No stay on new test norms as HC dismisses driving school owners' plea

Representational image.

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Friday dismissed the driving school owners' plea to halt the enforcement of the fresh regulations set forth by the State Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) for driving tests.
In response to the decision, the driving school owners in the state have decided to continue their indefinite strike till Transport Minister KB Ganesh Kumar withdrew the official circular.

There were no obstructions to implement the new rules, observed the court. The owners have decided to approach a higher court against the HC decision, reported Manorama News. Meanwhile, the state government  has invited the driving school owners for a compromise talk.
The strike was declared on Wednesday, May 1, after a joint meeting by multiple associations, including CITU, INTUC, and the All Kerala Driving School Owners Association.

The revised norms aim at enhancing the evaluation of candidates' driving abilities across different road conditions. 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 MVD has allowed driving tests to continue under the old rules till new facilities are established, protesters claim that the department has not revoked the circular issued in February enforcing stricter testing norms.

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