Driver's license woes: Tryout computer based provisional tests


More than 3000 candidates from Kigali sat for the provisional driving licence tests held on Monday. File


RE: “Why is it difficult to get a driver’s license?” (The New Times, September 6).

This is the second article this year about the trials and tribulations of the driving permit seeker and in my opinion, we can do much better.

Let’s unpack a few of statements made in the article:

One Kabanda said that “it is currently not provided for in the regulations” adding that the “Police would not consider changing unless the regulations are changed.” This begs the question, who is in charge of changing the regulations.

Look, this is not to say that there is something inherently wrong with them, but one has to ask, when were the regulations drafted, how much has changed since their drafting, and are we going to hide behind regulations instead of identifying the issues at hand that those that drew up the regulations could not have anticipated at the time?

Here’s another quote in the article: “The Police is working on setting up their own driving school and traffic administration facility in Kanombe. The facility— which could be operational in the next two years—will, throughout the year, offer lessons and tests. It is expected to push the private driving schools to be professional as they will face competition.”

Now this is great news! May I suggest that you consider starting with daily computer based tests for the provisional license that can be taken at our local police stations? This can be achieved in the short term and the technology is not nearly as complicated as allowing applicants to register via Irembo or the system allowing traffic offenders to pay their fines on the spot.

It makes no sense that people have to sacrifice entire days to go for driving tests. We have embraced technology in almost all aspects of our lives and yet we still have people thronging to the stadiums to do paper based tests.

This will free up officers who have to mark the written exam and allow the force to administer the practical exam for two weeks every month instead of one, hence reducing the backlog while we wait for the traffic administration facility.