Jamaica News: Public Passenger Vehicle (PPV) drivers and conductors across the island will soon be able to access online training to help them operate more safely and professionally on the road.
Through an online software that is currently being developed by EduFocal Business Limited and sponsored by British Caribbean Insurance Company (BCIC), drivers and conductors will receive training, via a gamified format, in the use of the road code, defensive driving and customer service.
The first module for the software is expected to be completed by the end of next month.
The idea for the initiative came out of the Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague’s 16-point proposal, which included strategies to professionalise the public passenger transport sector through training and development of the operators.
Consequently, on Thursday (November 21), Minister Montague signed a tripartite agreement with Managing Director of the Transport Authority, Cecil Morgan; Chief Executive Officer of EduFocal Business Limited, Gordon Swaby; and Managing Director of BCIC, Peter Levy, at the Ministry’s office in Kingston.
“The matter of training is important in any industry, whether it is public passenger, whether it is tourism or whether it is manufacturing,” the Minister emphasised, while pointing out that a lack of training for the operators was one of the gaps that he observed when he took control of the Ministry.
According to the Minister, many of the drivers did not get the opportunity that others have, so it is up to the Government to help them to become better drivers.
This, Mr. Montague said, will be done through the online application using their smartphones.
“It is important that we assist our drivers; that’s why the insurance company has come on board. The better trained our drivers are [the fewer] accidents they are going to have and the fewer accidents they have is the lower the insurance premiums, rates and payout and fewer persons will die on our roads,” Mr. Montague said.
Mr. Swaby, for his part, said technology is changing the world, and he wants to leverage the use of the smartphones to help the drivers and conductors to operate more safely on the road.
“We think that it is going to transform the way drivers educate themselves about the rules of the road and understand how to engage their customers, whether it’s a simple good morning or good afternoon and we’re excited to be on this journey,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Levy said the company is very happy to be partnering with the Government in this initiative, as it is of the view that while punishment and coercion have its place, they should be a last resort.
“There’s no doubt that passenger vehicles will always be involved in traffic accidents, and just by virtue of the hours on the road and the number of kilometres driven, their exposure is high,” he said.
“But, we’re confident that with training, EduFocal will be delivering. Along with effective regulations and incentives, the PPV industry can be known for its positives as an integral part of the productive apparatus of Jamaica, rather than for its negatives,” Mr. Levy said.
Source: JIS News