1000 drivers targeted for defensive driving training

Martin Endjala

VIVO Energy Namibia plans to train about 1000 public transport drivers for defensive skills and first aid training during the course of the year as a means of reducing accidents on the roads.

Corporate Communications Manager of VIVO Energy Namibia Lazarus Nafidi said that the aim is to train and certify as many public transporters as possible to ensure safer roads. The training is fully funded by Vivo Energy Namibia.

Nafidi further explained that they have partnered with Drivewell Academy, who are certified trainers in Defensive Driving techniques and OshMed International, who provide the Basic First Aid training to taxi and bus drivers.

He added that they collaborated with the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (NABTA) as they are the bus and taxi association with a large membership.

Last year, they trained and certified 200 drivers between September and December.

“We mainly used this period as a means to try out the viability of the training programme and targeted Windhoek, Ongwediva, Walvis Bay and Keetmanshoop as training venues over a period of 4 months. This year we aim to train 1,000 drivers”, said Nafidi.

Vivo Energy Namibia is a marketer and distributor of Shell branded fuels and lubricants.

“Taxi and bus drivers play a key role in the economy, providing public transportation services to a highly mobile population. Hence, they are viewed as key road safety stakeholders that carry a huge responsibility. In Namibia it is said that, about 13 percent of motor vehicle accidents and car crashes involve taxi sedans and taxi busses, “ he said.

Nafidi added that they engaged partners to design and implement a training programme for Taxi drivers that will result in a reduction in the numbers of road accidents.

The two-day course equips Taxi Drivers with defensive driving skills that will help them maintain awareness of road and weather conditions, other vehicles, road users, and potentially hazardous situations and take steps to prevent becoming the cause of or becoming involved in car crashes.

The Basic First Aid course Nafidi said, is offered to the drivers with the aim of successfully transforming them into useful first aid respondents through theoretical and practical training on the principles of emergency care, safety and emergency scene management, artificial respiration, CPR, wounds and bleeding, fractures and trauma.

“We are looking forward to a highly impactful programme this year, as we believe that it pays to adopt a proactive approach to road safety”, says Nafidi.

NABTA Secretary General Pendapala Nakathingo in an interview yesterday emphasized the importance of its members undergoing such training.

By Observer