Simulator training for L-drivers from 2019

ST VIDEO: TAN TAM MEI
Traffic Police Commander Sam Tee hopes the new initiatives will help learners to develop defensive driving skills, while encouraging all motorists to cultivate good road practices.
Traffic Police Commander Sam Tee hopes the new initiatives will help learners to develop defensive driving skills, while encouraging all motorists to cultivate good road practices.ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

Move will prepare learners for emergencies; provisional licence validity to be extended too

Learner drivers will have to undergo simulator training from 2019 to better prepare themselves for road emergencies.

Also, the validity of Provisional Driving Licences (PDLs) will be extended from six months to two years for learner motorists who make applications or renewals after the fourth quarter of this year, said the Traffic Police (TP).

At a media conference yesterday, the TP said riding simulators will be made available at the three driving schools, and will be trialled in the first quarter of next year.

Details such as costs and the required number of sessions will be firmed up after the trial period.

The training will allow learner motorists to practise defensive driving or riding in a safe and controlled environment.

Said TP Commander Sam Tee, who is also Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police: "Many learners are not trained to or given the opportunity to react (in difficult traffic situations), for example, braking during dry or wet weather is very different... but we can't wait until it rains (for training)."

He said simulation training will also allow students to respond to other scenarios, including a pedestrian suddenly crossing the road.

TACKLING TOUGH CONDITIONS

Many learners are not trained to or given the opportunity to react (in difficult traffic situations), for example, braking during dry or wet weather is very different... but we can't wait until it rains (for training).

SENIOR ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER SAM TEE, Traffic Police Commander

A new learning portal on www.police.gov.sg will from next year include accident prevention tips and videos, providing a resource for those who already have their driving licences.

Said Commander Tee: "It is a rapidly changing landscape (for traffic policy), with the proliferation of e-scooters, personal mobility devices and autonomous vehicles on the road. This portal will help educate existing licence holders too."

Besides featuring accident prevention tips, the portal will from next year allow learner drivers to practise with free mock theory tests. Learners can pick an option for which they will be given feedback as they take the test, or go through the entire test before being shown the result.

The portal is already hosting free digital copies of the Basic and Final Theory Driving handbooks - in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. These books will no longer be produced from today.

Meanwhile, the extension of the validity period for the PDL will give learners more time to obtain their licences. To make transactions easier, learner motorists will also be able to apply for or renew their PDLs online. Hard-copy PDLs will no longer be issued.

Learner drivers told The Straits Times they believe the changes will help would-be motorists.

Said Miss Sheryl Foo, 20: "Extending the PDL validity period will help save time and money. It also gives learners more time to take classes."

Miss Foo, who has been learning driving for six months, said the simulator training will teach learners how to react to unpredictable incidents. "The training should teach you how to react and perhaps reduce accidents," she said.

VIDEO

Traffic Police spokesman on new initiatives str.sg/4aiM

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2017, with the headline 'Simulator training for L-drivers from 2019'. Print Edition | Subscribe