With a view to minimizing the ever increasing road traffic accidents in Sri Lanka, the Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) has come up with a novel concept on road safety training among motorists with the help of the police. The association plans to promote safe driving practices, by providing training for drivers creating awareness on road traffic regulations. This will be a positive way of reducing road accidents, said Chairman Ceylon Motor Traders Association, Tilak Gunasekera, in an interview with the Business Times. This driver training programme is one of the Corporate Social Responsibility projects of the Association, he added.
"As an initial step we are planning to provide training for drivers attached to franchise automobile companies in the island. Later it will be expanded to public and private sector institutions. This is the first time this type of concept is being implemented in Sri Lanka," Mr. Gunasekera said.
The CMTA will also conduct a number of other related educational programmes for both schoolchildren and the public in selected towns. Public awareness on road safety is very important and should be intensified. Educating pedestrians and drivers on good road habits is a national requirement in helping to minimise the number of road accidents. He revealed that attention would be paid on training of drivers on the Highway Code and defensive driving techniques under this initiative.
Shortcomings in issuing of licences, indiscipline and inexperienced driving, driver fatigue, drunkenness too cause road accidents. "Carelessness of pedestrians, which is not a fault of the driver were among the causes for many accidents. The most common causes of road traffic accidents in the country include indiscipline on the road, overloading, fatigue and drunkenness and over speeding. This could be minimized by providing proper training for motorists," he added.
According to data from the motor traffic police, around 150 accidents occur daily and over 18,000 people have become disabled annually due to accidents while 500,000 are admitted to hospitals. Over 2,200 deaths occur annually due to reckless driving. Driving has become a fatal factor due to lack of observance of road rules.