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EFA Charter for High Quality Road Safety Education for the Safety of All

Patrice Bessone
Président CNPA -Éducation Routière

At the recent CNPA Congress held in Lyon, France I was very pleased to sign a new EFA Charter for Road Safety Education. The idea for this charter was first raised at the EFA delegates meeting in October 2016 – held in Copenhagen, Denmark by Patrice Bessone, Président, CNPA – Éducation Routière (France). His ideas were welcomed by delegates and the final charter was agreed at the EFA meeting held in Prague, Czech Republic in April 2017. Patrice kindly invited me to come to Lyon to formally sign the charter.

The CNPA Congress is a large event with around a thousand delegates attending. I last attended THE CNPA event at Reims in 2015.

John Lepine, Manuel Picardi, Enrique Lorca

Also at the event was EFA vice president Manuel Picardi from Italy and Enrique Lorca representing CNAE the Spanish association.

Alongside the congress, which was held in the Auditorium Lumiere, CNPA hosted a large exhibition that involved many different driving school related businesses, including software designers, car manufacturers and suppliers of dual controls.


With Anne-Marie Santos center from the CNPA office and right Catherine Brazier a French driver trainer
Taking questions at the Congress

My thanks to both  Anne-Marie Santos from the CNPA office and Catherine Brazier a French driver trainer who helped out with the translation on the morning of the event and made us feel most welcome.



EFA Charter for High Quality Road Safety Education for the Safety of All


Road safety is everyone’s business. That is why the proper training of new drivers is in the public interest. It is not just about moving a vehicle it is about driving safely on the road.

We believe that only good quality professional driver training can ensure safety on the roads.

Signing the Charter

EFA representing professional European driving school organisations, declares that:

Every citizen is entitled to high-quality road safety training. Road safety education of a high standard must be available to all the citizens of Europe.

The driving license is not a commercial product that can be simply purchased. A full driving license should only be awarded after rigorous training and testing.

It is the responsibility of governments and the public authorities, to rigorously regulate the quality and training of driving schools and driving teachers.

All new drivers should receive training from properly licensed and approved driving schools and driving teachers.

Where allowed private practice must be provided without any payment of money or monies worth.

High quality driver training is delivered by properly trained and qualified professional driving teachers.

All driver training should follow an approved syllabus based on modern European requirements and which ensures the delivery of a minimum standard of knowledge and skills to students.

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Czech it out: dual controls – on a motorbike!

Czech trainer Jiří Novotný and BOVAG (Netherlands) representative Christa Grootveld pose for pictures on Prague car park
Czech trainer Jiří Novotný and BOVAG (Netherlands) representative Christa Grootveld pose for pictures on Prague car park

My duties as President of the European Driving Schools Association (EFA) often brings me into contact with colleagues across Europe who have different approaches to teaching learners how to drive, and different rules and regulations surrounding testing. Many are interesting, some are surprising… others, well, really shock! But more of that later…

EFA held a delegates Meeting in the Czech Republic in April most of the organisations twenty-three member countries were represented. In addition, the President of CIECA also attended.

Several speakers addressed the meeting including Stanislav Dvořák Director of the Czech Driver Affairs Department and Roman Budský who discussed the Statistical Analysis of Selected factors on the Rate of Accidents.

Jiri Pour considered to be the father of simulators and driving schools in the Czech Republic gave a fascinating presentation on the history of driving simulators which started around 110 years ago and was founded in the same factory that Skoda cars are now built in. Jiri stated that these simulators were distributed to driving schools all over the world.

The Second World War proved an unwitting boost to their popularity, as all driving schools were closed in 1939 and not reopened until after the end of hostilities.

Advertising picture for USA featuring a dual controlled JAWA 250
Advertising picture for USA featuring a dual controlled JAWA 250

At this time, there was a drastic shortage of driving school cars, so the need for simulators grew, it was not unusual for a school to have more than 5 simulators and usually one instructor supervising them.

Perhaps the most surprising and thought provoking presentation was from Jiří Novotný who gave a presentation on a new way of teaching and testing new bikers, and delegates were able to see a dual controlled motorcycle used in training!

Dual handlebars fitted with brake and clutch NOT throttle
Dual handlebars fitted with brake and clutch NOT throttle

That’s right – dual controlled motorbikes. As you can see from the photos here, we’re talking about an instructor as a pillion passenger with his or her own set of handlebars and controls, ready to step in, if the learner gets into difficulties.

In 1938 the first dual trainer was constructed by the JAWA factory in Prague and after the Second World War dual controlled motor cycles were used in all driving schools in Czechoslovakia. At that time JAWA motorcycles were exported to the whole world including the USA.

Dual foot-brake arrangement
Dual foot-brake arrangement

Following the Velvet Revolution in 1989, the separate countries of the Czech Republic and Slovakia were created. Now driving schools in both counties combine the use of dual controlled bikes with solo training. As far as I am aware they are the only countries to do so – unless of course, you know better!

