by Dasun Edirisinghe
Nearly one in every three persons owns a vehicle in Sri Lanka, according to a recent survey, Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva says.
The minister said the country had 6.3 million vehicles at present for a population of 21 million.
The minister was addressing a seminar in Badulla organised to educate driving instructors of Moneragala, Badulla, Ampara and Ratnapura Districts on Monday.
"One in every three persons has some kind of vehicle at present according to our surveys," Silva said, adding it had been steadily increasing during the last ten years.
The minister said deaths caused by road traffic accidents had also increased and it was higher than the deaths caused by the war.
Silva said there were nearly 1,000 driving schools in Sri Lanka, but they had failed to produce disciplined drivers.
"Anyone can pass a written test to obtain a driving licence, but what is essential is the practical knowledge especially regarding road signs and rules to prevent accidents," he said.
Silva said most drivers were very careless at traffic lights.
Most victims of road accidents were pedestrians or those who traveling in open vehicles such as motorcycles, he said.
The minister said his ministry had decided to start a degree or diploma course in driving and traffic regulation.