Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Charity Brings Safer Truck Driving Standards to Another African Nation

Third Country's HGV Sector to Benefit from Hands On Instruction
Shipping News Feature

UGANDA – International transport development charity Transaid is expanding its successful Professional Driver Training Project (PDTP) into its third country, after the programme successfully increased standards of commercial truck and PSV driver training methods in Zambia and Tanzania. The initial 12 month programme will be rolled out in Uganda, a country which has one of the world’s highest road traffic fatality rates with an estimated 28.9 road traffic deaths per 100,000 population, compared to 3.7 in the UK.

Transaid will be working with the ‘Safe Way, Right Way’ Partnership and Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency to implement the scheme during the rest of 2014, and will begin by conducting PCV (Passenger Carrying Vehicle) training of driver trainers in the country’s capital Kampala, followed by HGV training. Transaid’s Project Manager for Road Safety, Neil Rettie, said:

“Launching the scheme in Uganda is a major undertaking, but is a key step to creating safer roads in the country. Uganda has one of the highest road crash death rates in Africa, so projects like the PDTP are vital to increase education and awareness surrounding road safety which ultimately saves lives.”

The charity is ideally placed to conduct this type of training having supported the development of the professional driver training at the Industrial Training Centre in Zambia since 2008 and the National Institute of Transport in Tanzania since 2010. Traditionally driver training in Africa has been primarily theory based, but through the PDTP Transaid has increased the ratio of hands-on practical training, essential for developing safer drivers. The PDTP is supported by a management board consisting of representatives from the UK transport companies who contribute through secondment of volunteers, donation of training vehicles and providing strategic advice. Gary Forster, Transaid’s Chief Executive, added:

“The PDTP has been a hugely effective project in Zambia and Tanzania and Transaid has been at the forefront of changing the driving habits of literally thousands of commercial vehicle drivers. We hope to mirror the achievements of the project from those countries in Uganda. Key to the successful implementation of our projects is our fantastic team of professional volunteers and corporate partners who have been supporting the Professional Driver Training Project for the last six years. We gladly welcome any businesses in the transport industry here in the UK who are interested in getting involved.”

Photo: Drivers have to cope with the most appalling road conditions like these in Koboko, Northern Uganda.