Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has signed an agreement to give defensive driving training to 400 school bus drivers operating in its concession area.
Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Technical & Administrative Training Institute (TATI) LLC, drivers covering 45 schools will receive practical and theoretical coaching in the Arabic language.
As well as defensive driving training, they will be instructed on the importance of good vehicle maintenance, passenger care and general road safety awareness.
The five-week scheme, which is being run in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, will be rolled out first in the wilayat of Thumrait in the South of PDO’s concession area, and will then extend to the North of Oman. Muscat-based TATI will offer the training free of charge for drivers during half-day sessions at schools with PDO arranging the planning and logistics.
PDO External Affairs and Value Creation Director Abdul-Amir Al Ajmi said: “PDO is committed to road safety across its concession area and beyond, and that extends to ensuring the welfare of pupils as they travel to and from school.
“This training will coach school bus drivers how to err on the side of caution when they are driving, as well as the importance of ensuring their vehicles are roadworthy. It will also entrench a duty-of-care mindset for their young passengers, such as ensuring that seatbelts are made available and worn during journeys and that children are embarked and disembarked safely.
“We thank the Ministry of Education for their support and we are pleased to be able to partner with TATI, which is PDO’s official contractor for our road safety training needs.”
Mr Khaled Asad, the Managing Director of TATI, said: “On behalf of the Chairman of our company, Sheikh Saad bin Suhail Bahwan Al Mukhaini, we are very pleased to be involved in delivering this vital training and feel privileged that PDO has extended its faith in our expertise with this outreach project.
“We look forward to working with various stakeholders to enhance the safety of children and are
proud to be contributing our time and expertise without charge as a gift to the country.”
PDO is also working with the Ministry of Education to promote general health, safety and environment (HSE) awareness in the schools. The Company is supervising the training of two HSE focal points per school, who will be responsible for raising awareness of general safety matters and ensuring potential risks, such as fire hazards, are addressed.