What to expect in LTO's practical driving exam
MANILA, Philippines—To get a driver's license, applicants must pass both the written examination and the practical driving exam. The exam seeks to filter and guarantee responsible drivers on the road. Are the practical exams effective enough?
Applying for a license can take more or less one whole day. Applicants start with taking the written examination.
For non-professional license examiners, a score of 30/40 is needed to be qualified for the practical driving exam. While a score of 45/60 is needed for professional license examiners.
The practical driving exam requires a round of driving or riding in the obstacle course. The types of vehicle available for rent are motorcycles, manual cars, automatic cars and light trucks. Applicants can also opt to use their own vehicles when taking the exam.
Renting a motorcycle costs P150, a 4-wheeler vehicle (manual or automatic) costs P250, and a 6-wheeler vehicle costs P300.
Criteria to pass the practical exam
Examiners are given a road test score sheet when examining an applicant. Every applicant will start with 100 points. The examiner's criteria for imposing a demerit are based on three criteria: the pre-driving checks, driving skills, and observance of traffic rules.
The pre driving check up is worth a total of 10 points. Under this criteria, drivers are expected to
- check the tires and batteries
- adjust mirrors, light, and windshield
- use the seatbelt/helmet
- check the hand and foot brake
- disengage the clutch when starting the engine.
Driving skills and observance to traffic rules make up 90 points. Examiners take note of the following criteria during the exam:
The actual practical driving exam will only take 5 minutes. Applicants only need to make one round in the approximately 1000 square kilometers obstacle course and park.
Despite the different criteria of the exam, not every item on the score sheet is observed accurately due to the limited space and time of the actual test drive.
Engineer Juan Ordoño Jr., Chief of the Practical Testing Department, admits the practical driving exam is 'easy.'
However, they are simply following the criteria of the road test score sheet.
"Actually madali ang practical exams. Basta isunod lang nila kung ano ang sinabi sa kanila." he said.
(Actually, the practical exams are easy as long as they follow the instructions given to them.)
The passing rate of the actual driving exam is 70/100. Ordoño suggests raising the passing rate to 90/100 for stricter assessment.
He adds their job of determining and assessing the attitude of the driver is not as easy as it seems.
"It is hard for us to really know the attitude of the driver because everyone will have their best foot forward when taking the exams," Ordoño said in Filipino.
Edison Agbayani, one of the practical examiners, shares how time and resources also limit them for stricter exams. He said that they conduct an average of 300 practical exams per day.
"If we could extend just extend the practical exams from 5 minutes to 20 minutes, we could really monitor and check their driving skills. However, if we do that, we won't be able to accommodate other applicants." Agbayani explained.
He adds that a bigger venue or obstacle course will give them more time to better gauge the skills of the driver.
While they admit that the test drive is easy, they also want to remind applicants that they can automatically fail if they hit the gutter or a vehicle. The road test score sheet enumerates the following conditions for a driver to automatically fail the exam: striking another car/ pedestrian or fixed object and improper actions causing collision or near collision of another vehicle
Their advice for the drivers is to make sure they practice before the exam and come early to avoid the long lines. Most of all, they should listen to the briefing and guidelines given to them because it will help them pass. – Rappler.com
In the Philippines, an average of more than 600 children died from road crash incidents from 2006 to 2015. Seat belts can save lives but infants and children need a more specific type of car seats for them in case of a road mishap.
Want to know more about child safety car seats? Here are some stories:
Learn more about Rappler's road safety campaign by visiting the #SaferRoadsPH microsite.
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