There are 19 468 drivers who have been issued with Professional Driving Permits (PrDP) since the start of the new exemption in August 2015 under the Road Traffic Act Regulations, said Minister of Transport and Communications, Tshenolo Mabeo.
Mabeo stated that the Roads Traffic Act Regulations were amended after government discovered that the minimum requirement for qualifying for a PrDP proved to be a challenge as most of the qualified drivers were excluded from acquiring a PrDP. Mabeo told Parliament this week that drivers were also subjected to undertake the same examinations when they first acquired a driving license.
This he said was found to be a duplication of processes, costly and inconvenient to customers. “PrDP is a permit issued in addition to an ordinary driving license to authorise drivers to carry goods or passengers. It is only issued to qualified drivers who have been in possession of a valid driving license for a period of one year or more and is guided by provisions of the Road Traffic Act,” he said.
Mabeo stated that before the amendment of the Road Traffic Act Regulations in August this year, PrDP were issued only to drivers who are 25 years and above. “Given the challenges that were faced by drivers we reviewed the Road and Traffic Regulations. Amendments that were approved and implemented in August 2015 are minimum age requirement was reduced from 25 years to 21 years; validity of license to acquire a PrDP was reduced from two years to one year while theory and practical tests were waived”.
The minister explained that these changes have greatly assisted the public at large especially the tour operators in the Delta who had a lot of challenges in acquiring and renewing permits for their tour guides. He was responding to a question from Member of Parliament for Gaborone North Haskins Nkaigwa who wanted to know what informed the decision by government to give all drivers PrDP licenses without following the set procedures for such licenses.