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Old 19th September 2022, 11:32   #1
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Default Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE

On 17 September 2022, when the Vishwakarma Puja is celebrated and cars are taken to temples for rituals, 10 women gathered under an initiative, She Must Drive. This was for a "Workshop on Safe Driving for Women" c/o D-BHPian SS-Traveller.

Thanks to Samba for the essential photos!

Location: Club De Golf, New Town. The place has ample parking space and also access to oodles of empty to low traffic roads.

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-img20220917wa0011.jpg

THE PURPOSE OF THE SAFE DRIVING WORKSHOP FOR WOMEN

She Must Drive is a not-for-profit initiative I had started to bring focus on the importance of driving for women. Driving is an essential life skill. Safety best practices and critical benchmarks need to be given adequate indulgence to prevent any untoward incidents from occurring on the road.

Consider these -
  1. Incidents on the road may also reinforce the fear of driving, and the roads may become daunting for everyone involved
  2. Our awareness of road safety is very disarrayed and gathered from various sources
  3. In a hobby like this, sometimes the adrenaline rush and the ego are bigger drivers, while safety takes the backseat with no seat belts
  4. In driving schools, one learns the basics - A-B-C, gears, and how to turn the wheels, and sometimes the education has a limited objective of barely hitting the road. Safety is a lot more than getting a license
  5. In many cases people learn from friends and family and there is no organized, single reference point handy for understanding safety measures
  6. Even when we are driving alright, a lot happens on the road that we need to be prepared for and more prepared to take ownership of
  7. Being able to return home in one piece is non-negotiable

Hence, the need for safety training - not just for women but for everyone.

SO WHY TARGET WOMEN?

We are used to a culture where driving has been seen as an option that is not even a good-to-have skill in the case of women.
A humbling 11 percent of women in India drive. An essential for enabling women to drive is to make them feel safe about their own driving in their own vehicles. In a world where women are exposed to the outside more so now than ever, so, being able to drive a car from point A to B may be a safer option than being driven around, especially at odd hours in the company of strangers, or in an emergency.

In my opening thread in the Team-BHP Forum, I had written about Driving an inclusive driving culture.

Head check: Female participation in the workforce is about 25 percent in India (lowest amongst developing nations). This has everything to do with gender discrimination (98 percent of the discrimination she faces is owing to her gender) Click for Source.

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-img20220917wa0054.jpg
That's me stealing a few moments addressing the group about biases

Last edited by Aditya : 20th September 2022 at 20:07. Reason: As requested
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Old 19th September 2022, 16:34   #2
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Default Re: She Must Drive: A Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women in Kolkata

PRE-WORK
I conducted the dipstick check survey with the participants to understand their level of expertise, fears involved in driving, and expectations of the workshop.

Result of my survey- What lay beneath : These are not anything that you have not heard before, but still putting it out there -
  1. Women have been told not to get a car, and rather be driven around - fathers, brothers, husbands, male friends/ colleagues, family drivers, cab drivers. You get the drift!
  2. It is a motor-neurotic action that if a man and a woman are both available to drive, the man may be the preferred one to take to the wheels
  3. Social messaging such as women cannot drive or are poor drivers. A man is a better driver. This is an additional hurdle that gets reinforced over time and women sometimes end up internalizing this belief!
  4. Underlying fear of making mistakes, goofing up, and injuring someone. This fear sometimes is completely up against women's primitive "preserver" instinct
  5. Lack of knowledge and access to the idea of driving, as children, and therein not developing an interest for it. Boys shadow men (fathers, uncles, etc.) and girls shadow the women. This develops gender roles and biases at an early age

Fears expressed in the survey included -
  1. Movement of animals and other vehicles while driving
  2. Narrow roads
  3. Crowded streets
  4. Bumper-to-bumper drives on straight and inclined roads
  5. Changing lanes
  6. Parking
  7. Descending slippery hilly roads

The workshop was, therefore, to start addressing all of this and to orient the participants towards the safety of themselves and others on the road.


