MSA GB Newslink July

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Motor Schools Association of Great Britain; Newslink; driving instructors, advice, training and road safety news

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Newslink

The Voice of MSA GB

Issue 342 • July 2021

Hiding from

the truth

Why the UK’s lead

in road safety may

be slipping away

We work for all Driver Trainers. Want to join? See pg 39 for a special introductory offer


02 NEWSLINK n MAY 2021


Busy? Could be you ain’t

seen nothing yet!

Colin Lilly

Editor, Newslink

Sometimes it can be useful to see our

business through the eyes of others,

particularly the learners themselves

During May 2021, the online insurers

InsureLearnerDriver,co.uk conducted a

survey of 5,000 learner drivers. They

were asked how Covid restrictions had

influenced their views on learning to drive.

When asked if they had considered

giving up on learning to drive, 43.9 per

cent said they had not but 40.1 per cent

said they had – no doubt there was a

loss of motivation caused by the stop/

start nature of learning and unpredictable

driving test dates. Some expressed

concern about being able to book a test

before their Theory Test pass expired.

An unsurprising 86.7 per cent felt that

‘‘

Lockdowns have delayed

pupils passing their test, with

50 per cent saying they felt they

had been set back six months...

and 12.5 per cent felt their

delay exceeded a year...

‘‘

the lockdowns had delayed them passing

their driving test. 50 per cent felt they

had been set back by up to six months,

but 12.5 per cent felt their delay

exceeded a year.

When asked if, from a Covid aspect,

they felt safe returning to in-car lessons

with an instructor, a reassuring 88 per

cent said they were, against 9.5 per cent

who were not.

The survey was taken at a time when

young people and many younger

instructors were not vaccinated.

When asked if they planned to resume

learning after lockdown was lifted, 65

per cent said they were.

It’s good news that learners feel safe to

return to lessons with an instructor, but

the figures suggest that many others may

not have returned yet or have not booked

lessons. Therefore, despite the upturn in

business levels, we may not have

reached the peak. It would appear that

the uncertainty of continuity in the

process may be leading to some potential

learners starting lessons.

Licence issues

Members have contacted me to

express concern that some prospective

learners had contacted them but were

unable to start lessons as they had not

received their provisional licence from

DVLA. Across the driving community

there are reports of people waiting for

licences and the return of documents.

The problem would appear to be that

the DVLA is operating with reduced staff

numbers due to social distancing.

Currently the number of staff allowed to

work in the office has meant fewer are

dealing with postal applications.

An estimated 790,000 drivers over 70

who have applied to renew their licences

since March may have been affected.

The DVLA recommend using their

online services to speed the process.

This is not always possible. In March I

applied to renew my driving licence. The

online application did not work as it said

their records did not match. This could

have been due to the obscure question

asking how long I had lived at my

current address, which is not included in

the postal application.

My licence was returned three weeks

later on the postal application. I must

have got ahead of the delays.

Whatever the type of licence, this is

causing inconvenience, expense and

worry for many people.

However, having seen the inquiry into

the Covid outbreak at DVLA by the

Parliamentary Transport Committee I

must say I have a lot of sympathy with

the staff, some of whom have taken

industrial action to secure social

distancing.

There is little doubt that following the

pandemic, DVLA is one government

body that needs overhaul.

CONTACT

To comment on this article or any other

issue surrounding driver training and

testing, contact Colin via

editor@msagb.com

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

Welcome to your

digital, interactive

Newslink

See a pale blue box in any article

or on an advert? It it contains a

web address or email, it’s

interactive. Just click and it will

take you to the appropriate web

page or email so you can find

more details easier.

You’ll also find these panels across

the magazine: just click for more

information on any given subject.

To get the

full story,

click here

How to access this

magazine

You can read Newslink in three

ways:

Go online and read the interactive

magazine on the Yumpu website;

or, if you would like to read it

when you don’t have a mobile

signal or WiFi, you can download

the magazine to your tablet, PC or

phone to read at your leisure.

Alternatively, a pdf can be found

on the MSA GB website,

at www.msagb.com

Follow the

link MSA

GB sends

you to

access

Newslink,

and then

just click

Download

to save a

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COVER STORY

Council funding cuts are

being blamed for reducing

highways maintenance,

leading to traffic lights and

signs being obscured by

overgrown vegetation.

See pg 14

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021

03


19

16

28

News

Latest on Covid-19 response

Key information on Covid – the important

links are on this page – pg 6

More tests, more examiners,

things are looking up!

DVSA Chief Executive Loveday Ryder

looks at recent developments within the

testing sector – pg 8

Clean Air for Brum

City’s Clean Air Zone comes into force,

but ADIs should be unaffected – pg 10

Revised website hits the mark

Updated Safe Driving for Life praised by

NASP – pg 11

Road deaths fall – but is the

trend actually up?

Colin Lilly looks at the road casualty data

for the pandemic and finds bad news

wrapped in among the good – pg 12

Council budget cuts blamed

Blight of road signs and lights covered by

overgrown trees needs tackling – pg 14

10

Autumn training days/AGMs

First details of area events for this

autumn’s CPD and training sessions,

including AGMs – pg 21

Newslink

The Voice of MSA GB

The Motor Schools Association

of Great Britain Ltd

Head Office:

Chester House,

68 Chestergate,

Macclesfield

Cheshire SK11 6DY

T: 01625 664501

E: info@msagb.com

Newslink is published monthly on behalf of the MSA

GB and distributed to members and selected

recently qualified ADIs throughout Great Britain by:

Chamber Media Services,

4 Hilton Road, Bramhall, Stockport,

Cheshire SK7 3AG

Editorial/Production: Rob Beswick

e: rob@chambermediaservices.co.uk

t: 0161 426 7957

Advertising sales: Colin Regan

e: colinregan001@yahoo.co.uk

t: 01942 537959 / 07871 444922

Views expressed in Newslink are not necessarily

those of the MSA GB or the publishers.

Although every effort is

made to ensure the

accuracy of material

contained within this

publication, neither MSA

GB nor the publishers can

accept any responsibility

for the veracity of claims

made by contributors in

either advertising or

editorial content.

©2021 The Motor Schools

Association of Great

Britain Ltd. Reprinting in

whole or part is forbidden

without express

permission of the editor.

04 NEWSLINK n JULY 2021


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

Features

Keep in

touch 1

Keep in touch:

Just click on the icon

to go through to the

relevant site

30

UK is accused of resting on its

laurels as Europe plays catch-up ...

The latest ETSC PIN Report shows the UK’s

lead in low road deaths is ebbing away – and

there’s little apparent appetite at the heart of

Government to change the direction of travel

– pg 16

A spot of pensions advice

Self-employed ADIs should be thinking

seriously about their pension future, otherwise

a poor retirement beckons, says Rod Came

– pg 20

If you have updated your

address, telephone

numbers or changed your email

address recently, please let us

know at head office by emailing

us with your new details and

membership number to

info@msagb.com.

If you can’t find your

membership number, give us a

ring on 01625 664501.

2

Regional News/Views

North East

Dying to work? Is the long hours culture sounding a death

knell for ADIs, asks Mike Yeomans – page 26

London / West Midlands

Low speed neighbourhoods causing friction, and are trailers

kept in good condition? – pg 28

Life as

an ADI

I’d rather be

driving than

teaching...

no, not

THAT driving...

– page 36

Follow MSA GB on social media

Western

Guy Annan thinks

it is time the UK

adopted the

‘emergency

corridor’ concept

– pg 30

Road Safety

Latest news –

from pg 32

20

Humility, not hubris

One ADI is concerned some people in the

profession are getting carried away with our

current popularity amid a surge in pupil

numbers – pg 22

Keep in

contact with

the MSA

MSA GB area contacts are

here to answer your

queries and offer any

assistance you need.

Get in touch if you have

any opinions on how MSA

GB is run, or wish to

comment on any issue

affecting the driver

training and testing

regime.

n National Chairman:

Peter Harvey MBE

natchair@msagb.com

n Deputy National

Chairman: Geoff Little

deptnatchair@msagb.com

n Scotland:

Alex Buist

chair.os@msagb.com

n North East:

Mike Yeomans

chair.ne@msagb.com

n North West:

Graham Clayton

chair.nw@msagb.com

n East Midlands:

Kate Fennelly

chair.em@msagb.com

n West Midlands:

Geoff Little

chair.wm@msagb.com

n Western:

Arthur Mynott

chair.ow@msagb.com

n Eastern:

Paul Harmes

chair.oe@msagb.com

n Greater London:

Tom Kwok

chair.gl@msagb.com

n South East:

Fenella Wheeler

chair.se@msagb.com

n South Wales:

All enquiries to

info@msagb.com

n Newslink:

All enquiries to

editor@msagb.com or

rob@chambermedia

services.co.uk

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021

05


News

E10 hits forecourts in bid to

cut vehicle CO 2

emissions

It will be all change at the petrol pump

this summer as forecourts start to switch

the standard petrol grade switch from E5

to E10.