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Cameras, NIPs, speed awareness, FPNs, fines and points

1239px-Earlyswerver_UK_Speed_Camera_Sign.svgWhat happens to a learner driver who breaks the speed limit?

The procedure is the same whoever is driving. The registered keeper of the vehicle will be sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP), detailing the offence. Plus, a document called a Section 172 notice. Whether you agree with the NIP or not, within 28 days you must complete the Section 172 notice declaring who was driving the car at the time of the offence.

The driver will then receive either an option to attend a speed awareness course if they have not been convicted of any other speeding offences in the past three years and have been caught driving over 10% plus 2mph of the limit, but below 10% plus 9mph. In a 30mph zone, this means anything between 35mph and 42mph, while in a 70mph zone it means anything between 79mph and 86mph. (These figures are only guidelines and different police forces may set different limits.)

In most other circumstances, they are likely to receive a and a minimum of three penalty points.

What happens to an ADI whose pupil breaks the speed limit?

Usually nothing! Learners accept that they exceeded the speed limit, accept the punishment and the matter ends there.

But not always! Every so often a learner, their mum, dad, boyfriend or other interested party kicks up a fuss. This does nothing to help the learner, they have still committed the offence and will still be punished. However, the instructor is now in a somewhat invidious position. A professional driver trainer clearly has a duty of care to their client defined as a legal obligation to safeguard others from harm while they are in your care, using your services, or exposed to your activities. To ameliorate the situation some ADIs offer to pay the pupils fine or the cost of a speed awareness course.

In some cases, police attention is brought to instances of learners speeding or committing other moving traffic offences. I have never heard of an ADI being charged with the aiding and abetting a learner to break the law after all instructors don’t have dual accelerators. However, there is also the offence of causing or permitting an offence to take place.

For these offences, the endorsement codes are like those for the original offence, but with the number 0 on the code changed to 4.

For example, if an instructor permits a client to exceed the speed limit he might end up with an SP34 endorsement on their licence, a fine and 3 to 6 penalty points. In a worst-case example, say client traveling at 60 mph in a 30 mph speed limit the instructor could be disqualified from driving.

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New ADI Part 3 – on the way

pay-100337_1920It seems not everyone is in favour of the new ideas about the ADI Part 3 examination which have come after talks with the Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) Industry, National Associations Strategic Partnership (NASP) and organisations on DVSA’s Official Register of Driving Instructor Trainers (ORDIT),

DVSA’s Registrar Mark Magee said:

“The industry has confirmed to us that the current fault-based ADI Part 3 test, which relies on pre-set tests and role play exercises, is both unrealistic and restrictive. It doesn’t give trainee instructors enough opportunity to demonstrate the full range of skills needed when qualified.

“The changes will now mean new ADIs will be better prepared to deliver effective training from day one of qualifying and won’t need to learn different teaching methods ahead of their standards check.  It will also enable the test to be delivered at a greater number of test centres and local to where training has taken place. 

“However, it is also important to reassure individuals that consideration will be given to PDIs currently part way through the qualifying process. Also, DVSA ADI examiners will receive training to deliver the new ADI Part 3, and DVSA ORDIT inspectors will  be updated on the inspection requirements.”

MSA GB Chairman Peter Harvey MBE, who has been closely involved with the DVSA on delivering these changes said:

“I feel a real pupil is the correct way forward, the current PSTs do not show a breadth of knowledge just an ability to learn a number of set routines, neither does it test ability to teach roundabouts or gear changing or high speed driving or use of car parks etc.

“Role play is an outmoded form of examination, for the profession to improve, we need to be teaching the real thing to allow modern PDIs to better understand what dealing with real people is all about.”

In my view a competency based Part 3 makes sense I think it is what this industry needs. Many years ago there was a deputy chief driving examiner who used to upset ADIs when they asked him how to teach various things in order that their pupils would pass the test. He had a stock answer “teach them to do what you would do in the same circumstance”.

His view was that, generally speaking, the theory test checked you had a (theoretical) grasp of the subject. The part 1 checked your eyesight was good enough to see what was going on and the Part 2 checked that you knew how to drive properly. The idea of the Part 3 was to make sure you could teach others to do what you could do. That the PSTs were let out of the bag in the early 1980s simply meant that trainers tried to teach people to pass them rather than teaching/coaching/training them to teach/coach/train properly.

It would seem to me that a person who is a really good teacher/coach/trainer should be a good driver teacher/coach/trainer if they can pass the theory test, the eyesight test and the driving test. I appreciate that they may need a bit of specialist advice to ensure their teaching/coaching/training skills are compatible with driver teaching/coaching/training but with that bit of help they should be off and running.

tricoaching_logo1_72Susan McCormack from the Tri-coaching Partnership puts her latest thinking on the subject as follows

‘Points in favour of the Standards Check replacing the Part 3.

