New students must undergo 15 hours of practical driving training at minimum
Bandar Seri Begawan - A number of new directives were recently issued to driving schools in the Sultanate in the effort to keep the driving learning system up to date and further improve learning effectiveness as well as reputation of the schools.
One of the latest rulings is for the extension in practical driving training hours, going from the previous 10 hours to a 15-hour minimum for new students before they are allowed to sit for the practical exam, revealed the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Communications Dato Paduka Haji Awang Alaihuddin bin Pehin Orang Kaya Di Gadong Seri Lela Dato Seri Utama Haji Awang Mohd Taha yesterday during a dialogue session with driving school owners, instructors and assistant instructors in the Sultanate.
The dialogue, attended by over 70 driving instructors including assistant instructors, was held at the Ministry of Communications at Jalan Menteri Besar.
Organised by the Committee for Driving School Permits and chaired by the Permanent Secretary, the session allowed for the sharing of feedback and discussion on current issues pertaining to effectiveness of driving schools, service quality and in finding ways for improvement to enhance the schools' image and reputation.
Dato Paduka Haji Awang Alaihuddin said a driving school 'grading system' has also been introduced recently, covering aspects on capacities, learning quality, driving instructor's delivery quality and the driving school's environment.
"This will give consumers or members of the public the choice where they can be easily directed to a driving school with good quality," he said.
He added that they are also constantly monitoring driving instructors who have attended 'defensive driving courses' to ensure that they disseminate sufficient information to drivers-to-be in the driving curriculum.
A 'demerit point' system has also been introduced for all driving instructors to monitor their performance in the aspects of discipline, attitude, appearance and teaching methods, he explained.
He later revealed plans for implementing a computerised 'Highway Code' learning system, which is expected to be rolled out for all districts soon.
Meanwhile, Land Transport Department (LTD) Director Haji Khalid bin Haji Mustafa in his speech urged all driving schools to heed the latest directives. He also revealed plans of making it compulsory for all new Class 1 (Motorcycle) and Class 5 (Heavy Vehicle) driving permit applicants to sit for highway code exams before being issued permits.
Before the closed-door session commenced, Dato Paduka Haji Awang Alaihuddin expressed hopes the dialogue session would enable the exchange of ideas between owners, instructors and assistant instructors so they can generate highly skilled and responsible drivers.
"We also would like to raise awareness on the driving schools' roles and responsibilities and their importance in contributing to the safety of Brunei roads," he added.
Also present were representatives from the Investigation and Traffic Control Department, Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF); enforcement officers and senior officers from LTD and the Ministry of Communications.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin