2.6 Million Driving Licenses For The Residents Of Karachi, A Herculean Task!

driving licenses for the people of Karachi

In reality, this is a ginormous issue. Judging the driving capability of people, checking and rechecking their papers and then issuing them driving licenses in such a large number is nothing less than a Herculean task. So in this regard, we are presenting the way Denmark issues driving licenses to its citizens.

Those Danish citizens who are interested in getting a driving license can get a medical certificate from their local doctor at the surgery. Also, the doctor will attest their photos as well. That medical report and attested photos are then dispatched to the local council office in a sealed envelope along with an application. With that application, you attach a report from a private driving school as a proof that you have taken 29 theory and 24 practical driving classes from a certified driving instructor. Your driving license test is usually booked and arranged through one of those private driving schools. First, you will take your theory test in which 25 questions are asked. Out of those 25 questions, you need 20 correct answers to pass the theory test. The test is of a pictorial kind and is made up of different situations. And you are expected to explain how you would drive through those situations and what kind of traffic rules are applied.

denmark-license

After that, you will undergo a practical driving test. For the test, a police official will ask you basic questions about the car and its functions. For example, they will ask you to demonstrate to them if the brakes are working fine, or if the headlights are working or not, and checking engine oil level of the car, etc. After the oral test, the official will sit in the passenger seat with you and you will drive and prove your driving skills. The practical test lasts for around half an hour. The official will take you around the city, making you drive through different traffic conditions (one ways, signals, parallel parking, roundabouts, etc.). And if he/she finds you to be a capable driver, they will mark you pass, and you will receive your driving license.

Those who go through this rigorous testing process, chances of them having accidents because of driver’s errors are very less. Making sure you drive in your lane, and behaving around other motorists are the fruits of such rigorous testing procedures.

You can’t even imagine driving without a valid license, or younger than an 18-year-old sitting in the driving seat. On the other hand, in Karachi, 90 percent of drivers don’t have a valid driving license. And to make the matters worse, the DIG’s call to catch and even jail those who are found without a license is putting extra strain on the already dwindling system. Bloggers around the internet are commenting that the process of acquiring licenses should be made easy.

Recommended Reading: Karachi And The Menace Of Underage Driving

I believe the government should implement some internationally proven system, with some local adjustments, of course, instead of shoddy shortcuts. The kind of a system implemented in Denmark is present in other developed countries with some changes as well. Copying it and implementing it here in Pakistan won’t be that hard.

First of all, what Pakistan government should do is issue a standard driving test course and procedure all over the country. The government should invite and help retired traffic police officials across the nation to establish authorized driving schools where only approved driving course will be taught. And you must get yourself a valid certificate, which will certify that you know the basic traffic rules and regulations, from those driving schools before applying for a driving license test. Either completely abolish learner’s driving license, or limit its use. Those holding a learners’ should only be allowed to drive with a passenger who him or herself holds a valid driving license.

Make theory and practical tests like proper exams. And to make it more accessible to people from all walks of life, provide a facility where you can take the test in your own language. In Denmark, you can take the test in Urdu if you want. They will provide you with a translator. Making basic driving rules and regulation information available to the students in schools and colleges won’t be bad either.

karachi-driving-license

Also Read: Campaign Against Non-License Holders: A Good Effort Ruined Due To Mismanagement

Issuing 2.6 million driving licenses shouldn’t just be about charging people few hundred rupees for a printed piece of plastic. Instead, it is about training them well to reduce driving errors and decreasing accidents. So making the process easy doesn’t mean to issue anyone with a license who visits the traffic office.

We must understand that there shouldn’t be any other way than following the traffic laws. You should stop yourself from paying few thousand rupees for a license to kill, and never try to drive on public roads without knowing the basics of driving.

There are those who argue that there isn’t any point in getting the driving license since the traffic police are going take money from you in both cases. I appeal to those folks as well, to change this concept of getting a driving license. The purpose of a driving license is to make you a batter driver, who have gone through proper training, and not so that you can avoid traffic police.

