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John's Blog Posts

Visit to Budapest

Vincze Zoltán Tamás; Novák Ferenc; Gottlieb Adrián; Katona Judit;(Hungarian National Transport Authority) Elizabeth Horvath; me & Robert Fekete not in the picture Ferenc Kocsis represented driving instructors and schools.
Vincze Zoltán Tamás; Novák Ferenc; Gottlieb Adrián; Katona Judit;(Hungarian National Transport Authority) Elizabeth Horvath; me & Robert Fekete not in the picture Ferenc Kocsis represented driving instructors and schools.

Last week I had the pleasure of a quick visit to Budapest in Hungary to help facilitate a meeting between the association for Hungarian driving instructors & schools and the Hungarian National Transport Authority.

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I’m going to vote for…

Vote paperI thought at this General Election, rather than decide which party to vote for on the basis of my past voting loyalties or my belief in which party would best manage the economy for me and mine or even which one looked to me to be the best bet for the nation as a whole. I had decided that this time, I would vote for the party that offers the best deal on road safety – the party that cares most about death and serious injury on our roads particularly amongst new young drivers. The last reported figures showed that in the year ending September 2014 (latest available figures) there were 1,760 reported road fatalities, the KSIs were 24,360 and the total number of casualties 192,910.

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Anniversaries keep on coming

Anniversary-Business-Anniversary-Card_xlLots of anniversaries are being celebrated around now. The MSA has just celebrated 80 years of service to the industry at the association’s recent very successful conference. We did not spent a huge amount of time looking back but, with half an eye on the past and always trying to learn the lessons history teaches us, the conference was all about the future.

In the wide-ranging coverage of the event in the April issue of Newslink you can get a great flavour of the event but why not make a note in your diary for next year’s conference date: Saturday, 12 March 2016.

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Apotheosis

the_one_that_got_away_award-r2c1290ea4a6147fcae0a8a367dee15f9_8bozs_8byvr_324Every day is a learning day. I had a call today from, an MSA member who is having some problems with his ADI registration he is not currently working in the driver training field and he is struggling to fulfil the requirement to attend for a standards check.

During our conversation he said to me “I’m not that bothered about staying on the ADI register it is hardly the apotheosis of my life.”

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Narcolepsy

drowsy-drivingI have just been asked whether a Driving Instructor can continue to teach after being diagnosed with Narcolepsy.

The answer is that there are no extra medical requirements for driving instructors over those for ordinary drivers. With exception of a slightly increased distance on the number plate reading test.

So if DVLA are satisfied a driving instructor is medically fit to drive then they are ok to instruct. (providing they meet the eyesight test) A person can be fined up to £1,000 if they don’t tell DVLA about a medical condition.

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Bad news for jobsworths

Parking personI’m probably being a bit harsh but I’m sure those council parking attendants get some satisfaction out of their jobs they always seem to be smiling when they’re issuing tickets.

I was shopping in Manchester city centre last year having paid and displayed in an on road parking bay. I was returning to my car when I saw the parking attended place the ticket on the windscreen. “I’m sorry I’m late back but its only two minutes don’t you have any discretion.” I said the attendant replied, with a smile “We allow drivers two minutes, you are three minutes late.” So that was that thirty quid lighter (half the fine because I paid quickly) and I have not been back to shop in the city centre since.

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Why do most crashes happen near home?

The answer is very simple “close to home” is where most people drive most of the

An elderly man in Preston had to be pulled from the wreckage of his car after crashing into his own house. Taken from a report in the Lancashire Evening Post
An elderly man in Preston had to be pulled from the wreckage of his car after crashing into his own house. Taken from a report in the Lancashire Evening Post

time. Therefore most crashes happen close to home.

One survey showed that nearly a third of crashes happen less than a mile from home. Crashing into a parked car was the most common type of collision within a mile of a driver’s home. In this survey just 5% of crashes occurred 26 to 50 miles from home, and 6% at distances of more than 50 miles away.

Of the crashes closest to home, the most common cause after hitting parked vehicles was crashing while driving out of a minor road, followed by reversing into a vehicle and by hitting a wall.

Another study show that only 1% of accidents occur more than 50 miles from home. Most people drive close to their home, which is why

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Give them a Gold Star on their “Driver Record”

Gold StarIt always seemed like common sense to me for learner drivers to keep a record of their progress towards a full driving licence. I guess it was because when I started as an Instructor with BSM we were all encouraged to make a record of our pupils’ progress that the learner kept.

I’m no psychologist, although I have listened to a few over the years, but the theory that someone has to think about a learned behaviour in order for that learning to transfer from the short term memory to the long – and become learned – seems to me to make a lot of sense.

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Do I need to attend for my Standards Check?

DVSA ADI LogoI spoke to a member the other day who asked “do I need to attend for my Standards Check?” of course you do I said unless you have a very good reason to postpone it, why wouldn’t you attend? I went on to state how important the test was to maintain standards and then I went on a bit about the person’s  sense of responsibility and then I went on a bit more.

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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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