Hoyer UK driver trainer Chris Hill has given Transaid’s Professional Driver Training Project in Zambia a boost, after leading a 12-day ‘training to train’ course in the country’s capital, Lusaka.
Road deaths are the third biggest killer following HIV/AIDS and malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. International development charity Transaid is collaborating with Zambia’s Industrial Training Centre Trust (ITCT) to try and reduce the number of lives lost as a result of poor driving by investing in improved training for commercial vehicle drivers.
Following up on previous Hoyer training inputs by Gary Parmar and Joe Connolly in 2009, Chris made a valuable contribution to Transaid’s Professional Driver Training Project, coaching ITCT driver trainers in safer driving and handling hazardous chemicals (Hazchem).
Having shared instruction techniques with the ITCT driver trainers in a ‘training to train’ module, Chris also spent time developing the trainers’ own personal driving skills to raise their standards and subsequently, those of their trainees.
Speaking on his return, Chris said: "The whole experience was extremely challenging and at times I had to go back to basic driver training skills in order to change driver culture habits."
A large part of Chris’ efforts in Zambia were devoted to developing the skills of newly-recruited driver trainer Francis Mulumi.
Chris focused on training Francis in defensive driving techniques, as well as covering topics such as rollover prevention, driver fatigue and fire and Hazchem training. He also went over the fundamentals of sensible professional driving, including pre-vehicle checks, the correct three point stance for entering and exiting a vehicle and procedures for coupling and uncoupling trailers.
"My greatest achievement was seeing first-hand the noticeable improvements the new driver trainer made following his learning of the advanced driving and coaching techniques," he said. "I felt the job I came here to do made a huge difference."
Transaid Zambia Programme Manager Caroline Barber said: "We are sincerely grateful to Hoyer for providing these driver training inputs to the project – and the added expertise of Hazchem training.
"The handling of dangerous goods is of huge importance in a region where emergency services are virtually non-existent. The following of correct safety procedures and knowledge of what to do in a crisis are paramount to human safety and could save many lives."
For more details on the project and Transaid’s work please visit www.transaid.org