Thursday, June 20, 2024

Chaos in Intelligent Driver Testing System (IDTS)

Since DRTS embarked on the Intelligent Driver Testing System (IDTS), there has been lot of anomalies and discrepancies that have led to inconvenience, confusion and increased costs to the learners. Driving practice used to be more enjoyable and comfortable to the learners and to the driving instructors because it used to be done with the convenience of both parties in terms of time.

The new IDTS has become more miserable for both instructor and the learner due to a lot of inconvenience such as practicing time.

One has to take leave from work sometimes with loss of pay and income.  The individuals who took theory test in Gaborone are forced to take the Test IDTS in Gaborone and they are not allowed to take the Yard test in other places like Ramotswa, Mochudi and the like. This is unfair from DRTS side because for a candidate to take the yard test he/she has the right to select his place of test according to his /her convenience. 

 Furthermore, testing should be equal and similar throughout the country.  The test according to the IDTS will be conducted in a Government vehicle fitted with the testing gadgets. A person who has done practice with the cones at a driving school has to change his /her mindset to the IDTS system first and practice with the driving school car in Marupula yard   which does not have any elements of testing gadgets. It is expected to have practice with driving school car and to give test with the government car which is not on par with testing procedures and not conforming to the standards of testing. For example, a form five student does the chemistry practical exam after practicing exactly the same tests in the chemistry laboratory environment before and during testing which makes the candidate comfortable in the laboratory and who is mentally prepared to give the test and it yields results. In the case of IDTS the candidate practices in a car which does not have the testing gadgets and when he /she gives the yard test all of a sudden, he /she is put on a huge car with the gadgets and expected to give the test.

This is not fair and not on par with the standard testing procedures.

It creates havoc, increases failing rates and costs time and money to the learners. 

 Furthermore, most of them fail immediately in a few seconds   after starting the test because they are not familiar with the car they are given for test and testing procedures.

An average of 20 learners out of 30 fails the test. In a normal case according to the standard testing procedures a candidate for   a test or exam should be conducted in a form of laid down procedures where the candidate has skillfully practiced. IDTS   testing is not fair and leaves a number of candidates in distress and demotivated. IDTS testing is not on par with the standard testing procedures according to American and British standard testing manuals. Simply put you cannot answer a question in the exam which you have not studied prepared practically.

Huge volume of learners could not give the yard test due to covid-19 in 2020. This created a backlog. Further the workload of Testing officers (Currently 4 in Gaborone and one in Ramotswa who passed away recently) is struggling to meet the demand.

In addition, almost 200 driving schools are suffering without students coming for training. This causes   lot of stress and chaos and leads to closure of training schools.

Hence, we request the authorities to temporarily suspend the IDTS and continue with manual testing for a certain period by conducting mass tests so that budding youth who have a dream of owning a car can achieve their dream.

That would also revitalise the training school business and diffuse the backlog. In order to have IDTS testing the candidates should be allowed to practice in the government car throughout the week including weekends.

Further in IDTS the candidates   should be allowed to give the full test irrespective of failing in one component which has to be credited and allowed to give the test in remaining components    which he /she was not successful in the previous test.

And let us have fair and standard driving test procedures which would save time and money.

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