Gulu – Over thirty drivers from Gulu district on Saturday afternoon underwent an essential skills and life-saving driving techniques as a way of reducing the rate of road accidents in the district and the region at large.
The training conducted and instructed by South African driving and road safety experts, was organized by Cooper Motor Cooperation in partnership with Ford Vehicle producing Company took place at Gulu Boma grounds.
The training mainly composed of defensive driving; training drivers who drink alcohol on the dangers of drink-driving using the special drunk goggles.
The training director for Ford driving skills for life program, Derrick Kirkby says the major components of the driving skills for life training are managing hazards and avoiding risks like over speeding, time pressure and overtaking while at a bend.
South African driving instructor who works with Ford Company, Motebang Mokoena says the major challenge he realized with the participants is lack of knowledge on the cars’ skills they imparted on the participants – how they can use the equipment in the vehicles they drive.
Cooper motor cooperation Uganda country manager, Herman Mbalasi in an interview with our reporter says, “The motive of the training is to equip the drivers with safe life saving techniques in a bid to participate in the reduction of road accidents in the country.”
Mbalasi explains that the special drunk goggles helps the participants to gain perspective on how being over the legal alcohol limit can slow the movement, reduce coordination, blur vision and makes tasks difficult.
Richard Oringa, a driver with Gulu Agricultural Environment Company who also participated in the training says, “The knowledge i gained will help me save lives and also manage my vehicle better mechanically.”
David Olanya a participant in the training says, he gained knowledge on how to maneuver bad or slippery roads using the latest technique by Ford.
The driving skills for life DFSL program was first held in the United States of America in 2003 before it was rolled out to Africa in countries including Angola, Madagascar, Nigeria, South Africa Zambia, Zimbabwe and Uganda participating for the third year in a row.
According to the annual traffic and road safety report, more than 3,000 people were killed and over 10,000 people injured in 13,244 road accidents in 2017 with 72% of the cause being reckless and careless driving.