Ford Motor Company is assisting Saudi Arabian women gain the power of mobility by hosting a special Driving Skills for Life programme with Effat University. Calling on her fellow students to partake, Shams Hakim, Business HR student at Effat, made the announcement on YouTube.
The groundbreaking course – DSFL For Her – follows the landmark decision last year by the Kingdom, as decreed by His Highness, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to lift the ban on females driving in Saudi Arabia.
“Ford Motor Company was built on the belief that freedom of movement drives human progress, so we are honoured to have the opportunity to support women in the Kingdom during such an extraordinary time, and to welcome them to the driver’s seat,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Our DSFL For Her programme provides access to training and experiences that will help women feel safe and confident as they get behind the wheel.”
Based on its award-winning global safe driving initiatives, DSFL has customised an introductory programme which focuses on building women’s confidence behind the wheel, expanding their automotive knowledge, preparing them to take their driving lessons and instilling safe driving practices before they tackle public roads.
This will be the first-ever DSFL For Her introductory programme anywhere in the world, with certified trainers providing the training on closed roads at Effat University’s Jeddah campus.
The four-day DSFL For Her, held between March 5-8, will train more than 250 Effat University students, incorporating four specific modules of in-vehicle experience – Learning About Your Vehicle, Distraction, Impairment, and Braking – preceded by a briefing with the lead instructor.
Dr. Haifa Jamalallail president of Effat University, said: “Effat University is well known for its innovative education, driving women forward to take their rightful places in society and the workforce. We are proud to be able to partner with Ford to ensure that our students are also prepared to become responsible, safe drivers. We believe in driving change, but driving safely, and this is exactly what the Safe Driving Skills for Life programme is all about.”
Driving Skills for Life is an international initiative for road safety created by Ford Fund in cooperation with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and a panel of safety experts. Ford’s signature award-winning programme captures newly-licenced drivers’ interest with free, hands-on ride-and-drive courses that pair new drivers with professional driving instructors and focus on the issues and obstacles that cause crashes, including impaired and distracted driving.
Now in its 15th year, Ford Driving Skills for Life has provided free training to more than one million newly-licenced drivers in more than 40 countries worldwide. In total, Ford has invested more than $40 million in DSFL initiatives worldwide as part of its long-standing commitment to promoting safety on the road.
Since its Middle East launch in 2013, more than 3,600 students have participated in Ford’s Driving Skills for Life programme, with sessions in three different cities across Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates last year alone.
The new DSFL For Her installment will be an on-going programme for women drivers in the Kingdom, with phase two coming later this year.