A recent ruling by the Rajasthan high court has directed that Drivers incapable of reading signboards, warning signs and other signals will lose their driving licenses. The High Court ruled that an illiterate person is “virtually a menace for pedestrians” on the road and has directed the transport authorities to issue appropriate instructions, lay down guidelines and take necessary actions in cases where licenses were issued to people unable to read and write.
Speaking on the issue Central Government officials have argued that the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR) have no provision of a minimum qualification to obtain a driving license. However, every applicant has to pass the test which comprises of reading road and traffic signs and a few objective questions. It is only for a driving license for a commercial vehicle that an applicant must have a Class-VIII pass certificate.
In 2018, following a Supreme Court order, the road transport ministry had done away with the requirement of a commercial license for driving taxis, three-wheelers, e-rickshaws and two-wheelers (food delivery, etc). Interestingly, road accidents data of 2016 shows that close to 70 per cent of the total number of accidents that took place in the country was educated till Class VIII and above.