Transport Dept to make driving test compulsory to get hill endorsement in driving license

Wednesday, 19 June 2024 | PNS | DEHRADUN

Considering the alarming number of accidents on mountainous routes due to inefficient drivers during Char Dham Yatra and tourist season, the Transport department will make it compulsory for drivers of commercial vehicles to get their hill endorsement in driving license from next year. The department will set up automated driving test centres in 10 locations across the State and will issue hill endorsements only after the test of drivers of commercial vehicles at these centres, the joint transport commissioner Sanat Kumar Singh said.  

He said that there are currently only three automated driving test centres in the State which are established in Dehradun, Haridwar and Rishikesh. However, only the one in Dehradun is functional at the moment. The department plans to establish similar centres in other cities including Kotdwar, Almora, Haldwani, Pithoragarh and others. The department is currently identifying suitable locations for establishing these centres in some cities and the construction of some of these centres is nearing completion, he said.

Singh informed that a hill endorsement of a driving license will have a validity period like a driving license and the driver will not need to make it every year. He also said that the department is also considering making green cards compulsory for tourists from next year for better management of people visiting the State. The green cards are currently issued only to people visiting Char Dham shrines. A recent spate of accidents in mountainous routes in the State that led to the death of over three dozen people has raised questions about what kind of drivers are being allowed by the authorities to operate on mountainsides.

Apart from irregularities like overloading, overspeeding and damaged roads, driving by inexperienced drivers on the mountainside is also one of the main causes of the accident. The department has been issuing hill endorsements online since Covid which restricts their ability to verify the efficiency of the drivers to operate on mountainside. It appears that the department came to action after a tempo traveller vehicle carrying 26 passengers fell into the Alaknanda River in Rudraprayag on June 15 in which 15 tourists died.

However, Singh said that the department has been considering making the driving test of drivers of commercial vehicles mandatory to get their hill endorsement of driving license for quite some time. It will be executed properly from next year, he added.

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