Driving school adopts new tech to ensure fair tests.
CATHERINE W GICHUKI
FOR the past two months, people receiving training at Al Khebra Driving Academy have apparently no Traffic Police officers sitting with them to give instructions about L and Parallel parking while taking their tests, thanks to the adoption of a laser technology, the first of its kind in Qatar, by the school.
In the new system, instead of six Traffic Police officers giving instructions to the trainee drivers and examining their performances as in the old system, a single officer monitors and assesses on screen the performances of all sitting in the Control Room with greater accuracy.
A number of video cameras are installed in the Control Room, which allow the Traffic Police officer not only to see the car used in the test from different angles but also the trainee driver at the steeringwheel.
Thus, if a trainee makes a mistake, the cop will immediately know about it through the sensor. The new system leaves no room for complaint by drivers as their performances are recorded and no subjective discretion is involved in their assessment.
Besides, the Control Room also has a radio whereby the traffic officer communicates with those on the ground.
Speaking to Qatar Tribune, Al Khebra's Training Manager Mohammed AlShaikh said that earlier, six Traffic police, including 2 women and 4 men would conduct a test, which often made the drivers nervous affecting their performances.
"Earlier, there were five or six policemen watching a student while undertaking a test. Now the students are alone in the car free to use the skills that they have learnt at the Academy in their own ways during the test. The Traffic official can also examine the performances more accurately because of the advanced sensor system," he said.
He added,"The officer can hear and see whatever is happening inside and outside the vehicle. We are the first driving school in Qatar to have this kind of technology. Now the Traffic officers do not have to stand outside while conducting the test."
According to Mohammed, although installed in January the cameras were approved by the Traffic department only two months ago."
According to Mohammed, on an average, about 80 people undergo the theory test whereas 70 face practical at the Academy every day. On Wednesdays, only women trainees appear for the test.
Mohammed further said that the Academy boasts of having competent instructors who strive to bring out the best drivers in town through their high level of training. Besides other courses, the Academy offers a VIP course for those trainees who would love to have a VIP treatment during the training.
Meanwhile, Samson Mutahi, Operations Supervisor at the Academy, said that the Academy has already attained ISO certification.
"Currently, we are only using one Traffic Police officer to conduct the test. The new system helps to record all the data with regard to the test for policemen's scrutiny," he said.
Academy Manager Omar Haballo said the new technology would give students more confidence when taking their tests as the policemen would not be on the testing ground with them.
He added that many students had failed the tests because they were scared by the presence of the officers.
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