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Driving competence


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THE “paid training” for would-be drivers is seen by many as an anti-poor policy of the LTO. The training provision of LTO, through its planned driving schools of its own, is not free. While LTO is designing these schools to charge lower than their private counter­parts, it will still entail costs to applicants of driver’s license.

Shouldn’t the LTO offer a “so­cialized” fee scheme for its driv­ing schools? Those who belong to the economically-challenged class should be given “full schol­arship.” The training provided by LTO should be a service and not a revenue-generation tool for the government.

While a driver’s license is a privilege and not a right (like education), a genuine licensing system for drivers in our country has direct link to many genuine interests of the public.

Should LTO proceed with the operations of its own driving schools, there should also be mechanisms that would ensure that the same offer “quality” train­ing to would-be drivers.

The quality of training not only of LTO driving schools but also of private driving schools and TESDA-trained drivers authorized to train applicants of driver’s li­cense is best measured through an effective driver competence evaluation.

What reforms does LTO have on the evaluation aspect of drivers’ competence?

Without addressing the prob­lems in the current system, which includes corruption, the new train­ing rules of LTO will simply be an additional opportunity for corrup­tion and will perpetuate the unsafe state of our roads, particularly caused by incompetent drivers.

It is common knowledge, for example, that answer keys to LTO written examinations are “for sale.” Will LTO introduce interven­tions that will prevent corrupt LTO personnel from selling answers to the examinations?

The practical examination re­quirement in securing a driver’s license has also been “for sale” as with financial consideration, no actual evaluation of driving skills is being done yet a passing mark for the examination is secured. Will LTO also introduce system interventions to prevent this from happening?

If corrupt practices in the evaluation system of drivers’ competence will not be ad­dressed, the training requirement of LTO, even with its conceptual value, will simply enrich corrupt LTO personnel.

Logically, the LTO should straighten and strengthen its driver competence evaluation system first before pursuing its new training rules. With an ef­fective evaluation system, those applying for driver’s license will, on their own, seek effective driv­ing competence training without them being compelled to do so by an LTO rule.

Reforms will only matter if they address not only the root cause, but also all the aspects, of a problem.

What do you think?

Written by Tempo Desk

Editorial Cartoon (March 3, 2020)

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