Nassau, The Bahamas – The launch of the Driver Instructor’s Manual and the introduction of driving simulators are further evidence of the Government’s commitment to improving the standard of driving and safety on the roads, Colin Higgs, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Public Works and Transport said.
Mr. Higgs addressed the launch workshop for the introduction of a Driver Instructor’s Manual for The Bahamas on Thursday, August 12 at Worker’s House. Topics included Traffic Rules and Regulations, Road and Road Conditions, Preparation for the Driving Test and Using a Roundabout.
In attendance was Elizabeth Keju, newly appointed undersecretary; Errol McPhee, assistant controller; Khader Alikhan, coordinator for the New Providence Road Improvement Project, Albie Hope, transportation specialist and representatives of the Traffic Division of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
Mr. Higgs said training available to persons learning to drive in The Bahamas is not at a “consistent” standard and does not meet internationally recognized standards for driving in other countries. As a result, “many of our novice drivers do not have the skills, knowledge or attitudes needed to drive safely in the traffic conditions that they face on our roads.”
He informed workshop participants that in recognition of this deficiency the Government, as part of the New Providence Transport Programme, engaged the services of the Transport and Research Laboratory based in the United Kingdom to assist the Road Traffic Department in developing a Driver Instructor’s Manual for The Bahamas.
The manual was developed with the Transport and Research Laboratory in collaboration with the Road Traffic Department and the Association of Driving Instructors. The manual provides a standardized set of guidelines that should be followed by driver education instructors.
According to Mr. Higgs the manual has been produced to guide driving schools and instructors presently in the business of driver education; those wishing to become driving instructors; stakeholders such as the Ministry of Education whose schools run driver training programs, the Royal Bahamas Police Force, examiners in the Road Traffic Department and representatives of the car insurance industry.
“It is the Government’s intention to put into place regulations to regulate driving schools and driving instructors,” said Mr. Higgs. “However, prior to bringing these regulations into force it is proposed to introduce the Driver Instructor’s Manual to better prepare those in the industry to standardize an approach to instructing persons learning to drive.”
The manual will be placed on the Government’s web-site making it accessible to persons interested in learning to drive and those wishing to teach persons to drive.