Austrian company introduces Drivers’ Safety Training in Nigeria

Austrian Technologies Nigeria Limited (ATN) and Test- & Training International (TTI) – the world’s leading drivers’ safety training company – have partnered to introduce world class Drivers’ Safety Training and Certification (DSTC) for commercial and professional drivers in Nigeria. DSTC will be implemented in collaboration with Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).

In a joint press conference between ATN, TTI and FRSC at the Austrian Embassy in Lagos, DSTC was introduced.

The main objective of DSTC is to develop a network of driver’s training tracks with the participation of local investors throughout the country. Driving instructors, fleet managers, and drivers will be trained, evaluated, and certified; each in tailor-made programs on state-of-the-art safety training tracks, according to international standards.

DSTC is led by former Formula One driver and two times Le Mans winner Alexander Wurz and his father Franz Wurz, himself a European legend in racing (three times European Champion in Rallycross), and inventor of modern Road Safety Training in Europe.

Hyginus Omeje, Corps Sector Commander of FRSC Lagos State stated: “The human factor in road accidents is fundamental. Lack of traffic education and basic understanding of the consequences of careless driving, improper driving training and training in road and safety procedures, are the most significant factors contributing to traffic accidents. Hence, driver education and training programs are highest priority in Nigeria.”

In 2017, fatalities from road accident in Nigeria were 5,121 and another 31,094 people injured.  This is more than 4-times the fatality rate of Europe per registered vehicle.

Most Nigerian truck drivers are schooled by experienced colleagues with inadequate training, after years of serving as ‘Motor Boys’. Demonstrating that “Lack of well-trained drivers hampers on fleet utilization, safe driving behaviours and adds to the total number of fatal accidents”. Overall, around 20 million commercial and professional drivers need to be trained in Nigeria.

Franz Wurz (TTI) explained the outstanding results in Europe. Fatalities among young drivers have been reduced by 65% through mandatory safety training. TTI also successfully introduced European training standards for tanker drivers. As an example, BP (British Petroleum) reduced rollover accidents by 80% and rear-end collisions by 60% within 1.5 years upon implementation throughout Europe.

Franz Wurz, managing director of TTI and Hyginus Omeje, Corps Sector Commander of FRSC Lagos State at the  press conference in Lagos.

DSTC will create a win-win environment and substantial benefits for all stakeholders and create hundreds of new working places. The society will benefit from reduction of the number of accidents – fatalities and injuries. Thus, transport corporations will benefit from decrease loss of man power, damaged vehicles, loss of goods and reduction of insurance premiums. Additionally, they will be able to employ drivers that are certified based on international standards.

The first DSTC centers will be built in Lagos, followed by Abuja and Port Harcourt. Long-term goal is to cover the entire country.

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