More than 120 Bridgestone employees across South Africa have tackled the final hurdle of the driving skills initiative promoting the FIA’s Make Cars Green campaign. Having already attended the seminar and practical on-road training, the trainees recently attempted the practical on-road driving test. The test is a 40 to 50-minute drive on public roads, under the watchful eyes of an examiner from driving skills company driving.co.za, which has presented the training for Bridgestone.
Test candidates are expected to demonstrate standards of defensive and economical driving far above the typical average for a South African driver, including the ability to reduce fuel consumption by minimising speed changes while driving. This is in line with the goals of the Make Cars Green campaign, which consists of ten tips for greener motoring. Five of the tips are directly related to driving style. The enthusiasm towards the training programme was clear – after six weeks of practice, the pass rate for the trainee group was over 90 per cent.
“The pass rate is remarkable,” said Rob Handfield – Jones, MD of driving.co.za. “Our test is a very demanding examination of real-world driving ability, considerably in excess of the standards expected at licence level. The results are a sign of the dedication the trainees have put into changing their driving habits,” he commented.
Romano Daniels, Bridgestone General Manager of Group Communications and Marketing, said the benefits of the training were already showing up. “We have been monitoring the fuel consumption of the trainees via our fleet management system,” he explained. “Almost one-third of the group has recorded fuel savings in excess of 13 per cent. There is no doubt that the company and trainees are saving vast amounts of money with their new driving styles.”
“We also set out on this training project with the goal of saving 67.5 tons of CO2 per year for the trainee group,” he added. “Current indications are that we may exceed that target by a considerable margin. It’s a matter of pride for Bridgestone that we have employees who have made such a great effort to contribute to protecting the environment in this way,” he concluded.