People looking to take short cuts to getting their learner’s licence have been warned against cheating or else they will face criminal action. Picture: Supplied
People looking to take short cuts to getting their learner’s licence have been warned against cheating or else they will face criminal action. Picture: Supplied

Don’t try taking short cuts by cheating on learner’s test, warn officials

By Theolin Tembo Time of article published Jun 3, 2021

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Cape Town - People looking to take short cuts to getting their learner’s licence have been warned against cheating or else they will face criminal action.

Two recent incidents of people cheating on their learner’s test caught the attention of officials who have now issued a warning to dissuade others from ending up with criminal records.

The City of Cape Town’s Traffic Department has confirmed that they recorded two arrests for the year for these specific offences.

“On Friday May 21, 2021, a learner licence applicant was arrested for cheating on his test. He was found in possession of a script note under his sleeve,” the City said.

The applicant was arrested on a charge of fraud.

“He was found in possession of R2 000 in cash, and admitted that he was going to pay the person who gave him the script note,” the City said.

In a similar incident, a Dunoon man was caught red-handed trying to cheat on his learner’s licence test by hiding his crib notes up his sleeve.

“A vigilant examiner at the Milnerton Traffic Department saw the 28-year-old man acting suspiciously and witnessed him copying answers from a piece of paper.

“When the examiner approached him, he placed the paper in his sleeve and denied allegations of cheating.

“However, when he was asked to stand up, the piece of paper slid out of his sleeve. The applicant was removed from the class and taken to the Milnerton police station where he was charged with fraud,” the City said.

CEO of advanced driver training company MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, said that there are a number of reasons why people cheat, and that some could be rationalised as being understandable.

He said one of the first is because they can.

“The system is so fraught with corruption and lack of accountability, it is easier to do it this way rather than possibly not passing,” Herbert said.

“It is not cheap to proceed the correct way which would involve taking lessons, hiring a car and finally taking the test, which is quite traumatic at the best of times.”

He went on to mention that some pay for licences, and that in doing so, all those costs are eliminated, and that it would probably cost more to do it the legal way than what it would cost to pay the bribe.

He added that an incentive for cheating in these learner tests is that obtaining a licence is a passport to many an opportunity by way of mobility, job opportunities and an improved social life.

Herbert added that a few of the other reasons included:

  • Cheating in exams is easier than studying
  • Buying a licence is easier than studying and practising (at cost)
  • Its quick – the simple task of making a booking is time consuming and onerous.
  • Its easy to get away with it.

He added: “A personal view is that when these individuals see what leaders get away with they realise that the probability of ever being “caught” out is so small it is worth the risk.“

Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith said: “Learner licence applicants are informed prior to the test that it is an offence to use any unauthorised aid and that they can be convicted and disqualified from reapplying for a learner’s licence for a period of 12 months.

“The easy way out can lead to a much harder road ahead,” Smith said.

Richard Coleman, spokesperson for Traffic Service, added: “If applicants do commit an offence and are found guilty, they could end up with a criminal record.”

Cape Argus

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