Driver Training & Assessment

The Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) took the initiative in 1998 and developed standardized Driver Training Systems, processes and a vast training curriculum. Over 650,000 drivers have since been trained by IRTE and each of these drivers has gone through a process of pre- and post-training assessment.

The following subjects are included in the courses conducted at the School of Driver Training

  • Problems faced by the drivers in the current road and driving environment
  • Driving License and its requirements
  • Causes of Road Traffic Crashes and Violations
  • Recognising the needs of Vulnerable Road Users
  • Vehicle: Understanding Basics, inside and outside the vehicle, Maintenance, Fuel Efficiency, handling techniques, Important components like tyres and performance
  • Traffic Control Devices: Importance and understanding of Road Signs, Markings and Signals – Recognition – Meaning – Action
  • Factors Affecting Driver Behaviour: Health, Hygiene, Stress, Fatigue, Hours of Driving, Drunken Driving, Drugs and Medicines
  • The Rules of the Road Regulations & the Right of Way
  • Basics of Defensive Driving & Hazard Perception
  • Qualities of a Responsible Driver
  • Handling of Emergencies and Incidents: Vehicles/Human
  • Code of Conduct on Road: Lane Discipline, Overtaking, Speeds, Acceleration/Deceleration, U-Turns, Stopping/ Parking, Driver Signals, Night Driving, Mirrors, Moving Off, Tailgating

Road Safety is the product of a complex system that involves interactions among the vehicle, the environment, and the road user. There are many ways to impact this system, including through road and traffic engineering, traffic legislation, driver training, traffic enforcement and post crash management. However, amongst all these, the behavior of the road user, and specifically, the behavior of the driver remains one of the most important least well understood, elements of safety on the road.

When compared to driver training systems in the developed world, the system for driver training and assessment in India has much room for improvement. The major shortcomings in driver training in India can be attributed to the following-

  • Inadequate norms for training and assessment of motor licensing officers and instructors (resulting from the fact that there no legislative stipulations in this area)
  • Lack of recognized research institutes for training of officers & Instructors
  • Lack of access to modern tools and systems of driver training & assessment
  • Issuing of driving licenses to those who do not meet the basic legislative criteria; (this happens because overburdened licensing officers lack the time, systems, and knowledge required for proper issuance of licenses).

The Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) took the initiative in 1998 and developed standardized Driver Training Systems, processes and a vast training curriculum. With global associations and partnerships, IRTE invested significantly in the research and development of these programmes.

At that time, it was not considered practical to simply replicate Western systems of training because there were no uniform traffic engineering standards in the country. The Rules of the Road Regulations which form an essential component of driving legislation are dependent on a standardized road environment, where traffic control devices like road markings, signage, and signals are uniformly installed and enforced. Unfortunately in India, majority of these devices is not available uniformly or are not as per standards. The Indian standards for traffic control devices have serious shortcomings as these have not been based on research and they are not in line with current traffic needs. Above all, many of the devices used in the country do not comply with the legislation.

When control devices are not standard, not mandated by legislation or not installed there is no respect for them and the foundation of driver training rests on very weak grounds.

Keeping the above mentioned shortcomings in mind, IRTE further investigated the availability of driver training procedures in the country and realized that most of these procedures were not based on factual conditions, instead these were more theoretical and based on idealized situations that are not actually found throughout India.

Focusing on actual conditions our research used a bottom-up approach to develop an innovative methodology with immediate as well as a long term solutions.

The bottom-up approach has been defined by IRTE “as understanding the cause of violations through scientific research—-including video recording, accident investigation, safety audits of roads and related environments, interviews of drivers and road users— and integrating the research findings with standards and legislation to develop tools and systems of training to meet the needs of drivers in different categories.”

This approach also addresses the health and factors that affect the performance of drivers, such as fatigue, and the consumption of alcohol, medicines and drugs which directly impair driving ability.

Target Group

Our courses are designed for :

  • Driving Instructors
  • Motor Licensing Officers
  • Managers of Fleet Organisations
  • Drivers of Medium/ Heavy Cargo Vehicles
  • Drivers of Buses including School Buses
  • Drivers of Vehicles carrying Dangerous and Hazardous Goods
  • Drivers of Light Motor Vehicle including Auto Rickshaws
  • Physically Challenged Drivers
  • Two Wheeler Riders
  • Driver and Pullers of Non-Motorized Vehicles

The New Methodology

IRTE developed practical tools and systems including an interactive training methodology which could work even with illiterate drivers.

Each instructor is well trained to ensure the highest quality of subject matter delivery through a process of continuous re-training and evaluation. Instructors were selected for their ability to communicate with the varied levels of stakeholders, from illiterate lorry drivers from the unorganized sector, to drivers with disabilities, to the executives of leading corporate organizations.

To contribute to long-term improvement, IRTE has conducted years of research so that it can advise the government on legislative changes as well as improvements to the standards for traffic control devices. In addition, IRTE has benefited from the participation of its founding president, Dr. Rohit Baluja, in the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration and his participation as an Observer Member of the Working Party-1 of the UNECE, which serves as the custodian of the UN Conventions of Road Traffic & Signs and Signals.

IRTE has developed research-based driver training courses that are comprehensive, practical, and meet the requirements of different stake holders in the Indian environment. Over 650,000 drivers have since been trained by IRTE and each of these drivers has gone through a process of pre- and post-training assessment. This assessment has helped IRTE better understand the needs of drivers and identify places where instructional methods need to be improved.