By Kampala Post Reporter
GULU: Ford Motor Company and its exclusive distributor in Uganda, Cooper Motor Corporation (CMC), have brought back the innovative Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) programme.
DSFL equips motorists with practical skills that help improve road safety, and promote fuel efficient driving techniques.
CMC hosted DSFL in partnership with Road Safety Initiative (RSI) at Boma Grounds in Gulu Town on Saturday. RSI was established in 2010, in response to a significant increase in road accidents in the country. The organisation has been created to support the national safety and transportation system, tackle road safety issues, reduce road accidents, and deaths resulting from road accidents.
The event included DSFL lead instructors who provided participants from local government, hospitals, universities, businessmen as well as farmers, with a combination of classroom training and on-the-road practice.
“We are delighted to host the DSFL programme for the third time,” said Herman Mbalasi, the Country Manager CMC Uganda. “Our motive is to equip drivers with essential skills and life-saving driving techniques highlighted by the DSFL programme. This will contribute towards reducing the number of road accidents in the country, and make drivers more aware of the consequences of distracted or impaired driving.”
DSFL is a free driver training programme that was established in the United States in 2003 by the Ford Motor Company Fund, and has been progressively rolled out around the world. It has already been launched in seven markets across the Sub-Saharan Africa region, including: Angola, Madagascar, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
DSFL features some of the newest and most innovative tools and techniques to teach drivers to become safer and more aware, thus enabling them to make sound decisions behind the wheel.
Through theoretical training in a classroom environment, followed by hands-on driving instruction, participants gain valuable insight and experience in vehicle handling, hazard recognition, and speed and space management – which, combined, account for more than 60 per cent of crashes. In addition, participants learn the importance of safety belt use for all vehicle occupants.
The curriculum includes the special Drunk Goggles, which emphasize the dangers of driving while impaired. Whilst wearing the goggles, participants gain perspective on how being over the legal alcohol limit can slow movement, reduce co-ordination, blur vision, and make tasks difficult.
Ali Muteza, the Chief Executive officer of Road Safety Initiative (RSI) says their aim is to ensure that they reduce road accidents and traffic congestion in Uganda. “Road Safety is a shared responsibility. Accidents suck-up people's ability to work, increase poverty and suffering to the victims and their loved ones. The burden of injury is equal to all road users regardless of age, sex, colour or status,” Muteza said.