Glimpses of the workshop

Last edited by DogNDamsel12 : 20th September 2022 at 01:08.
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Old 19th September 2022, 16:35   #3
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Default Re: She Must Drive: A Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women in Kolkata

THE WORKSHOP

BHPians at work
  1. D-BHPian SS-Traveller (Faculty and Facilitator) - Based on the results of my dipstick check with women drivers, he curated a bespoke curriculum for the audience. Link to his recent article on (The Ten Commandments of Driving Safely)
  2. D-BHPian Samba (Coordination support and gracious handyman) - Samba helped with the hands-on exercises and as constant support to the program, as he is the one who knows most of the people here in Kolkata Link to his recent article on (Defending my vehicle : The onus is on myself)
  3. Me (Facilitator and Trainee) - While I conceived the workshop, and conducted the survey, I was also one of the 10 women attending it.
]

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-img20220917wa0067.jpg

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-img20220917wa0070.jpg

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-img20220917wa0075.jpg

Participant profile
Participants included 10 women including myself. Age ranged from 20-55 years. Their driving experience ranged from those with no 4w-driving experience to one's who had a license but did not drive for fear, those who did not enjoy driving, regular city drivers, ones who enjoyed driving, and ones who have driven in different terrains.

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-screenshot_20220919225303_chrome.jpg

PEDAGOGY -
  1. 5 minutes of briefing on recognition and breaking of stereotypes
  2. 4 hours of theory using a presentation and lecture
  3. 4 hours of practical where people had the chance to learn how to examine a vehicle, and also to drive and observe their fellow drivers drive under the supervision and guidance of SS-Traveller
  4. Safety kit given to all participants, included - handbook, bumper sticker, and sunshade reminder sticky note
Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-handbook.jpg
Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-bumper-sticker.jpgSafe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-sunshade-sticker.jpg

Last edited by DogNDamsel12 : 20th September 2022 at 01:21.
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Old 19th September 2022, 16:37   #4
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Default Re: She Must Drive: A Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women in Kolkata

KEY TAKEAWAYS OF THE SESSION

The most helpful part of the lessons that came out as feedback from the participants, were -

I. Theory: The 3-second golden rule and its variation for different speeds, understanding CAS, blind spots, identifying hazards and risks sooner than later, slowing down on time, respecting the speed of the road or highway, noticing the movement and signals of the vehicle in front, noticing and brake-checking a tailgater on time, etc.

Some really helpful tips included - self-narration while driving, installing a dash cam, etc.

II. Hands-on : checking the vehicle before starting the trip, adjusting the driver's seat, ORVM and IRVM; being able to get the car in motion in 5 seconds, being able to understand the gears and switches in the cockpit in a static car with eyes closed (for complete newbies), parking (parallel and perpendicular), holding the throttle at a fixed speed, gears, anticipating hazards and risks, etc.
Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-img20220917wa0049.jpgSafe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-img20220917wa0062.jpg

III. Certificates of participation were handed out to all the participants by SS-Traveller, upon completion of the program.

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-amrita.jpg

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-felicia.jpg

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-mamika.jpg

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-moumita.jpg

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-rishika.jpg

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-sujata.jpg

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-anamika.jpg

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-sulagna.jpg

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-sharmishtha.jpg

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-me.jpg

That of the most devoted student's certificate below -
Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-certificate.jpg

WHAT THIS WORKSHOP WOULD NOT DO
  1. Coerce people's choices - if there are safer, easier, and more emissions-friendly options of commute that people choose, please feel free!
  2. Discriminate between different types of vehicles such as Electric Vehicles (EVs), ICs, Manual or Automatic Transmissions (MTs/ATs), and so on.
  3. Ratify any merit hierarchy of drivers. The training was for individual evolution and growth only, not to enlist anyone as holier-than-thou drivers

I am not sure if it is okay to share this little Facebook group that we have here, admin please delete it, if not okay. https://www.facebook.com/groups/449129876760673 The initiative is not for profit and the plan is to bring more and more coaches from different expertise areas, to bring more and more women up to this skill.

A big shout out to fellow BHPians some of whom have nominated their wives who drive to join these workshops.

Last edited by Aditya : 20th September 2022 at 06:55. Reason: Images fixed
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Old 20th September 2022, 06:58   #5
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Default Re: Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 20th September 2022, 08:22   #6
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Default Re: Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE

A wonderful initiative.
This should be extended to other cities as well.
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Old 20th September 2022, 09:46   #7
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Default Re: Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE

This is a great initiative to get more women to drive for sure. What can be done to consider expanding such a program to other cities?

