Automatic driving test for men from January

Muscat: Motorists aspiring for a driving license in Oman can start taking lessons on automatic transmission vehicles, but they will have to wait until the New Year to give driving tests. 

Speaking to the Observer, a senior ROP official said, “The decision to allow men to take driving lessons and tests on automatic cars was announced in January 2018 following demands from instructors and other members of the society. A period of almost one year was given to all stakeholders to prepare themselves, especially with regards to the type of vehicles, before the implementation of this decision.” 

He added,”Already all licensed motorists in Oman can own and drive vehicles of their choice, both automatic and manual transmissions. Until now only women were allowed to take lessons and exams on automatic transmission vehicles.”

Official of a leading driving school said aspiring drivers can start take lessons on automatic vehicles at no extra cost, but they will have to wait until January 1, 2019 to appear for driving examinations.”

ROP statement released in January 2018 said that the decision came in response to request made by driving instructors and individuals, and based on a study conducted by the Directorate-General of Traffic.

“I have been waiting for this day because it is much easier and also bit unfair for men to be denied this option. Finally, the day has almost come and let us hope getting a license will be less tiresome from now,” said Joyedeep Sharma, who had two unsuccessful attempts with manual so far.  

“This system should have been introduced much earlier as automatic transmission cars are widely available and used now,” said Khalifa, an instructor in Darsait. “

“There was this feeling that the motorist who drove a ‘manual’ vehicle could easily drive an automatic car but not vice-versa. But today most people use automatic cars, which have become affordable too,” said Sara, a woman driving instructor . “It is good they have both the options now,” she said.