New Program by the Ford Safe Driving Academy for Training School Bus Drivers Launched in Kazan

30 June 2017

On June 27, the Kazan Autodrome “Vysokaya Gora” gathered over one hundred school bus drivers to pass an intensive training program developed by the “Academy for Training School Bus Drivers” taking into account all the features of transportation of minor passengers. In honor of launching the new program block, a press conference was held which was attended by the heads of the region, representatives of public services and agencies, and media. In Russia, this project is implemented by Ford Sollers in partnership with the “Risk-Free Road Traffic” Expert Center and with the support of the State Motor Vehicle Inspectorate of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The presidium included Aydar Kayumov, the Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Tatarstan; Liliya Obolonskaya, the Head of the Department for Relations with State Agencies of Ford Sollers Holding, LLC; and Aleksandr Revsky, the Deputy Director of the “Risk-Free Road Traffic” Expert Center. “Currently, our Republic uses over 190 Ford school buses, – Aydar Kayumov explained to the audience. – I would like to express my great gratitude to this project and everyone in the team engaged in its organization. I wish each student to gain more knowledge and skills to successfully use them in their future work.”

A. Kayumov also noted the relevance of the chosen direction of the new training program and its uniqueness for vocational training in the field of “Social Transport”. Liliya Obolonskaya supported the Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Tatarstan noting the significant contribution to the project implementation made by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tatarstan, the State Road Traffic Safety Inspectorate for the Republic of Tatarstan. “Surely, as an automaker region, – L. Obolonskaya said, – we understand the burden of responsibility that falls on a person who is at the wheel, especially if he or she is engaged in transportation of children. Therefore, when the idea was born to extend this project to social transport drivers, we supported it across our company, and the Republic of Tatarstan has traditionally become our partner in this endeavor.”

She reminded the guests that trainings for novice drivers, which had ended a month earlier, had also started in the Republic of Tatarstan and wished success and responsible attitude to each trip for all drivers participating in the project.

Aleksandr Revsky, the Deputy Director of the “Risk-Free Road Traffic” Expert Center, telling about statistics in the segment of children’s transportation, focused on the unique training sessions devoted to the observance of the regimes of work and rest by drivers: “Before developing this program, together with the State Motor Vehicle Inspectorate of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, we had a very long study of the causes of road accidents involving social transport. We learnt that the main cause was, surely, driver's violation of traffic rules, but the most frequent reason for these violations was the situation where drivers approached in bad faith the observance of their work and rest regimes. Therefore, within the framework of our program, we focused not only on preventing dangerous situations on the road, but also left several locations for coverage of the tachography topic – its importance for traffic safety.”

In response to journalists’ questions about why drivers of “children's buses”, who, as a rule, have a huge driving experience, do not cope most often with the tasks of the Academy on the first try, Vladimir Bakharev, a chief coach of the Ford Safe Driving Academy, a world-class coach, explained: “Very many things in our locations are surprising even for the most experienced drivers. For example, at our first location for “Emergency Braking”, we often hear that drivers never had to use it. They have a knowledge about it, but only in theory. We begin to check it – but in fact, there is no knowledge at all. Almost all of them knock down the doll imitating a pedestrian. Why? That is, they are used to press the brake smoothly. We teach drivers to develop their skills and we say that they need to do this constantly, not only during the Academy’s training sessions.” 

The organizers devoted the first module to the means of passive safety and rules for the provision of first aids, which was conducted by Vitaly Kopin, a coach for defensive driving accredited by the British RoSPA, a first-class rescuer, and Dmitry Komarov, a coach for defensive driving, expert on road traffic accident investigation. The second module considered the emergency braking as a system of severity of consequences of mistakes made, as well as choosing and maintaining a safe distance. This location was vested in Oleg Shatov, an auto sportsman and auto journalists, and a RoSPA-accredited coach, the Head of the Kazan School of Higher Driving Skills. He was assisted by Timur Gilmiyarov and Taras Shatov, master coaches of the Kazan School of Higher Driving Skills, prizewinners of Russian and foreign competitions. The third, final module told about the dangers of distraction and the problem of “blind areas”. The key figures in this topic were the coaches of the Ford Safe Driving Academy: Delshat Khisamov, a member of a transport organization in the “Universiade” projects and drivers’ coach in the “Olympic Sochi” project; Marat Salakhutdinov, an auto sportsman, a teacher of extreme and protective driving; and Konstantin Ptitsyn, an auto sportsman and auto tourist, a RoSPA-accredited coach. Dmitry Turpekin, a Master in motorsports, a coach of auto sportsmen and car and truck drivers, spoke about the features of traffic and distribution of attention while driving a vehicle.

A special topic was devoted to observing the work and rest regimes. Despite the introduction of a more complex control system for bus drivers, there is an increase in injuries number. One of the reasons for this is the drivers’ inability to correctly use such an important safety element as tachograph. In addition to theoretical sessions, each part of the training includes sufficient time for practice and testing.

Let us remind you that the Ford Safe Driving Academy started in 2014, and for three years it has covered 16 regions of the country, where over 6.3 thousand drivers received free training. In 2014–2017 such training sessions were carried out in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Ufa, Samara, Rostov-on-Don, Voronezh, Krasnodar, Volgograd, Sochi, Astrakhan, and the Chechen Republic. This year the first part of the “Academy”, devoted to young drivers, has already ended. Its result was the training of more than 800 people from three Russian cities in 12 days.



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