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Category: MSA News

Transport Tribunal makes landmark ruling

The Transport Tribunal – that’s the body that ADIs can appeal to, if the ADI Registrar decides to remove them from the register, and is more properly known as the First-tier Tribunal, (General Regulatory Chamber) Transport – has recently published something of a landmark decision in an appeal.

The case in question was heard in April but the ruling has only recently been released. It involved an ADI appealing against his removal from the register and marks, as far as I can recall, the first time the Tribunal has dismissed an appeal against such a decision even though it involved no criminal or motoring convictions. The tribunal found that the appellant (the ADI) could not satisfy the statutory requirement to be a ‘fit and proper person’.


Graduated licences do have my support

Images of the word gradual from

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.


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.


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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A new year, a new Newslink and a new logo for MSA GB

Newslink Jan 2016When the MSA GB launched Newslink back in 1989, taking over from the previous MSA publication, News Journal, it was described by the then newly installed MSA GB chairman the late Ron Feltham as “Newslink, all shiny and new”. He went on to say that he had some input into the decision to the change of title and the style of the publication.

His naval background influenced many of his ideas; his options for a new title were probably something daft like ‘Splice the main brace’ or ‘Aye, aye, skipper’; thankfully, we did not pick anything as foolish as Aye Aye.

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Meeting the new Minister

Andrew-JonesYesterday I was invited to an informal introductory meeting with the new Minister Andrew Jones MP, he wanted to hear views on road safety in general and the challenges and opportunities that we collectively face in this area.

This was the first of three meetings the minister is holding with road safety stakeholders, to ensure he has rapid access to a wide range of road safety perspectives. Each of these meetings is intended to cover the whole road safety agenda.

Amongst topics covered of particular interest to driver trainers were: compulsory theory training for L drivers; CPD for driving instructors; learner drivers on motorways with ADIs; learner drivers to record their progress; improvements to the  practical driving test; compulsory practical training for L drivers; the use of telematics and GDLs.

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Lively start to the year

January-2015-calendarJanuary was a busy month for the MSA, and all my good intentions to blog on a regular basis have fallen by the wayside. When ‘John’s blog’ was launched I said that, “The idea of my writing a blog is to fill in any gaps in the information output from the MSA. It will give me the opportunity to tell people what I’m up to on behalf of MSA and EFA.”

I’ll try and fill in some of the gaps here.

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Is it time to update MSAs Terms of Business for ADIs?

bus-lane-sign-timesI was recently talking to an MSA member who asked what happens if a pupil goes into a bus lane, during its period of operation, on a driving test. Answer – Most likely the test candidate will fail and a fixed penalty notice may be on its way.

Who pays? The answer is of course the vehicle keeper named in the log book – unless of course they have an

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