Kerala HC refuses to stay govt circular on new driving test regulations

The Kerala High Court on Friday refused to stay the Kerala Motor Vehicles Department circular, which introduces new regulations for driving tests. These regulations include compulsory dashboard cameras and a ban on using vehicles older than 15 years for testing.
Kerala HC
Kerala HC

Kochi | The Kerala High Court on Friday refused to stay the Kerala Motor Vehicles Department circular, which introduces new regulations for driving tests. These regulations include compulsory dashboard cameras and a ban on using vehicles older than 15 years for testing.

Justice Kauser Edappagath refused to stay the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) circular, stating that the Transport Commissioner has the authority to issue such directions, and it is not contrary to the relevant central law.

The court was hearing a plea filed by the Kerala Motor Driving School Instructors and Workers Associations and others.

The MVD issued a circular on April 4, 2024, amending the conditions for the driving licence test.

As per the circular, the applicant will have to undergo several real-life driving challenges and secure a pass to earn a licence.

The circular made it mandatory to have the road test on a road with busy traffic and to have tests on angular parking, parallel parking, zig-zag driving, and gradient testing before conducting an 'H' test on the ground. It was also mandated to have only 30 driving tests, 20 new and 10 from the earlier failed batch, per day.

The petitioners had contended that the circular was illegal and contrary to the Motor Vehicles Act and Rules and accused the state government of trying to impose restrictions and conditions in a haste.

As per the circular, for a two-wheeler driving licence, only motorcycles with gear pedals on the leg above 95 cc will be allowed. For the four-wheeler driving test, no electric cars or automatic cars will be allowed.

It also made it mandatory to have a dashboard camera and a vehicle location tracking device on the light motor vehicle used for testing, and these have to be installed by the driving school owner.

The driving instructor should record the test using the camera, and the memory card should be carried to the Motor Vehicles' Inspector.

This data will then be transferred to the MVD system, and the owner has to keep the memory card intact for the next three months.

The circular also mandated that no vehicle aged above 15 years should be used for driving tests.

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