The National, Tuesday November 5th, 2013
I STRONGLY support the call for the Motor Vehicle Insurance Ltd (MVIL) and National Road Safety Council (NRSC) to run refresher courses for drivers.
A driver holds in his hands not only his life and those of the passengers in his vehicle, but also those of the one on the other track as well as pedestrians on the footpath.
Our city is growing and there will be more vehicles on the road.
It is a recipe for disaster if someone from the bush were to come to towns or cities, get a second-hand vehicle and start a taxi service.
To get a driving licence in most countries, a person must meet a minimum standard in education, age, physical ability, eyesight, coordination and so on.
They must also pass a written test before they can obtain a learner’s licence.
It is the responsibility of the state and concerned offices to guarantee the safety of every citizen.
Anyone can litigate against the MVIL and NRSC if a loved one loses his/her life in a road accident involving an unlicensed driver or an unqualified driver for being issued a licence without proper tests.
Already there are thousands of illegal taxis out there and it is an eyesore to see taxi drivers driving leisurely with their right hands outside the window while controlling the vehicle with only their left hands.
We can drive with one hand, but the other hand must always be in a ready position to be used in a fraction of a second in case of an emergency.
Posture is very important for proper control of a vehicle.
Many of our PMV drivers think and behave like they are immune to road rules.
They can come from any lane, overtake the bus at the junction of a roundabout and cause traffic jams or accidents.
PMV drivers in NCD are becoming notorious by the way they behave.
Nowadays, most of us adopt defensive driving methods to save our lives and avoid damages to our valuable vehicles, especially when PMVs approach us.
I suggest the MVIL and NRSC consider the following before the situation worsens and lives perish on the road:
- Make driving test a must in theory and practice to get a licence;
- Issue driving licence only to those who pass Grade Eight;
- Impose spot fines on offenders of traffic rules;
- Deploy traffic police with special uniforms at main junctions as well as roundabouts and put cameras at signals to catch offenders;
- Ensure traffic police not only check stickers for safety and registration, but also the driver’s licence and make sure that indicator and brake lights function properly;
- Use breathalysers to catch drunk drivers;
- Cancel licences for three years or more for drivers involved in accidents or drunk driving;
- Drivers with cancelled licences must sit for another test to get a new licence;
- Open a toll-free hotline for the public to call in to report offenders;
- NCDC, MVIL and NRSC should create more awareness with slogans and through schools to educate the public;
- Organise refresher courses for drivers frequently; and,
- Remove corrupt officers who issue licences based on wantokism or nepotism.
Our safety is paramount.
Who will take care of this?
I call for more people to respond to this matter to open the eyes of concerned offices.