Mexico City to introduce driving tests

Traffic on the streets of Mexico City can be as chaotic, but also deadly. This is particularly true for first-time drivers, who face few roadblocks to getting a license. The city is trying something new to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on the streets.

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The roads of Mexico City are where many drivers literally take their life in their hands, every day. More than 2,000 people have died in road accidents in the city in the past two years. The Mexican Red Cross claims an estimated 750,000 people are hospitalized every year.

In the capital, traffic accidents are the primary cause of death for young people between the ages of five and 19.

Starting in 2018, the city government is doing something new to put the brakes on the chaotic streets. Officials are making driving tests mandatory for those seeking their first license. New drivers undergo a week-long course at government-approved driving schools, leading to a final test to determine whether they can receive a license.

The mandatory change replaces a system in which those seeking a license would pay the equivalent of $37 and sign a declaration that stated they knew how to drive. While the new legislation passed last year, not everyone is happy. A government-approved driving course could cost up to around $200.

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Alasdair Baverstock MA is an award-winning multimedia foreign correspondent based in Mexico City, with more than five years of experience covering Latin America. Originally from London, and with full NCTJ certification, he specialises in news and feature journalism for print, radio and television. His work has previously been used as set-texts in British A-Level examinations. He currently works as CGTN America's Mexico correspondent, and has formerly published work in TIME Magazine, Daily Mail, The Atlantic, Penthouse, Fox News, BBC, Daily Telegraph, TRT World, and others.

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