The Freeman

Let student drivers use the roads


If you are either driving or commuting there is no doubt you might have seen a vehicle clearly labeled to belong to a driving school or being driven by a student driver waiting for his or her turn to move in traffic. For one taxpayer this has become too prevalent that he has asked the city to do something about it, citing traffic congestion and possible accidents.

And do something the city did. The Cebu City Council has requested the Cebu City Transporta­tion Office to not allow allowing driving schools to use the city streets for practical driving lessons.

In addition it was suggested schools build their own driving lanes where they can teach students until they are “ready” to hit the streets. We say let the student drivers use the streets. For one reason, we don’t think there are so many cars being operated by driving schools that traffic is now being overwhelme­d; majority of the vehicles that contribute to traffic are still those private vehicles with only one passenger.

For another, asking driving schools to set up their own driving lanes where student drivers can practice is expensive. We do agree there is a certain practicali­ty to this, but imagine how much in land area and money it will cost these driving schools.

For yet another reason, teaching a student driver to move around in the controlled environmen­t of school-owned driving lanes and only letting them loose in the streets when they are “ready” is not practical.

If we train student drivers to get used to the controlled and perfect conditions there are in school-owned driving lanes, then that is what they become used to. They may be in for a culture shock when they see how it is in the real world.

While driving in a controlled environmen­t can be considered a mock battle, driving in the streets is the live-fire exercise. The sooner you get used to it the better.

It is better that student drivers become used to the real situation of the road as soon as possible, complete with pedestrian­s who cross out of nowhere, motorcycle­s that overtake from behind, drivers who don’t have courtesy or common sense, heavy traffic, tight corners, and moon craters on the pavement.

We are of the opinion that if a student driver is exposed to real road conditions as soon as possible, the better chances that he or she will avoid accidents later on, compared to training in a controlled environmen­t where the real road conditions don’t exist.

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