Surakkha is a road safety and defensive driving training for in-service drivers. The training is especially designed for in-service commercial bus and truck drivers, as the majority have not been through institutional driving training. It is common in Bangladesh where such drivers receive their training through apprenticeship from another experienced but untrained driver. As a result, many of these drivers, although performing at professional capacity, are unaware of the many road safety rules and practices.
Good professional drivers know the traffic signs and traffic rules. They have a sense of responsibility for the safety of other road users – knowing that traffic casualties are avoidable. The training helps drivers improve their attitude and behaviour on the road. It also develops their theoretical knowledge on driving while helping them to drive more defensively. The training is ideally given to groups of 20 to 25 trainees, with a maximum of 25 trainees per group.
BRAC Driving School is now conducting the following types of Surakkha courses:
• Two days of theoretical training and one day of driving testing and grading for corporate body drivers
• Three days of theoretical training for bus and truck drivers
• Two days of road safety training for motorcycle drivers
Some comments on the training by former trainees:
“After receiving this training my eyes have been opened. All these years I have been driving with a wrong attitude. Although I have been driving with patience, yet after receiving this training I am realising that I did not know lots of things about safe driving. If we follow what we have been taught here, then I am sure that we will never encounter any more road crashes. [...] I am highly grateful and it is a pleasure for me to attend this training.” – Mr. Foridul Islam Rahim, in service for previous 21 years, and four years for ENA transport (at the time)
“I have been driving for a long time; by Gods grace I have never had any road crash and I am a trained driver. After hearing that BRAC is giving a new training I got interested and hence attended the Surakkha training. We always drive to keep out of accidents, but after coming here I have learned that safety of ourselves, that is Surakkha, is very important. We always make simple mistakes while driving; minute mistakes can lead to a disastrous crash. This training has actually showed us where we were wrong throughout our entire lives as drivers. My attitude towards safety of myself, passengers and the wealth of my transport owner has completely changed. Now I will drive maintaining the rules of safe driving till the last trip of my life before I retire.’’ - Mr. Zaman, a driver of Shamoly transport service