Michelin Gives Tyre Safety Training in Africa
International development agency Transaid has launched a Tyre Safety Awareness Campaign in Malawi and Zambia, which commenced with a series of training courses led by Phil Rochester, a Training Manager at Michelin’s head office in Stoke-on-Trent. The initiative forms part of Transaid’s wider programme of work on road safety and professional driver training, which aims to reduce the number of road traffic crashes in Africa, which records 10 per cent of all such incidents, despite having just four per cent of the world’s total vehicle parc.
A total of 10 training courses were delivered over a two week period to key audiences which included traffic police, road safety agencies, road transport operators and public transport operators. Each course provided basic information on safety checks and how to avoid dangers associated with poorly maintained tyres, with training delivered to 270 people.
Phil Rochester explains: “Ignoring the basic rules of tyre safety is a major risk factor which is seeing the number of fatal road traffic crashes in Africa continue to rise, in direct proportion to the increasing number of vehicles. Michelin was keen to support Transaid in its campaign to raise awareness of the issues, and we felt the best way to do this was ‘on the ground’ with a series of training courses tackling key target audiences.
“One of our key messages was to emphasise that better tyres mean safer roads, and safer roads will result in fewer crashes. The groups we spoke to were incredibly receptive to this message, and were quick to understand the benefits of routinely checking tyre pressures, tread depth and general tyre condition,” he adds.
By focusing initially on specific key opinion leaders, Transaid hopes the tyre safety message will quickly spread, with the regulatory and law enforcement agencies being more aware of the importance of tyre inspections and the need to enforce existing regulations.
Tyre dealers and repair specialists also have a better understanding of the impact that damaged tyres and their inadequate repair can have, whilst transport operators appreciate the benefits of well maintained tyres in the conservation of their fleet.
Transaid’s project is also being supported by Bandvulc, which has developed and supplied materials to support the campaign. This includes an assortment of materials, including stickers for drivers to display in their vehicles which highlight their understanding of tyre safety issues to promote regular safety checks.