The current blend of fuel – E5 –

contains up to five per cent bioethanol,

while E10 petrol will see the amount of

bioethanol increase to 10 per cent. You

will start to notice the E10 petrol label

across station forecourts in the coming

months.

The introduction of this greener type of

petrol will help reduce transport CO 2

emissions by 750,000 tonnes per year

– the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars

off the road, experts claim.

All petrol vehicles manufactured after

2011, as well as most modern

motorcycles, are already E10 compatible.

However, some petrol vehicles made

before 2011 will need to continue to use

E5 fuel. This will remain available as the

super grade petrol option at the pumps.

It is believed this will affect around five

per cent of all petrol vehicles on the road.

Refuelling an incompatible vehicle with

E10 will not cause immediate harm but

continued use could damage engine

parts. If in doubt about compatibility of a

vehicle, you and your pupils can use the

GOV.UK online E10 vehicle compatibility

checker or seek further advice from a

vehicle manufacturer or garage.

It’s important that all drivers and

riders, including those who are learning,

are aware of the change and where to go

for more information.

Make your pupils aware of the change

and share the GOV.UK online E10

vehicle compatibility checker with them.

See https://www.gov.uk/check-vehiclee10-petrol

Older drivers embrace online service

DVLA has released new figures showing

that over 60 per cent of its customers

over 70 are choosing to renew their

licence online. This is a big jump from

2016, when just 43 per cent renewed

via DVLA’s online service.

Driving licence holders aged 70 and

over made almost five million licence

renewals in the past five years. There has

been a 27 per cent rise in the overall

number of licence holders in their 80s

completing their renewal online between

2016 to 2020, while the number in their

90s jumped by 41 per cent. Applicants

Key information

Follow the links for the latest up-to-date news on

NASP updated

guidance here

(click button right)

On theory tests

(click button right)

have praised the system as “easy to

follow & execute”, with “no complications

and much more convenient rather than

completing on paper where mistakes are

difficult to rectify.”

Driving licence holders are legally

required to renew their licence at 70 and

then at most every three years after this.

It is free to renew a driving licence at 70

or over, and these figures show they are

increasingly turning to DVLA’s online

service on GOV.UK.

More at https://www.gov.uk/

renew-driving-licence-at-70

L- tests

(click button right)

Instructor guidance

(click button right)

DVSA updates private

practice guidelines

The official guidance on private

practice in England, Scotland and

Wales has changed, with the

appropriate pages on the Gov.UK

website updated.

During the pandemic, restrictions

were in place as to who pupils could

have private practice with, and the

types of journeys where this could

happen.

With most restrictions now relaxed,

pupils should look to add to their ADI

learning with private practice. It has

been found to be particularly useful

in allowing pupils to embed information

learned towards their theory test.

DVSA research found that learners

who had private practice with friends

and family in addition to their

professional instruction are 1.4 times

more likely to pass their test

compared to those who have no

private practice.

There is guidance on getting the

most from private practice in the

official learning to drive guide

available from the TSO Shop. More

details about TSO’s new Safe Driving

for Life website can be found on pg

17 of this issue of Newslink, or at

www.safedrivingforlife.info.

Your pupils can record their private

practice using this useful free record

which can be downloaded from GOV.

UK.

Brecon Driving Test

Centre reopens

Brecon Driving Test Centre reopened

on Wednesday, June 23, ending the

DVSA’s temporary use of Brecon

Rugby Club as its base in the town.

The new site address is Brecon

Driving Test Centre, Camden Road,

Brecon, Powys LD6 7RT.

The latest Standard Operating Procedures

can be found on the NASP website for:

Driving Test; Vocational Test; Motorcycle

Test; ADI Part 2 Test; ADI Part 3 Test and

Standards Checks

They are changing all the time.

Make sure you know the

latest rules by clicking

the panel right

Check the

rules

06

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021


News

More tests, more examiners as we

edge back along the right road

Loveday Ryder, chief executive

of the DVSA, wrote to all ADIs in

June with an update on the

current position regarding

L-tests and the agency’s plans

for the future.

Dear Colleague,

I’m really pleased that driving lessons

and tests have now restarted in England,

Scotland and Wales.

On Friday, 28 May, we sent you a joint

message with the driving instructors’

National Associations Strategic

Partnership (NASP) to remind you of the

importance of both you and your pupils

wearing face coverings during your

lessons. We also encouraged you and

your pupils to take regular rapid lateral

flow tests.

This is really important. It helps to

protect the NHS, your friends and

families, the driver training industry and

our driving test service.

I know many of you are now busy

teaching and preparing your pupils for

their upcoming tests and to drive safely

on their own once they pass their test.

I hope the recently published guidance

about the top 10 reasons for failing

driving tests and understanding driving

test results are useful and are helping

you support and prepare your pupils.

Now that driver testing has restarted,

the hard work of reducing the backlog as

quickly and safely as possible begins. I

want to update you on how we plan to

do this and explain how we will keep you

updated.

Understanding future demand for

driving tests

We know how many theory tests and

driving tests are booked. And we’re

seeing a large increase in people buying

our learning materials.

We regularly talk with the driving

instructors’ National Associations

Strategic Partnership (NASP). They’ve

told us that many of you are seeing an

increase in calls from prospective

pupils asking for lessons. The

Department for Transport

(DfT) has recently

published their travel

behaviour, attitudes and

social impact of Covid-19

research. It shows in

addition to those who were

already wanting to drive,

many other people now feel

uncomfortable about travelling on

public transport.

We have conducted extensive

modelling of future demand. But we

want to get a fuller picture of the future

demand for driving tests.

To help you and us to plan and

forecast demand for the future, we want

to understand more about the demand

you’re facing for lessons. That’s why we

ran a survey on our website in June.

The survey asked about:

n how you currently keep up to date

with driver training news

n which communication methods will

work best for you in the future

n how useful you and your pupils

found our recently published guidance.

We’ll share the results of the survey

with you soon. It will help us forecast

and improve our communication.

Keeping our safety measures

under review

We keep our safety measures under

constant review, taking expert advice

from the relevant Public Health bodies

and the Health and Safety Executive and

the latest government guidance.

While Covid-19 remains and to align

with the guidance and expert advice we

have received, we need to ask for your

continued support with:

n not accompanying your pupils

during their driving tests

n restricting access to waiting rooms

at test centres where we are unable to

safely open them

n you and your pupils continuing to

wear face coverings during lessons,

theory tests and driving tests.

We’ll let you know when we can safely

consider changing these measures. We’ll

also let you and your pupils know if

there are any changes to our services as

a result of any changes to restrictions

in response to new Covid-19

variants. And we’ll reassure

you if our services are

unaffected.

Increasing the number of

driving test

appointments

From 14th June, our

driving examiners have

been carrying out seven tests

each day in England, Scotland

and Wales. This change will allow us to

increase capacity across the national

network by an average of 15,000 to

20,000 tests per month.

We have also reintroduced the short

notice cancellation fee from Thursday,

17 June. This will help reduce the

number of learner drivers who do not

turn up for their driving test and free up

the test slot to another candidate.

In the coming weeks, we’ll publish our

full plan for reducing driving test waiting

times and share it with you and your

pupils. I’ll update you on this again as

soon as I can.

Keeping you updated

The road ahead is challenging for us

all. But by working together, we can help

to reduce the backlog, help your industry

recover and help people stay safe on

Britain’s roads.

I’ll write to you again when we can

share our strategy for reducing driving

test waiting times and explain how you

can get involved and give us feedback.

I also urge you to keep up to date with

the NASP website and seek advice from

a NASP member national association if

you have any queries, questions or

concerns.

Thank you for your patience and

understanding. I hope that you, your

family and your friends remain safe and

well.

Yours faithfully,

Loveday Ryder

Chief Executive

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency

08

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

Pass rate up – but test numbers plummet

The final figures for L-test and theory

tests conducted during the pandemic

have been released by the Department

for Transport – and as expected they

show a large rise in pass rates, set

against a huge fall in the number of tests

conducted.

The data covers the period from April

2020 to March 2021, when much of the

country was in lockdown. The L-test pass

rate was 49.8 per cent – four per cent

higher than the 2019-20 figures. The

theory test pass rate was even better: at

55.7 per cent it was the highest since

2013-14 and 8.6 per cent higher than

the previous year.

However, as has previously been

reported in Newslink, this isn’t quite the

good news it appears to be. Testing was

72.7 per cent down on 2019-20.

Robert Cowell, interim managing

director of AA Driving School, said: “The

latest government figures on driving tests

are unsurprising given the lockdown

restrictions over the last year.”

Less traffic on the roads is believed to

have been a factor in helping more

candidates pass, though there is an

interesting suggestion that the pupil roll

may have been of higher quality than in

an average year. As one ADI pointed out

to MSA GB, “the only people allowed to

take their tests at times over the past

year were mostly health workers taking

priority tests. Does the higher pass rate

tell us that nurses are more intelligent

than the average learner... or could it be

that because they are used to regular

testing as part of their training, they are

less likely to fold under the pressure of a

driving test?

