is needed - signalling, yield behavior etc.?

idontspam's picture

Only 8 loop test?

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 He made her drive around the '8' loop which she passed

Thats it? So this is true innit?

rackstar's picture

Only for commerical licence

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All know who are bad drivers in bangalore. Cars/cabs with yellow board. Such stringent driving test should be limited to commercial/ rent vehicle drivers only. Dont trouble all public with such difficult tests.

Ravi_D's picture

@rackstar

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Such stringent driving test should be limited to commercial/ rent vehicle drivers only. Dont trouble all public with such difficult tests.

What logic is that?

It is not a question of 'trouble', rather it is about if one can operator a motor vehicle safely and according to the laws of the land. Remember, license to drive is a privilege, not a right.

rackstar's picture

Yellow board guys drive

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Yellow board guys drive recklessly. They are the small percentage that jump lanes and come very close etc. If all public has to clear that test there will be long waiting time. You have to build 10 such tracks in Bangalore alone. Remember, in democracy we can bring "Right To Drive" legislation any time, similar to RTI.

Naveen's picture

Democracy not to be irresponsible

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in democracy we can bring "Right To Drive" legislation any time, similar to RTI

This sounds irresponsible. Rules are made to improve driving by all - not just the yellow board drivers. The officials have taken the initiative to improve the test process - let's learn to accept it even if it causes inconveniences to some. It's not just the yellow boards that drive recklessly. Most motorists drive badly in India.

jakkura's picture

This is a big nonsense-india will never change-invite corruption

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Do we want to make India a developed nation or wants to be a 3rd world country?

This is not at all fair, Praja has to protest for this nonsense tricks, Drivers need to follow rules and be more discipline for smoother traffic not this nonsense , the tricks will invite more corruption as many people will fail these kinds of tests particularly for 4 wheelers.

Please check these videos - a developed nation follow for driving tests:

DMV California Driving test behind the wheels:

Also, follow road rules:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4_TCvLmcoY&feature=channel

rackstar's picture

Exactly

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Yes, such strict tests make way for corruption. And long waiting time since only one track in whole of bangalore. So such test for all public will result in mayhem. Strict rules and too much discipline is recipe for disaster.

Ravi_D's picture

Debate on requirements for the test

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To say stricter rules make way for corruption and / or that different standards apply to differing classes of people makes little sense. We should strive to make the test a true 'test' of driving skills that are absolutely necessary. We all know how inadequate the RTO testing regime was till now (proof is already on Bangalore roads for everyone to see). Any attempt to improve is welcome, and automating much of the test by removing the subjective element, I think, is a good start.

We should discuss on how to make it better if it is not adequate enough (which might be the case here). Jakkura & rackstar, how do you suggest the test be improved? Clearly, opposing for the sake of it or maintaining status quo is not the answer. To think "india will never change" is not going to help any either.

rackstar's picture

if it ain't broke

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if ain't broke dont fix it. Private car people drive carefully because it is their own car. But yellow board people drive recklessly because it is not their car, also they are frustrated because they drive whole day. We are not making classes here, these classes are already there. "Commercial driver's license" is separate class and was made with some purpose.

Yes, making strict test only for commercial vehicle license definitely make things far better. It is very viable because it is small percentage - and one testing center for whole bangalore is enough.

Harrassing all people with strict rules in a democracy is bad, and people vote them out to change it back.

murali772's picture

lobbying?

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I wonder if both 'rackstar' and 'Jakkura' are from the driving schools, whose business is now going to be affected. Who else can come up with such absurdities as 'right to drive'?

Two days back, there was this report in the press about how a Pune doctor's teenaged daughter smashed up her dad's Merc, injuring many people and damaging many vehicles in the process, and even without being drunk. Some thing she did wrong led to her panicking, leading further to the mishap. If she had been subjected to the kind of testing you have in California, and other places, before being issued a license, I am sure, she would have managed to gain control of the situation and avoided the mishap. And, I am sure, she valued her dad's Merc, as much as the dad did.  
 

Muralidhar Rao
idontspam's picture

if ain't broke dont fix

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if ain't broke dont fix it.

What aint broke? Education in the 3E's is the main thing thats broke. I can only recommend you do some more reading up if you want people to discuss solutions seriously with you. Tragedy of Commons is a good place to start.

jakkura's picture

I am not from driving school

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We do not need to invent the wheel again. We can follow what the other developed countries already doing.

Else we will give a way for police and other RTOs to get more money under the table to pass these exams.

Also if you have these kinds of tracks, that means we have to go in that way in the bangalore roads?

like zig zag??

put proper lanes, lane discipline, cameras, registration every year, pollution control, etc measures

As a citizen of bangalore, I would like every one note that this is a flop show, it will not work for us as we have so much of population and police will become crorepathi..

 

enjoy your day.

 

Transmogrifier's picture

Tests from a 'developed country'

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@ jakkura and rackstar

Here's a driving test that I passed in a 'developed country'.

