Men can take driving lessons in automatic cars from Jan 2019

Here’s some good news for men aspiring for a driving licence. Starting from January 2019, they too can take driving lessons on automatic cars, a facility that is now limited only to women. “The decision was taken in response to demands from teachers, drivers and members of the community,” said Brigadier Engineer Mohammed bin Awad al Rowas, Director-General of Traffic, Royal Oman Police (ROP). Aspirants who wish to learn on a manual transmission car can continue to avail of that facility.
A ROP statement said Brigadier Al Rowas met driving instructors of Muscat at the Institute of Traffic Safety on Wednesday and discussed with them a number of issues regarding allowing driving licence seekers to take up the test using manual or automatic vehicles with effect from January 2019.
During the meeting, Brigadier Al Rowas stressed the fact that the decision came in response to request made by male and female driving instructors and individuals as well. To be implemented from January 1, 2019, the decision was based on a study conducted by the Directorate-General of Traffic, which included driving instructors from all governorates.
The survey found that most driving teachers were in favour of the change. The decision was widely welcomed by the people. “This system should have been changed long ago. The price difference between both types of vehicles have reduced and automatic transmission cars are widely available now,” said AbdulQadaer, a driving instructor. “The earlier belief was a motorist who drove a ‘manual’ vehicle could easily drive an automatic car but not vice-versa. But things have changed. Automatic cars are available at the low-end too,” said Salem al Balushi, another driving instructor. “It is good they have both the options,” he said.