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Last modified on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 18:00

BRAC Driving School: An initiative for road safety

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23 May 2012, Dhaka. “I believe that female can do better than man in driving profession. Girls are more cautious while driving. They do not smoke, talk over cell phone or overtake while driving. We should encourage girls to join in driving profession. It can be a respectable job for them. -  Mr. Obaidul Kader MP, Minister, Ministry of Communication & Railways, said this in the launching event of BRAC Driving School at Uttara. He thanked BRAC for including 2 women in the training of trainer’s course that he visited.

The Minister also requested BRTA to sign an MOU to work jointly with BRAC and other stakeholders on driving training supports. Today BRAC has launched its driving school at Uttara, opposite Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and Hajj Camp.

Road traffic injuries cause a loss of about 2% of GDP in Bangladesh. It is also found in WHO’s survey in 2009 that 170,000 people become handicapped every year. A survey conducted on existing driving training schools by BRAC in the private sector revealed that the quality of the training, the instructors, and the training aids used, are below acceptable standard. Only 69 out of some 350 schools have approval from the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA).

Cars are involved in 2 to 3 percent of accidents in western country where as 70% cars are involved in accidents in Bangladesh. We know the reasons, but we need to take actions to reduce the rate.” Actor and Social Activist Ilias Kanchan said in his speech.

Mr. A. Najmul Hussin Director in Charge of BRAC Road Safety Programme said in his presentation that we have 16 lac registered vehicles and 10 lac licensed drivers at present.  This means we have shortage of 14 lac drivers calculated at 1.5 drivers required per motor vehicle. license. They need to be trained and licensed by authority.

Mr. S N Kairy, CFO BRAC in his speech gave out the future road safety plan of BRAC. He said the 1st year pilot of BRAC driving school will be extended to 5 years on the positive result. BRAC has plan to raise the status of Brac Driving School as college in future.

Considering the dismal state of drivers training in the country, National Road Safety Council  decided that that the Bangladesh Army, BRAC, and Accident Research Institute of BUET, in joint collaboration with BRTA, will train driving instructors and provide road safety training to in-service drivers. BRAC engaged Hubert Ebner (India) Pvt Ltd., Delhi-based Indo-Austrian organisation with 30 years experience in road safety, to prepare training materials and to conduct the training of driving trainers recruited by them. The driving training curriculum, materials and equipment are prepared jointly with Hubert Ebner, and are of international standard. BRAC Driving School will offer 18 days training for BRAC driving school trainers, 12 days training for instructors of driving training schools at the private sector, 24 days basic driving training for men and women from the youth section of population for employment abroad and 2 days road safety and defensive driving training for in-service professional drivers (fake and renewal applicants).

BRAC Driving School is an initiative of the BRAC Road Safety Programme which was started in 2001 to support government’s effort to improve road safety in the country. It has done lots of campaign for awareness building and animation films on road safety issues.

In the closing speech Executive Director of BRAC Dr. Mahbub Hossain sayd , “BRAC always start new initiative as a project, later on based on the outcome we scale up the project at national level. We can start this project as private-public partnership project and later on jointly expand the functions with government.”

Mr. Obaidul Kader MP, Honourable Minister, Ministry of Communication & Railways Government of Bangladesh was present there as Chief Guest. Chairman of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) Mr. Md. Ayubur Rahman Khan, Actor and Social Activist Ilias Kanchan, Executive Director of BRAC Dr. Mahbub Hossain, Country Head of Hubert Ebner (India) Pvt. Limited Druvo Trivedy and high officials of government and BRAC will be present there.

The BRAC Driving School is designed to make significant impact towards producing institution based trained and skilled driver community in the country. The instructors and drivers successfully trained by BDS will not only improve the current hazardous road safety situation, but their positive attitude, behaviour and driving skill will reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and thereby the cost of transportation in the country.

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