Authorities in Sierra Leone have found a really cool and ingenious way to deal with their very undisciplined and uneducated drivers who are involved in thousands of accidents every year – a fun board game meant to be played for several months by any newbie wanting a driver’s license. Before actually being allowed to get behind the wheel, players will find themselves in realistic situations where the only way out is to give the right answers to traffic law and conduct questions.
The game, called “The Drivers’ Way”, might look like your regular board game but it has a quirky twist – the rules of the game are real driving rules and players move pieces modeled like classic cars around a colorful board as they advance. The dice is cleverly made into a traffic light but even if the light is green, players still have to tackle tough traffic law tests to go further. If they fail the tests or have a broken tail light, they get a fine, just like in real life. The game, which apparently plays a bit like Scrabble, seems easy enough if you know your signs and speed limits. Thousands of copies of the game have already been made, each costing 60,000 Leones (about $14). Sarah Bendu, executive director of Sierra Leone’s Road Transport Authority explains that “they (novice drivers) will have to pay for it. Then they will play it for two or three months, or maybe just one if they’re smart enough, then they will come for their test.” I’m guessing that after playing it months on end, the West African country will have some seriously determined drivers.
Photo: Behance.net (not the actual game)
The game was created by Morie Lenghor – Assistant Inspector General of the police, who says it will help future drivers considerably. According to him, most crashes in Sierra Leone are the result of ignorance of the highway code and most drivers not knowing half the road signs The game concept was meant to be fun and attractive to young people who are eager to hit the roads and might not have the patience to study the law properly. Because of the corrupt system, some of them chose to pay for their license and never even get to take a test. “If you have the money it’s easy,” said an official working in the car-hire industry. The countless car accidents and hundreds of deaths – 380 were reported only last year, are also a result of driving on degraded roads with defective vehicles but also because, as incredible as it seems, most traffic lights do not even work.