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To be held in Dubai next March 10-12
World Driver Training conference
o address high traffic accidents rate 

Left to right: A. Kechil, Director of training, BDC; Saif A. Belhasa, Chairman and MD; G. Fryer, President IVV; and E. Barnaville, GM, IVV.

APN, PR, Dubai,
19th October 2005.

The International Association for Driver Education (IVV) announced today at a press conference that SAFEX, the World Driving Training Conference, will convene its 2006 session in Dubai at the Dubai Police Officer's Club from March 10-12.

SAFEX 2006, jointly organized by IVV and the Belhasa Driving Center (BDC), is meant to highlight the importance of common standards in training and testing to ensure that necessary precautions are taken to prevent road accidents resulting from driving error.

SAFEX 2006 is being organized under the hospitality of Saif Ahmed Belhasa, Chairman and Managing Director, BDC, who is a vocal proponent of safe driving in a bid to reduce automobile accidents in Dubai, where 877 accidents have been recorded in the first 7 months of 2005 alone, resulting in 127 deaths.

The conference is organized every two years and aims to bolster driver training practices by inviting a panel of experts to discuss teaching initiatives and global best practices, with the aim of reducing accident related death and injury worldwide.

Speaking at the press conference, Saif Ahmed Belhasa, Chairman and Managing Director, BDC, said, “Promoting driving standards is a central tenet of BDC’s driving ethos, and we are very pleased to welcome the positive step of holding SAFEX 2006 in Dubai. The international conference will help us identify areas of improvement in driver training, raise awareness of the dangers of aggressive driving, look into post-test training for young drivers, and work towards international recognition and harmonization of driver training practices in the interests of minimizing road accident-related loss. We will also be looking to raise the profile of eco and green driver techniques to encourage energy conservation, and highlight the risks of alcohol and drug abuse for drivers.”

The IVV, founded in 1957, remains the sole worldwide organization representing the interests of driving school proprietors and related associations. The IVV has implemented a number of new educational methods and curricula in numerous countries, supplemented by conferences held every two years that bring to light key issues in increasing driving safety. The last international conference was held in Croatia, and was successful in generating high attendance and raising several pertinent issues related to traffic safety.

In excess of 1 million people perish globally due to road accidents. Over 90 percent of these accidents may be attributed to driver error and negligence. The IVV pledges support to professionals responsible for training drivers in an effort to work towards international road safety.

“The IVV continues to promote awareness of the contribution that driver training and education can make towards the reduction of road traffic crashes. We are making concentrated efforts towards standardizing road safety regulations, and testing procedures while highlighting the role of training in reducing loss of life,” said Graham Fryer, President, IVV, also speaking at the press conference. “SAFEX 2006 is expected to raise several pertinent issues, such as the feasibility of applying higher education standards for entry into the driving instructor profession, reduction of road deaths through training and education, minimum standards for training vehicles and equipment, and even pedestrian training and education through schools and colleges to raise awareness.”

BDC is partnering with the IVV to promote a better standard of training and driving across the UAE, and is working towards raising awareness of the risks of aggressive driving.

Addressing the press conference, Adam Kechil, Director of Training, BDC, said, “SAFEX 2006 will be a boost for the Belhasa Driving Center in its efforts to introduce new training methods and driver safety regulations. We are constantly upgrading our training facilities and our driving instructors are sent to refresher courses regularly to assimilate the latest techniques. SAFEX 2006 will bring creditable expert opinion to the table in the fight against road accidents and loss of life, and is expected to generate the implementation of positive measures to combat the menace of careless driving.”

SAFEX 2006 will see participation by traffic concerned organizations such as Traffic Injury Research Foundation, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, UNECE Transport Division, Global Road Safety Partnership, Transport Canada, Transport Research Laboratory, DG Energy and Transport, Government of India, Danish Road Safety Council, and several others.

Established on October 13, 2001, Belhasa Driving Center (BDC) is the new name for Dubai Modern Driving Institute, which was set up more than a quarter century ago. The driving center, which is a member of the Saif Belhasa Group has witnessed exponential growth in the last few years and today boasts of an impressive fleet of over 1,000 training cars, 50 heavy duty trucks, 50 buses, 30 motorcycles, 25 light and heavy forklifts, backed by professional and well-trained team of instructors.

Today BDC has set new standards in providing training courses for light motor vehicle, motorcycle, heavy vehicles, forklift safety operating, defensive driving and desert driving. In addition, BDC offers specialized courses like Incident Avoidance, Progressive Driver Development, DIAmond Advanced Motorists course, Chauffer course, UAE familiarisation course, Anti car hi-jacking, Surveillance security and pursuit driving courses.

BDC has branches in Jumeirah, Al Wasl Club, Jebel Ali, Port Rashid and Century Mall, all of which have extensive shuttle transportation services to ferry students from their homes or offices.

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