Chennai: To break the stereotype that women are not on a par with male drivers, Toyota, in association with their dealer Harsha Toyota, has launched its second driving school in the city and eighth in the country.
Through the driving school, Toyota promotes safety culture in terms of traffic and roads.
Between 2017 and 2018, the Regional Transport Office (RTO) issued over 3.5 lakh car licences to women in the State. Though the number has increased threefold, however, in the last five years, it has to be noted that the percentage has seen a dip.
Experts suggest that it is due to the lack of intense and focused training that stop women from learn car driving. Corroborating it are studies which show that men are better drivers.
The coursework of the Toyota driving school comprises theory, simulation, workshop and on-road training. In addition to novice learners, the driving school also offers training to ‘smart’ learners, that is, people who want to offer commercial taxi services.
Mohamed Jaffer Ali, principal, Toyota Driving School, told ‘News Today’, “Though we offer training for fleet drivers, thus far, we have women who have enrolled for basic training. It is time women tread the path all by themselves instead of waiting for opportunities.”
He added, “It is also observed that the women students that we have got so far are predominantly college students and young working professionals aged between 20 and 30. Having said that it is evidently understood that women these days are far-sighted and are willing to take risks on a par with men.”
The driving school offers the same training to both men and women.
The teaching methodology is different. Unlike the local driving schools, while simulating, the students are made to practice with real cars. This exercise helps the students get good control over steering, brake and gears.
To gain independence and be self-reliant, the students are also taught the mechanism behind every action of the car.
“Apart from accidents, we want the women riders to be capable of detecting the problem if the vehicle breaks down. For this specific need, car mechanics is taught with its skeletal frame,” added Jaffer.
While the presence of women is already observed in several daunting industries, driving a cab still seem to be an area that is less explored. Through intense training, the driving school plans to encourage women taking up jobs in commercial driving segments.
Talking about the employment opportunities, Saravana Kumar, assistant general manager – sales, Harsha Toyota, said, “Apart from promoting safety, we want to grant opportunities for women. Once the training gets over, capable, certified drivers will be employed in our outlet and we are tying up with a cab service provider.”