PDSA unveils Best Driver in Nigeria competition

PDSA unveils Best Driver in Nigeria competition

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The Professional Driving and Safety Academy (PDSA) in collaboration with the National and International stakeholders in transportation sectors unveiled the 2024 best driver in Nigeria competition and free road safety education for drivers nationwide.

Speaking at a news conference to officially kick-start the programme on Thursday in Abuja, the Registrar and Chief Executive, PDSA, Mr Jide Owatunmise said that driving remained one of the most complex tasks.

Newsspecng reports that the theme of the briefing is: “Drivers’ Education, Recognition and Motivation: Vital tools for Road Traffic Crash (RTC) Reduction”.

Owatunmise said that several global and national research reports have affirmed that over 80 per cent of Road Traffic Crashes (RTCs) were caused by human factors while over 70 per cent were attributed to drivers.

He said that if the causative factors associated with the drivers were effectively addressed, the rate of RTCs would be significantly and sustainably reduced.

He also said that as high as the rate of RTCs, injuries and deaths were, they were preventable with adequate knowledge and compliance to road rules.

He, however, said that over 70 per cent of all classes of drivers currently knew little or nothing about safety measures.

According to him, vehicle technology has been changing, road traffic regulations are regularly updated, the mental and physical fitness of drivers/riders is not static and the road environment is also dynamic among other developments.

“Section 57 (1) of the National Road Traffic Regulations (NRTR 2012 and 2016 Amendments) clearly states that Drivers (and Riders) are to undergo a minimum of Cumulative Nine hours of Competence training before every renewal of their Licence.

“The Resolutions of the National Council on Transportation (NCT, Dec.8, 2022) also affirmed that the employers of drivers and even drivers of personal vehicles should periodically undergo seminars in driving and road safety use in Nigeria, thereby, reducing the rate of RTCs on Nigeria roads.

“It is, however, disheartening that over 80 per cent of drivers’ are not complying with provisions of the NRTR and Resolutions of NCT on the need for regular updating of knowledge, skills and attitudes on driving in Nigeria.

“Driving is one of the most complex tasks because it involves simultaneous use of the eyes, ears and nose to gather information.

“It also needs the brain to interpret information gathered and hands and legs to apply the interpreted information in a continuously changing environment to enhance effective and safe vehicle control,” he said.

The Registrar said that research reports revealed that most of the Government MDAS, Private sector organisations, professional commercial divers and drivers of self – owned vehicles had not been complying with provisions of the Laws.

He said the Law provided compulsory regular proficiency training, adding that they all complained of lack of time and or money to undergo regular training while some were not even aware of the existence of the laws and resolutions.

He added that in view of the high rate of RTCs, injuries and deaths in Nigeria, there was, therefore, an urgent need to bridge the gaps toward ensuring Safety on Nigeria roads.

According to him, our organisation, in collaboration with several road safety stakeholders initiated and commenced the annual drivers’ day event in Nigeria on Nov. 15, 2023.

He said “representatives of the relevant stakeholders attended the event including Ministry of Transportation, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Directorate of Road Traffic Services (VIOS), and Lagos State Drivers Institute (LASDRI), Transport Unions, NGOs/CSOs, Media and driving schools among others.

“The expanded year 2024 edition of the Annual Drivers’ Day has three branches of events as follows: Best Driver in Nigeria Competition and Free Road Safety Education, International Drivers Conference and Awards to deserving Organisations and Individuals in Transportation and Road Safety.

“The goal is to collaborate with all stakeholders to advocate for Policies, Initiatives and Activities which effectively enhance road safety education and safer road use in Nigeria.

“Our objective is to boost road safety education, enhance road safety consciousness, reiterate the relevance of drivers and riders in the prevention of RTCs, and to boost Drivers’ and Riders’ Motivation for improved performance and safety.

“Other objectives are to significantly reduce the rate of RTCs, injuries and deaths, to emphasise the fact that road safety is a shared responsibility and to promote road safety culture for all road users in Nigeria.

Owatunmise said that the competition was Inot a Lottery adding that there would be no Raffle Draw as the process was Transsparent.

“There is No Loser, “he affirms.

Representatives of various stakeholders like FRSC, DRTS, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Women Drivers Association, VIO mayors of the Federation among other present at the briefing all pledged their support for the 2024 National Drivers Day Competition.

Special awards, certificates of participation, books on driving, riding and safety tips and other packages shall be given to participants and staff of organisations that will participate.

Best driver will be given a car worth N20 million, First Runner up will get fN5 million, Second runner up- N3 million, fourth to 10th position – N1 million each and varieties of consolation prizes for all other contestants.

Registration for participation starts from Friday June 28, nationwide with a fee of N2, 000. Screening and Free Road Safety training starts from July while the grand finale is Nov. 21, 2024.

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