A private survey showed that the Road Transport Authority approved 97 per cent of applicants of whom a majority failed to meet the 24 criteria under the Central Motor Vehicle Act, especially Section 27 that talks about concern for pedestrians. (Representational image)
Hyderabad: Hyderabad has recorded 235 pedestrian deaths up to July 2016, compared to 455 in all of 2015 and 420 in 2014.
There were several reasons for this. The prime cause was inadequately trained drivers including those holding valid licences. A private survey showed that the Road Transport Authority approved 97 per cent of applicants of whom a majority failed to meet the 24 criteria under the Central Motor Vehicle Act, especially Section 27 that talks about concern for pedestrians.
A large number of applicants pass 2-3 criteria like reverse, right and left turns and indicator, get approved for the remaining and are issued licences. Also, it was identified that agents still take the test as applicants and get the licence.
Road accidents deaths
Mr S. Adishankar of Roadkraft, an independent body associated with GHMC on road safety issues, said, "Pedestrians are the most vulnerable section of road users. A rough estimate indicates that pedestrians form 80 per cent of road users while six per cent travels in motor transport."
The two main reasons for pedestrian deaths were rash driving and the absence of safe road infrastructure for pedestrians. "Information obtained through RTI revealed that 97 per cent of applicants passed the driving licence test."
In foreign countries, the testing system is stringent and few people can obtain a driving licence in the first attempt. The pass percentage is 50-60 per cent, he said.
Mr S. Gyaneshwar, a road engineer and member of the group that conducted a survey on pedestrian deaths, said, the current system of issuing driving licences depends on conducting a test on a closed test track.
The candidate needs to drive around an ‘8’ figure, a ‘H’ and drive around the track. "This does not give the driver enough skills and confidence to drive on our highly complex and chaotic roads," he said.
Mr Gyaneshwar said that according to the Motor Vehicles Act, a candidate has to be tested on 24 skills and parameters before being issued a driving licence. "In the closed testing track, only three of the 24 skills and parameters can be tested. None of them includes any interaction with any other road user including pedestrians," he said.