AA’s Robert Cowell added: “Demand

for tests remains sky-high but the DVSA

announcement that it is releasing

15-20,000 more L-tests each month is a

good start in tackling the backlog.”

The scale of the pandemic’s impact on

driver testing is highlighted by the official

figures for the past 12 months. Quarter 1

(April to June 2020) saw just 6,264

tests conducted, though the sector was

revived slightly in Quarters 2 and 3 when

188,250 and 241,260 tests respectively

were conducted.

However, the second full lockdown had

a crushing impact, with just 1,308 tests

conducted.

To highlight the significance of these

figures, the number of tests conducted in

the corresponding quarters for 2019-20

were 393,428, 407,671, 425,002 and

373,465 tests respectively.

To read the test stats in

full, click here

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021

09


News

Clean air for Brum - but check your car’s okay

Birmingham has become the latest urban

area in the UK to launch its Clean Air

Zone, following Bath and with plenty

more cities to come.

The CAZ is within the area of the A4540

Middleway (but not the Middleway itself)

and will be used to encourage the drivers

of the most polluting vehicles to upgrade

or replace their vehicle. People are also

being encouraged to think about walking,

cycling or using public transport more –

especially for shorter journeys.

A daily fee will be charged on vehicles

that do not meet the emission standards

for the zone. If owners do not pay the

daily fee after this date the registered

keeper of the vehicle will be issued with

a penalty charge notice.

Cars, taxis and LGVs which do not

meet the Clean Air Zone emission

standard will be charged £8 a day and

non-compliant coaches, buses and HGVs

will be charged £50 per day.

The Clean Air Zone charge runs

midnight to midnight. Drivers can pay six

days in advance of their visit, the day of

their visit and six days after the day of

their visit, giving a total payment window

of 13 days. Payments can be paid

online using the Government’s payment

system or over the phone by calling

0300 029 8888 (Monday to Friday,

8am to 4:30pm).

To avoid being charged in a Clean Air

Zone, your vehicle must meet the

following minimum standard:

Buses, coaches, heavy goods vehicles:

Euro VI

Vans, minibuses, taxis, private hire

vehicles, cars: Euro 6 (diesel) and Euro

4 (petrol)

Motorcycles: Euro 3.

A range of support measures have

been brought in to support those

immediately impacted by the changes.

This includes temporary exemption

permits and financial incentives as well

as the Heavy Duty Vehicle (HDV Fund)

– but there’s no support for ADIs.

However, the majority of modern tuition

cars – certainly those built in the past

6-7 years – should be okay. A test of the

system found that a relatively modern

Ford Kuga with a 1.5 Zetec engine is fine

but an older diesel (circa 2008) S-Max

would be hit by the £8 a day charge.

Cabinet Member for Transport and

Environment at Birmingham City Council,

Councillor Waseem Zaffar MBE has said:

“After more than two years of planning,

I’m delighted to launch Birmingham’s

Clean Air Zone. This is a bold move that

will help to address some significant

health inequalities in our city. This is also

an important step in encouraging people

to re-think how we all move around the

city.

“I’m confident that this initiative will

save lives, and provide a cleaner, greener,

safer space for our communities in a part

of our city that has a problem with poor

air quality.

“I would encourage everyone to check

their vehicles, familiarise themselves

with the charging process and check out

the support that is still available through

the Brum Breathes website.”

To find out the rules over whether your

car meets the critieria, click the panel.

Click here for

the full story

The Clean Air Zone.

For those less

knowledgeable about

Birmingham’s road

network, the CAZ is a

central area which

has the A4540 inner

ring road as its

boundary

AA reports surge in interest as people look for new career

New research by the AA Driving School

has shown that one quarter of people

have considered changing careers during

the pandemic.

In the survey, 24 per cent of adults said

they had looked into changing their career

or had actually moved jobs in the last six

months due to the pandemic, as many

workers reflect on their future goals and

work interests.

Of those, nearly two in five (18 per

cent) said they had considered

changing careers but had not

made the move yet.

Unfortunately, three per cent

said they had been forced to

change careers due to the

pandemic.

Official government statistics

estimate the most recent unemployment

rate, 4.9 per cent between December

2020 to February 2021, has risen by 0.9

per cent since the start of the pandemic.

At the same time, visits to the AA

Driving School’s driving instructor training

course website have risen by 300 per

cent since last year, suggesting many of

those looking for a switch in career are

considering becoming an ADI.

Robert Cowell, AA Driving School

Interim Managing Director said: “Since

the start of the pandemic many

people have looked into changing

careers and we’ve seen this

reflected in the numbers looking

at our driving instructor training

courses.

“People interested in training with

us have re-assessed what’s important to

them during the pandemic. Their attitude

to work has shifted and many are now

placing greater emphasis on a better

work-life balance in a job that gives them

personal satisfaction.

“Driving instructors work flexibly, control

the hours they work and how much they

charge per lesson, and make a real

difference to people’s lives at a pivotal

moment. Added to that, during lockdowns

driving lessons were suspended creating

pent-up demand for lessons and the

perfect market conditions to join the

industry,” he added.

More on AA Driving School’s training

courses and varied franchise options at

www.theaa.com/driving-school

10

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

NASP thumbs-up as updated Safe Driving

for Life website scores two million hits

The new Safe Driving for Life website

went live on April 28 – but has already

been viewed an impressive two million

times, and more than 10,000 eLearning

subscriptions have been purchased via

the site.

The new site has received widespread

praise from within the driver training and

testing sector, with valuable feedback

from ADIs and the National Associations

Strategic Partnership (NASP) helping

design content and lead improvements.

Following these improvements Peter

Harvey, in his role as current chair of

NASP, said: “NASP has been pleased to

be involved in the recent updating of the

Safe Driving for Life site.

“It is much improved in content, for the

general public, learner drivers and

instructors alike.

“We feel it should help to improve

knowledge both pre- and post-test and we

are happy to be involved in its continual

development and updating.”

A spokesperson for Safe Driving for Life

said: “We want to update you on what we

have done to improve the quality of the

content on the site and our plans to

promote the site more widely.

“It’s extremely important to us that

information on the site is clear, accessible,

accurate and that it is a trusted source for

instructors, learners and their friends and

families. We are therefore grateful to all of

you who have taken the time to review

the site and give us feedback on the

content and functionality.

“We’ve worked hard with TSO – DVSA’s

official publishing partner – who manage

the site on our behalf, and to NASP to

update and improve the content based on

your feedback.

“We will keep the site under constant

review and will continually develop it by

adding exciting new content, learning

modules and functionality.

“Of course, we will keep you updated

on this progress.”

Instructors were involved in a trial of

new features. So, if you are using the new

feature that allows learners to link to their

instructor via the site, DVSA wants to

hear from you. Tell us your stories, and

share the experiences of you and your

pupils at:

feedback@safedrivingforlife.info.

This will help us with the continued

development and improvement of the site.

This feature is free for you to use if your

pupil has an eLearning subscription. It

will help you to monitor your pupils’

theory knowledge and understanding and

use the information to tailor future lessons.

What’s next

In the coming weeks we are planning to

promote it more widely and encourage all

pre-learners, learner drivers and their

friends and family to use it.

See the site at www.safedrivingforlife.info

• More on the new site on pg 15

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021

11


News

Road user deaths fall but with lower

mileage, the trend is moving upwards

Colin Lilly

Editor, MSA GB Newslink

The Department for Transport has

published its provisional figures for

reported road casualties 2020. This

period includes four months of national

lockdown.

Due to a reduction in traffic during the

lockdown periods a reduction in

casualties could be expected and in fact,

the rates follow similar trends to those in

Europe

The year ended with the total number

of deaths at 1,472, a reduction of 16 per

cent compared with 2019. The headline

figure of Killed and Seriously Injured was

23,486, a reduction of 22 per cent. The

total number of casualties, of all

severities was 115,333, a reduction of

25 per cent.

However, the unprecedented

circumstances of 2020 means we have

to put these figures in context. During the

year road traffic, based on vehicle

mileage, fell by 21 per cent.

So, we have to ask, ‘Have we made

much progress on road safety?’ In real

terms based on mileage, the death rate

actually rose, by six per cent.

The fatalities by road user type fell,

apart from pedal cyclists which increased

by 40 per cent. This, in part, is

attributed to the increase in cycle use

during 2020.

There is little doubt that 2020 was a

The evidence suggests the quieter

roads led to higher speeds, which in

turn led to greater fatalities

very different year. Roads carried less

traffic, particularly during the first

lockdown, but the evidence suggests the

quieter roads led to higher speeds.

Last year did lead to lower numbers of

casualties and history will reflect this as

a good thing but there is clearly more

work to be done.

Road casualty rates suggest worrying

trend: See pg 16

New warning as ADIs stung by DVLA scam sites

The DVLA has renewed its warning to the

public to watch out for websites charging a

premium price for services that are free on

GOV.UK.

