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Driving licence test failures increasing.

The drastic increase in the number of people who fail the driving licence examinations and mounting complaints in the manner which examinations are conducted, once again put the spotlight on the operations of the National Traffic Information System (NaTis).

Trainee driver applicants and instructors are seriously worried about the situation, as more learner drivers continue to fail the road test. They are against the structure of the examinations for the learner drivers, saying that they were being discriminated against.

Most of the applicants interviewed by the Economist at the office of NaTIS in Windhoek, admitted that the performance in driving licences examinations has reached an unprecedented low pass rate.

"It is really discouraging and you got to have a nail as well as hammer to pass the examination in Windhoek. This is not a joke becauselO driving schools take their learners outside Windhoek to go for their drivers licence test in other regions, every Tuesday and Thursday," said Dolly Gerson, instructor of Dolly's Driving School.

According to Gerson, the examiners also disqualify both car and applicant in case there is a problem with the vehicle to be used for the examination. As an instructor, when this disqualification happens you have to pay for another N$110 for registration fee to re-take the examinations.

He added that NaTIS expects applicants to pass all the sections of the examination and if they fail even one of the sections, the learners must start the process of examinations arrangement all over again at NaTIS.

Gerson asked, " Why is that NaTIS cannot allow applicants to re-take or re-write the particular section they did not pass and credit them for the examination passed."

He said government should take measures against instructors of driving schools who acquire their driver's licence after two months and start teaching learners, as these people are not suitably experienced and so contributes to the high failure rates of learners in the country.

"Instructors need NaTIS certification before they can train people. NaTIS examiners also need to be well trained and qualified from a well recognised institution in Namibia and aboard," Gerson said.

Rossie Steyn, instructor and owner of NED Driving School, said NaTIS examiners are not friendly and are unaccommodating when they conduct examinations.

She said: "Driving examiners do not have a detailed list of errors that they can share with the learners after the test has been completed. Driving examiners are not trying to make the learners relax when they go through the test. They need to be professional when they do their job."

When interviewed, examiners' supervisor at the Transport Information and Regulatory Services at the Roads Authority, Lucas Tshuuya, said 2989 applicants have been tested between May to October by the driving examiners but only 720 passed and 2269 failed the test.


"Those who failed the driving test are those who lack necessary skills and proficiency in yard vehicle manoeuvre or road test. Applicants tend to be nervous, anxious, and panicking as soon as they are subjected to the driving test by the examiner. They are not encouraged to be confident in order to remove anxious, nervousness, panic and shyness when tested," Tshuuya said.

According to Tshuuya, the only solution to the high failure rate is for the applicants to prepare when coming for a driving test, or for their driving instructors to evaluate them before they come to the driving test to see whether they are ready or not.

He advised that the public should be informed that driving test is performed only at NaTIS offices, and not at bars, streets, building corridors or toilets. "The public should know that to obtain a driving licence is when that applicant pass the test by a driving examiner at NaTIS offices and not by paying an individual or examiner directly. These acts of corruption and bribes are gravely contributing to road accidents which claim lots of lives," Tshuuya concluded.
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Title Annotation:Auto News & Transport Services
Publication:Namibia Economist (Windhoek, Namibia)
Geographic Code:6NAMI
Date:Nov 26, 2010
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