Driving schools in Kerala declare indefinite strike starting Thursday

Representational Image: Manorama/ File

Kochi: Driving school owners in Kerala have announced an indefinite strike from Thursday in protest against the new regulations introduced by the state Motor Vehicle Department for driving tests. The decision was made collectively by various associations, including CITU, INTUC and All Kerala Driving School Owners Association in a meeting here on Tuesday night.

The revised norms aim at enhancing the evaluation of candidates' driving abilities across different road conditions.
The government's plan to implement these new regulations from Thursday onwards has triggered opposition from driving schools, prompting them to organise a protest demanding the withdrawal of the circular detailing these reforms.

Key changes in the rules include limiting the number of driving test applicants supervised by a Motor Vehicle Inspector (MVI) per day to 30. This was later increased to 60 following intense protests. Additionally, vehicles with automatic gear, transmission, and electric vehicles are prohibited from use in the driving test. Moreover, driving schools are required to use vehicles no older than 15 years equipped with dashboard cameras for testing purposes.

Protesters argue that there are insufficient testing grounds in the state suitable for the implementation of new rules, except for one in Mavelikkara. Although the Motor Vehicle Department has allowed driving tests to continue under the old rules until new facilities are established, protesters claim that the department has not revoked the circular issued in February enforcing stricter testing norms.

The driving schools have also decided not to participate in driving tests, learners tests, and driving classes until the circular is officially withdrawn.

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