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Driving Newsletter - Tips and Advice on Passing your Driving Test

Archive for September, 2012

30 Sep 2012

Should Elderly Drivers Retake Driving Tests?

In the next decade the numbers of drivers, 80 or over, on our roads is set to expand by up to 22% judging by new figures. This is as a direct result of people living longer, being more inclined to drive than tak public transport and being both wealthier and healthier in their old age than they used to be.

Despite this, IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) is advising the government not to force older drivers to retake their driving tests as this can be quite costly with the practical test costing £75 plus the cost of driving lessons and the theory test too.

A whitehall advisory group has suggested that voluntary refresher courses should be available to older drivers but IAM insist that being over 70 did not make it any more likely that a person would be involved in or would cause an accident and figures suggest that older drivers are still safer than the majority of younger drivers.

28 Sep 2012

Texting While Driving – Worse Than Drinking

According to Which? who carried out a driving simulator test, texting whilst driving reduces your attention to the road by up to 79%. It also showed that driver’s reactions to hazards was increased by 2 seconds, whilst reactions to hazards after driving to the legal alcohol limit increased by 1.2 seconds, that’s an 11% difference. Texting was also worse than using a phone in any other capacity whilst driving, however, worryingly, using a handsfree mobile to make a call also increased reaction times to hazards higher than driving with alcohol.

Drifting between lanes was one effect of texting along with getting too close to the car in front and one of the researchers even crashed whilst trying to send a text.

At the moment most of the UK’s police forces will issue a fixed penalty fine and 3 penalty points on your licence if you are caught using your phone whilst driving but Which? believe that there should be a tougher deterrent.

So, the next time you’re tempted to make a call or worse still text whilst driving, stop and consider whether it’s worth it.  Surely it’s better to wait a few mins til you can stop and text/phone safely?

27 Sep 2012

4 Nominations for Safer Driving Scheme

A campaign being run in South Devon has been nominated for several awards for it’s pioneering scheme to teach young learner drivers road safety.

Around 350 driving instructors from Cornwall and Devon have signed up for the scheme and are using it to teach their learner drivers about the hazards associated with careless driving.

Formed in Devon in 2009 after a fatal accident involving 3 youngsters, The Honest Truth’s founders include Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon County Council, Teignbridge District Council, South Devon and Dartmoor Community Safety Partnership, Locke’s School of Motoring and Pepper’s School of Motoring.

The campaign revolves around eight key learning points arising from risks such as speeding, using mobile phones whilst driving, drink driving, driving whilst under the influence of drugs,  showing off, driving without the correct insurance, distractions and not wearing seatbelts. The driving instructors use the information, statistics and real life stories provided by The Honest Truth to get the message across to their learner drivers.

26 Sep 2012

Drive to Bring Driving Tests Back to Holyhead

Since the driving test centre in Holyhead was closed in 2008 after the lease ran out, learner drivers from the area have had to drive up to Bangor to sit their tests.  Some feel that this has been a disadvantage due to addition cost and more importantly taking the test on unfamilar roads.

Since May campaigners led by driving instructor Alan Owen have been busy trying to persuade the DSA to reopen a test centre in the town and have now almost reached 3,000 supporters through Facebook and also received backing from Ieuan Wyn Jones AM and Albert Owen MP.

Now a local learn driver, Jean Collier, has decided to organise a peaceful protest to highlight the problem, calling on learner drivers and driving instructors to lend support, so if you are in the Holyhead area and want to get involved keep an eye out for more information.

Hopefully the new initiative of running driving tests from a range of public venues such as Halfords stores, fire stations and other suitable places will mean that the learner drivers of Holyhead will get their test centre back soon.

13 Sep 2012

Cycle Awareness Should be Part of Driving Test

Over 75% of Driving Instructors believe that there should be an element of awareness of cyclists on the road in the driving test and I have to say I agree with them.  Being a driver for almost 30 years I can honestly say that it has only been in the last few years that I have come up behind a cyclist, or heaven forbid a group, and not felt intimidated by how I should deal with the situation.  I wish that at the least my driving instructor had taken me through dealing with cyclists during my lessons never mind making it part of my driving test.

There are a lot more cyclists on the road these days and with a 10% increase in cycle related injuries then it would be a good idea to introduce a cycle awareness element to the test to help motorists deal with what can be a challenge at times.

The other side of the coin is that cyclists should have some kind of road awareness training if you consider that at the moment anyone, even those with no road or traffic experience, can take a bike out on the open road and given how busy our roads are that is a scary proposition.

Only making cycle awareness part of the learner driver experience is only treating half the problem.

Newest pages added to the Driving Instructors Directory are our driving lessons Cannock page which lists driving schools in that area, the driving lessons Lincoln page which does the same things and lists instructors/driving schools wishing to let learners know of themselves and the driving lessons Chelmsford section. Please get in touch with us if you wish to be added to any of our town/school pages.



11 Sep 2012

Sit your Driving Test at your nearest Halfords

You’ll soon be able to sit your driving test at your nearest Halfords store as the DSA (Driving Standards Agency) roll out plans to make taking your test more accessible.

Plans to make taking your driving test easier are underway with partnership deals being launched in Manchester, Glasgow, Kettering and Watford this autumn.

Although Halfords have been selected as the preferred locations for sitting driving tests, other venues being considered are local universities and even some fire stations in rural areas, subject to suitable test routes being identified.  All this should mean that sitting the practical driving test should be easier for you because you should not have to travel so far and also means that the place where you sit the test should be familiar to you because you’ll likely have taken your driving lessons in the same area.

Unfortunately, there are no plans yet to give the Theory test the same treatment, so for now you’ll still have to make the journey to the official DSA theory test centre.

We’ve also started to build a Driving Instructors Directory so that we can provide a list of recognised and approved driving instructors which you can use as a guide for selecting your own driving school. The list we have so far is small, but will grow. If you are an approved driving school and would like to be featured please contact us via our Contact page.

Driving Lessons Cannock
Driving Lessons Lincoln
Driving Lessons Chelmsford