Cars dominate both our city scape and country scape. Especially in Bangladesh, where public transport is in such a sorry state, relying on cars to get around is fairly common. Keeping that in mind, Star Lifestyle has brought to you some of the places where you could either brush up on your driving skills or learn them for the first time.
One of the oldest names in the driving school trade, they are also among the finest. Most people choose this place for the ambience it provides. Very friendly and experienced instructors make the nerve-wracking first drive on the road a much calmer experience. The course consists of both theory and practical classes.
The theory classes are divided between learning traffic rules and regulations, mechanisms of various car-parts, learning how to control the steering wheel and brakes and so on. The whole course is a month long with six theory classes and the rest are practical classes which are conducted on the road.
There are two courses, one is a basic driving course which is a month long and will cost you Tk.9,000, and the other is an extensive learning course appropriate for people going abroad which is a two-month course priced at Tk.9,500.
Macadam is located at House 8, Road 14 (new), 29 (old), Dhanmondi. Phone: 0178 000 7011.
One School of Driving
With multiple branches around the city, this driving school offers a mixed variety when it comes to driving lessons. You can choose between, Special Introductory Course (10 lessons; 5 hours), Secondary Course (20 lessons; 10hours), and Basic Driving Course (30 Lessons; 15 hours). Practical lessons are 30 minutes each and all courses have a minimum of two hours in theory including topics such as understanding traffic signals, engine mechanisms, basic maintenance, defensive driving, etc.
The fees start at Tk.2,500 for the Special Introductory Course and go up to Tk.6,000 for the Basic Driving Course. One School of Driving can be reached at any of the following addresses:
Head Office: 79, Shat Masjid Road, Dhanmondi; Phone: 8152371, 0171 599 6006.
2nd Branch: House 97/A, Road 7, Sector 4, Uttara; Phone: 0173 277 3344.
3rd Branch: 251 Shere e Bangla Road, Rayer Bazar; Phone: 0119 914 6886.
Uttor Bongo Driving School
A name not so popular in this field, they are still worth a try, especially for people living around Mohammadpur as their theoretical classes are conducted at their Mohammadpur branch. Lessons are provided for both auto and manual gear cars, with options for short-term and long-term courses of 16 days and 30 days with course fees ranging between Tk.3500-Tk.6000 for manual gear, and Tk.4000-Tk.7000 for auto gear. The courses are interspersed with at least 6 days of theoretical classes, the rest being practicals.
Head office: 6/1, 1st floor, Block-E, Lalmatia. 2nd Branch: 185, Krishi Market Shopping Complex, 1st floor, Ring Road, Mohammadpur. Phone: 017 117 80024, 0118 815 8040, 0192 450 8595.
Today, Dhaka city has many driving schools tending to the skill-enhancement of the city dwellers, a few more names of these schools include: Dhanmondi Driving School, 767, Shat Masjid Road, Dhanmondi, Phone - 9130833; K.T.S Driving School, 1, Lake Circus Kalabagan Bus Stand, Dhanmondi, phone - 9115145; Arise International, 450 West Rampura (2nd Floor) phone - 0171 534 3739, 7281918.
GETTING THE DRIVING LICENSE
The most time-consuming process for drivers entails applying for and then getting the necessary papers, not only the driving license, required for driving on the streets of Dhaka. It's best to do this step by step.
The very first step is of course to enrol in a BRTA approved driving school. The driving school will not solely teach you how to operate your vehicle of choice but also grooms prospective candidates in the ins and outs of the written test. This written test is probably the hardest part of the examination, with the second being the twists and turns you must make to prove you are indeed capable of driving.
Upon entering the driving school, you must then proceed to apply for a learner's license before you can actually take to the streets. The driving school may help procure this document or you could do it on your own.
The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority is the sole entity in charge of issuing these licenses and thus one must get the document from them. The learner's license has an expiry date which coincides with when the candidate must sit for his driving test. This date is decided by the BRTA when issuing the learner's license.
On the date of your exam, you will have to appear at the BRTA station, present in 32 districts, and then go through a range of viva, written and practical tests. The practical test emphasises on driving in different gears through a fixed route which allows little scope for deviation and is the hardest to prepare for.
The written test too poses difficulties, with the candidate being quizzed on numerous aspects of driving. The test is in either Bengali or English. Upon completetion of the tests the examiner announces the date for the result. Upon passing, the candidate is given the authorisation to drive. In case of failure, a fresh date for a re-test is announced.
The costs incurred throughout do not exceed around Tk.4000. Charges are also incurred for obtaining the fitness certificate, vehicle registration and route permit under BRTA. Professional drivers need to be at least 20 years old whilst non-professionals are issued license from when they reach 18 years. Contact BRTA offices for more information.
By Osama Rahman