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Transport clarifies imposing higher standards to obtain new driving licence

The Ministry of Transport yesterday said the proposed new ministerial regulation that will impose higher standards in obtaining new driving licence won’t be enforced soon but at least a year later.

The assurance came as the ministry is introducing new driving permit qualification standards requiring all new applicants to pass a certain number of hours of instruction.

The proposed introduction has caused a stir among the public, prompting the ministry to come out to clarify.

The ministry’s spokesman Jirut Visarljit said the public should not be overly concerned as many formalities will have to be passed before the proposed ministerial regulation is put into practice.

According to the spokesman, the new regulation stipulates that new applicants for driver license will now be required to pass a minimum of 15 hours of instruction at qualified private driving schools before receiving their permits.

Furthermore, current drivers who wish to renew their driving license will also now be required to undergo at least 1 hour instruction as well.

However he said the problem is that at present, there are only 95 driving schools in 60 provinces in Thailand that have been approved by the Land Transport Department.

As for the fees that will be charged for driving instruction, he said the Land Transport Department has stated that no specific amount has been approved but a maximum ceiling of 6,000 baht per course has already been agreed upon.

Commenting on the complaints Transport Minister Arkom Termpitthayapaisith stated that the ministerial regulation was a necessary and vital step towards raising driving standards in the country in order to lower traffic accidents.

He said that 80% of most accidents have been found to have been caused by either poor driving abilities or irresponsible and inexperienced drivers.

It is thus important to raise the bar higher for qualification for driving permits.

On top of providing a more comprehensive driving course, driving schools will now be required to ensure that their students are endowed with a higher degree of ethical behavior while behind the wheel of a vehicle.

The specified 15 hours minimum requirement is in accordance with the Moscow Pact that was signed by all nations approving higher standards of driver qualification, he said.

Thai PBS

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