Pass rate for peo­ple tak­ing driv­ing test just over 50%

● Learn­ers spend up to €1,000 in the course of a year be­fore tak­ing test

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Neil Camil­leri

Just over half of the peo­ple who sit for a driv­ing test each year ac­tu­ally pass and get a driv­ing li­cence, data ob­tained from Trans­port Malta and Par­lia­ment shows. The av­er­age num­ber of peo­ple who suc­cess­fully sat for a driv­ing test since 2010 was 53 per cent.

Be­tween 2010 and 2016 an av­er­age of 12,731 peo­ple sat for the test each year but only an av­er­age of 6,792 peo­ple passed.

Trans­port Malta pro­vided us with the num­ber of first time passes be­tween 2010 and Oc­to­ber 2016 but was un­able to give us the num­ber of peo­ple who sat for the driv­ing test for the first time each year. This meant that we could not cal­cu­late the suc­cess rate of peo­ple who sat for the test for the first time.

How­ever, the data shows, as ex­pected, that the largest group of peo­ple sit­ting for the driv­ing test is made up of 18 and 19-year-olds. 5,506 peo­ple aged 18 and 19 sat for the test in 2015 while 5,053 peo­ple in the same age bracket sat for the test the fol­low­ing year.

The num­bers of peo­ple tak­ing the test in­clude for­eign­ers, re­peat test-tak­ers and in­di­vid­u­als who sat for the test af­ter they lost their li­cence over nu­mer­ous con­tra­ven­tions.

In the mean­time, sev­eral peo­ple who spoke to this news­pa­per ex­pressed con­cern about the low pass rate. Al­though on the one hand this could mean that mat­ters are taken se­ri­ously, on the other hand a low suc­cess rate means more money for Trans­port Malta and also for the driv­ing in­struc­tors.

Would-be driv­ers first have to pay €23.25 to Trans­port Malta to ob­tain a learn­ing per­mit. Forty­five minute lessons cost any­where be­tween €14 and €20. Be­fore sit­ting for the prac­ti­cal driv­ing test stu­dents have to sit for a the­ory test, which costs €30.

The ac­tual driv­ing test costs another €23.25. There is no limit to the num­ber of times the test can be taken and the amount Trans­port Malta col­lects in fees re­mains the same. How­ever, driv­ing schools charge be­tween €70 and €80 to ap­ply for a driv­ing test. This means that when they pass on the €23 to TM, they pocket the rest.

A num­ber of youths and par­ents who spoke to this news­pa­per said it seemed that learn­ers were be­ing made to at­tend nu­mer­ous lessons be­fore be­ing al­lowed to take the test. It is the driv­ing in­struc­tor/school that de­cides when a stu­dent is ready to sit for the driv­ing test. Some peo­ple told us it is very com­mon nowa­days for stu­dents to prac­tise for more than a year be­fore be­ing al­lowed to sit for the test. This means that they can eas­ily spend more than €1,000 in the run-up to the test.

Ac­cord­ing to 2014 in­for­ma­tion, there are some 157 driv­ing schools and 362 driv­ing in­struc­tors in Malta.

In the mean­time, the num­ber of peo­ple tak­ing driv­ing tests is likely to in­crease as the govern­ment is propos­ing to ex­tend the penalty points sys­tem – which is cur­rently lim­ited only to the first three years of driv­ing – to all driv­ers on the road. Driv­ers who re­ceive more than 12 points in a year will lose their li­cence but will not have to re­take the test. How­ever, those who lose their li­cence for the sec­ond time in three years will have to re­take the test.

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