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Government to establish National Drivers' Academy
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General News of Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Source: GNA

Government to establish National Drivers' Academy

Accra, March 9, GNA - Government in collaboration with stakeholders in the transport industry is to establish a National Drivers' Academy (NDA) to enhance professionalism, knowledge and skills of private and commercial drivers.

The academy would in addition, offer practical training for drivers who have been prosecuted for traffic offences, those who want to upgrade their knowledge in driving prior to acquiring new driver's licence and drivers who want to upgrade their knowledge in driving prior to obtaining higher category of driver's licence.

Mrs. Dzifa Attivor, Deputy Minister of Transport, inaugurating the academy in Accra on Tuesday, said it was part of the strategies being implemented by government to reduce and prevent road accidents as well as improving the skills, knowledge and conduct of drivers. She said a study conducted in 2003 by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) revealed that only 16 per cent of commercial drivers undertook formal training while 21 per cent tried to upgrade their driving after acquiring licence.

Mrs. Attivor explained that the academy was initiated by NRSC, Government Technical Training Centre and Driver Vehicle and Licence Authority (DVLA) to help bridge the gap between drivers and an innovation to promote competence.

She said road transport had numerous advantages as well as considerable amount of problems including road accidents leading to deaths and injuries. "There is no family in Ghana which has not in one-way or the other been affected by road accidents." she said.

Mrs. Attivor said the first quarter of 2009 witnessed unacceptable high level of road accidents in the country which government responded by reviewing strategies to develop immediate short and long term interventions to curb the canker.

Mr. Noble Appiah, Executive Director of NRSC, said the academy would provide an avenue for a structured training programme for drivers to serve as a model for driver education, training and certification of national and international standards required for road safety. He said in addition, the academy would train drivers to understand and appreciate the dangers inherent in road traffic situations, how to critically recognise and react professionally to avoid road accidents. Mr. Appiah said participants at the academy would be exposed to the art and science of driving characterised by positive attitude and safe driving. He explained that the training would be examinable and certified as Commercial Entrance Certificate (CEC), Advance Commercial Certificate (ACC) and Special Refresher Course.

Topics to be treated would include; introduction to Passenger and Goods Transport System, Understanding Road and Traffic Environment, Understanding the Vehicle Design, Construction and Operations, Professional Driving, Code of Ethics for Drivers and Defensive Driving. Mr. Appiah said participants for the ACC would also be educated on Fire Fighting Skills, Basic Information and Communication Technology, Map Reading, First Aid Skills Management and Post Road Accident Management. He said local languages and English would be used for the training and individuals below 25 years were eligible to apply.

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