“The new environmental standards in the truck and bus segments necessitate effective training & awareness campaign for drivers.”- Anonymous
In today's fast-paced world, it becomes imperative for educational institutions to ensure the safety and well-being of their students not only within the school premises but also during their daily commute. SAI International significantly takes this into consideration & has taken laudable initiatives towards imparting refresher courses and quality training to its bus drivers. To develop a cadre of high-quality drivers & further imbibe an awareness in them about road safety protocols & good driving practices, SAI International facilitated high quality training for the school bus drivers & conductors by enrolling them for refresher courses at one of the state-of-the-art HMV Driver Training institutes established by Govt. Of India, jointly with M/S Ashok Leyland at Bidyadharpur, Chhatia of Jajpur district. HMV DTI, Chhatia was established in the year 2013 under PPP mode with an objective to impart quality driving training to LMV drivers in the Heavy Motor Vehicle segment.
The Need for Refresher Courses & Quality Training:
The bus drivers are entrusted with the critical task of safely transporting students to and from the school. Thus, it is essential for them to be skilled, aware, and updated with the latest road safety guidelines. Refresher courses and quality training sessions equip bus drivers with better driving practices and enhance their knowledge of traffic regulations, ensuring a safe and secure environment on the school buses.
Components of The Training Program:
The refresher course and training program conducted from March 13-16, 2023, addressed the following key aspects:
1. Road Safety and Traffic Rules: Underlying the importance of adhering to traffic rules, the program educated bus drivers about speed limits, traffic signals, pedestrian crossings, and other crucial road safety measures.
2. Defensive Driving Techniques: The training session entailed workshops focused on honing the driving skills of the bus drivers, teaching them how to anticipate and react promptly to potential hazards and maintain control of the bus in difficult situations.
3. Stress Management: The drivers were made aware of occupational stress & increased morbidity associated with their jobs. To inculcate mindfulness amidst them & foster adequate stress management, they engaged in a yoga session & were briefed about the various ways meditation could help them stay calm under pressure while driving to avoid any untoward situation. They were recommended to do simple exercises every day, such as laps around the truck or a simple circuit of stretches, for their mental well-being.
4. Emergency Preparedness and Response: Drivers were equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to respond calmly and effectively in case of emergencies, such as a mechanical failure or medical emergencies, as an integral part of this training program. They were trained on the use of emergency exits & the door lock control in the driver’s cabin of the bus.
5. Operating Automated Features: With the introduction of GPS enabled AC buses in the school, the drivers were updated about the instrument cluster, air brakes, telematics, power steering & more.
6. Passenger Management and Communication: The program enlightened the drivers about the importance of effective communication with students, teachers, and parents to foster a positive relationship between them all.
Paving Way for Holistic Growth
These training programmes and refresher courses cover all aspects of driving and road management, while also promoting a holistic approach to health, stress control, and overall well-being, with state-of-the-art infrastructure and a scientifically designed curriculum. Driver Training Institutes (DTIs) over the years have evolved as centres of excellence in preparing drivers for life, both on and off the road.
The drivers were briefed on safe driving, fuel conservation, repairs, and maintenance. Other aspects of road life were also highlighted, such as troubleshooting, firefighting, and first aid. Heavy vehicle driving simulator training provides driver trainees with benchmark driving skills in the shortest amount of time. Through quality driving skills, such training workshops use a scientific approach to help new drivers achieve lower accident rates, longer vehicle/aggregate life, and higher operational economics. Inputs given on Stress Management & personal hygiene not only groom them as a well-behaved lot on the National / State Highways but also improve their social status in the society.