Skip to content

John's Blog Posts

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.

Leave a Comment

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.)

Leave a Comment

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?
Leave a Comment

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.

Leave a Comment

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,

Leave a Comment

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 www.safedrivingforlife.info, 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.”

Leave a Comment

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.

Leave a Comment

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

Leave a Comment

Now, just reverse out on to the main road for me…

The Clock Tower, Herne Bay believed to be the earliest purpose-built, free-standing clock tower in the World.
The Clock Tower, Herne Bay the earliest free-standing clock tower in the World.

In the September issue of Newslink (the MSA GB members’ monthly magazine) Tony Phillips, MSA GB Greater London, discussed in his column the driving test trial. One section stated: ‘Upon entering a side road which is a two-way road but is heavily parked on both sides with no immediate passing places, you see a removal van stopped in the middle of the road and just about to commence loading. What would you do?’ He was suggesting that the best course of action would be to do a manoeuvre you wouldn’t usually recommend, mainly reversing out of a side road on to a busy main road. Otherwise, you could be sat there all day!

In my mind’s eye I was immediately transported back to Arkley Road in Herne Bay, Kent on a pleasant spring day – the day I took my own driving test. I had just turned left off King’s Road, down Stanley Road, and as I passed King’s Road School, where I had been a pupil, I was asked to turn left into Arkley Road.

Leave a Comment