The employers’ association of businesses dedicated to road education, the National Confederation of Driving Schools (CNAE), has reacted to the high traffic incident data corresponding to 2023 – 1,145 people died due to an incident – demanding that the Government change the training system in order to obtain a driving licence.

Enrique Lorca, president of CNAE, stated that “the fact that the number of deaths has only been reduced by three compared to 2022 implies that not enough has been done. This development disappoints us, but, unfortunately, it does not surprise us. For years, we have been warning that serious road incidents will not decrease significantly with the measures implemented so far, which have been effective, but are no longer enough.”

In this sense, the driving school employers – many of which are run by self-employed people – considered that “more can be done in terms of driver training, and nothing has been done to update the knowledge of those who” with decades behind the wheel. Furthermore, it would seem that we have settled into conformism, into resignation; A new push is needed to eradicate the plague of road incidents,” said Enrique Lorca.

For this reason, businesses dedicated to road safety education have asked the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) “to take a step forward” and introduce awareness modules for driving licence candidates, as well as profound changes in the exams, “which provide driving schools with teaching based on reasoning – not on simple memorisation of the rules –, capable of stimulating the perception of risk and prudence in the aspiring driver,” claimed the president of CNAE.

The small decrease in incident rates is especially pronounced in the case of motorcyclists. For this reason, the DGT has announced that drivers with a car licence (permit B) must take a course at a driving school starting this year to be able to drive motorcycles of up to 125 cubic centimetres, in addition to having a minimum of three years’ licence. Until now, it was only necessary to comply with this latter requirement.

However, CNAE stressed the need to adopt other measures “so that all future drivers receive training up to the challenge of driving on conventional roads.”

Transportation is one of the sectors where the most self-employed workers suffer workplace incidents.

This is due, in part, to the fact that aspiring drivers “are reluctant to do internships on this type of road because they are not usually subject to examination.” For this reason, CNAE insisted on another of its proposals sent to the DGT to incorporate mandatory training accredited by the Traffic Department, which demonstrates that the aspiring driver has the knowledge, skills, and awareness necessary to travel on this type of road.

In summary, “what we cannot expect is for the road incidents, which cause so much pain, to resolve themselves. And it is obvious that, if we always do the same thing, we cannot expect different results,” Enrique Lorca concluded.

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