Understanding Defensive Driving Course in Zimbabwe: A Comprehensive Guide

Defensive driving

Driving in Zimbabwe can be a challenging experience due to various factors such as traffic congestion, road conditions, and unpredictable driver behaviour, especially kombis and mushikashika.

To enhance road safety and improve driving skills, taking a defensive driving course is highly recommended. This blog post aims to provide valuable information on the advantages, requirements, and available options for defensive driving courses in Zimbabwe.

What Is A Defensive Driving Course?

A defensive driving course is a structured program designed to teach drivers advanced skills and techniques to safely handle various driving situations. The primary goal of such a course is to reduce the risk of accidents by anticipating and responding to potential hazards on the road.

In Zimbabwe the course is offered by the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) and it is internationally recognised.

Advantages of Taking a Defensive Driving Course

  1. Employment Opportunities: You have better chances of being employed as a driver if you have a defensive driving certificate. Some jobs like driving a passenger service vehicle (e.g. kombi) require you to have a defensive driving certificate. Some companies also require one to have a defensive driving certificate to use company vehicles.

    The course is also internationally recognised making it easier to get a driving job abroad.
  2. Enhanced Safety: Defensive driving courses teach drivers how to anticipate and react to potential hazards on the road. This proactive approach significantly reduces the likelihood of accidents.
  3. Improved Driving Skills: The course covers various advanced driving techniques, including proper braking, skid control, and safe following distances. These skills are essential for handling emergencies and avoiding collisions.
  4. Insurance Benefits: Completing a defensive driving course can often lead to lower insurance premiums. Insurance companies recognize that trained drivers are less likely to be involved in accidents.
  5. Legal Benefits: In some cases, attending a defensive driving course can help reduce traffic violation points on your driving record, potentially avoiding fines and legal penalties.
  6. Confidence Boost: With enhanced skills and knowledge, drivers often feel more confident on the road, leading to a more enjoyable driving experience.

Requirements for Enrolling in a Defensive Driving Course

Before enrolling in a defensive driving course in Zimbabwe, ensure you meet the following requirements:

  1. Valid Driver’s License: Participants must hold a valid Zimbabwean driver's license. Provisional license holders may also be eligible, depending on the course provider.
  2. Age Requirement: You must be at least 18 years old.

How Much Does The Defensive Driving Course Cost In Zimbabwe?

The cost of the course differs depending on the type of licence you have. If you have a metal disc it costs US$45 (or Zig equivalent at bank rate).

If you have a certificate of competency (blue copy) it costs US$35 (or Zig equivalent at bank rate).

All forms of payment are accepted.

Driving schools can prepare you for the course and their charges range from USD 50 to USD 100 excluding the TSCZ payment stated above.

If you are a driving school that offers this training and you want your number listed here please email [email protected]

How Long Does The Defensive Driving Course Exam Take?

The exam takes 30 minutes to write after undergoing a two-day training.

The course is made up of eight sessions. Each session is approximately one hour 10 minutes.

You will be given your certificate immediately after passing the exam.

Where Can I Take a Defensive Driving Course in Zimbabwe

The test is taken at the TSCZ offices in Harare, Mutare, Masvingo, Gweru Chinhoyi and Bulawayo.

Organisations can invite TSCZ to conduct in-house defensive driving courses in the comfort of their boardrooms.  This comes at an extra cost of $55 per participant.

The council also has outreach campaigns from time to time where they visit other towns for exams.

They post about these campaigns on their social media page (link below).

Defensive driving course in Zimbabwe
Example of a Defensive course driving outreach campaign

What is Covered in the Defensive Driving Course?

The course consists of eight sessions designed to raise questions concerning safe driving techniques and provide answers.

The sessions are split into 4 per day.

It emphasizes that safe driving is a continuous learning process and aims to be a mind-stretching experience, prompting students to re-examine their driving behavior and preconceptions about handling driving emergencies they may not have encountered.

A wide variety of visual aids, including films and PowerPoint presentations, are used throughout the course.

Defensive Driving Course Structure In Zimbabwe

Session One: The first session addresses the magnitude of the traffic problem. Students learn about the five types of errors to avoid for a perfect trip: accidents, traffic offenses, vehicle abuse, schedule delays, and discourtesy.

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Session Two: In the second session, students apply the Standard Accident Prevention Formula and learn about the six conditions of accidents. The session identifies the six positions of a two-car crash and covers reaction distance, braking distance, and overall stopping distance, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a proper following distance.

Sessions Three and Four: Session three, titled “How to Avoid a Collision with the Vehicle Behind,” and session four, “How to Avoid a Collision with an Oncoming Vehicle,” teach students about indirect and direct actions to take in the three phases of an accident. They also cover why vehicles cross the center line and the four-point defense against head-on collisions.

Session Five: This session examines five case histories of accidents and their preventability. It includes a thorough discussion on yielding precedence at intersections and safe left and right turn procedures, leading to a four-point plan for intersection safety.

Session Six: Focusing on the art of overtaking and being overtaken, this session analyzes the emotional reactions to being overtaken, the dangers of passing other vehicles, and illegal overtaking. It concludes with twelve points for a perfect pass.

Sessions Seven and Eight: Session seven, titled “The Mystery Crash,” features a filmed reconstruction of a mystery crash based on the six conditions of accidents. It also addresses the driver’s condition in relation to alcohol and drugs.

Session eight, “How to Avoid Other Common Types of Collisions,” covers avoiding collisions with pedestrians, fixed objects, trains, bicycles, motorcycles, and animals.

By the end of the course, students will have developed a comprehensive technique for defensive driving, fostering better habits of observation, communication, coordination, navigation, and consideration.

Where is the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe?

The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) is headquartered in Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. The specific address is:

Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe 29 Simon Vengai Muzenda Street (formerly 4th Street), Harare, Zimbabwe.

Phone: +263 242 751 203 +263 242 751 204 +263 242 751 205

Email: [email protected]
[email protected]

Website: www.tscz.co.zw

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You can also visit their offices in Mutare, Masvingo, Gweru Chinhoyi and Bulawayo.

Conclusion

Taking a defensive driving course in Zimbabwe is a wise investment in your safety and driving skills. The benefits, ranging from enhanced road safety to potential insurance discounts, make it a valuable undertaking for any driver.

By understanding the requirements and knowing where to find reputable courses, you can take the necessary steps to become a more confident and competent driver on Zimbabwe’s roads.

Leave your comments about the course and this post below.

Frequently Asked Questions On The Defensive Driving Course

How much is the defensive driving course?

The course costs $45 if you have a metal disc and $35 if you have a certificate of competency (blue copy).

How long is Defensive Driving Course valid for?

It is valid for 12 months.

How long is the defensive driving course?

It is a two day course that is split into four sessions per day

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