Women Allegedly Denied Driving Test for Wearing Jeans in Chennai

An official said appearing for a government administered test is a “formal occasion” & decency should be considered

2 min read

Claims by some women that they were turned away from taking a driving licence test for wearing jeans and capris were refuted by a Regional Transport Office in Chennai on Tuesday, 22 October, which said they have not enforced any dress code.

The women were allegedly told by a Motor Vehicles Inspector at the KK Nagar RTO office in Chennai recently that their “dress was not appropriate” and to wear salwar-kameez to take the test.

On the allegation, officials at the RTO (West) claimed, "no woman was sent back for that reason, it is not correct.”

Requesting not to be named, they told PTI that there has never been a dress code to ride a two-wheeler in order to take a test for obtaining a driver’s licence.

"But it will be good if men and women took safety and decency into account before appearing for a test... a lengthy, untied dupatta or a fluttering loose end of a saree might pose trouble while riding; be it for a test or otherwise," two officials said, adding however they never insisted on a particular outfit.

‘Only a Suggestion, Not a Rule’

They said appearing for a government administered test too is a "formal occasion" and decency should be considered by aspirants.

Another official said, "there could have been some misunderstanding... ours is only a suggestion for both men and women but never a rule or a binding diktat."

He pointed out that men aspirants are “advised” to go for formal wear and avoid “things like shorts” and women may choose anything that are safe, comfortable and decent for them.

Some associated with driving schools said "such advice," was nothing new. Even about six months ago, in another RTO in the city some women were asked to "dress appropriately so that they can safely ride two-wheelers," they claimed.

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