Friday, September 17, 2010

All drivers should undergo First Aid Training - Many lives will be saved.

In the previous entry, I argued that it should not only be a prerequisite for taxi drivers to undergo extensive training courses but all public transport drivers. After experiencing an accident in a bus and seeing a bus driver being helpless while we were waiting for an ambulance, I asked myself why can't it be a prerequisite for every driver to have first aid training. I then quickly went to the net and Googled "First Aid and drivers" in South Africa and alas, there were very few results on the topic, including an article about taxi marshals/drivers who took training back in 2008. This is what one of the drivers had to say;

“The skills I learned are invaluable and there is a definite need for more drivers to be trained in First Aid"

I agree. With ambulances response time (government ambulances) not up to scratch, the driver can make a difference to those who are injured while waiting for an ambulance. In fact, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is calling for countries to enforce first aid training as a pre-requisite for acquiring a driving license. A number of European countries such as Germany and Bosnia and Herzegovina requires perspective drivers to hold a first aid certificate or must have completed some form of first aid training before a license is granted (Page 9). In Africa, Ghana is the first country to announce such a move with the aim of reducing deaths through accidents by equipping drivers with the basic first aid skills to enable them to attend to road accident victims.

With car ownership going to increase year after year, its makes sense to ensure that every driver has a know how of to save lives/reduce deaths. To conclude, the European Council said the following about first aid;

"Improving the effectiveness of that aid (first aid) is one of the factors which has helped to reduce the number of road deaths"

Photo Courtesy of ER24


Anonymous said...

I remember this issue when I wrote about all these happenings back in 2002. Before I can engage into first aid let me say; I wrote - I put in my asignments at UJ that we should have double decker buses in the township, now we have got Reya-Vaya; I put that we should have buses running paralel to private transport in the free-way, now it looks like they have got the focus on it, with the upgrading of the road infrastructure in Gauteng and of course their Gauteng speed train; once this achieved, then the taxi industry should be removed from the freeway (heavy corridors) and can play feeders on the heavy corridors like the free ways to Pretoria, at all pick hours and flow back during offpick ; I put that they should have shoping malls in the township - a friend of mine said I'm too ambitious but now they have got the malls overwhelming the township markets

On the first aid for drivers, I put to it that Taxi drivers must have fire training; first aid up to helping women to give birth on the road; ofcourse these should come with a first aid box in every vehicle commercialy operated; do defensive driving, including regulations and traffic signs; basic mechanics; customr care; and their own communication skills, relations management and counselling to reduce crime and violence in the taxi industry. These should come with yearly refresher courses and must be mandatory.

This piece reminded Me of school days I wish I could get the funds to go back to school guys; Eric where can I get some fundings young man

Googling said...

Indeend, it is true that taxi drivers should learn more than just driving. However, our government has and continues to ignore the industry and instead wish it could dissappear.

But the truth is its here to stay and buses can not replace them. Infact, we will just head to a deficit budget if we try to introduce buses everywhere (even in some trunk routes my friend). You ask why?

There are just not enough people...patronage yes...its not there. Just check the metrobuses at 09H00 to 15H00...they are half empty. Perhaps we can say taxis can operate on feeder routes during the peak hours and operate on all routes during off-peak with buses resting or serving those routes that have high numbers of people (say in the CBDs?)

UJ offers bursaries for those who want to study Transport related courses.

Thanks for the comment my man.

health and safety said...

nice post. thanks for sharing