Susanne Hebner, Managing Director, Hubert Ebner (India) Pvt Ltd writes on the tools of teaching Defensive Driving. Her company, an Indo-Austria venture, carries out extensive driver training programmes in India and has made several road safety films.
Defensive driving, practised all over the world, especially in the developed countries, is the key to reducing road accidents and being safe on the road. In the European Union (EU), defensive driving is taught with the help of the driver training systems. It is achieved in the following systemic manner –
* Post licence driver training
* Quality management
* Train the trainer programmes
* Standards for driving schools and training institutes
The standards are laid on the basis of the EU legislation.
Novice Driver Training
This type of training is to be given only in the licensed driving schools with the help of certified instructors. It follows a curriculum and has special guidelines for driving licence test. The novice driver training mainly comprises three phases. The first is theory and practical training which also includes Driving Examination. The second is special training. And the third phase is the observation time for the novice drivers.
Theory comes as a basic training for all categories and also as an additional training for each category which includes two wheelers, Light Motor Vehicles (LMV), Heavy Transport Vehicles (HTV), Human Powered Vehicles (HPV) and Agricultural vehicles. Each vehicle category has fixed hours of minimum practical training. While a two wheeler will require 12 hours training and Light Motor Vehicle (LMV) will require 12 to 20 hours (for 3000km – 1000km). For LMV along with trailer a two hour practical training is given while a 10 hour practical training is a must for HTV. As against this, four hour training is mandatory for a trailer for HTV, 12 hours for HPV and four hours for agricultural vehicles.
It is necessary for a driver who has a valid licence. The driving licence test has two parts. The first is the theoretical test which is primarily a multiple choice question test that can be taken either on a computer or a paper. The second test is the practical driving test which consists of explanation on vehicle checks, manoeuvring on track and driving in traffic.
Post licence driver training
This is basically a voluntary advanced training and driver improvement course. The course is for the professional drivers. Vehicle category includes taxi, Haz Chem, etc. Such training is mostly supported by corporate houses, NGOs and insurance companies.
HTV Refresher Course
HTV refresher course consists of the following modules: Eco-training; social and legal aspects for transportation of goods; safety techniques & defensive driving; soft skills for professional drivers and loading safety and load security.
HPV Refresher Course
The modules covered in this course are: Eco-training; soft skills and customer relationship; safety techniques und defensive driving; social and legal aspects, risk management & handling emergencies and passenger safety & health care.
Keeping in mind the fast paced progress and even faster pace of life where nobody wants to stand in a queue to wait for anything, and the realisation of the governments that all systems need to be made transparent, the concept of e-learning is fast catching up. With the GenX being computer savvy, even at school level, the convenience, speed and transparency in these systems are unmatched.
The basic concept is very simple – anyone who wants a learner’s licence will need to study the portions on his/her computer and then appear for a test at a designated regional traffic office on an e-testing system. The result of this test is generated through the computer. The same process is repeated for the permanent licence. The model is based on audio-visual modules which are client & user specific and also user friendly.
The P-Drive system is the first and only state-of-the-art system to objectively analyse the driving ability of LMV and HMV drivers. The advantage of the methodology and didactic of the P-Drive system is that the driver and trainer can see and directly check what was right or wrong in a particular situation and it all takes place in live road traffic, not in a protected, simulated environment. The system can be used anywhere, individually or in groups, for road safety training on special tracks, and for road traffic too. The P-Drive system, which is ready-to-use, can be installed in any vehicle in a few minutes.
The simulator is an instrument that has been developed at Hubert Ebner (HE) to increase the awareness of safety in a risk free atmosphere. This training device reproduces various simulated situations on the road in a realistic manner, thereby allowing the “rider” on the road to maneuver in the same manner.
Through repeated reviewing of processes leading to the “accident” or other hazardous situations from various angles with his/her own eyes, the “rider” gets a deep understanding of safety. As a training instrument, this can be used by both inexperienced riders and those with abundant riding experience.
Institutes for novice and advanced driver training
Any driving institute which is going to impart training for novice or advanced drivers training must have a 40 acre area, training rooms, handling tracks for novice as well as advanced drivers, training tracks for novice drivers, special skidding surfaces and tracks with gradients and bends for each category.
(Hubert Ebner (India) Pvt Ltd is an Indo-Austrian Joint Venture, set up to address the issue of road safety in India, curtail the amount of road crashes by creating awareness and give specailised training to drivers of all kinds of vehicles. It has branches all over India)