MANILA — The Land Transportation Office (LTO) is mulling a change in the driver's license exam to make it more suited to applicants and what — as well as how — they plan to drive.
The agency aims to create a "customized" set of questions for applicants without losing emphasis on road safety.
The officials will discuss this proposal during the upcoming LTO Districts Conference this week, prompted by viral road rage incidents on social media.
"At this stage, this is all in the study level pa lang. Wala pang finality kasi ayaw rin naman namin na napakahaba ng exam," LTO Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza said.
"Since we are reviewing the exam itself, including the processes sa pagkuha ng lisensya — eh might as well we take a look also if there’s any enhancements that we need to do dun sa actual exam.”
The LTO acknowledges that they need a concrete plan to address street road rage. However, changes to the licensing exam should not make the process more tedious or too difficult.
LTO said they need to consider the importance of striking a balance between customization and efficiency to ensure that the licensing process remains accessible and fair to all qualified applicants.
“Ayaw lang natin na we filter 1% of the population tapos papahirapan mo yung 99% of the population. Parang 'di yata tama 'yung ganun,” Mendoza said.
Customized exams more relevant to applicants
The idea behind the proposed modification is to ensure that the exam aligns with each applicant's specific driving needs and intentions.
By customizing the questions, the LTO aims to assess an individual's knowledge and skills in areas relevant to their intended driving activities.
For example, if an applicant plans to drive a motorcycle, the exam questions would focus more on motorcycle safety, handling, and traffic rules specific to motorcycles.
Similarly, if an applicant intends to drive a commercial vehicle, the questions would be tailored to assess their understanding of commercial driving regulations and responsibilities.
“Merong mga nagsasabi na 'Ako’y nag-aapply ng pagmamaneho ng sasakyan, pero some of the questions pertains to trucks or motorcycles'. So yung randomness ng questions, baka masyadong random. We might have to limit the randomness doon sa type of vehicle na inaapplyan ng aplikante,” Mendoza said.
Meanwhile, some driver's license applicants believe that while revising the examinations could be a solution, road rage would still depend on a driver's character.
“Depende na yan sa ugali ng tao hindi naman maiiwasan kahit pa sabihin natin na baguhin yung exam o papahirapan yung exam nasa attitude pa rin ng tao,” Flordi May, one of the applicants, said.
SPECIAL LAW ON ROAD RAGE PUSHED
LTO is pushing for creating a special law that will clearly define and penalize road rage incidents. Current law limits LTO to impose a penalty on road rage violators under four years.
"Because four years or more would mean dapat may death or injury na nangyari sa road rage." Mendoza said.
Several road rage incidents — including one involving a former police officer — in Quezon City and in Valenzuela City went viral on social media last month. In response, the LTO issued show-cause orders to the drivers involved.
In the Quezon City incident, Mendoza directed a two-year revocation of the license of dismissed police officer Wilfredo Gonzales for pulling out a gun in an argument with cyclist Allan Bandiola.