So this bit of news has gone round a couple of weeks ago – all licensed drivers are to retake examinations in 2018. But we have yet to hear any information campaign so we held back posting about it. The idea is being pitched to become a billing congress and the DOTC is supporting the idea. But if this ever pushes through, it would be quite interesting.

Driver’s education needed

We agree that a great deal of the traffic problems and road safety issues come from undisciplined drivers. How many drivers on the road act like entitled and arrogant jerks who feel that everyone else is a dolt? Too many. One can argue that it’s a discipline issue and that tests aren’t necessarily designed to evaluate attitude and habits.

Still, many drivers especially those carrying professional are in need of fundamental driver’s education. Pop quizzes and flash surveys often reveal that the average Manong Driver are unaware of meanings of road markings and road signs. What may complement and compound the lack of discipline is the lack of knowledge.

More stringent tests needed

The driver’s license test has been the butt of jokes over the years. Both the written portion and the practical portions need to be tightened up. Many of those questions don’t quite apply to the realities of driving today. And how they are phrased need to be corrected as some questions are ambiguous despite it being a multiple choice type exam.

As for the practical exam, it’s often a mere “formality.” I’ve seen people just have to move the test vehicle (which is often a dilapidated one) forwards and backwards and that’s about it. A stark difference with other nation’s driving tests where examiners have a multi-point checklist and involves points for actions to be done even before entering the car – like checking the immediate vicinity for obstructions. How many of us even do that in the real world?

Logistical nightmare

What we’re really curious about is how the government intends to roll this out. Given the many problems the LTO is still facing today, it’d be quite an amazing feat to manage widespread retesting. Just think about it. Today, queues even at satellite license renewal offices are quite long. Many still do not have plastic cards. If the agency is having capacity issues with simple renewal, how do they intend to manage retesting?

We know that many will think of this as an unnecessary move if only for the hassle of having to transact with the LTO. Who really wants to do government errands and transactions anyway?

A problem that needs multiple solutions

In the end, traffic is a problem with multiple interrelated causes. If retesting would help cull the unworthy drivers from the road that it seems to be a good step. However, the government must be quite certain that doing this will not cause any additional burdens especially for us responsible drivers and taxpayers.