Welcome to this comprehensive guide on model town boards, where we delve into the intricacies of establishing and maintaining an efficient parking and road management system.
As a past driving school instructor, I aim to provide you with a detailed understanding of what a model town board entails, its role, various types of parking, key components, signs, features, and the common questions surrounding it.
Additionally, I will explore essential notes, different road types, rules for ample parking in Kenya, and the fundamental rules governing a model town board.
Let us embark on this informative journey to learn more about model town board.
What Is A Model Town Board?
As the name suggests, a model town board is a board used to teach driving school students how to use Kenyan roads.
It is a representation of the different roads a student is bound to encounter while driving on real roads in Kenya and East Africa at large.
The Role of a Model Town Board
The model town board is an exact replica or simplified representation of the major types of roads common in the major cities in the country and East Africa as a whole.
Its role is to prepare drivers mentally for the roads they’ll encounter and how to tackle both expected and unexpected scenarios on the road.
It is used in the evaluation as the key determinant as to whether a learner can proceed to take a practical driving test on the road.
Proficiency in navigating the model town board is, therefore, a crucial factor in successfully passing a driving test in Kenya, obtaining a driver’s license, and ultimately evolving into a well-informed and conscientious driver on Kenya’s public roads.
Types of Parking in a Model Town Board
Within a model town board, two types of parking styles are typically designated to cater to the diverse needs of drivers. These include:
A. Angle/ample/controlled parking zone
In real life, angle/ample/controlled parking zones are designated areas where vehicles are parked diagonally, maximizing space efficiency.
Commonly found in urban areas and parking lots, this type of parking allows vehicles to be parked at an angle, facing the curb or roadway edge.
B. Flush/parallel/uncontrolled parking zone
Again, in real-life situations, flush/parallel/uncontrolled parking zones are areas where vehicles are parked parallel to the curb or roadway without any specific angle or regulation.
Often seen on residential or less-regulated streets, this type of parking allows vehicles to be parked in a straightforward manner, aligned with the curb.
It provides convenient access to vehicles and easy maneuverability.
While no specific controls or regulations are in place, local parking restrictions may still apply, such as time limits or specific parking purposes.
Rules of Ample Parking in Kenya
Angle/ample parking is the most commonly used parking style in Kenya. The following six rules govern this sort of parking.
- The parking is strictly for small cars only
- You should park from the farthest end
- Park by forward gear
- Leave/exit in reverse
- Do not double park
- When parking next to a double-parked car, skip the half-parked slot and park in the next one
Adhering to these six rules can contribute to a more organized and efficient parking system in Kenya, ensuring that parking spaces are adequately utilized and accessible to all motorists.
Components of a Model Town Board
To effectively carry out its responsibilities, a tabletop model town board consists of several essential components.
These include parking lots, roads, junctions, traffic island, roundabouts, signage, and toy cars.
Each component contributes to the smooth functioning of the board and helps maintain an efficient parking and road management system.
Model Town Board Signs
Some of the signs found on a model town board are:
- Stop sign
- Give way sign
- Pedestrian crossing
- Turn right ahead
- Turn left ahead
- Proceed straight only
- No entry
Apart from signs on model town, you need to know common roads signs in Kenya.
See, road signs are a crucial component of road safety and serve as a universal language for communication between drivers.
As such, knowing road signs is of paramount importance before going for a driving test.
Click here for a list of common road signs in Kenya and watch the video above for more insights on traffic signs in Kenya.
Key Features of a Model Town Board
An ideal model town board incorporates various features to optimize its effectiveness. These features include:
- One way traffic road/dual carriage way
- Two way traffic road/single carriage way
- Parking zones
- Yellow kerb
- Traffic island
- Pedestrian crossing
- Stop sign
- Give way sign
- Yellow dotted and continuous line
- Exit from main road
- Exit from the controlled parking zone
- Road markings, such as arrows, reflectors, and delta marks.
Types of Roads in a Model Town Board
A model town board consists of two roads, namely; minor and major roads.
The minor roads consist of three lanes, and the major roads consist of four lanes.
