Monday, January 25, 2010

Will this ever change?

Getting your work done from a government office has been a PITA for most of us. My recent funny/painful experiences were to get a Learners License followed by Driving License.

My first experience was quite funny and hectic, but there is nothing much to complain about. Six months back, to apply for a LL I went to the Indranagar RTO on a Saturday and shocked to see a queue with more than 250 people before me. After 3 hours of waiting in the queue, I got my documents verified by the officer there. Lucky I was the second last person to get it signed that day, others were asked to come on Monday. Assuming the same luck would help me, I went into the LL Test room. All that I expected in the test was road signs, hand signals and the basic traffic rules, it is quite easy isn't it? But my head started to spin when I saw the questions, all the questions were tough and very ambiguous too. Some sample questions here

What is the allowed decibel limit of horn after 10PM in some NH-XX type of roads?

Which motoract law talks about hit and run cases?

A mad dog is chasing you while driving your bike, what will you do? (Options were really crazy for this question, one such option was "Kick the dog".. :))


For a moment I thought I am in the wrong exam hall, maybe this is some exam for the post of some traffic inspector. I cross checked the same with a neighbor candidate, just the look of his face confirmed he is also sailing in the same boat (some relief here) and it is definitely the LL test :). Hardly 10% of the candidates passed these tests. My luck didn't work here and was failed by just one mark. All my friends who got their license from Tamilnadu were laughing at me because in Tamilnadu failing in LL test is like failing in Kinder Garden. Somehow I managed to pass the test after multiple attempts standing in a similar queue and writing similar tests.

After 5 months with no other option left, I went for applying my Driving License. Before hand, my driving school person said there are two bribe schemes, I was told without bribe it is very tough to get the DL. Coming to the two schemes, the first one is a Rs. 300 scheme where the test is of decent difficulty and second one is for Rs. 450 and it is a very easy test. Since my LL was about to expire I don't want to risk so I chose the Rs.450 scheme and I handed over this money and other fees to the driving school. The next day after doing the formalities I had to wait from morning 10AM to noon 3PM to take the driving test, at last the inspector came to my car and asked me to move. He gave some real simple instructions like take left, reverse left, etc. It was easy and I did it confidently. After the test he started complaining that I drove very badly so he is not going to sign my papers. After much of argument, he asked me to talk to my driving school contact for further information. (Phew! some relief again)

A day later my driving school person said the inspector is expecting another Rs.150 for signing the papers. This is cruel, already Rs.450 given to conduct the test and now another 150 to sign the paper. Not everyone can give so much amount!! If I want to go for another test then I have to pay Rs.450 bribe again and also I don't want to waste another day and again start from the scratch, even if I do he will fail me again for no real reason. So finally paid another Rs.150 and they mailed me the driving license almost 20 days after taking the test. I feel as if I have climbed Mt. Everest.. :)

To try my luck, I also wrote to the RTO officials about the same in the form of an e-mail, but as expected no response till now. :)

Is there any real life Anniyan or Ramana? Will this situation ever change?


DK said...

Machi, its actually good that LLR tests are becoming tougher so that people study and come. Shruthi read around 250 questions before the test da :), ridiculous, but the truth is she knows more about traffic than me now.
Driving License and Bribe are like Rama Lakshmana, definitely need an Anniyan. Touch wood, in Hyderabad the system is the cleanest of all the cities I have been in.

Arun Raghavendar said...

Seriously da.. There is only one opportunity to learn about road rules & regulations and that is when applying for LL, after that there is no way that one can learn them.. Thats why i didn't complain anything about the LL process, it was just hectic (and funny at times) as I had to attend multiple times.. :)

Nice to know that Hyderabad is having a clean system in place. I wish there is such a system in every RTO..