The government is trying to improve the quality of driving as part of the road safety drive. They are getting 65 simulators across the state at a cost of Rs 7-9 lakh each. Another idea in tow is asking educational institutions, schools and colleges to provide their grounds on weekends to be used as driving tracks.
These simulators will be installed at various drivers training institutes across the state. The senior officials from the Transport department said that they also tested on a couple of them wherein they found that the software now is tuned for left hand drive.
"Necessary changes need to be done in these simulators for which tenders will also be called for," said an official from the Transport department.
These simulators will have situations like bad roads, speed bumps, rains, heavy traffic, pedestrians and other things that a motorist finds on the road. These tests will be made mandatory for those applying for learners’ licenses. The Transport department is also finalising digital signatures called e-signs for people applying for learners’ licenses.
Moreover 50 motor driving training institutes will also come up across the state for which 2 acres land is needed. These driving institutes will be meant for training drivers especially bus and cab operators.
"For a city like Mumbai and its metropolitan region where land is scarce, we are working on an idea where we can approach schools and colleges for their ground that they can be used for training drivers at least on weekends," said Avinash Dhakne, Transport Commissioner.
This comes at a time when the RTOs have begun conducting various drives to check drivers' documents, fitness of vehicles and other details. In fact on Saturday night a special drive was conducted whereby in 12 hours they checked 3062 buses and caught 213 buses for various anomalies.
Most number of cases of buses being caught was in Thane with 539 cases followed by Pune at 472 cases. Of these in Thane 32 buses were detained while in Pune, 43 buses were detained. Opposing this, the private owners claimed that this was uncalled for as extensions for fitness certificates have been approved by the Centre plus it's wrong to stop buses at night and check vehicles as it causes inconvenience to passengers as well.
Meanwhile, the government is also unsure about how to tackle electric bicycles that are non-motorised. This is because a greater number of e-bikes are coming on road which doesn't come under Central Motor Vehicle Act.