The Malta Independent 14 December 2017, Thursday

Transport Malta bans driving lessons on arterial roads during peak traffic hours

Kevin Schembri Orland Tuesday, 26 September 2017, 14:09 Last update: about 4 months ago

Transport Malta has issued a notice to driving instructors, stating that no learners will be allowed to drive on arterial roads between 7am and 9 am, and 3.30pm to 6pm, and that if training has to occur during those time periods, it should happen in wide open spaces or in car parks.

This move however, which seems to have been introduced as a measure to alleviate traffic, has not gone down well with traffic instructors who spoke with this newsroom.

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“It affects us quite a bit,” one instructor said. He explained that to take a student to a wide open area, or a car park, one would still need to drive through arterial roads. The other option, he said, is for the student to meet the instructor there. He explained that such a thing is not really realistic, and so working hours of instructors are being cut down. “We have expenses – VAT, insurance, licence expenses, car maintenance etc. Some might suggest working past 6pm, but we also have families.”

“In my opinion, it is not the instructors causing traffic. We are teaching students to drive properly and avoid creating traffic. Increased traffic tends to be generated by selfish drivers who, for example, double park to buy pastizzi or cigarettes. There needs to be more enforecement.”

The situation is ridiculous, he said.

“What’s a student going to learn from a 1.5 hour lesson in a car park? In the real world, driving occurs in traffic.”

Another instructor elaborated on the aforementioned points, indicating that instructors are basically going to lose out on 25 hours of work a week. She said that the peak hours are the most sought after lesson times, as people would take a lesson on the way to university, MCASt or to work, and again when leaving to go home.

“Driving tests also start at 7am onwards. So what will happen, the student would have a test in peak time traffic yet was not able to practice in such conditions?”

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