Drivers in Mexico City to face tests for the first time

Drivers in Mexico City will soon have to face a new requirement before they can get on the road – taking a driving test.

Around 17,000 people die on Mexico's roads each year.

Around 17,000 people die on Mexico's roads each year. Source: Getty Images

Until now, all drivers in one of the world’s most densely-populated cities needed to get a licence was a piece of government identification, a utility bill and to pay a fee equivalent to around A$51.

With a population of just under nine million, and around half that number of cars on the road every day, accidents are common.

According to data from the World Health Organisation, some 17,000 people are killed on Mexico’s roads annually, the majority between 15 and 29 years of age.

A third of those fatalities are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, and almost 80 per cent are male.

There is also no national demerit point system in place.

WHO has called the country’s roads some of the most dangerous in Latin America.

A recent bus crash in southern Mexico killed 12 tourists and injured 18 more, with authorities blaming speed and driver negligence.

Citizens from the United States, Brazil and Sweden were among those on board.

Laura Ballesteros from Mexico City’s Department of Transport has told Al Jazeera, tougher regulations are needed.

“Traffic-related deaths aren’t acceptable because they can be prevented”, she said.

“We can do this in step – through new regulations, infrastructure, technologies and training.”

Officials have also reduced speed limits and installed speed traffic cameras.

And starting in this year, drivers will now have to participate in courses run by internationally-accredited schools.

Authorities hope this will help make Mexico City’s roads safer for all users.

Published 10 January 2018 at 1:42pm
Source: SBS News