My wife would be an obvious candidate. She got her DL with great enthusiasm in 2015 and bought a hatchback. In the initial months she was doing confident drives alone in Bangalore traffic. A Bullet rear-ended her one time and the guy threatened and collected some money

After some more months, a rashly driven BMTC grazed the driver's side door. This shook her and effectively ended her driving regularly. We talk about it and she tried it a few times. But with the these incidents and road rage incidents seen on the roads and Ola/Uber availability, she's not keen to get behind the wheel at all

A program like this will help boost confidence and hopefully we can share driving duties in long trips.
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Old 20th September 2022, 10:05   #8
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Default Re: Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE

Love it! Safe driving workshops are something I'd like to attend if I were back in India, and the support of a community and the opportunity to learn from people more experienced than us may help not just women, but everyone to drive safer!

If such events were to happen in Chennai I would recommend it to a few people I know.
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Old 20th September 2022, 10:35   #9
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Default Re: Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE

Excellent initiative. If there's a car in the family, everyone over 18 should know how to drive it competently.

Irrespective of sex, learning driving is much more difficult in places like Mumbai today than 20 years back. The margin of error is too less even at odd hours due to high traffic density and the reduced patience on road by other drivers.

For women, issues get compounded because:
1. they get regularly bullied on the road which makes this worse - once an auto guy purposely got so close to my wife riding a scooter, that the tyres went over her feet.
2. The ego factor. For e.g. Given a gap for a single vehicle, between men it's an issue of who squeezes there first. With women, the additional factor of ego crops in which is "I will squeeze there before her no matter what"


My daredevil mother would love to be able to drive but she (and I) are not confident about driving in city with slowing reflexes - which she has realised when I make her sit on the passenger seat up front.

To be able to make her drive would be one of my achievements in life, not just as a son, but as a person - will definitely beat any PowerPoint/ Excel work I did for any boss.

Last edited by One : 20th September 2022 at 10:42.
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Old 20th September 2022, 10:39   #10
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Default Re: Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE

A good initiative! Would love to have this in Bangalore. Please let me know how I could help to get this hosted here. I am sure apart from lady BHPians, there would be spouses of BHPians who may be excited to participate as well.

Last edited by Sheel : 20th September 2022 at 12:36. Reason: Please capitalize your starting word and as required. Thanks.
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Old 20th September 2022, 12:32   #11
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Default Re: Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE

Quote:
Originally Posted by normaltusker View Post
Please let me know how I could help to get this hosted here.
Same here. I am happy to help in any way I can to get an event like this hosted in Bangalore.

I missed to mention my kudos to @DogNDamsel12, @SS-Traveller and all the participants of this initiative. Well done and all the best!

Hope to see more posts from them on their driving experiences!
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Old 20th September 2022, 19:50   #12
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Default Re: Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE

It was indeed an excellent workshop conducted by D-Bhpian SS-Traveller. Hope all the ladies were benefited.
The write-up as usual is excellent covering every details. A well deserved 5* thread.

I will request you to take a feedback from all the participants after driving for a week, that what difference they are getting in terms of safety and confidence. You can collect their feedback and share it here.

Sharing few pics from the workshop-

The venue-

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-img_3497.jpg

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-img_3479.jpg

R3- Reduce Road Risks

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-img_3482.jpg

The group. A couple of members missing from this pic.

Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE-img_3492.jpg

Earlier in Kolkata, we had another workshop conducted by SS-Traveller with 40 members in 2018.

The link of that report-

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/road-...ng-course.html (Kolkata enthusiasts attend the Low Risk Safe Driving course)

Last edited by Samba : 20th September 2022 at 19:53.
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Old 20th September 2022, 20:00   #13
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Default Re: Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE

Great initiative, very much appreciated .
Many thanks to the participants, @DogNDamsel12, @SS-Traveller and yourself!

My (Dutch) parents were of a generation where Dutch women just did not drive. Always left to the husband. However, when in their early sixties my dads health deteriorated quickly. My mum, at 61, decided she must get her driving license. Took 52 one hour driving lessons with instructor and she passed first time. Very big step for her, most of her friend did not drive. She drove till early eighties.

Getting your driving license is very much about independence. That’s why some men are against women getting their drivers license. They will never admit to it, obviously. Just another way of keeping your partner in check and dependent on you. Also, there is the myth of woman drivers being worse drivers than men. There is ample evidence that points in the opposite direction! Ask any car insurer and they will tell you woman have fewer and smaller accident than men.