DVLA says it has been contacted more

than 1,200 times since January 2020 by

customers who have paid more for its

services than they need to after using

websites that are not affiliated with DVLA

but which purport to offer DVLA-related

services.

Using any website other than GOV.UK

can mean motorists are charged more for

services that are either cheaper or free on

GOV.UK, such as changing the address on

your driving licence or V5C vehicle

registration certificate, and renewing a

driving licence from age 70.

It’s important the public uses the

official site, said Julie Lennard, DVLA

Chief Executive: “GOV.UK is the only site

where customers will find our official

services, many of which are free. You may

be charged a premium when using other

websites offering services that are not

connected to DVLA.

“Always double check you’re using GOV.

UK when accessing our online services.”

Guy Anker, deputy editor at Money

SavingExpert.com, added: “These

Always

check you

are on the

official

DVLA site

copycat sites aren’t illegal, but they dress

up like legitimate webpages, and use

clever tricks to appear higher on search

engines. They get you to fill in forms,

which requires no more work on your part

than if you’d done it yourself via the

official sites, and then they overcharge

you for ‘administration’ or ‘services’ –

which is really just passing it to the

relevant body, with no extra work

involved. This can leave a very sour taste.

“The obvious red flag for a copycat site

is if you’re being charged for something

that’s usually free – such as updating your

vehicle log book (V5C) when you change

your address. Another tell-tale sign is the

web address; make sure it says GOV.UK.

It’s also worth knowing the true price of a

service; firms offer ‘checking services’ for

driving licence renewals at a cost of £60,

more than four times the £14 it costs to

do it through GOV.UK.”

MSA GB’s Peter Harvey said the

problem was even affecting ADIs, so

convincing are the unofficial sites. “I have

had two members contact me in recent

days saying they had been charged £80

for a driving licence upgrade to a

photocard from paper, when the DVLA

price is £20. You have been warned!”

12

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021


News

Budget cuts and pandemic blamed as

councils cut back on street maintenance

ADIs are being reminded to report road

signs which are obscured by overgrown

bushes and trees to their local authority

after reports of councils not cutting back

on foliage.

Road safety organisations have voiced

concern over what is a growing problem,

with important signs and traffic lights

hidden by trees or bushes.

Hidden road signs are at best a

nuisance for drivers, and at worst can be

misleading and dangerous, according to

road safety charity GEM.

This year has been a brilliant growing

season for a lot of the UK’s vegetation,

with a mild and largely frost-free spring

followed by warm days and then a period

of wet weather. Now that days are

warmer and with more sunlight hours,

many trees and bushes are flourishing.

But this growth spurt comes as local

authorities are reportedly struggling to

keep up with Mother Nature’s demands.

A spokesperson for the Local Government

Association told Newslink that the

problem was a two-handed one.

“Since March 2020 many councils

have cut back on highways maintenance,

either through the demands of lockdowns

or for the practical reason that members

of their teams were ill or self-isolating,”

he said. “Self-isolation is the biggest

problem. A lot of the street crews work

very closely together, sharing council

vans to get to jobs and office space, so if

one of the team tests positive for

Covid-19, the whole crew is forced to

self-isolate.

“It goes without saying that these are

staff who can’t work from home!”

Losing key manhours over the past 15

months has meant that many routine

seasonal jobs such as verge cutting,

lopping of trees that overhang pavements

and trimming back of bushes around

signs haven’t been kept up to date –

“and as any keen gardener knows, once

you let Mother Nature have her way,

tidying up the vegetation takes twice as

long!”

But there is another, more long-term

reason why the roads around your house

may look a little less well-kept than in

the past, the LGA said. “Since 2010 the

amount paid to local authorities from

central government has fallen

dramatically: from £60 billion to just

over £50 billion today. Bear in mind,

over that 11-year period inflation has

been running at around two per cent per

annum, so if the central government

funding for councils had remained static

the central grant should have been worth

around £75 billion today. In effect, your

local council has seen an effective cut in

central funding of around 50 per cent.

“At the same time, the cap on council

tax has meant that councils could not

make up this shortfall by increasing local

levies, leaving them short of cash.”

In such a scenario it is inevitable that

some areas of council spending have

suffered, with highways maintenance an

easy target.

‘‘

Councils are short of cash...

it is inevitable that some areas

of spending have suffered,

with highways maintenance

an easy target

‘‘

A pedestrian crossing light obscured by

foliage. The gap between the leaves

and the light is a matter of feet, and

drivers approaching the lights will not

see that they are on red until they are

very close to the crossing

“What we are finding is that rather

than axeing maintenance, councils are

simply increasing the gaps between

treatments/cutting. So, if a council

worked on a road’s verges and trees

three times a year in 2010, they are now

doing the same work in two or even just

one visit. The result is road signs near

bushes and trees are increasingly being

covered up by foliage.”

This leads to some very dangerous and

confusing situations for motorists. The

photo on this page shows a traffic light

which is masked by an overhanging tree.

The crossing is opposite a library and

health centre and close to a large

secondary school. A local resident

commented: “This is a very heavily used

pedestrian crossing but it is in a

dangerous spot anyway, as it is in a dip

and often sees cars driving faster than

the speed limit on approach.

“As you can see on the photograph,

the crossing lights are obscured; the

green light is barely visible, but the red

and amber lights are completely hidden

behind the overhanging tree.

“If this light was on red an

approaching motorist would not know.”

GEM chief executive Neil Worth

comments: “Road signs provide vital

information for drivers, who will plan

their speeds and actions based either

wholly or in part on what the signs tell

them. If you can’t see a sign, then your

ability to make safe decisions is

compromised, especially if you’re on

unfamiliar roads.

“Nourished by recent rain, vegetation

at this time of year tends to be at its

most prolific, meaning more and more

signs risk being partially or completely

covered. It’s a growing menace that puts

road users at risk.”

His advice was for ADIs “to help

highways authorities and local councils

to know where the problems are by using

the reporting facilities they provide. It is

vital for road safety that trees, bushes

and branches are not allowed to obscure

important information.”

14

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

Introducing the new

Safe Driving for Life website

The Stationery Office (TSO) and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) are

proud and delighted to announce the launch of the new Safe Driving for Life (SDFL) website.

To visit, go to www.safedrivingforlife.info.

Be prepared

The new SDFL website will support

learners through their theory and driving

tests and in becoming a life-long safe

driver. With a completely fresh and clean

look, the easy-to-navigate site provides

everything learners will need to know

during their driving life.

SDFL offers all this information for free:

n Practice theory tests for all the

driving/riding categories

n Hazard Perception tests

n Road signs tests

n Visual media clip tests

It will also give learner drivers or riders

a free taster of the theory test revision

material available through a paid-for

subscription.

All the advice

The popular blogs and advice content

from the old site are included in the new

SDFL site. They provide guidance for all

road users, wherever they are in their

driving life. And this content will be

easier to find and navigate.

New Features

One of the most significant changes to

the site is in the development of updated

eLearning modules (formerly on the

Official DVSA Learning Zone).

As with the Learning Zone, the

eLearning modules will be available

through a paid-for subscription. They

cover all driving categories, including

new modules for anyone wanting to train

as an ADI. The eLearning includes all the

information an ADI needs to help prepare

learners for their theory test.

And the eLearning modules include

some exciting new benefits, based on the

most up-to-date learning science. For

example:

n Active learning – exercises and

activities designed to engage learners

and promote learning

n The Forgetting Curve – this shows

how the brain does not retain

information over time if we do not

actively try to keep it. Typically, humans

tend to halve their memory of newly

learned knowledge in a matter of days or

weeks, unless they consciously review

the learned material. SDFL takes this

into account and actively encourages

learners to keep practising as their test

date approaches, to give them the best

chance of passing

n Test Readiness Gauge – the learner

will see a gauge on SDFL’s main

eLearning dashboard, giving them an

indication of when they’re ready to take

their test. The gauge is based on

different factors, including the amount of

practice questions the learner has

answered correctly and how long they’ve

spent studying.

ADI benefits

Another added benefit for the new

website is a huge increase in

functionality for ADIs:

n Learners will be able to share their

progress through the eLearning modules

with their ADI and parents. This allows

them to work through the theory element

together.

It also helps the learner through any

elements of the theory test they may be

struggling with.

n Any ADI can use the platform free

of charge. And, the more of their learners

they get to sign up to a subscription, the

more reward points they can earn.

The ADI can then redeem these

reward points in the form of Amazon

vouchers.

Use it, enjoy it, tell us

what you think!

We hope you’re as excited as we are

about SDFL and all its new features.

There’ll be an ongoing programme of

development and enhancement and we’ll

introduce more modules and

functionality over time.

During SDFL’s development, we

welcome your feedback. So please visit

www.safedrivingforlife.info: use it, enjoy

it and let us know what you think.