Rules of the Model Town Board
To ensure the smooth operation of a model town board, certain rules and regulations govern its functioning. They are:
- Always use the shortest route possible (without using parking)
- If you must use the longest route, make sure it’s the correct one (without using parking)
- Use parking as the last option
- Always give way to vehicles approaching from the right side in the roundabout
- Always park from the furthest side of the parking
Other Useful Notes on Model Town Boards
Beyond the core topics discussed above, there are additional noteworthy aspects to consider.
To be able to pass the theory part of driving, there are some basic assessment areas that a learner should master during training. They are as follows;
The model town board comes with two types of parking, ample and flush parking.
Each learner is expected to understand the two.
For instance, in ample parking, all cars flow in one direction, and it consists of an entrance and exit on both sides.
Cars parked here are smaller vehicles.
Uncontrolled/flush parking is designed for both small and big vehicles.
It is the parking style we see in our streets on spaces found on the left side of the road.
The shortest and longest route
While moving the toy cars in a theory test, learners are at times required to use both the shortest and longest routes possible.
This means that you will be expected to bear in mind all types of turning such as 90 degrees turn, rules of overtaking and lane discipline, as well as right of way.
This is a very important aspect of driving.
How you move the toy car on the board is probably the same way you will drive when exiting a parking lot, joining the highway, and exiting a roundabout.
So you want to be very keen as you will most likely be asked to exit a parking lot, join the highway, and return back to the parking lot.
Unless you are overtaking, be sure to keep left at all times, even when taking a test on the model town board.
Right of way
This is also another aspect where drivers make most mistakes on the road.
So, during an assessment, the instructor will want to know that the learner understands the basics of the right of way.
For instance, a vehicle that enters the roundabout first should be given the right of way first.
When exiting a parking space, the vehicles already on the main road have the right of way.
The same applies for when you are joining the highway or main road from an intersection or junction.
There are three types of turning allowed to motorists in Kenya.
These are U-turn, turning on a roundabout, and three-point turn.
It is important for each learner to understand where each of these styles can be applied, and their signs.
How are Questions on Model Town Board Phrased?
So, how do tutors examine learners on the model town board?
The board is used to test your parking skills, changing lanes, and observing road rules.
As a learner, you will be asked to move a toy car to a designated point on the model town board.
In most cases you will be required to move the vehicle to prove your parking skills, how you approach and exit a roundabout, and your ability to follow instructions on road signs.
Before performing any actions, the learners are expected to call out their next move.
For example, when exiting the parking lot, you are required to mention something like “give way” before joining the main road.
This will also be expected of you while taking the actual practical test.
Common NTSA Model Town Board Questions and Their Answers
The most common questions that NTSA officials will ask you when you go for driving test revolves around things like demonstrating how you ca take vehicle A in front or behind vehicle B, parking, turning, and lane discipline.
Occasionally, you may also be asked theoretical questions like:
I. Where’s Model Town Board used?
It is used at driving school to train learners and familiarize them with major roads in the country
II. What is the most important rule on the model town board?
Always use the shortest route possible
III. What are the most common mistakes made when approaching a roundabout?
- Leaving the roundabout from the wrong lane
- Approaching the wrong roundabout from a wrong lane
- Changing the lane on a roundabout
- Observing traffic from the wrong side
IV. Where should you not overtake while driving?
- At a junction
- Where there’s no overtaking sign
- At a roundabout
V. Where should you not stop?
- At the roundabout
- At a junction
- At the center of the road
VI. What does a white continuous line on a one-way traffic road mean?
Do not interchange the lane
VII. Where are you required to stop by the law?
- At a stop sign
- When the traffic light turns red
- When ordered by the police to stop
VIII. When can you overtake from the left side of the road?
When the car in front of you is turning right.
IX. How should you control yourself on an uncontrolled roundabout?
Ensure that there is no oncoming vehicle from the right side of the roundabout.
Understanding the working of a model town board can prove to be quite a challenge, but with the right knowledge and strategies, it can result in well-organized and efficient parking and road familiarity for the learner.
I hope this quick guide has provided you with valuable insights to using a model town board.
Remember, the secret to mastering the model town board lies in paying keen attention and listening attentively to guidelines given by the instructor.
This will in turn give you the confidence you need to comfortably tackle both the theory and practical driving tests.