Safe and Sustainable Travel Nepal (SSTN) in the association with RMR foundation Nepal, collaborated with Safe Drive India to organize self-defensive driving training for two-wheelers and four-wheeler users between 25th July 2020 and 30th July 2020. The training was delivered via. online platform from 6 PM to 7 PM. Nineteen participants benefitted from the training program. The training was delivered by Mr. Dheerendra Samineni, Chairman of Safe Drive India.
Mr. Dheerendra Samineni has an experience of more than 20 years in automobile industry and holds a diploma in automobile and mechanical engineering. He is a certified Level 2 trainer from HE, Austria; he is also a certified lead auditor (ISO 39001:2012). He is experienced in road safety engineering, and crash investigation and reconstruction. He is currently associated with the transport department under government of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, India, Royal society for the prevention of accidents, and other road safety related NGOs.
Defensive driving aims at reducing the risk of collision foreseeing hazardous situations and being prepared to compensate for the mistake of others. Thus, defensive driving goes beyond proficiency of basic driving and road use. Defensive driving includes being cognizant of other road users (their actions), surrounding, and always being prepared for unexpected. Summary of the daily training is given below.
Day 1 – 25th July 2020
The program started with welcome speech by General Secretary of RMR Foundation, Diamond Lamichhanne and followed by Chairperson of SSTN, Hemant Tiwari. Both shared their motivations to be involved in the field of road safety and gave a brief overview of the training program. This was followed by the introduction of all the trainees with their motivation to attend the training.
The trainer presented global scenario of road safety followed by scenario in India. Generally, failure in road implies no second chance and one should be as proactive as possible to be safe on the road. The session was accompanied with different audio-visuals showing road crashes along with the cause of crash like not maintaining lane discipline, not yielding while moving from minor road to major road, etc. Preventive measures of the crashes revolve around following general road etiquette in the scenarios mentioned above.
Takeaway: To see what is on the road and be seen by other road users.
Day 2 – 26th July 2020
In the second day of the training, concept of different types of road users and pedestrian safety was discussed. The session highlighted that all the road users should be treated equally. Pedestrians are vulnerable road users and they should act cautiously while walking and crossing the road. The session focused on how the pedestrians can be better at being safe road users. Pedestrians should aim at being visible on road, which can be achieved by using bright colored clothing, reflective bands, flashlight while crossing road, etc.
Takeaway: Pedestrians should try their best to be as visible as possible while using road.
Day 3 – 27th July 2020
Traffic controlling systems constituted a part of session of third day. The participants were introduced with different traffic controlling systems like traffic police, traffic signals, road signs, road markings and road furniture, and their meaning to a defensive driver. Even the innocuous elements should be treated with caution by defensive driver as one should always expect the unexpected. For example, in a junction, drivers approaching to major road from minor are expected to yield. Some drivers might not behave as expected. In such scenarios, driver in major road should be aware that some drivers from minor road might not yield and so should be careful while driving.
Causes for Road Incidents and ways to overcome them comprised rest of the session. Some common causes of road incidents are, but not limited to, speed, overtaking, stress and fatigue, medication and other addiction, and distraction. Presence of mind, situational awareness, environmental awareness is essential while driving.
Takeaway: A defensive driver is always cautious of road environment and is prepared to compensate for other’s driving (that may lead to incidents in road).
Day 4 – 28th July 2020
Fourth day started off with safety gadgets in cars and two-wheelers, viz. seat belts and helmets respectively. The session highlighted that helmets have shelf life and should be used properly.
Rest of the session continued with different defensive driving techniques for two-wheeler and four wheelers users like maneuvering of vehicles in different scenarios, presence of mind while driving, vehicle selection, checklists before using vehicles, mechanical aspects of vehicles, etc. The trainer responded to different questions regarding operation of vehicle like proper technique of use of brakes in two-wheelers inquired by participants.
Takeaway: Driving is not merely learning to operate different electric and mechanical components of vehicle rather being mentally prepared to use the road safely.
Day 5 – 29th July 2020
Role of passenger and driving under critical conditions comprised session of fifth day. Passenger should use helmets when using two-wheelers, seat belts in cars and buses (if available), ensure emergency exits in vehicles, be careful while accessing to and egressing from vehicles. Passengers are more vulnerable when they are reaching towards or moving away from stations.
