Prospective drivers seeking to obtain a driver’s licence will from June 1 undertake compulsory computerised driving test, says the Conference of Directors/Chief Road Traffic Officers of the Federation (VIOs).
Alhaji Garba Gaya said on Friday in Abuja that the policy would ensure sanity on the roads.
Gaya dropped the hint while inspecting the newly introduced sets of computers to be used for the drivers’ test in the Federal Capital Territory with some states’ directors.
Newsverge reports that the conference is an annual event of directors of road traffic services/chief vehicles inspection officers of the federation.
It is a policy review conference that brings together the directors of the various state road traffic departments to rub minds, share experiences and consider new proposals on road traffic management in the country.
It also proffers ideals and proposals that may assist government at all levels, motorists and the general public towards greater safety on the highway.
According to Gaya, June 1 has been scheduled as commencement date for the nationwide test in an effort to upgrade the manual and oral means of testing intending drivers before the issuance of vehicle licenses in Nigeria.
He stated that the issuance and use of fake licences, which had hitherto been the trend in Nigeria, was now a thing of the past.
“This, according to the National conference of Chief Traffic Officers in Nigeria, will reduce the menace of fake driving certificates being issued by unauthorised driving schools that produce unqualified drivers across Nigeria.
“We are by law the chief safety instructors in Nigeria, as far as safety on the road is concerned,” he said.
Gaya noted that the responsibilities of the VIOs also included inspection and testing of vehicles to ascertain their road worthiness before being licensed to be on the road.
The chairman also said that it was the sole responsibility of the VIOs or RTOs to conduct theory tests and practical tests on those seeking to obtain drivers’ licenses.
“After the tests the successful applicant will be referred to FRSC for bio metric capturing and printing of the document, the driver’s license is then officially issued by RTOs/VIOs.
“Vehicular accidents in Nigeria are surprisingly not mainly as a result of bad roads, rather the vehicles and the drivers.
“Over 10 years now, the greatest numbers of accidents recorded are caused by ill trained drivers who have a bad attitude to safety on the roads,’’ he said.
“The body of VIOs has resolved to bring back the glory of Nigerian drivers’ license that is compliant with global best practices.
“In other climes, after successful completion of driver’s license test, it is most times lavishly celebrated as if a baby is delivered to a family.
“This test is based on the Nigerian Highway Code which is the rules governing safety and driving on the road.
“Majority of driver’s license holders today have not seen or read the Highway Code, yet they are in possession of original Nigeria driver’s license,’’ he said.
Gaya said the body of VIOs would no longer take the back seat in determining the destiny of road users.
“We are here united to say never again will an untested and unqualified person acquire the Nigerian driver’s license through the back door.
“The time for full implementation of Computerized Drivers Theory Test cannot be more appropriate than now,’’ he said.
The chairman estimated that more than 100 billion dollars was being lost annually due to road traffic accidents.
“This is almost twice the total development assistance received worldwide by developing countries,’’ he stated.
The programme, he said, had also been domesticated to cater for special needs in the society as the test is available in five major Nigerian languages; namely Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, English and Pidgin.
“For those who cannot read and write, there is an audio devise that will take the applicant through the test.
“The body, therefore, call on all stakeholders, driving schools and the 36 states governors to key into the programme by making sure that it is given the desired attention,’’ Gaya said.