Let’s look at three points:

1 Training versus testing
2 Skills versus subject
3 Individual responsibility and client-centred learning

1 Training versus testing
The DVSA is responsible for setting and maintaining the standards in all categories of drivers and driver trainers. It has no responsibility for the training. Anyone, who applies to become a driving instructor and takes the three-part qualifying exam, can do so without ever once undertaking professional training. In the same way, anyone can sit the ‘L’ theory and practical tests without ever having training with an ADI.

The three-part qualifying examination to be an ADI is a summative assessment of the knowledge, skills and understanding the potential driving instructor (PDI) has of the National Driver and Rider Training Standard. These are the standards that are set by the DVSA, against which PDIs are tested.

Therefore, it follows, that the training (whether the PDI takes this formally or trains alone) must be around developing the knowledge, skills and understanding of the National Driver and Rider Training Standard.

2 Skills versus subject
Let’s focus on the training – not the testing – for a moment. The training currently unashamedly prepares the individual to pass the Part 3 test. The training usually consists of forty hours that focus on the ten pre-set test combinations (PSTs) of the Part 3 rather than a syllabus of training that matches the National Standard. There is no context.

If you are against the Standards Check replacing the Part 3 then you might be overly concerned about individuals learning the ‘content of subjects’, rather than recognising that the most important thing is the ‘skills that need applying’ to any situation – the ‘skills’ that are robustly assessed with the seventeen competences that make up the Standards Check. The subject is irrelevant. Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable for the candidate to prepare the subject they are most familiar with on a route they feel comfortable with – because they still must demonstrate ability in seventeen competences.

3 Individual responsibility and client-centred learning
Coaching and client-centred learning (CCL) is all about raising self-awareness and building self-responsibility. The trainee driving instructor must take ownership of their own learning and work out their individual development needs in becoming a driving instructor. If they do this successfully then they are more likely to recognise the importance of CCL when it comes to teaching people to drive. Raising awareness and building responsibility in newly qualified drivers will help keep them safe on the road – the starting point lies in the self-development of the PDI.

It is about looking at the bigger picture and keeping the context in mind.’

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Driving licence codes


M5AGBI was recently asked a couple of questions about Driving licence codes:

  1. How does a full Category B licence holder go about removing the “01” restriction from their driving licence?
  2. Where can I find a schedule of the codes within regulations. I can find plenty of copies of the codes on government and other websites, but not within the schedule to a regulation. Do you know if they are not set out in regulation?
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To signal or not to signal, that…

Picture © Copyright Stephen Sweeney
Picture © Copyright Stephen Sweeney

I was recently discussing the merits of lane departure warning systems, which many readers will know is an in-car mechanism designed to warn the driver when the vehicle begins to move out of its lane unless a turn signal is on in that direction.

The systems are designed to minimise crashes by addressing the main causes of collisions: driver error, distractions and drowsiness.

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Porsche: fancy a drive?

Porsche Carrera 911 C2S
Porsche Carrera 911 C2S

“This time we are going to try a launch control start”, said Mark, my Porsche driving consultant as we sat at the start line of the circuit’s straight.

We were on a safe and controlled part of the circuit at the Porsche Experience test track, a place designed to allow drivers to fully explore how a Porsche accelerates and stops.

We had already tried accelerating hard – and braking equally hard – along these straights,

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They can have all the advice they want – as long as it’s on driving

Driving instructors are asked for information and guidance about all aspects of learning to drive and road safety, but how much advice should they give?

The first question most learners ask is “When will I be ready for test?”. Instructors are often somewhat guarded in answering this question, many turning to the joint TSO and DVSA web page, which advises: “Check out our infographic – a pdf file that opens in a new window.” This states that, “on average you need 40 hours of tuition with a professional driving instructor and 20 hours of private practice before passing your driving test.”

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Not Nostradamus …

nostradamus_by_lemudAs the end of the year approaches my thoughts turn to what next year might bring. However, I won’t be making a lot of predictions after the abject failure of my forecasts over recent times.

It started in May 2015 when I confidently predicted that there would be a hung parliament … clearly, I was wrong and David Cameron’s Conservatives won an, albeit small, majority and he formed a new Government.

Moving on to this year and in June the long-awaited EU Referendum took place. I felt sure that the people of the UK would vote to stay in the EU despite its many obvious faults. I had always believed the view of Winston Churchill “to jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war”, would prevail, and we would continue in membership, to ensure peace and seek to find political solutions to our disagreements with our fellow Europeans. Not to be: a majority of those voting decided we should leave.

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Create a stir over cocktails

BSM Training Course Standing third from right me.
BSM Training Course Standing third from right me.

Writing the post Now, just reverse out on to the main road for me… about my own driving test experience reminded me that everybody remembers something that happened on their driving test.

Many of these stories become embellished over time and to the ears of many a professional driver trainer or driving test examiner they are clearly a bit tedious and

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