We insure our cars in my wife’s name because that is cheaper than on my name!

Jeroen
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Old 20th September 2022, 20:45   #14
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Excellent initiative and so much agree with the survey findings and underlying reasons. Rated the thread 5 stars!
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Old 22nd September 2022, 14:54   #15
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Default Re: Safe Driving Workshop for 10 Women via "She Must Drive" and R-THREE

First of, thank you everyone for such positive and encouraging response.

On your suggestions
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
I will request you to take a feedback from all the participants after driving for a week, that what difference they are getting in terms of safety and confidence. You can collect their feedback and share it here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Excellent initiative and so much agree with the survey findings and underlying reasons.
Thanks for that suggestion! I will certainly do that. SS-Traveller too has suggested the same.

In fact, this is not going to be a one-time engagement, I plan to take the ladies out from time to time and at least get them up to speed on the little that I know about driving - the idea is to increase their comfort levels and keep at it.

---------

Culture and fear around driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by vijaykr View Post
My wife would be an obvious candidate....But with the these incidents and road rage incidents seen on the roads and Ola/Uber availability, she's not keen to get behind the wheel at all
Driving is a risk, but then so is walking down the street.

Being someone involved in the mental health space, I can tell your wife that human children are born with just 2 fears - fear of sound and fear of falling. All other fears are simply received fears developed from the ecosystem. One of the additional area that I am trying to address with new women drivers is received fear of driving and negative reinforcement. Sometimes, regular men drivers do not get deterred by some incidents because they may have taken on driving at a much younger age and shadowed others early on. The purpose of the campaign is to include and focus on the rarer sex in driving. A group of like-minded people helps to collate issues and find resolutions in a much easier way.

If you would like her to connect with me, feel free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by One View Post
Excellent initiative. If there's a car in the family, everyone over 18 should know how to drive it competently.
Yes agreed. Whether one drives or paints the city red at 100 miles an hour or not is a matter of choice. But being able to drive when one needs to is enabling oneself with the option to do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by One View Post
My daredevil mother would love to be able to drive but she (and I) are not confident about driving in city with slowing reflexes - which she has realised when I make her sit on the passenger seat up front.

To be able to make her drive would be one of my achievements in life, not just as a son, but as a person - will definitely beat any PowerPoint/ Excel work I did for any boss.
So glad you look at it this way. However, you are the best judge of whether or not she should drive. My dad is past 70, has driven all his life, but now I have requested him not to, especially with a few incidents happening on the road indicating that his reflexes are not as sharp as they used to be. All of us will get there some day sooner or later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post

....Took 52 one hour driving lessons with instructor and she passed first time. Very big step for her, most of her friend did not drive. She drove till early eighties.

Getting your driving license is very much about independence. Thatís why some men are against women getting their drivers license. They will never admit to it, obviously. Just another way of keeping your partner in check and dependent on you...
Yes, I agree with you. You put into words one of the many ways some people may believe in keeping their someone under check. More or less, there are a lot of subtle and indirect ways in which gender discrimination takes hold. A part of it may also include constantly telling someone how bad they are with driving so that the confidence and morale can be broken down over time systematically. Even women do that to women.
---------------
On organising in other cities

Quote:
Originally Posted by vijaykr View Post
This is a great initiative to get more women to drive for sure. What can be done to consider expanding such a program to other cities?
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkv_2401 View Post
If such events were to happen in Chennai I would recommend it to a few people I know.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capri89 View Post
A wonderful initiative.
This should be extended to other cities as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by normaltusker View Post
A good initiative! Would love to have this in Bangalore. Please let me know how I could help to get this hosted here. I am sure apart from lady BHPians, there would be spouses of BHPians who may be excited to participate as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vijaykr View Post
Same here. I am happy to help in any way I can to get an event like this hosted in Bangalore.
It would be wonderful to be able to organize such workshops in other cities.
We took advantage of SS-Traveller's travel plan to Kolkata, so that we did not have to pay for the trainer's travel and stay.

It would be wonderful to connect with other BHPians and lady drivers personally in Bangalore. I will be visiting and available between 22-25th, and can make some time to catch up - especially if any of the ladies need a pep talk for driving, I have the gift!
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