Seventy-three unemployed women are undergoing a six-month training in driving to prepare them to drive Aayalolo buses. The woman are drawn from all ten regions in Ghana have benefitted from the program , Ghana’s first simulator driver training put together by Government Technical Training Centre, SCANIA and Safe Drive to institutionalize professional driving among women. The first batch of the female drivers were given simulator training to enable them get the judgment, anticipation, reaction and aptitude required for professional driving in Ghana.
Real Driving Experience ’
Simulator driving is providing hands-on, experiential training to the woman drivers. The inbuilt training modules in the simulator helps woman drivers to learn basic driving skills in their own language at their own pace. This gives them the confidence to handle a vehicle before they drive on road .
The simulator also exposes them to various challenging and hazard scenarios in a controlled environment so that they can experience the hazards without risks to people or vehicles around. TecknoSIM simulator records drivers’ reactions, response times, and provide post-driving reviews. This helps the drivers to analyse their mistakes and improve themselves before they hit the road.
Briefing the media about the training exercise in Accra yesterday, the Chairman of Safe Drive Innovation, Mr David Oppong-Kusi, said the initiative was a joint collaboration among the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority
(DVLA), the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) and the GTTC.
He expressed optimism that the use of simulators would help the female drivers apply the knowledge they had acquired in driving lessons on the road, as the simulator approach would offer them the opportunity to apprise themselves of some of the real challenges they would face on the road.
“The transition between the classroom and the road has become a problem for a lot of people who finish driving schools but are unable to apply safe driving techniques on the road. I am, therefore, optimistic that the simulators will help these drivers get the real driving experience before they get behind the actual steering wheels,” he added.
The acting Principal of the GTTC, Mr Constant Yao Tsedzah, said the software and hardware of driving would expose the trainees to both the theoretical and practical components of driving.
“When I talk about the software, I am talking about the theory aspects of driving such as fuel efficiency, firefighting, knowledge of all kinds of vehicles and the various categories of vehicles they will be handling. The hardware entails the practical skills, including open manoeuvres of the buses, as well as traffic training,” he explained.
Mr Tsedzah further said the training was in line with the Road Traffic Act, 2004 (Act 683) which sought to promote road safety in the country, saying, “whatever we are doing is to promote safety and ensure that crashes and accidents do not occur on our roads.”
For her part, the Executive Director of the NRSC, Ms May Obiri-Yeboah, said the Ministry of Transport was collaborating with other stakeholders to develop a driving module to train not only novices but upgrade the knowledge of those who were already driving.
She, therefore, averred that the training would serve as a refresher course to upgrade the knowledge and skills of drivers on road safety.
“I will want to encourage the trainees to change their perception of the driving profession,” she said, and challenged them to adhere to safety precautions by applying the techniques they had acquired.