Addis Abeba is considering reintroducing driving lessons, within city roads, and adding extra testing hours, in order to reduce the congestion and backlog at the Kaliti Drivers and Mechanics Training Institute. The city is also on the lookout for a site for an additional training institute.
After the Drivers Qualification Certifications Licence Proclamation of 2008, both the training and testing of drivers was moved to Kaliti, in 2010. Currently 52 schools use the facility to train their students, using an estimated 380 vehicles, including motor bikes, according to Tesfaye Negussie, general manager of the Addis Abeba City Drivers Training Centre Association. The schools can accept 10 students for every vehicle they have.
The backlog is as a result of limited space and a high failure rate. The theory and practical tests have up to 60pc and 40pc failure rates, respectively, according to Wogayehu Assefa, transport operation head at the Transport Bureau.
The backlog of trainees that are now waiting to be tested has reached 18,000 to 20,000, although these figures are at least a few months old, according to both the Association and the City's Transport Bureau.
Following repeated complaints to the bureau, by both students and the Association, a committee was formed, including people from the Federal Transport Authority, to take care of the situation.
A study team, formed to support the committee, suggested alternative locations for a new additional facility that the City has in mind. In the mean time, it also proposed to conduct training outside the Kaliti facility. The team also proposed extra testing hours, in addition to the current Monday to Friday, 8am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm schedule.
The proposed training sites are; a three-kilometre road behind the Ministry of the Civil Service, a six-kilometre road from Legetafo roundabout to Ayat Village, a two-kilometre road behind Summit Ber, another two kilometre road from Saris Abo to Medhane Alem Church, at Bulbula, and a three kilometre road from Lebu to Jemmo Site.
A site at CMC, which was proposed for the construction of a branch for the Kaliti institute, in may, 2012 and was rejected because it was set aside for industrial development.
The study team has also proposed two kinds of testing schedules, intending to service the backlog of 18,000 people, in either two or five months. The committee, however, demanded that this figure be updated, and urged the schools to provide a list of the students waiting to be tested. The figures are available, the drivers licence training school association says. The Federal Transport Authority, however, is yet to add them, according to Wogayehu.
The committee is expected to make a final decision on the location of the new training site, and the testing schedules, sometime in January next year.