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021

15


Road safety feature

UK fiddles while its road

safety empire crumbles

A decade-long absence of a national strategy to reduce road deaths

is starting to have an impact on the UK’s standing in road safety

performance tables. Rob Beswick looks at the latest data

The extent to which the UK Government

appears to be ignoring road safety and is

allowing the country’s global lead in this

area to be eroded has been exposed in

the European Transport Safety Council’s

latest PIN Report, which compares the

performance of European nations in

terms of road deaths and casualty rates.

While the UK continues to boast some

of Europe’s safest roads, it is noticeable

how its lead has fallen in recent years,

and with no over-arching road safety

strategy from the Department for

Transport, this lead is likely to evaporate

even quicker in the future.

One of the noticeable factors in the

PIN Report for the period 2010-2020 is

a table headed National Road Safety

Strategies to 2030. Of the 32 PIN

countries listed (27 EU nations plus the

UK, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia and

Israel), only two do not have a national

road safety strategy to reduce casualties

either in place or under development: the

UK and Serbia. The Netherlands does

not have a national strategy but has

published activity plans with the aim of

reducing road casualties.

The rest of Europe has set ambitious

targets to reduce road deaths, with the

aim of halving deaths by 2030. The

national strategies look to improve

driving standards and infrastructure and

introduce new policies to tackle areas of

particular concern, such as drink-driving,

distractions and speeding. The result is a

matrix against which politicians’

performances on road safety can be

measured by the public.

In the UK, no such goals or policies

are in place, leaving the country’s road

safety performance to private bodies,

charities and individuals.

It is true that the UK still leads the way

in this field among the major nations; our

road deaths are lower than those in

countries with comparable populations

and demographic spread. But it is also

noticeable by just how this lead has been

eroded in recent years. Comparing road

deaths in 2010 and 2020 per million

inhabitants, Spain and Portugal have

seen falls in percentage terms in the

mid-40s, while in Italy, France and

Germany, they have fallen by 42, 37 and

25 per cent respectively.

In the UK it fell by just 14 per cent,

the second worst performance of the 32

nations studied, after the Netherlands

(five per cent).

In 2020 the UK’s road deaths rate per

million residents was 23, down from 31

in 2010. In Germany it was around 34,

in Italy 35 and in France, 39. But the

rate of falls experienced by these nations

puts them on course to rival the UK’s

status as a road safety leader by 2030,

and overtake it in the decade after.

While this may sound like studying

figures without considering the

underlying reasons for changes, the fact

remains that those countries with road

safety strategies are performing best, and

the UK does not have one. A country

that used to boast of the best road safety

record in Europe will be reduced to a

mid-table position if this trend continues.

The ETSC PIN Report celebrates

progress, not nations that rest on their

laurels, and this is the accusation

levelled at the UK government now. In

2010, the period that this report covers,

the incoming Conservative administration

led by David Cameron inherited a road

safety record that put the UK second

overall, marginally behind Sweden. We

now lie fourth and our previously healthy

lead over a number of nations, including

Germany, Ireland, Spain and Switzerland,

will be gone in a handful of years.

From any ADI’s perspective, it must be

frustrating to see the sphere in which you

operate apparently relegated to the

margins. On average, 1,700 people die

on our roads every year, and thousands

more will be left badly injured. In any

other sphere of life such a record would

be a cause for considerable concern, yet

the UK appears to have little interest in

addressing the problem.

There is a case for saying that the UK

is, perhaps, a victim of its own success.

As one road safety professional

commented some years ago, “our

problem is, we’ve plucked the low

hanging fruit. We have a decent driver

training and testing system that gives

new drivers a good start, we have a fairly

law-abiding public who can be policed

by consent rather than overt control,

we’ve brought in rules on drink-driving

that are largely followed and we have

good road infrastructure and new cars

that have the latest safety kit.

“Compare that to other nations: many

have had to play catch-up in areas such

as drink-driving, which we know is a

major cause of road deaths (around a

quarter to a fifth). Some have brought in

structured testing only in the past decade

– particularly in central/Eastern Europe

– and many have had cultures where

aggressive driving is not only not frowned

upon, it is almost celebrated.

“It’s taken a long time to rectify these

faults, but they’ve done it and are now

reaping the benefits.”

“It used to be an uncontested fact that

the UK had the safest roads in Europe;

16

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

today, it is still doing well but you can

see that lead inexorably slipping away,

and the fact that no-one appears to care

in Westminster is heartbreaking to

someone operating in this profession.”

It’s situation that is driving road safety

professionals in the UK to distraction.

David Davies, Executive Director of the

Parliaments Advisory Council on

Transport Safety, was heavily critical of

the UK’s lamentable display in the PIN

Report. When asked to contribute his

thoughts in the ETSC report, he wrote:

“Over the past decade (2010-2020) the

number of road deaths in the UK has

declined only slightly. The government

describes this as a ‘plateau’. As the

2020 figure is provisional and was

significantly affected by the pandemic, it

is better to consider 2010-2019.

“Although it is worth noting that UK

deaths fell sharply in 2008 and 2009

during the recession, it is disappointing

that previous more modest but sustained

progress was not resumed over the

following years as the economy and

traffic picked up.

“As its population grew, the UK

maintained its position as one of the

leading road safety performers in Europe,

on the basis of deaths per million

population, but Norway and Switzerland

improved more quickly.

“Responsibilities for road safety were

increasingly handed over to the separate

nations of the United Kingdom. This

brought benefits and disadvantages.

Scotland cut the drink-drive limit and

introduced a comprehensive road safety

framework with ambitious targets.

Northern Ireland progressed on graduated

driver licensing and lower drink-drive

limits. Wales is introducing national

mandatory 20mph (30km/h) speed

limits. Transport for London and

Highways England have adopted Vision

Zero and a range of ambitious measures

to deliver it.

“However, local authorities in England,

where most of the road deaths occur,

were left to set their own agendas in a

context of budget cuts and competing

priorities. Throughout this period levels of

road policing declined which significantly

undermined road safety enforcement.

“Central government supported

individual schemes, including investment

in cycling safety, a new casualty reporting

system (CRASH) and government car

buying safety standards.”

Continued on page 18

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021

17


‘‘‘‘

Road safety feature

Mortality road deaths per

million inhabitants, 2010 in

white, 2020 in colour. It is

interesting to see how quickly

a country can slip down this

road safety table if it takes its

eye off the ball. The figure for

the Netherlands is a case in

point. In 2010 it was the

fourth best performer, behind

only Sweden, Malta and the

UK. Today it sits 11th. It is

one of only three nations not

to have a national road safety

target, along with the UK and

Serbia. The Dutch, so long a

leader in road safety, are an

example of how things slip

when the focus moves off

controlling road casualties.

UK road safety

lead crumbles

Continued from page 17

Mr Davies continued: “It also

commissioned research, including

road collision investigation, young

driver safety and roads policing.

These should bear fruit in the future.

“Overall, however, it was a decade

of missed opportunities. The UK

government did not make road safety

a priority, refused to set national

casualty reduction targets and failed

to provide the comprehensive

framework to deliver real change.

“There are indications of a new

approach from the UK government,

recognising the importance of safety

to wider agendas such as improving

public health, environmental

sustainability and relieving pressure

on emergency services. Incorporating

the equivalent of the revised EU

General Safety Regulation into UK

law will be an important test.”

With no road deaths reduction

strategy in place, the absence of an

over-arching strategy for improving

road safety and infrastructure,

fragmented approaches to tackling

problem areas such as drink or

distraction and further falls in

policing, it seems unlikely that this

position will change any time soon.

The UK, as in many areas, used to

rule the world in road safety. Unless

the Government changes tack, it

won’t do soon.

18

Covid drives deaths fall – but praise

as road safety moves up EU agenda

Greece and Norway provided the best

good news stories in the latest European

Transport Safety Council (ETSC) PIN

report.

There were around 3,900 fewer road

deaths in the EU in 2020 compared to

the previous year. But this 17% per cent

was no triumph of good road safety; it

was almost certainly caused by Covid-19

restrictions on travel.

In total 18,844 people lost their lives

in road traffic in 2020, 10,847 fewer

than in 2010, representing a 37 per cent

decrease. That means 56,305 people

are alive today compared with the picture

if casualty rates had stayed the same as

in 2010. The saving was valued at some

Euro 156 billion.

However, over that period only one EU

Member State exceeded the EU target to

cut road deaths by 50 per cent over the

decade to 2020: Greece, with a 54 per

cent reduction. Norway, a non-EU

country, reduced its road deaths by 55

per cent. Portugal, Spain, Croatia,

Belgium, Slovenia, Italy, Lithuania,

Bulgaria, Denmark, Austria and Hungary

achieved a decrease above the EU

average of 37 per cent, while other

countries progressed to a lesser extent.

The progress was slowest in the

Netherlands with a 5 per cent decrease

and the UK with 14 per cent in 10 years.

