MAJOR OVERHAUL NEEDED: The South African driving test does not prepare potential drivers for real-world conditions such as traffic, extreme weather and high-speed driving. Image: Shutterstock
CAPE TOWN - Earlier in January 2015 Wheels24 reported that British Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and young-driver safety organisation, the Under-17 Car Club trust, wanted the UK driving test to be more relevant to the real world.
For instance the driving test – as here in South Africa - does not include coping with country roads, poor weather or driving at night; aspects, the two organisations say, are the main risks in the first six months of solo driving.
Wheels24 readers ANDRIES PHILANDER and ERNEST MAROPENG shared their views on the SA driving test.
PHILANDER called for radical changes to be made:
I agree with the suggestions that the driving test should be tougher. Experience is one of the biggest concerns to young drivers.
Driving and basic traffic rules should be introduced at school. When I was at school we were taught basic safety rules to cross a road and told to wear reflective or light-coloured clothing walking on the road at night.
We had to be able to recognise and identify road signs as part of the Health subject.
Basic driver training needs to be instilled from a young age so that potential drivers will understand the importance of safety on our roads. Accidents don’t happen, they are caused by people’s actions.
ROAD CRASHES ALARMING
The human factor is the main cause of crashes so it’s time to respect each other and be more civil and polite on the road. Road crashes are alarming in SA and stricter training must be introduced.
The regulating of driving schools are being discussed and planned but not implemented. This would play a tremendous role in reducing the number of accidents and prepare learners for their test.
The education department needs to introduce driver-training programmes at schools to educate our nation. The courts must also play a role to be strict on offenders who blatantly ignore the law.
Driving instruction at night and under difficult circumstances must be introduced to assist young drivers.
MAROPENG calls for more training in ‘real-life’ conditions:
I fully support that the South African government must review its testing centres’ curriculum.
People are not being tested using real-life conditions and as a result are not able to adapt. Most of unfortunately do not survive.
Government should implement harsh punishment for reckless drivers such as those caught speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol. Instead, government just takes money.
I attended a Volkswagen advanced driving academy course and learned a lot about both vehicle electronics and skills required in different situations. I believe this made me an even a better driver and could save the lives of my family and other road users.
I highly recommend it.
Do you think the South African national driving test should be changed? What do you think government should do to decrease SA’s horrific road death figure? Email us and we’ll publish your thoughts.