Bad driving is about bad habits
I refer to Edward Atkinson's letter headlined 'Test review long overdue' (South China Morning Post, October 20).
For road safety reasons, the driving test system in Hong Kong is under regular review by the Transport Department to ensure that the test requirements are set at an acceptable level. The driving test for all types of vehicles aims at ensuring that the candidate will drive safely, have good traffic knowledge and give due consideration to other road users.
The driving test is not as easy as Mr Atkinson believes. For example, the driving test for private car consists of two parts. A candidate must pass the written test before being permitted to take the road test. The written test is in the form of multiple-choice questions. The current pass rate is about 80 per cent.
In the road test a candidate will have to meet various requirements as set out in the Road Traffic Ordinance including keeping an appropriate distance from the car ahead, overtaking and choosing the appropriate traffic lane. The road test is a strict and fair one and any candidate who commits one or more serious mistakes will have his/her test failed.
Moreover, a candidate normally will have to take at least 30 hours of driving training before taking the road test. The current pass rate for the road test is about 30 per cent.
So the situation described by Mr Atkinson is not a matter of driving skill, but a matter of bad driving habits, which are being dealt with by education and enforcement.
GORDON IP for Commissioner for Transport