Forum: Promote continuing education for drivers to improve road safety

Driving is one of the most dangerous activities in daily life. Regrettably, it is not sustainable to rely solely on road-calming measures and police operations to keep drivers safe.

Knee-jerk reactions and piecemeal efforts in response to high-profile accidents, such as the recent accident in Tanjong Pagar, are only a short-term blunt tool to a long-term problem. A more holistic approach to driver safety needs to be taken.

Although speeding is a contributing factor in traffic accidents, it is merely a symptom and not the root cause.

Conventional driving schools teach only basic driving skills that are necessary for learner drivers to pass the Traffic Police driving test.

Unfortunately, the existing learner driver training syllabus does not arm drivers with adequate driving skills to respond to real-world driving situations safely.

The majority of drivers assume that they are already competent drivers after passing their driving test and their overconfidence prevents them from seeing a need for any further driver education and training.

Despite the constant exposure to the risks of driving, there is a lack of demand for and availability of continuing education and training courses for drivers, particularly those tailored for the young, elderly and inexperienced drivers.

To keep drivers safe, regardless of the road, traffic and weather conditions in Singapore or overseas - drivers should be empowered with hazard recognition, risk mitigation and emergency response skills.

To boost the uptake of continuing driver education and training courses, motor insurers can help by rewarding drivers who complete an approved course with an insurance discount valid for a few years.

It is time to stop pinning all the blame for road accidents on speeding alone, and take a look at how to support safe driving at different stages of a driver's life.

Moving forward, we should address the gaps in continuing driver education and have training facilities (such as proving grounds, skid pans and tracks) to empower drivers with the adequate skills to prevent and respond to any potential dangerous driving situations.

Darion Lim

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