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In Sierra Leone, New Drivers Have to Play a Board Game to Get Their License

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.

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