A comprehensive Safe Driving Campaign at HCT-Fujairah Men’s College (FMC) was launched at the New Student Welcome and Orientation Ceremony in September 2009. The Dubai Public Traffic Prosecution department and Emirates Driving Institute (EDI) combined to offer a theoretical and practical 5-10 week course for all new male Foundations students. This initiative arose from a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Higher Colleges of Technology and the Dubai Prosecutor’s office in 2007 to improve the standards of driving of HCT students and make them more aware of the legal consequences of poor driving. Jointly developed by HCT and Public Prosecutor Office personnel, the Prosecutor’s Office distributed the Safe Driving Handbook which was taught by the Fujairah Men’s College English faculty in the first 5 weeks of the first semester.
The handbook provided most of the introductory English language required by the new students and offered them the opportunity to examine key defensive driving techniques such as the “three second rule” as well as focus on the driver’s responsibility to always drive sensibly and considerately. During this initial phase, EDI made the Roll-over Car and Seat Belt Convincer available, to allow students to experience a roll-over in a car and the effect of sudden braking at 10kph, both when wearing a seatbelt.
After sitting a final summative assessment, 77 FMC students (men and women) participated in an intensive one-day Defensive Driving Course in Arabic at a ratio of two students to one instructor. EDI provided three instructors and cars to deliver the course after which each Fujairah Men’s College student received a full Defensive Driving Course pack with a course guide book, a workbook, DVD, child-safety/tyre-care booklets, tyre pressure gauge and car stickers. In addition to the driving course, all FMC students attended a 90-minute interactive presentation by the chief instructor.
Mr Peter Richardson, the General Manager of EDI, presented certificates of completion to the 77 successful students at a ceremony on 19 November. Mr Richardson said afterwards that he felt proud to be part of such a worthy initiative for the students. Next semester, the Safe Driving Program moves to Fujairah Women’s College along with a one-day refresher course for FMC students.
Peter Hatherley-Greene, FMC