In Hyderabad, numerous unlicensed driving schools operate brazenly. Their operation appeared to have gone unnoticed by the State Transport department. As of right now, it has no record of any unauthorised driving schools.

As more people enrol in these courses in response to a high demand, it is now simpler to obtain new driver’s licences. Satyavathi, a resident of L B Nagar and the principal of a school, is unable to properly reverse her Renault Kwid. She lacks other necessities and doesn’t know where the puncture kit is. She admits that she commutes to work daily in her car, but “While I am driving, I am not at all confident. I finished my driving course and obtained my licence, but I still lack confidence.”

Thanks to the phoney driving schools that have sprung up all over the city, hundreds of people, like her, receive driving licences every month despite having dubious driving abilities. In the twin cities and the region of Ranga Reddy, there are more than 700 driving schools. Most are forbidden; they not only lack proper infrastructure but are unauthorised to process driving licences of aspirants. They do so by charging anywhere between Rs 8,000 and Rs 10,000 for training and securing a licence.

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According to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, driving schools must take theory classes for candidates preparing for a learner’s licence. These should cover road rules, make them understand signalling systems and other basics. A person can apply for a learner’s licence only after finishing the theory part.

But when one joins a driving school, which charges Rs 9,000, it would secure a learner’s licence within 3-4 days. Without any theory class, the schools offer trips of six km daily. After a month they hand over the licence.

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“I appeared for an LLR test last year at Hyderabad South Zone. I did absolutely nothing of the computer test. In fact, the RTA staff answered questions on my behalf, and I passed. The test for a permanent driving licence was also similar,” claims Yousuf Ahmed, a trader of Falaknuma.

M Dayanand, general secretary, Telangana Auto and Motor Vehicle Welfare Union, said many illegal schools have sprung up; they don’t bother about following safety norms given by the RTA. No proper training is being given by such schools, which leads to mishaps. Many schools do not possess proper safety mechanisms to teach driving skills; they put people’s lives at risk. “There are around 500 unauthorised driving schools functioning without renewing their licences in the city. Every motor training school must renew its licence once in five years. However, many fail to do so and operate freely,” added Dayanand.

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He also alleged that several branches of driving schools are run on a single licence. “A driving school registered in Saidabad runs many branches in other areas on the same license which is a clear violation; but so far no action has been initiated against them.”

He pointed out that to start a driving school, the minimum qualification is a diploma in automobile engineering along with a heavy driving licence and a separate classroom for theory classes. There are hardly any driving schools that have such facilities. Most run without a valid licence across the Hyderabad. #KhabarLive #hydnews #hyderabadlive #hyderabadi