Wednesday Oct 5, 2022
Wednesday Oct 5, 2022

Learning to Drive in Nepal

A challenge that presents itself.

2022 Feb 03, 15:00, Kathmandu

Every year, there is a batch of 18-year-olds eagerly waiting to learn how to drive cars. For most people, there is a sense of excitement and nervousness as they begin this new course. In Nepal, the main concern for those applying for a driver’s licence is the trials. As such, most driving centres prepare courses for practice.

Shubhanjan Dhoj Joshi talks about his experience, “Where I learned, the course was more or less the same as the one at the trial. After all, that is what we need to pass to get a licence.” However, when asked whether this also helps when he finally got the chance to drive on the main road, he responded rather negatively. “While we do get the licence after passing the trial, driving on the road is a whole other ballgame. We do understand the basics from the driving centre, but one needs to know more than just the basics in the long run.”

Furthermore, driving on the road also requires one to be far more aware of other drivers. “It’s almost impossible to find someone following all the rules,” Joshi continues, “Even the most simple things are ignored, like overtaking from the right only, slowing down at zebra crossings and even parking at the right place.”

One can see that there is more than just following rules and staying in your lane when it comes to driving in Nepal. Thus, it should not come as a surprise that, more often than not, it is the youth that get into most accidents.

However, Naren Maharjan of Om Driving Centre seemed to say the contrary. “The way we teach is similar to the course at the driving trial, we even take our students out to the road just so they can get a hang of it. This way, they can drive anywhere with ease.”

Maharjan, an instructor of 20 years, further believes that the trial is harder and more difficult than people make it out to be, and that correlates to having better drivers. “If the trials were made easy, then everyone would take their licence for granted and we’d have even more irresponsible drivers. The only reason licence-seekers find the trial easy is because they have been practising for it the whole time with instructors. If they cannot cope with driving alongside scores of vehicles even after receiving their licence, the fault is on them and not anyone else.”


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