I beg you not to play with your and others lives. Get yourself a valid driving license so that you can accustom yourself with the traffic laws.

  • Visitor

    “what Pakistan government should do is issue a standard driving test course and procedure all over the country”

    Driving license is a provincial matter. Even then, the test requirements for physical fitness and for practical skill are the same.
    The medical requirements are written in the SECOND SCHEDULE of THE PROVINCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES ORDINANCE, 1965
    The practical examination detail is written in the THIRD SCHEDULE – TEST OF COMPETENCE TO DRIVE – PART I which is related to machine control and THIRD SCHEDULE – TEST OF COMPETENCE TO DRIVE – PART II which is related to traffic negotiation.

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    “implement some internationally proven system”

    Internationally proven system is already adopted. It just needs to be followed.

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    “process of acquiring licenses should be made easy”

    Process is already easy. Just that people are so lazy and do not bother to give importance to paperwork. The police system also likes bribes and do not want people to run on the standard method.

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    “invite and help retired traffic police officials”

    Few policemen retire. Most of them get shot.

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    “approved driving course”

    The highway code book is the course. It has become very good exceeding international standards since it was handed over to NH&MP.

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    “Making sure you drive in your lane”

    Please write an article consisting of a list of roads on which any lane markings are present!

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    “Those holding a learners’ should only be allowed to drive with a passenger who him or herself holds a valid driving license”

    This requirement is already there. Learner can only sit with a person in the passenger seat who has possessed a driving license for more than 3 years and the license is still valid. They should also install large red colored “L” marking in front and back of vehicle. The policeman awarding you the learner’s permit tells you at the time your permit is made. The writer should do more journalistic research before writing.

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    “Make theory and practical tests like proper exams.”

    Theory and practical tests are definitely like proper exams. Theory exam consists of a viva (oral exam) and computer based MCQs. In practical, usually they do not follow the whole requirements but you have go to through a few tests include parallel parking, 3-point turn etc. at the discretion of examiner which is recorded on camera.

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    “In Denmark, you can take the test in Urdu if you want”

    You have no idea of Pakistan then. In Pakistan (specifically Karachi because this article is about Karachi) you can take the test in Urdu or English. In both types of tests, the test has actually been written by non-native speakers. So the words are in English, but the grammar is Punjabi. Or the words are in Urdu, but the grammar is Sindhi. Therefore taking the test in Urdu is a pain because the questions are either confusing or outright nonsensical. Even you can ask the examiner with you what sense does this sentence make? It has no meaning at all. 6-year old can write better Urdu than this.

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    “The purpose of a driving license is to make you a batter[sic] driver”

    Is this a pun intended scenario? You really think the purpose of driving license is to convert people into battering rams. This is one of the places the poor English spelling of PW writers and editors have converted the meaning into something completely opposite.

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    “not so that you can avoid traffic police”

    You obviously have no idea how the lives of people revolve around avoiding the police. 13-D in 5000 rupee and missing persons case, Pakistan has become a state where people fear and abhor the guardians of the nation because of their bad antics, this includes all security institutions.

    Our all actions are just to avoid police rather than avoid the thief. Sadly, an interaction with thief is better than an interaction with police.

  • Agree wholeheartedly. I don’t know about the other test centers established all over the country but the one in Clifton, Karachi – it doesn’t even test the applicant on half of the requirements detailed in the schedule for practical demonstration. I should know – for the car, all I did was get in a car, start it, parallel park it in reverse and get it out again to back where I started it. On flat ground. The bike test was just a slalom through 5-6 cones.

    And the purpose of the license is to prove that you have demonstrated an ability to drive according to the legal requirements. A better driver (assuming he meant better) is not necessarily a license holder – I’ve seen quite a few rash drivers who are license holders.

  • Sanjay Natarajan

    The purpose of a driving license is to make you a batter driver, who have gone through proper training, and not so that you can avoid traffic police. – it should be BETTER DRIVER and not BATTER DRIVER…

  • Lazy Sapper

    Get a learner permit. If someone stops you, show that to him. He can’t fine you then because you have a legal learner license. It is quite easier to get learner.

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