Belize is one of the worst places in the world for road traffic accidents, many of them fatal. Too often, however, the problem is not only the road conditions, but the drivers on them. As part of the Belize Road Safety Project funded in conjunction with the Caribbean Development Bank, drivers and representatives of the Government and municipalities participated in a 2 1/2 day workshop in Belize City on defensive driving: learning to drive safely and carefully not only for one’s own benefit but that of others. Today was examination day and trainer Dennis Molina spoke to PLUS News.
Dennis Molina – Trainer:
Defensive driving is a self-discipline. It’s different from aggressive and offensive driving. It’s a self-discipline attitude. You cannot have a bad attitude. People drive mostly on emotions. From the time you get behind that wheel it’s a discipline. The person must realize this is a full-time job, and he’s going to drive, and he’s going to drive with care, and he’s going to put everything into practice. That means no texting, no cell phone, nothing to distract his mind.
Mr Molina also tells us how the drivers will put what they have learned to good use and be role models on the road.
Dennis Molina – Trainer:
They have to lead by example. They have to be an example out there to the motoring public to show what is defensive driving, and they have to know what is defensive driving Being a defensive driver you have to know the law They have to know when you are right and when the person is wrong . So that is part of this course today, only doing driving. They have a little bit of law, a little bit of maintenance work, and things like that they do, because vehicle and the man have to match. There are three things we cover. You’ve got the road, the driver has to know what conditions the road is in, so he could drive and adjust his speed. There are times when he shouldn’t be driving at all, he should be off the road. The other one is that if you know that you’re not in a fit condition to drive, you’ve been on some medication, you shouldn’t drive. And you shouldn’t drive when you’re drunk. Get a designated driver, and leave the driving to somebody else.
Practical examinations continued for the rest of the day at the Belize Institute of Management. The training is part of the Road Safety Project which aims to improve driver behavior as well as driving conditions on Belize’s roads.