The Transport and Highways Ministry today launched their pilot program to issue light vehicle driving licenses for the hearing impaired in the Gampaha district.

Temporary driving licenses for practical training (Learner Permit) were issued at the Motor Traffic Department’s Gampaha office by Transport State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna today.

On November 6, the medical examination and written test for applicants for a driver’s license were conducted.76 people appeared for the written test, and 44 passed.

The permanent license will be given to them after three months of practical training.

According to the records of the Department of Statistics, there are about 388,000 people with hearing impairments in the country, and 39,000 of them live in the Gampaha district.

It is also reported that nearly 1,000 hearing impaired people from around the country have applied for driving licenses.

Even though the hearing impaired people applied for the driving licenses to facilitate their work, they were not processed. However, the National Federation of the Deaf said that they were able to obtain permits with the intervention of the minister.

To facilitate the work of hearing impaired people who are focused on their personal needs and self-employment, although they have been applying for driving licences for a long time, there has been no good result, and the temporary suspension of driving was announced today due to the intervention of the Minister of State for Transport, Minister Alagiyawanna. The National Federation of the hearing impaired said that they were able to obtain permits.

“Hearing impaired people have been applying for light vehicle driving licences for about 30 years. That requirement has not been fulfilled due to various obstacles,” the minister said.

But he said that he was happy to be able to give driving licences to hearing-impaired people during his tenure by getting the attention of the Motor Transport Department and the Transport Medical Institute to fulfill their demands.

Special support from the ENT specialists Unit of Gampaha District Hospital was received to ensure the success of the program.

Therefore, he said that the applicants who received temporary driving licences today should get thorough practical training in the next three months, understand the rules of the road, and drive the vehicles, thereby making this project successful. 

Source –