ATTT Will Clamp Down On Driving Schools in Panama

Friday, July 22 2011 @ 10:23 AM EDT

Contributed by: Don Winner

In the next 15 days the Land Transit and Transport Authority (ATTT) will adopt a new resolution to regulate driving schools. The institution will require the schools to be established in commercial establishments, the classrooms must have the appropriate traffic signs, and they will check to ensure students complete the required numbers of hours of driving instruction. The new rules are being applied after multiple irregularities the ATTT has detected in driving schools since last year, such as the installation of clandestine facilities, and schools that issue certificates without even teaching classes. According to the director of Road Safety Education, Francisco Alvarez, with this new regulation they will impose new rules. Drivers pay to receive the classes, Alvarez said, but people are are not getting enough practice for lack of time. He added the ideal is a student should receive 12 hours corresponding to the theoretical and 16 hours of vehicle operation. At present this is not happening. Students are only given the lecture on the pretext that they already know how to drive a car.

Open Doors: The ATTT has closed about six schools because they did not meet the the requirements established in Resolution Number 380 of December 2000, that regulates driving schools. Some schools were closed because they operated in secret. In addition, it was determined some of the properly licensed driving schools were facilitating the issuance of certificates by other unlicensed schools and operators, that do not have ATTT certification to dictate driving classes. Currently, the ATTT has certified 29 driving schools in the country. With the entry of the new regulation, the ATTT will allow driving schools six months to conform with the new resolution. Those failing to comply will be sanctioned with fines ranging from five thousand one hundred thousand dollars and the cancellation of the certificate of operation. Alvarez said the ATTT is open to provide permits for those who want to open a school for driver education provided they comply with the rules. For Carlos Vargas, who runs a driving school located in the area of ​​Juan Diaz, the regulations will provide order on the schools not complying with the ATTT requirements. Vargas said taking classes at a driving school will cost between 130 and 150 dollars. (El Siglo)

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