Electronic licence testing launched

New technology is being rolled out across licence testing centres in Gauteng in an attempt to fight fraud and corruption.

A new electronic system for learner’s licence tests had replaced the booklet system at eight testing centres in the province, transport MEC Ismail Vadi said on Tuesday.

Candidates now write their test electronically and receive the results immediately, Vadi told reporters in Johannesburg. The system could randomly select from 1 000 questions while applicants were busy writing the test.

He said the previous system had been easy to manipulate. Driving schools had acquired access to the test books, and some had even prepared answers for their clients.

“You came here almost briefed and knowing the answers by heart,” Vadi said.

“We now have a computerised system with over 1 000 questions. These are processed automatically, so not the examiner or any other official is aware what the computer will generate as a question.”

Vadi said the number of applicants and the pass rate had already dropped at the Xavier Junction Licence and Testing Centre in Ormonde, Johannesburg.

You came here almost briefed and knowing the answers by heart.

Since the system was introduced the number of applicants had dropped from 1 400 to 300 “and the pass rate has come down substantially”.

“The quality has helped to reduce fraud and corruption because nobody can manipulate it any more,” Vadi said.

He believed the reduction in pass rates would mean that those who obtained their licences were competent.

Earlier on Tuesday, a licence examiner at the Xavier Junction Licence and Testing Centre was arrested for processing the application of a person who had failed.

Vadi said the examiner apparently processed a driver’s licence even though the applicant failed to control the vehicle on an incline.

“He ignored that fact and took the driver out for a test and came back to process [the] licence. He [the examiner] was arrested and the licence revoked,” he said.

He was caught by inspectors who were carrying out inspections at the station as part of transport month.

Vadi said inspectors would continue to hold inspections across the country.