The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) Masvingo branch in conjunction with AMTEC motors and Exide batteries recently trained female drivers with basic roadside mechanic skills and techniques to use in case of breakdowns.
The training workshop which was held on October 28, 2023 saw 40 Masvingo-based female drivers being empowered on how to change car tyres, correctly jump start a car, change radiator water if a car overheats and to use fire extinguishers.
TSCZ Masvingo regional manager Easter Kashangura said they were on a drive to equip female drivers with basic mechanic skills to avoid scenarios where they will be stuck on roadsides after vehicles develop minor problems.
“In this awareness programme, we are targeting those who got defensive driving. This is our pilot project and we have 40 ladies. We want to equip them with basic roadside mechanic skills and techniques for use in case of breakdowns. I have learnt that women only know how to move a car from point A to B but they don’t have the knowledge and skills to use in case of breakdowns,” said Kashangura.
AMTEC Motors Masvingo branch administrator Munyaradzi Mawarire encouraged female drivers to ensure their safety by servicing vehicles with reputable mechanics.
“I encourage you to make sure that your cars have regular checkups at reputable garages, never ever travel without a spare wheel and always have regular checks on your spare wheel.
“In case you have a tyre puncture, don’t travel for a long distance with the punctured tyre because it will cause more damage,” said Mawarire.
He also taught them how to interpret warnings displayed on the dashboard and what action to take.
Masvingo Provincial Consumer Council protection officer Ketai Zvinonzwa encouraged women to buy vehicle spare parts from trusted outlets.
“It is important to get spare parts from reputable companies that provide genuine parts for your cars,” said Zvinonzwa.
Masvingo and Midlands Exide Regional sales manager Vimbainashe Kuyerukana helped participants with knowledge on how to clean and safely handle their car batteries.
“Car batteries have a life expectancy of two to three years if handled correctly, hot water and soda can be used to clean battery terminals, some even use coke when cleaning battery terminals which is ok,” said Kuyerukana.
One of the participants Beauty Munzverengwi who has eight years of experience as a driver said she benefitted from the programme saying she was now able to change car tyres and to correctly interpret warnings from her car.
“I am now able to replace a tyre alone in case of puncture, before this programme I used to wait for someone to do it for me. We were also taught how to interpret dashboard icons on our cars and what action to take,” she said.
Stallone Muwanzi of Blaze Fire Extinguishers encouraged the drivers to buy serviceable fire extinguishers and urged them to service them twice a year.
TSCZ also urged all drivers to have first aid kits in their cars.