How did you learn how to drive?
Did you teach yourself ('widow' style, as others say), or did your parents or friends coach you? Or did you enroll in a driving school?
If Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Edgar Galvante were to have his way, he would only go for the driving school option, especially now that the number of vehicular accidents blamed on driver error continues to rise.
In an interview, Galvante revealed that the LTO met with operators of different driving schools in the country to ask them to collaborate and come up with a standardized training program.
“Mas gusto namin mas formalized,” said Galvante, referring to the training modules of the driving academies.
Galvante brought out the issue of standardizing the format of driving training modules after some driving schools sought accreditation with the LTO to facilitate issuance of driver’s license. The driving schools are also said to be seeking accreditation for their instructors. But not so fast.
The LTO chief wants a standard training program that the driving schools must adopt before they are given official accreditation by the agency.
“Kaya hindi na pwede ‘yung ‘widow’ style of learning. Ito’y para mas maging maganda ang standards ng ating mga driving schools,” he explained.
It's short of saying that irregularities are still rampant in some driving academies that produce ill-trained drivers. Galvante called on these institutions to police their ranks.
The LTO chief wants basic driving training to include extensive seminars on traffic rules and regulations, and basic troubleshooting. He also wants to put an end on informal driving training usually done by a licensed driver accompanying a student driver in learning how to operate a vehicle despite the absence of theoretical knowledge.
Aside from undergoing separate formal advance driving seminars, the LTO is also studying the possibility of requiring applicants for holders of non-professional driver’s license to first gain a few years of experience before being allowed to apply for a professional driver’s license. Under the present set-up, holders of non-professional driver’s license can easily avail of a professional license a few weeks later, without being required to take formal advance driving skills training.
Instructors of driving schools, read this: You will soon be required to get a certification from the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) before you will be given accreditation by the LTO.
“Kaya gusto namin mas organized sila (driving school instructors),” Galvate stressed.