Thursday, 29 March 2012

Spy in the cab

The driving in Saudi is notoriously bad, they drive very fast, with no regard to others and usually while smoking or on the phone. After 3 years of driving in Libya, it was no problem for me to adapt and I find it harder to drive in the UK now.
However my current employer is very strict on safety and everyone must pass a defensive driving course before being given a company licence and being allowed to drive here. There's a driving test in a vehicle fitted with cameras to assess your use of mirrors and accelerometers to judge the weight of your right foot. There's a day in the classroom and some written tests to reinforce safety and better driving techniques. Despite my initial scepticism, I do believe it is a better way of driving rather than the slightly aggressive tactics I'd picked up in Libya. I'm now quite happy for the local idiots to squeeze between my car and the concrete barrier at 180kph+ with barely inches to spare on each side. I drive a nice big 4x4 and whilst they may cause some damage to the paint if they ricochet off the wall into me, I have as much faith in the car's air bags as they do in their chosen deity to believe that I will be the one walking away.  
All company vehicles are fitted with a GPS & personal I.D. key thing so that our driving is monitored -  every month they publish the top 10 best/worst drivers. Serious violations and multiple minor infringements will mean you lose your licence and therefore your job. If I speed, my boss gets an e mail before I get to the office to receive my warning.

I'm not sure of everything it measures but believe it includes:

  1. Speeding (110 kph+)
  2. No seat belt
  3. Harsh braking
  4. Aggressive accelerating 
  5. Listening to Shania Twain  
  6. Passengers adjusting the a/c when driver has told them not to touch it unless they want to walk
  7. Dark thoughts
As good a system as it is, it cannot measure:
  1. Driving at the right speed for the conditions
  2. Using your mirrors & indicators
  3. How close the local is behind you, flashing his lights because he's in a hurry to get somewhere to do bugger all

1 comment:

  1. ooh, I'd be in trouble there then,I'm quite infamous here now with my 2 speeding tickets in the space of 5 minutes received even before the official car docs had turned up...