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of

ETSC said: “Road safety is, in the end, a

public health issue. Covid has killed 3.5

Road users have the right and

responsibility to move around

without risking their own life or

the lives of others

million people worldwide. Over the last

decade, at least 13 million have died on

the world’s roads. The extraordinary

response to Covid-19 has shown how

policymakers and society can act when

most people are working towards a

common goal. Can we apply the same

focus to the challenges of road safety? “

“Success is not guaranteed. After

months of lockdowns are we set for a

decade of rule-breaking and excess,

another ‘Roaring Twenties’? Or will we

learn from this moment that life on earth

is fragile, and needs to be protected?

Europe needs political leadership more

than ever. Every road user has the right

and responsibility to move around

without risking their own life or the lives

of others. Policymakers have a

responsibility to build a safe system that

helps protect everyone.

“Will they approach it with the energy

and dedication that many have

approached the challenges of Covid?”

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

Lockdowns raise doubts

in drivers’ abilities

Colin Lilly

Editor, MSA GB Newslink

There has been a lot of anecdotal

evidence recently about the low standard

of drivers’ behaviour post-lockdown. The

vehicle insurance specialists Compare the

Market has conducted a survey of 2,000

drivers to seek their opinion.

Unsurprisingly, 52 per cent of drivers

reported they had used their cars less

between January and April 2021.

Following the lifting of lockdown, 42 per

cent said they planned to drive more.

However, 15 per cent thought they

would be driving less than before

lockdown, citing an awareness of fuel

prices and the benefits of exercise. They

are also less likely to use their cars to

commute to work as some are

continuing to work from home.

Three-quarters of drivers expressed

concern about other drivers’ behaviour

but only one-third (36 per cent) were

concerned about their own driving ability

following lockdown.

Of the younger drivers under 25, who

are less experienced, 55 per cent

expressed doubts about their own

abilities, while 84 per cent of them were

concerned about other road users. It is

reassuring that this group has more

doubts of their own ability than their

older counterparts.

On return to the road 31 per cent had

doubts about the safety of their vehicles

but 16 per cent had not conducted any

of the regular checks during lockdown.

During that time 62 per cent had

checked their tyres but only a worrying

39 per cent had checked the brakes and

36 per cent the battery.

Much of this survey tends to support

the long-held belief that drivers are

much more inclined to criticise others

rather than reflect on their own driving.

Clubs warn of drug and

drink driving spike

Motorists in the north east were urged

to give drink and drug driving the red

card during Euro 2020 by the region’s

three biggest football clubs.

Drink and drug driving typically

increases during major sporting

tournaments as people gather to

watch the games over drinks.

During Euro 2016 there was a big

increase in drink and drug driving

injuries in the north east, with sizeable

spikes on the day of and after England

matches. Death or serious injury

crashes were up 19 per cent.

Road Safety GB North East teamed

up with Middlesbrough, Newcastle

and Sunderland to remind drivers of

the lasting effects of drinking and drug

use. Peter Slater, from Road Safety GB

NE, said: “We asked people to be

sensible. If you know you’re going to

be drinking, plan your transport home

beforehand, or if you’re driving, stick

to soft drinks. And look out for each

other. If you know someone has been

drinking, don’t let them drive. Speak

up – it could save a life.”

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021

19


Comment

Filthy rich pensioners?

Don’t make me laugh

Rod Came

MSA GB South East

A lot of attention is currently being drawn

to possible increases in the State Pension

payable from 2022. As with a lot of

news items reporting the activities of the

Government, what you read is often not

entirely the whole picture; the slant on

the truth depends on the source of the

report.

Finding your total State Pension

entitlement is almost as difficult as

deciding on the winner of the Grand

National. Many factors have to be

considered so I will stick to using the

basics.

Workers pay National Insurance out of

the money they earn, which in part

entitles them to a State Pension. The

State Pension, formally known as the Old

Age Pension, was introduced in the

United Kingdom in January 1909 with

the objective of providing a basic income

for elderly people who were no longer

working. The life expectation then was

typically ‘three score years and ten’

rather than four score years and five

which is about average for many today.

Over the ensuing years the cost of the

pension has grown due to continual

financial increments and an increasing

ageing population. Currently there are

calls for the formula that is now used to

calculate the pension to be abandoned,

because it is seen to be too generous to

pensioners compared with the working

population.

The formula is that the pension will

rise by what is known as the triple lock,

which means an increase relative to the

Consumer Prices Index, average earnings

or 2.5% – whichever is the highest.

Because average earnings fell slightly

in the last financial year and are forecast

to rise in the next, perhaps by 10 per

cent or more, the State pension must rise

by a similar amount.

This is where the problem starts

because the perception of cruising,

fun-loving, big-spending pensioners

enjoying a massive pension increase

when many others are struggling to

survive, is not the image the Government

wants to portray.

That is where the misrepresentation

comes in. The average wage is about

£550 a week, a 10 per cent increase

https://www.gov.uk/check-statepension

would obviously be £55. Currently older

pensioners receive about £130 a week,

10 per cent being £13.

In 2016 there were changes to the

pension rate for new retirees which

means that they, but not the older

pensioners, now receive £175.20pw

which is anticipated to rise to £194.68

(11.1 per cent) in 2022.

Quoting rises in percentage terms

glosses over the actual pounds and

pence increases for the average worker,

older pensioners and newer pensioners.

There is no fairness between £55 pw

for one group, nearly £20 for another

and a measly £13 for the poorest. So let

us not hear of increases in percentage

terms but by pounds per week; only that

way do we get a fairer picture.

Have you checked your pension?

Self-employed people are advised to regularly check the current level of

state pension they can expect, as sometimes breaks in payments can

affect your entitlements.

You can check yours at https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pension

20

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Key dates for your diary

Make a note of our autumn events schedule now!

MSA GB is delighted to announce dates

for our autumn series of training events

and AGMs.

As we’re sure you will appreciate, at

this stage we cannot say for definite

whether these will be face-to-face

events or held via Zoom. However, we

are planning for in-person events again,

as along as Covid restrictions allow.

The events are a mixture of all-day,

half-day and evening sessions, and all

will have a strong CPD element to them.

We are hoping to have DVSA speakers

at them all, there will be an MSA GB

update and lots more.

Put a note in your diary now and keep

the date clear. If you want further details

now, please contact the appropriate

person for your area; email addresses

are given in the panel below.

CPD Training events and AGMs

Date Area Contact for more information

28th October North East Mike: chair.ne@msagb.com

3rd November East Midlands Kate: chair.em@msagb.com

8th November Western Arthur: chair.ow@msagb.com

10th November West Midlands Geoff: deptnatchair@msagb.com

15th November Greater London Tom: chair.gl@msagb.com

15th November South East Fenella: chair.se@msagb.com

21st November Scotland Alex: chair.os@msagb.com

22nd November North West Graham: chair.nw@msagb.com

To be arranged Eastern Paul: chair.oe@msagb.com

Concern as Covid hits

eye test take-up

GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging

drivers and riders of all ages to take an

eyesight test after it was revealed that

poor sight is linked to more than 3,000

fatal and serious injury crashes a year.

GEM chief executive Neil Worth said

he was “concerned that there are too

many people driving whose eyesight is at

a dangerous level.

“Covid restrictions have put many

people off booking an eye test, but as

things open up, we urge everyone to

prioritise safety and book a proper

examination. This will identify and

correct any problems, meaning the risks

of driving are reduced and the road

environment is safer.

“More and more people are staying

behind the wheel for longer. Under the

present rules, it’s our individual

responsibility to declare ourselves fit to

drive. But we will be unable to notice

many of the changes to our vision – that

takes a professional examination.”

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21


Comment

A little more humility,

a little less hubris

Work is plentiful for ADIs at

the moment – but as one

member points out, let’s not

let that fact go to our heads.

I was forced to contact a plumber the

other week.

The first chap I spoke to was very clear

about what he wanted paying: his call

out fee was £70, and it was £45 an

hour after that, plus parts if needed.

£115 for the job, plus VAT.

As the job involved sorting out some

leaking pipework I knew it wasn’t going

to take long; a seal or two under the bath

had gone, and there was possibly a

build-up of gunge in the pipes that

needed clearing. It’s the type of job I’d fix

myself but one thing was stopping me:

an adhesive capsulitis.

Now, there is a chance that there are

one or two of you who are thinking, ‘is

adhesive capsulitis a posh way of saying

‘I’m a lazy git’ or ‘the football’s on’. No,

it’s actually easier to translate than you

think: it means ‘frozen shoulder’. The

adhesive part gives you the clue.

If you’ve ever encountered a frozen

shoulder, on you or on a loved one, you’ll

know that it is a whole world of hurt.

Basically, simple movements of the

affected arm become impossible without

considerable pain. And I mean pain;

when you catch it wrong, it’s like a

heavyweight boxer has thumped you

with all his force on the arm. It’s the type

of pain that makes you gasp and stop to

catch your breath. It’s made worse by

the fact that it doesn’t hurt all the time;

it’s just that if you suddenly move your

arm in certain directions, it’s

astonishingly painful. In short, it’s nasty.

