There are currently 32 driver testing centres in KwaZulu-Natal at which candidates may write learners licence tests. Due to apartheid planning, most of these centres are located in developed urban areas. Candidates from rural areas have to travel long distances in order to access learner driver centres.
The learner licence mobile units are able to offer learners licence tests in the deepest of rural areas. When we plan the deployment of the mobile units we will ensure that the areas furthest away from existing learners licence centres are prioritized.
When candidates apply for learners licence tests they often have to wait for long periods. When fully deployed, these mobile units allow us the opportunity to test a further 3000 learner driver licence candidates each month in KwaZulu-Natal. Testing capacity will be increased with the introduction of additional mobile units.
One of our plans is to arrange with the Department of Education and school principals to allow our mobile units to visit schools in rural areas. Matriculants can each obtain driving licences which could make them more marketable in the employment stream.
These mobile units each have:
A registration desk fitted with equipment such as a camera to scan the eye, fingerprint reader, digital signature pad, digital ID photographic camera and a high spec computer. This technology at the registration desk not only registers and books in candidates, but also importantly provides a basis to eliminate corruption.
13 cubicles fitted with touch screen computers that run the computerized learners licence system.
||Learners answer questions by simply touching the screen. Whether or not a candidate has used a computer before, he/she will find the learners test easy to answer – in fact we think that it’s actually easier to answer than the current written test. An audio facility is available to those who did not have the opportunity to go to school.
By completing the test using the computer, there is no need for an examiner to mark the test. The computer automatically marks the test and immediately informs the candidate whether or not he/she has passed or failed. There is no room for a crooked examiner to fail someone who should have passed, or to pass someone who should have failed in order to solicit a bribe. There is also no room for examiner error. Further, there is also no way for a candidate to get a learners licence without completing all questions.
|KZN DoT CEO Dr Kwazi Mbanjwa (left) and MEC Mr B.H. Cele taking the learners licence test in the new mobile learners licence unit
The test questions and answers are randomly generated. The randomization of questions and answers ensures that candidates cannot learn for their test "parrot fashion". Candidates will have to learn the rules, signs and controls to pass this test.
The computer system maintains a record of all questions answered and whether or not a candidate has passed or failed, so it will be very easy to verify the validity of learners licences carried by KwaZulu-Natal drivers.
Before a candidate writes a test, his/her iris will be scanned at the same time that the candidate’s identity is verified through his/her identity document and photograph is taken electronically, all in the mobile unit. For additional security, the candidate’s signature and fingerprints are also captured electronically. Before the candidate begins the test, the computer will verify that the candidate that registered is the one starting the test – not someone else. If someone else attempts to write the test, the computer will deny him/her access. There is thus no way for an examiner to complete a test for a candidate.
Our new learners and driving licence systems ensure that it’s impossible:
To be passed if you should have failed.
To be failed if you should have passed.
For someone else to complete a test for you.
To be issued with a learners or driving licence card without passing a test.
By ensuring that people issued with learners licences and driving licences actually do the test and pass, we are ensuring that they actually know the rules of the road, road signs and controls of their vehicles. This should ensure that we have safer drivers on our roads, which is ultimately exactly what we want to achieve.
Kuphelile, Finito, No More!