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John's Blog Posts

Everyone has an opinion on road safety

Picture: By Rovernut

I recently attended a meeting called by the Department of Transport to discuss its Call for Evidence Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy: Safety Review.

The meeting was attended by a wide variety of stakeholders including representatives from transport operators, cycling and walking organisations, associations representing other road users, disability groups, road safety professionals, researchers and academics, community health bodies, cycle trainers, and other interested parties.

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Graduated licences do have my support

Images of the word gradual from www.canacopegdl.com

John Miller, author of the Driving Instructor’s Handbook and someone whose views I have long respected, recently took me to task for not being more supportive of the idea of Graduated Driver Licencing (GDL).

I don’t think that’s necessarily true; indeed, I think I have on behalf of MSA GB supported GDL for many years. Indeed, the following is an extract from the oral evidence I gave on behalf of MSA GB alongside Robin Cummins OBE, road safety consultant, BSM (and previously chief driving examiner); and Steve Grigor, then driving examiners’ branch secretary, PCS Union, to the House of Commons Transport Committee Inquiry into Novice Drivers. It clearly shows that all three of us supported graduated licensing.

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EU equivalence legislation creates subtle change in UK supervising driver rules

The question of who can supervise a learner driver, and in what kind of vehicle, is one that is fraught with difficulties and pitfalls.

As I understood it to supervise a learner in any category a Supervising Driver must: be at least 21 years old; have a full driving licence (for the type of vehicle being used – manual or automatic); have held that valid licence for a minimum of three years; ensure the car is in a safe and legal condition; and meet the minimum eyesight standards.

However, it seems that – and not for the first time – I was wrong, and I have received the following statement from the DVSA.

The Driving and Motorcycle Riding Instructors (Recognition of European Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2016 enables instructors from other member states to have their instructor qualification recognised.

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Follow the 5-90-5 rule: it’s a recipe for better social media relations!

See the Footnote concerning Zingerman’s below

In a previous issue of my Blog (published 7th December  2017) and in the January issue of Newslink I wrote about how a short appearance on TV provoked a somewhat fierce response on social media.

Thanks to all those who got in touch, most to say I was not that bad. Dave Vicary, from Liverpool, got in touch and said ‘I have just received my magazine. I have only read the first few pages but I want to say that I disagree with everything derogatory that people on social media have written about John Lepine.

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DVSA ‘threat’ over ADI badge driven by rise in ETA cases

All NASP reports are published on the NASP web site and are also distributed on line, through social media and on participating organisations’ websites, as soon as possible once they are available.

As a result, some within the profession have already commented on the report – and on one section in particular: the part which states ‘those [ADIs] taking their badge out should be warned that this will not hide them from the Registrar, who can monitor test results by using the car registration alone to identify the ADI. If an ADI is bringing up a lot of people who are not test ready a letter will be sent to them, comparing them to the average, and the LDTM will call them in for a discussion.’

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So how was it for you?

The first few weeks after the introduction of the new L-test has passed quietly, with no news of major problems or frustrations filtering back to MSA GB.

While it was brought in under something of a cloud, as its launch date coincided with the first of two days of strike action by driving examiners, the tests themselves have produced positive feedback from most ADIs who contacted head office.

Indeed, to be truthful, for such a major change in the driving test, we expected more response from ADIs – both members and not. Could it be that the considerable amount of effort that has been put into pre-trailing this by the DVSA has paid off – that everyone knew what was happening, everyone was prepared, everyone knew what was coming… and so everything went smoothly?

Could it be that the DVSA has put together a simple, straightforward, common-sense reform that was long overdue? Who knows.

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You must be in it to influence it

I made a brief appearance on BBC Breakfast on the day the revised driving test was introduced. You may have seen it – but it was fleeting, perhaps a three-minute interview in total.

Not everyone was happy with what I said, and it caused a bit of comment on social media. These are some of the comments on one social media site.

“Very unhappy with John Lepine’s interview on BBC 1. Wish I could cancel my membership of his organisation. Shame I’m not in it!

“Extremely unhappy he accused the examiners of being untruthful. That’s simply not on. Why is it his place to go with DVSA propaganda.

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Have you gone away?

 

DVSA have recently sent all ADIs a booklet about the new driving test and they have reported returns, numbered in hundreds apparently, marked gone away.

Not to much of a problem for those ADIs who don’t receive the booklet there is after all masses of information available about the test changes from MSA GB the other NASP members and of course on GOV.UK

However, it is a condition of being on the ADI register that the DVSA are kept informed of an ADIs current address and there is a danger that an ADI might not receive a standards check invitation or other correspondence which could result in their eventual removal from the register.

Letting DVSA know about a change of address is an obligation for all ADIs and they must update thier ADI registration within 7 days if they change thier name or address. This is easy to do online at Manage your approved driving instructor (ADI) registration. If you need help with the web site you can email adireg@dvsa.gov.uk

Of course if all else fails you can write with your change of address to:

Approved Driving Instructor Registrar
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
The Axis Building
112 Upper Parliament Street
Nottingham
NG1 6LP

 

 

 

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Vive la France! Vive la (automatique) révolution!

All sales of new petrol and diesel cars as we know them today will cease in the UK by 2040, under Government plans to tackle air pollution. The ban is planned because poor air quality is thought to be linked to about 40,000 premature deaths a year.

What this means to the average ADI is that in little more than 20 years’ time it will be impossible to buy the kind of cars that driver trainers currently use to teach nearly 95% of all new drivers – cars with manual gear boxes.

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