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Opinion: Driving Tests In Malta Should Be Retaken After Many Years Have Passed

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Malta’s roads are tainted by a lack of safety, partly caused by drivers failing to follow basic rules, even when it comes to standard driving skills – such as using the indicator.

And this is really starting to feel like an insurmountable problem the nation has to deal with, as fatalities and a feeling of general lack of safety continue to grow on our roads.

As a driver who only got her license in 2020, I cannot help but feel that driving tests should be retaken by older drivers who are not equipped with the current skillset required to pass the test in the present age. 

Anyone who obtained their license in the last few years experienced a totally different process than those who got it 30 years ago, with the current driving test ramping up in difficulty over the years – as it very well should – to ensure good driving skills on Malta’s roads.

How often have you heard an older person brag that, back in their day, their test only consisted of a five-minute turn around an empty car park before being awarded their driving license?

Or even tests that required no skill to show drivers can actually drive in a variety of conditions?

This only means that Malta’s roads are being shared by drivers who had to work hard to gather the skill set needed to pass the current test, as opposed to those that obtained it within minutes.

Speaking from a personal experience, my driving test was 45 minutes long during peak traffic hours.

My examiner made me drive from the testing centre in Floriana, to Marsa, Santa Luċija, and back, passing through some of Malta’s busiest roads. Considering all this, it’s no wonder that older drivers joke about the simple tests they took in their day.

My lessons were of a similar nature too, with my instructor always making it a point to take me to the busiest and scariest roads in Malta to make sure that I am ready for the worst.

A refresher driving test could serve as a great chance for drivers to refresh their skills and ensure they are driving well and in a safe manner on Malta’s roads, especially when it comes to theory.

Redoing the driving test would also help throw more focus on driver safety in Malta, and would directly ensure safe driving skills. And at a minimum, at least retake the theory test.

And maybe, just maybe, knowing that at some point you’ll have to retake your test to keep your license could actually encourage drivers in Malta to maintain their safe driving skills.

And for those who would complain about such a proposal – such an imposition would only be a problem for those that do not have good driving skills, won’t it?

Of course, this proposal will probably not be welcomed by many drivers, who could not bear to even entertain the idea of losing their license… but it’s an idea that could help introduce more safety on Malta’s roads.

Otherwise, we end up with situations like this, where local residents are forced to turn to the media to highlight blind people driving around their localities as roads continue to ramp up in risk.

Do you think that drivers should retake their test after some time? Sound off in the comments below

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Sasha is interested in investigating environmental matters, humans and art. Some know her as Sasha tas-Sigar. Inspired by nature and the changing world. Follow her on Instagram at @saaxhaa and send her your stories at [email protected]

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