New generation of chauffeurs to be safest, smartest on UAE roads
In countdown to London Olympics Hertz UAE challenges drivers to “Go for Gold”
Dubai, 8 May, 2012: A new generation of chauffeurs are being groomed for service in the UAE with the aim of making them among the safest and most alert drivers on the road.
“Going for Gold,” the theme for sportsmen and women worldwide in the countdown to the 2012 London Olympics, is also the name of a unique new driving and capability assessment programme introduced by Hertz UAE.
The company, which believes it is the only driver accreditation programme in the car rental industry, is responding to a growing demand from event organisers for top level transportation management, including chauffeurs for celebrities and VIPS.
“The big events need quick, efficient and polished transportation solutions to get people, including VIPS, from A to B, and ensure everything runs smoothly,” said Nigel Johnson, Managing Director of Hertz UAE.
“We’ve introduced the new driver accreditation programme to make sure our chauffeurs are the best, and safest, in the business, to match the organisation that goes into our premium transport services.”
Reinforcing the effects of the scheme in terms of road safety is a strictly enforced code which limits Hertz drivers to a maximum of eight hours a day behind the wheel.
Drivers enrolling in the programme work towards a series of accreditation, starting with bronze, moving on to silver and ultimately gold.
To achieve the gold standard they must demonstrate a high level of driving skill and develop strong customer service ability and have an in depth knowledge and understanding of road risk issues like journey planning and fatigue.
“Driver fatigue leads to accidents,” said Johnson. “We hear of drivers spending 17 or 18 hours at the wheel in a day. None of our drivers can exceed the daily limit of eight hours behind the wheel.”
Hertz UAE has designed the driver accreditation programme in conjunction with the Al-Futtaim Training Centre, the Automotive Training Academy, Emirates Driving Institute, and language specialists Global English to build strong communication skills.
It includes a defensive driving course using proven coaching techniques, as well as monthly performance development reviews requiring all candidates to achieve set targets.
“The defensive driving element is vitally important, as research has shown that those who drive defensively are 25% less likely to be involved in an accident,” said Johnson.
Hertz UAE has other good reasons to see drivers successfully negotiate the accreditation programme. The company expects to reduce its “unknown vehicle damage costs”, while research says defensive driving skills could slash its annual fuel bill of AED2,965,000 by up to 11% for a saving of AED326,000.
With performance targets rising as they go through the programme, drivers achieving bronze accreditation must operate at this level for a year before having a chance to reach the silver standard, and the same to progress to gold.
Hertz UAE, part of the Al Futtaim Group of companies, commenced operations in 1993 and operates a growing nationwide network of branches offering a wide range of car rental and leasing services.
Hertz car hire can be arranged from any hotel, or at one of the 15 Hertz branches in the UAE. For more information, call toll free from within the UAE on 800 HERTZ (43789) or +971 4 206 0206 from outside the UAE, or visit www.Hertz.ae