Back to the plumbing. I took the bath

panel off, lay down and contemplated

the leaking area. I knew pretty instantly

that the contortion I’d have to get myself

into to fix it was one that was going to

force my shoulder to rotate into positions

that would have the frozen joint

screaming. After giving it a moment or

two’s thought I realised this time I’d need

to call in a professional. I rang the

plumber.

22

When I heard his pricing I was taken

aback, and suggested that £115 an hour

was on the steep side. “Yes, but I’ve

been able to put my prices up, as

there’s so much demand,” he replied.

“So you’re taking advantage of people,” I

suggested. “Yes,” he replied, without a

modicum of guilt in his voice.

I put the phone down. I don’t mind

being ripped off but I’d prefer it if the

chap doing the ripping didn’t make it too

obvious. The secret of a good business

deal is when both parties think they’ve

come away with a bargain; this

particular deal didn’t feel like that.

To cut a long story short, while there’s

only so much pain any man can take,

that threshold is raised considerably

‘‘

Our pupils are not ‘fish in a barrel’.

They are, in the main, young people

who’ve had a rubbish 18 months,

who have seen huge chunks of what

makes life fun when you’re that age

ripped away from them...

‘‘

when he’s comforted by the knowledge

that he won’t be extracting £115 from

his wallet. I took several pain killers,

waited half an hour then did the work

myself, amid much cursing. Afterwards

my shoulder hurt like hell but I was

content I’d got the right side of the

bargain.

Why am I telling you this? Because I

got the distinct whiff of that plumber’s

attitude in the last issue of Newslink

when regular contributor Russell Jones

was talking about ‘shooting fish in a

barrel’ in regard to the current imbalance

between ADIs and pupils.

At present, it’s clear that ADIs have the

upper hand in the Athenian confrontation

that is pupils v instructors. There are

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more of them than we can ever service.

That is not our fault, but while it may be

nice to contemplate a full diary,

Russell’s view seemed a little too

crowing for my liking.

Using phrases like ‘shooting fish in a

barrel’ doesn’t project the image of a

group of men and women who are keen

to provide a professional service to

learners; it sounds just a little too Del

Boy for me, too much like the geezer

down the pub boasting about making a

few extra quid. Perhaps it’s a touch too

gleeful. It might sit well in a Facebook

chatroom for ADIs but I feel the MSA

GB doesn’t look too great when one of

its more prominent members appears to

be saying ‘let’s take advantage of the

current situation’.

The phrase ‘shooting fish in a barrel’

conjures up a vision of a helpless, weak

prey being dominated by a bullying

overlord. Is that the image we want to

convey? It’s certainly not how I like to

view my relationship with my pupils.

We’ve just come through a pandemic;

do we really want the public knowing

we refer to them in such insulting terms

as simple trapped fish?

Make hay, if you wish. Put your prices

up, fine. A pound or two on a lesson

since the restart seems fair,

compensating for recent petrol price

rises and off-setting some of the losses

in 2020. Such a stance would be

reasonable – but let’s not be seen to be

taking advantage of the situation as an

industry.

During the pandemic it’s been clear

that some people have seen the chaos

as a chance to feather their own nests

– think PPE suppliers or mates of

government ministers, as a starter – and

‘‘

My pupils are not ‘fish in

a barrel’... do we really

want the public knowing

we refer to them in such

insulting terms...?

‘‘

I’ve seen plenty of people on news

reports who sound like one of those

spivvy characters from World War 2

films; you know, the ones who made a

killing while others got killed. Let’s not

be a sector that does that. Let’s think

about the position this country now

finds itself in and realise that there is a

moral duty to be reasonable, fair and

compassionate.

Our pupils are not ‘fish in a barrel’.

They are, in the main, young people

who’ve had a rubbish 18 months, who

have seen huge chunks of what makes

life fun when you’re that age ripped

away from them. Let’s not take

advantage of a group that is genuinely

struggling.

Remember, which group has been hit

hardest economically by the pandemic?

It it late middle-aged men? No, it’s

young people, our core business

demographic. Which business sectors

have been hit hardest? Tourism, leisure,

hospitality… the areas where employees

tend to be young. Does this group need

an extra kicking?

Charge a reasonable price by all

means, but let’s not take advantage –

and let’s moderate our language so it

doesn’t sound like we’re screwing people

over.

One last thing. Just consider this.

Imagine the minutes of a DVSA meeting

were leaked to Newslink, and in them

it’s recorded that chief executive

Loveday Ryder said: “L-test candidates?

There’s loads of them... it’s like

shooting fish in a barrel, providing a

service for them...”

What image would that convey of the

DVSA – and how long do you think

she’d last in the job?

Helping hand

for ADIs

and PDIs

The panel at Helping ADI & PDIs

recognise that there has been a

significant rise in the Delta variant of

Covid-19, and that many driving

instructors are being required to isolate

by Track and Trace.

We have therefore decided to open

applications for a one-off payment to

any ADI or PDI who has been

contacted by Track and Trace and told

to isolate after our return to work on

12th April in England and Wales and

26th April in Scotland.

Payment of a nominal amount will be

paid on receipt of an application form

and proof of an email from Track and

Trace requiring you to isolate.

Go to https://instructorfund.org for

details. There is no need to complete

the full financial questions on the

application, simply state ‘Track and

Trace’ in the area marked ‘Purpose’,

complete the bank and personal details

and send in the application.

Emails from Track and Trace must

show the name of the applicant and the

dates of isolation.

We cannot accept multiple

applications from the same person.

PLEASE NOTE – we are all working

ADIs too and have our own businesses

to run so we don’t have the time to

chase up incomplete applications.

Therefore, unfortunately, any

incomplete applications will be

rejected.

You can still donate to the GoFundMe

Page by following either the link to our

website https://instructorfund.org/

or via the GoFundMe page at

https://gofund.me/67c82730

Susan & Bobbie

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23


Towards your CPD

ADIs... lend

us your ears

Steve Garrod looks at the

power of communication

– and how it’s a vital

component of every lesson

The way we communicate is a

key part of any lesson,

regardless of the subject being

taught. Instructors are

expected to engage their

pupils in conversation about key learning

points of the lesson.

Instructors who are good at talking are

not necessarily good communicators. You

may have experienced someone at the

local test centre who is a great talker but

has limited listening skills ... and I bet

someone has just sprung to mind!

Communication is not a one-way street

(pardon the pun) of information. Similar

to traffic flowing on a busy road,

communication is about the interaction

of those involved in the conversation. For

example, reading body language for clues

to continue with what we are saying;

anticipating what others might say;

instinctively knowing when to allow

others to speak and, more importantly,

knowing when to stop talking so that we

can listen; or at least that’s the theory!

Think of the last conversation you had

with a pupil or another instructor. What

percentage of the time did you spend:

– listening? – speaking?

What were you thinking about while

the other person was speaking? Was it

what they were saying or, perhaps, what

you were going to say next?

24

You are more likely to be a good

communicator if you are a good listener.

Listening skills are an essential part of

communication and are particularly

relevant in one to one communication.

Listening is often confused with

hearing; hearing is a passive act, while

listening requires active participation on

behalf of the listener. It is important,

therefore, that you demonstrate active

listening when you are in conversation

with your pupil.

Active listening requires more than

appearing to pay attention to what is being

said; you need to consider your posture,

your facial expressions and, if appropriate,

how you encourage your pupil to continue

with what they want to say.

The next time you watch the news, try

to look at the interviewer. You will see

‘‘

Actively listening to what your

pupils are saying will give you a

better chance of understanding

what your pupil is trying to

say and what they want / need

to learn...

‘‘

them nodding, smiling and generally

acknowledging the comments from the

interviewee to encourage them to

continue their conversation.

It is very difficult to create a positive

atmosphere for natural communication

when someone is on ‘permanent send’.

Active listening requires you to digest

what your pupil is saying and consider it

before responding. A friendly tone, a

personal question or simply a smile will

encourage your pupil to continue

speaking. You can paraphrase what they

are saying; for example, “So you feel you

need to work on…” or “From what I

gather you are having problems with…”

Actively listening to what is being said

will give you a better chance of understanding

what your pupil is trying to say

and what they want / need to learn.

It is fair to say that many of us are

guilty of not fully concentrating on what

is being said. The trick is to be aware of

it and to ensure we listen before we

speak, or at least listen long enough

before we interrupt.

For a variety of reasons it wouldn’t be

practical to allow our pupils to continue

talking continuously.

A nice saying I heard some years ago

to stop someone going ‘off track’ is to say

“Can we park that idea for now please?”

It is far more effective than speaking over

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someone or telling them to stop talking.

The same can be said of your pupil.

They too need to be actively listening to

what you are saying; therefore you need

to be aware of lapses in concentration.

Once someone stops concentrating they

stop listening, when they stop listening

they stop learning. Breaking your

instructions down in to small chunks will

help keep the lesson lively. This should

be instinctive; for example, how would

you tell someone your new mobile phone

number? Do you give them all the

numbers at once or break the number

down into small chunks of 3 or 4

numbers at a time?

