Generally the drivers of Heavy Motor Vehicles here, upgrade from the stage we know commonly as conductors, or cleaners. They thus lack of knowledge in Traffic Rules & Regulations, are short on driving skills, and know little about maintenance of vehicle. They also, as is the general perception, carry all types of bad driving habits. This leads to growing road accident rate year by year.
To overcome this, it is necessary to train heavy vehicle drivers in a systematic manner on scientific lines, by selecting the candidates who complete 1 year in Light Motor Vehicle Driving Licence.
As per the Rule 31(3) and 31(4) of Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 the training period for Transport Vehicles shall not be less than 30 days and Driving Hours shall not be less than 15 Hours.
Theoretical training should be made mandatory for HMV learners and must have a lot of focus on controlling road rage, good road user attitude and behaviour, stress management, tips to overcome physical and mental fatigue, socially relevant topics such as AIDS, alcoholism & tobacco consumption, besides topics related to driving a heavy vehicle and traffic education.
It is proposed that practical training be for 20 hours, and teaching theory for 16 hours. Since such trainees are people who have first held the LMV licence for a period of minimum 1 yea, they have road sense and confidence to drive in traffic. They would have also undergone theory lessons earlier. This training should span over 30-45 days.
Refresher/Orientation Training courses for short duration of 2-3 days may also be conducted periodically in the Training Institute for the drivers who are in service not only in State Road Transport Undertakings but also in Private Sector as well as Public Sector Undertakings including Tank/Truck Drivers to inculcate a sense of responsibility on road safety.
The courses may be conducted on the following topics by inviting experts in the appropriate field.
• Behavioural Practices & Stress Management
• Defensive Driving Techniques
• Traffic Rules and Regulations
• Emergency Handling Techniques
• Maintenance and Fuel Conservation
• Pollution and Environment
• Case Studies (on accidents to analyse the cause of accident, who was at fault and how it could have been averted)
• Training Course on Safety Clinic for Accident Prone Drivers
A practical skill test and theoretical behavioural analysis test to be conducted for such drivers to understand and analyse their improvement areas and give special focus on those areas during the course of training. Simulators should be used to train & assess such drivers in particular.
Er. Mubashir Jan is Assistant Regional Transport Officer, Motor Vehicles Department-J&K.