  1. Drivers begin by taking instructor/tester to their car (from the green box) who quickly checks the car for the essentials: functioning turn signals, horn, lights etc.
  2. Driver and instructor (no passengers allowed whatsoever) get into the car and although nothing is mentioned they are watching you for seatbelt use.
  3. Driver(s) drive along the route indicated by red arrows stopping at every stop sign (red circle). It must be pointed out that although there is NOT one more vehicle along the test route... yet the need to follow ALL rules (including making mandatory stops) is uncompromisable.
  4. Drivers do a rapid acceleration (from standing) and braking test along the back straight (blue arrows) and then back up (dotted blue arrow).
  5. A quick test of parking into a parking box (although its hard to tell in this picture) that has four corner markers with the expectation that you will center the car in the (orange) box.
  6. Car returns to the track (follows red arrows) and then driver goes to the end of track and does a 3-point turn (red box).
  7. Test ends with the driver returning to the parking lot.

Points are taken away for failing to stop at 'Stop' signs, improper signalling and making a 5-point vs a 3-point turn. Automatic failure is guaranteed if you touch any of the corner markers in the parking (orange) box of if you drive on the wrong side of the road. A total of 15 points (out of 20) is needed to pass the test

DMV visits rank among one of the least desirable things to do because it takes anything from 2 hours to a full day (from personal experience) ... but everyone does it. Private cars are not given a separate test 'because it is their own car' and so 'drive carefully'.

While the bike test does leave more to be desired, it does appear to be a good test of bike control and not to drive 'like zig zag'. Was good to see a parallel parking test included for cars (seen @ 3:40 here). Some more emphasis on making proper right turns, lane discipline etc. would also be great (not sure how this would be possible given the current setup though) .

---

TM

silkboard's picture

Jakkur sir, I am afraid

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Jakkur sir, I am afraid you may not have understood one basic thing. Regarding your statements:

Do we want to make India a developed nation or wants to be a 3rd world country? ... and police will become crorepathi

We are a 3rd world country, and some these police/rto etc become 'crorepathis' because of you and me. Why blame police and everyone else?

When I went to get my DL at K R Puram RTO, the agent/bribe route was easier, but the no-bribe route was also available, and clearly visible. It needed just a bit more time, and I used that option. Unfortunately, many people don't. I hope you are not one of them.

Ravi_D's picture

Automation of Test Tracks

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Developed countries (I have attended driving test in Texas & seen how it is done in S. Korea) use a method that makes a lot of sense. An inspector shares the drive with the candidate being tested, and checks off against a predefined set of actions as test proceeds. Whether it is done in a cordoned off test track doesn't really matter much.

And it works very well in places where the honest are the majority, and the general system works true to its spirit. We know how well to judge ourselves here, so it is anyone's guess what happens if this is what is expected at your driving test. In fact, this is how it is expected to work right now, and we already know the result. 

Automation, in my mind, can eliminate some subjectiveness, and therefore help. I'm not aware of any other such implementation to compare this Mallathahalli experiment with. But, I generally like the idea of sensors and inhuman systems ticking off the checklist. At the very least, this helps cases such as my neighbor's. He took the driving class, got his DL, bought his car, and and started experimenting in my street. Fortunately, he stopped and learnt his lesson just a whisker from disaster.

As rackstar pointed out above, commercial vehicle drivers may have to go through more rigorous testing. I know to drive an Auto, you need to have gone thru' a first-aid course. You may never be able to bring your 48 seater Volvo in that test track. But the principles remain the same. If one cannot pass a stringent-enough test,  no DL.

Transmogrifier's picture

Harrassing all people

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My point of going through that elaborate description here is (hopefully) to highlight that a driving test is not and should not be viewed as "Harrassing all people" but be viewed as a very legitimate way to weed out those who can drive from those who are not yet ready to.

As Ravi_D points out, automation is one (dare I say novel) way to actually root out the very harassment, already present in the current setup.

On another note, I had a family member who was learning to drive from a typical 'driving school'. When the trainee was exiting onto a major road, they understandably, slowed to a stop waiting for an opportune time to enter the flow of traffic. This was of course much to the consternation of the trainer who said... "Don't stop when entering the road, just keep going... let the other person stop"

TM

sanjayv's picture

@ Transmogrifier

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Dear Transmogrifier,

Sorry for this off-topic response, but unless I am completely mistaken that DL track you have posted looks like the DMV office in Gainesville, Florida, USA.  There cannot be two DMVs with identical test tracks and identical location of trees even.

Since I passed a driving test at that DMV, makes me very curious, that is all.

 

Transmogrifier's picture

@ sanjayv

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@ sanjayv

Gainesville, Florida it is! Go Gators(?!) :)

TM

skumaras's picture

Most drivers don't know how to make a correct left turn

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 >>>Don't stop when entering the road, just keep going... let the other person stop

I have noticed this peculiar habit among most drivers in Bangalore. They seem to think that at a junction or when they enter a major road from a side road and want to turn left, they have the right of way and they don’t even bother checking whether there are any other  vehicles on the main road. They just assume that the other vehicles will stop for them.

If the driving schools themselves don’t teach the basics of right of way and correctly stopping at junctions and yielding to other vehicles, we can’t fault the drivers for their poor driving habits.

I don’t know whether this is a problem only in Bangalore or all over India.


sanjayv's picture

Go Gators Indeed!

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 @Transmogrifier - Do we know each other? I'll PM you.

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