Drivers that will be renewing their license may soon have to take a mandatory test & seminar before being allowed to do so.

Congressman Robert Ace Barbers from the 2nd District of Surigao Del Norte, recently proposed House Bill 505 or the 'Roadworthy Driving Seminar for All Drivers Act'. According to Barbers, this will instill discipline and knowledge to drivers with regards to road safety, traffic laws and regulations.

“Safe and disciplined driving practice is key to keep the traffic system orderly. We simply cannot allow our current traffic behavior to continue. We must choose to impose order, and in the course, improve the traffic system and the economy. Apart from constructing more public roads and highways and providing more options for the commuting public, one straightforward solution to the traffic problem is to instill discipline and impart knowledge among motorists,” said Barbers.

Under House Bill 505, it reiterates that having a driver's license is a privilege, not a right. It also states that it is the duty of the State to adopt measures to ensure an orderly traffic system across the country. Under this proposal, both old & new driver's license holders will be required to undergo a mandatory driving seminar and actual driving test before granting them full driving privilege.

The curriculum of the seminar shall include the following, among others: 1) safety precautions; 2) concept of accident preventability, including a discussion of the magnitude of traffic accident problems; 3) techniques for defensive driving and handling critical situations; 4) Philippine traffic law and regulations, vehicle dynamics, capabilities, limitations, and highway environmental factors such as a) traffic signs, signals, markings, right-of-way requirements, and speed, and b) vehicle capabilities, such stopping distances and passing abilities as well as highway settings, operating environments and adverse conditions affected by weather, illumination and obstruction; and 5) first aid applications and basic knowledge on rescues.

The bill also mandates the Land Transporation Office (LTO) to come up with a program for the driving seminar and actual driving test. A Completion Certification will be issued to the successful driver's license applicants, both new and old. Aside from that, the Department of Transporation (DOTr) shall also be tasked of formulating the necessary guidelines for the seminar course outline and driving test.

As for the cost of the driving seminar and actual driving test, it will be incorporated in the license fee which will be determined by the Head of the LTO. Those that fail the driving test and seminar, however, will have to pay Php 500 – Php 1,000.