No more lessons for Chinese drivers?
China may stop requiring motorists enrol in driver’s education classes before they can take a license test, as the government seeks to make the qualification process more transparent.
This long exposure picture shows vehicles on roads during rush hour on the eve of the National Day holidays in Shanghai on Sept 30. According to local media, police checkpoints will be set up at highways, elevated roads and business hubs to tackle drunk driving during the National Day holiday. China may stop requiring motorists enrol in driver’s education classes before they can take a license test. (AFP photo)
The government is looking to streamline the licensing process and may grant "the long-awaited wish for independent learning and testing," the public security ministry said in statements on its website and micro-blog, without giving more details.
Making it easier to get a driver's license may further spur car sales in China, already the world's largest auto market. About 23 million vehicles will be sold in the country this year, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
China currently requires people to enrol in driving classes before they're allowed to take the license test. Lessons can cost about 9,000 yuan ($1,500), according to posts on the website of Shanghai Public Driver Training Web.
The public security ministry said it will seek public feedback on the proposed changes and didn't say when any new rules might take effect. China ranks 120th in the world in road safety, with an estimated 283,000 people dying in road-traffic deaths in 2010, according to the World Bank.
Earlier this year, China exempted newer passenger vehicles from inspection for six years, and allowed the sale of spare parts directly to consumers and non-authorized dealers.