The participants were presented with different tips and techniques to adopt while driving under critical conditions like night drive, rain, fog, hill driving, desert. Hazard perception is one of the key qualities necessary in defensive driving. A defensive driver should observe, anticipate, and then react accordingly. Commentary driving can be adopted by defensive driver such that their attention is always on the road.
Takeaway: Defensive driving requires constant hazard perception and its practice till it becomes a habit.
Day 6 – 30th July 2020
Topics like safety equipment (ABS, Airbags, etc.), personal safety and first aid were discussed on the sixth day of the training. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) prevents the wheels from locking during braking and maintaining traction with road surface. Airbag absorbs the energy providing soft cushion to vehicle occupant in case of crash event. While discussing first aid, the trainer highlighted the roles of a good Samaritan after an incident like what to do, how to do, what not to do, etc. There are cases where people when trying to help victims of road crash rendered them worse off than it would have if they had waited for professional help because they did not know how to handle the victims.
Takeaway: Safety equipment are not substitute to good driving but are always desirable to have. Victims of road incident need assistance but bystander should be judicious on how to help so that the situation is not aggravated.
After the technical session was concluded, the participants were asked to present questions to clarify their understanding, if needed. It was followed by a quiz from the trainer based on the sessions completed. A feedback form was also given to the participants. The session proceeded to closing after that.
Participants shared their experience of overall session on what they learned, and how they adopt and disseminate the learnings. All the participants expressed their joy being a part of the training program.
Mr. Dheerendra Samineni appreciated the effort and enthusiasm of organizers and all the participants. Dr. Diamond Lamichhane concluded the session with a note of thanks to trainer, SSTN and all the participants.
Mr. Hemant Tiwari, chairman of SSTN, expressed thanks to the trainer- Mr. Dheerendra Samineni, RMR foundation and all the participants for being part of the program. Mr. Tiwari highlighted the importance of contextual information.
Post Training Feedback from participants:
Mr. Abhash Acharya (participant of the program):
“Jointly organized by SSTN Nepal and RMR Foundation, the self-defensive driving training program was able to convey important messages that are useful for a two-wheeler and four-wheeler motor driver. We tend to use roadway and roadway facilities not taking into consideration the Right of Way concept. Pedestrians are often found to be neglected even in zebra-crossings and such other crosswalks. I found the interaction with the trainer amazing and the way how trainer connected with the participants was fantastic. There were many important takeaways from the training session. The participants could relate their practical problems with the training materials and find out the remedial measures for such problems encountered. Mirror, Signal and Maneuver was one of those important takeaways. The demonstration through the use of simulator helped us deal with some practical problems as well. I am eager to join such training sessions time and again.”
The participants were provided with feedback forms to evaluate the session. Some of the feed backs of the participants are listed below:
“Very good example demonstration and Good topics” – Dharma Nagarkoti
“Practical information followed by videos to illustrate the concepts” – Ashim Gautam
“The content, delivery, presentation, and demonstration that connected all the participants. Every little thing on the road matters.” – Abhash Acharya
“A good lesson of how to drive the vehicle safely” – Sudip Poudel
The session left participants wanting for more elaborate session in the future.
“Everything was fine. A longer session would be preferable.” – Abhash Acharya
The participants presented their views on contents they were willing to see in upcoming sessions.
“Incorporating behavioral characteristics of the road users and vehicular characteristics in detail.” – Abhash Acharya
would like to have further deep knowledge in road safety as this one is just
the beginning.” – Sudip Poudel
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
Mr. Hemant Tiwari
Mr. Diamond Lamichanne
Mr. Ashim Gautam
Mr. Dilman Singh Basnyat
Mr. Mukesh Kumar Sah
Ms. Pranita Rana
Mr. Sagar Gautam
Mr. Sanjit Adhikari
Mr. Subash Bhattarai
Mr. Sundar Adhikari
Ms. Surakshya Kafle
Mr. Abhash Acharya
Ms. Ashmita Rijal
Mr. Sujan Sapkota
Mr. Sudip Poudel
Mr. Radha Krishna Pant
Mr. Arbaz Ansari
Mr. Bhim Kafle
Mr. Ankul Regmi