Increasingly, injuries and mortality arising from road traffic accidents are being recognized as one of the most important public health challenges of our time in Zambia. Along with this recognition comes a pressing need to develop capacity in the area of road safety, injury and accident prevention.
In order to keep safe on the roads and avoid the human, legal and economic costs of accidents, BCP invested in a three-days defensive and off-road 4×4 level 1 and level 2 as well as recovery trainings for its nine employees who will be driving company motor vehicles in the course of their duties. The training was led by Darren Boyd, a trainer from Top Gear SA, a South African training company.
Comprising of five modules, this comprehensive training program covered a wide range of topics, from the major causes of collisions to pre- and post- trip inspections of vehicles with an emphasis on vehicle safety specifically tyre safety, blind spot checks, side and rear view mirror use; safe stopping distance, following distance, basic hi-jack prevention, space and time management as well as gravel road driving.
Under the 4X4 off-road training module, the following topics were covered: ascending and descending slopes, side slopes, sand crossing, rock crawling and cross-axle exercises. All the nine trainees took turns in driving on the rough terrain comprising pot holes, steep slopes, rocky places and side slopes and other common obstacles and challenges.
Vehicles are an important asset when working in remote rural forest areas establishing REDD+ projects. Training in vehicle recovery and off-road techniques is strategic for safety reasons in areas where poor roads and a rainy season lasting up to 6 months can hamper access.
By and large, the training comprised a mix of both classroom-based lectures/video footage as well as extensive one-on-one and group-based hands-on on-road and off-road activities.
The skills that employees obtained from this training will certainly help them not only in taking safety and precautionary measures when driving but also in looking after motor vehicles properly, protecting and guarding them jealously.
Kudos to BCP management for making this valuable training possible!
By: Esau Shawa, Community Engagement Manager