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Austrian firm to invest in building drivers’ safety training centres in Nigeria

Austrian Technologies Nigeria Limited (ATN) in partnership with Test- & Training International (TTI) – a global leading drivers’ safety training company has concluded plans to build world class training centres in Nigeria for training of truck drivers, as well as other commercial and professional drivers in Nigeria.

The center known as Drivers’ Safety Training and Certification (DSTC) will be built in Lagos, Kaduna, Abuja, and Port Harcourt.

DSTC plans of developing network of drivers’ training tracks with the participation of local investors will be implemented in collaboration with the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).

DSTC is led by former Formula One driver and two times Le Mans winner Alexander Wurz and his father Franz Wurz, European racing legend (three times European Champion in Rallycross), who invented modern Road Safety Training in Europe.

Speaking during a press briefing hosted in Lagos last week by Guido Stock, the Commercial Counsellor of the Austrian Embassy, Hyginus Omeje, Corps Sector Commander of FRSC Lagos State, said a deficiency in traffic education and basic understanding of the consequences of careless driving, improper driving training and training in road and safety procedures, are the most significant factors contributing to traffic accidents.

“Hence, driver education and training programmes are highest priority in Nigeria,” Omeje said.

According to him, in 2017 alone, fatalities from road accidents in Nigeria were 5,121 while 31,094 people were injured. “Most Nigerian truck drivers are schooled by experienced colleagues using the apprenticeship method and are then allowed to drive with inadequate training after years of serving as ‘Motor Boys’. Demonstrating that “Lack of well-trained drivers hampers fleet utilisation, safe driving behaviours and total number of fatal accidents.”

Explaining the results of DSTC in Austria, Franz Wurz said that fatalities among young drivers have been reduced by 65 percent between 2003 and 2015 and due to the introduction of obligatory driver safety training.

“TTI also successfully introduced European training standards for tanker drivers. BP (British Petroleum) was able to reduce rollover accidents by 80 percent and rear-end collisions by 60 percent within 1.5 years upon implementation,” he added.

Johann Rieger, CEO of ATN, stated that the new ATN-TTI programme will create a win-win environment and substantial benefits for all stakeholders. “Besides, hundreds of new high skill, attractive working places and extensive know-how transfer, society will also benefit in the reduction of the number of accidents – fatalities and injuries.

“Transport corporations will benefit, as a result of decrease in: loss of man power, damaged vehicles and/or lost goods and reduction of insurance premiums. They will be able to employ drivers that are certified based on international standards. Insurance companies will benefit from huge savings in accident related compensations.

“The government and FRSC will profit from improving efficiency in road safety and gain positive economic impact on GDP growth and employment. Consumers will benefit from lower cost of logistics and transport as well as lower cost of goods. Investors into the programme will gain from a sustainable stream of income in a completely new market segment,” he added.

 

Uzoamaka Anagor-Ewuzie

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