The chances are you use ‘chunking’,

therefore if you apply the same logic to

your teaching, you will help your pupil

retain their concentration.

Non-verbal communication

Much has been written about the

importance of body language; however, it

isn’t an exact science. You need to

appreciate cultural differences before

jumping to conclusions. In some

cultures, making eye contact with older

people is disrespectful and certain

innocent hand gestures have completely

different meanings. Some people feel

that crossing your arms means you are

‘closed’ and being unresponsive, whereas

Consider the image you are

portraying if you sit next to

your pupil with a clipboard...

does that look too official?

‘‘‘‘

it could mean that your pupil is cold or

just don’t know what to do with their

hands while listening! Likewise, you

must also consider the image you are

portraying if you are sitting beside your

learner holding a clipboard on your lap

during the lesson; it may appear too

official.

It could also be seen as a barrier to

communication.

Gestures

Most people naturally use their hands

and face to express or clarify meaning.

People who speak in public do this more

than most (some better than others)

because they realise how much meaning

their body language can add to the

words they are saying, or those they are

hearing. Driving instructors should take

time to reflect on their own gestures used

when teaching complex actions such as

the ‘pull – push’ steering method or

imitating clutch control. Simple hand

gestures can help when teaching on the

move and a friendly smile and nod could

be used to signal a correct answer.

Empathy

Even when you disagree with a point

of view, for example while conducting a

fleet training session when a client says

“But I have to break the speed limit to

get my work done”, it is important for

you to understand their point of view.

Using phrases as simple as “I understand

it may feel like that at times” or “What

makes you say that, can you give me an

example?” demonstrates that you have

been listening and respect their opinions.

Although deep down we know they are

about to come out with a common

excuse and give an unjustifiable answer,

we have to show restraint and try to

promote a change in their behaviour.

Sometimes CPD doesn’t need to cost

anything, it can be as simple as reading

something and putting it into practice, so

take some time to listen to what is being

said, and give some thoughts to your

responses.

As someone once told me, we have

two ears but only one mouth, so we need

to listen twice as much as we speak.

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021

25


Special report

Dying to work?

How working long hours is leading

to thousands of early deaths

Mike Yeomans

MSA GB North East

AS we rise out of the

pandemic, many people are

questioning their work-life

balance, particularly,

perhaps, after spending

more time than usual at home. Key is

this question: are we still happy

maintaining the number of hours we are

putting in at work?

Perhaps more pointedly, as ADIs

should we be maintaining the level of

hours we were putting in before the

pandemic? What are the consequences

of finishing work after 10pm each night,

having finished off that ‘vital’ admin and

paperwork, having worked or been

available for work since 7.30 in the

morning?

If these are the hours you are working,

are you giving your best to your students

after such a long day? The result of such

a long day is, inevitably, questionable

levels of concentration and increased

stress.

There’s little advice from the

government on working hours. If you

read the official leaflet on tiredness and

driving it is aimed at those taking long

journeys, but it does give you some

pointers that will help you appraise how

long you are working and whether it’s

time to cut back.

You can read the official leaflet at:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/

government/uploads/system/uploads/

attachment_data/file/677964/inf159-

tiredness.pdf

I thought it was useful to look at the

issues around long working hours but

remember, this is looking at the

consequences to your general health. It

doesn’t take into account the risks on the

roads created by a driver or supervising

driver who is so tired they are functioning

properly.

What is clear is that long working

hours are killing hundreds of thousands

of people a year, according to the World

Health Organization (WHO).

The first global study of its kind

showed that 745,000 people died in

2016 from stroke and heart disease

which were blamed on the long hours

they worked. The report found that

people living in South East Asia and the

Western Pacific region were the worst

affected.

But now we in the UK are in catch-up

mode as we try to make up for all the

hours lost during the pandemic, putting

us at risk. WHO also said the trend may

worsen due to the coronavirus pandemic.

To start with, ask yourself if you are

working 60 hours a week. Has it become

addictive? Do you try to ‘go that extra

mile’ despite already working a 50 or

60-hour week?

The research found that working 55

26

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Long hours don’t just create traffic

risks for those behind the wheel, it

can harm general health, too

hours or more a week was associated

with a 35 per cent higher risk of stroke

and a 17 per cent higher risk of dying

from heart disease, compared to those

people with a working week of 35 to 40

hours.

The study, conducted with the

International Labour Organization (ILO),

also showed almost three-quarters of

those who died as a result of working

long hours were middle-aged or older

men. Just in case that demographic

sounds familiar, it is the median age

range of driving instructors.

Often, the deaths occurred much later

in life, sometimes decades later, than the

long hours were worked, which often

makes it hard to directly link it back to

the stresses caused by work. But it was

still those long hours that proved the

killer.

A recent report from the BBC looked at

a bank employee whose post on LinkedIn

had created a huge stir. He was a

45-year-old worker who described how

he’d had a wake-up call over his long

working hours.

He had a heart attack at home and

described how he made it to the

bedroom so he could lie down while his

wife phoned 999. While recovering from

his heart attack, he decided to totally

restructure his approach to work. “I’m

not spending all day on Zoom anymore,”

he said.

His post struck a chord with hundreds

of readers, who shared their experiences

of overwork and the impact on their

health. As one comment put it, “we

continue to push ourselves to the limits

without concern for our personal

well-being.”

Perhaps ADIs working long hours to

accommodate all their pupils should take

note.

While the WHO study did not cover

the period of the pandemic, officials said

the recent jump in remote working and

the economic slowdown may have

increased the risks associated with long

working hours.

“We have some evidence that shows

that when countries go into national

lockdown, the number of hours worked

increase by about 10 per cent,” WHO

technical officer Frank Pega said.

The report said working long hours

was estimated to be responsible for

about a third of all work-related disease,

making it the largest occupational

disease burden.

The researchers said that there were

two ways longer working hours led to

poor health outcomes. First, through

direct physiological responses to stress,

and second, because longer hours meant

workers were more likely to adopt

health-harming behaviours such as

tobacco and alcohol use, less sleep and

exercise and follow an unhealthy diet.

“Stress, depression, anxiety, it’s a

cauldron of bad feedback loops,” the

report said, adding that long working

hours can lead to people being in a

‘‘

Working 55 hours a week or

more was associated with a 35

per cent higher risk of stroke

and a 17 per cent higher risk of

dying from heart disease...

‘‘

constant state of feeling run down.

The number of people working long

hours was increasing before the

pandemic struck, according to the WHO,

and was around nine per cent of the total

global population.

People who did not work from home

put in an average of 3.6 hours a week

extra to a normal working week, the UK’s

Office for National Statistics said.

This lead me to thinking, how many

hours extra does an average ADI do now?

CONTACT

To comment on this article, or provide

updates from your area, contact

Mike at chair.ne@msagb.com

Consider that paperwork and the

additional stresses we are experiencing

at the moment in arranging tests for

students.

So, according to numerous scientific

studies, long hours can and will literally

kill you. Here are some other top

takeaways from recent studies:

• Skipping holidays increases your

chances of having a heart attack by 30

to 50 per cent.

• Working long hours increases

mortality rates (ie, the likelihood you’ll

die today) by almost 20 per cent.

• Skipping even one year of holiday

increases depression, which in turn

increases the likelihood you’ll die from

cancer.

• The longer hours you work, the

higher your risk of having a stroke. Even

working more than 40 hours a week

increases your death risk by 10 per cent.

• Sitting for prolonged periods of time

(such as in a driving school car/vehicle)

increases risk of diabetes, cancer and

early death.

In short, when you’re self-employed

and work more than 40 hours a week,

you are not just destroying your work/life

balance. You are literally putting your life

at risk.

So, here’s my advice:

If your working life currently demands

long hours as a condition for getting your

students ready for tests, set a limit on

how many hours you’ll continue to put in

every week – and stick to it. Your life is

at risk if you continue working at that

pace.

If you are driving yourself to work long

hours, then you need the self-discipline

to track the time you work and cut the

hours down to between 40 and 50 or

less, regardless of whether there’s “so

much to get done.”

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021

27


Regional News

London’s low traffic neighbourhoods

aren’t the answer for everyone

Alex Brownlee

MSA GB Greater London

London has 32 boroughs, and the City.

Throughout Greater London the Low

Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTN) schemes

have been expanded over the last few

years. A great many have been

introduced using experimental traffic

orders by the boroughs and are

supposedly open to change via local

consultation.

Essentially, these schemes restrict

motor traffic in certain areas – usually

residential ‘side roads’ – and they are

blocked off with planters and in some

cases, bollards, only permitting walking

and cycling; enforcement is invariably

carried out by CCTV camera. Offending

motorists are likely to get a penalty

charge notice through the post, and the

penalty, in London, is £120 with a

discount for swift payment of 50%.

The expansion of LTNs over the last

year or so has proved controversial in

some areas, as the closure of roads has

displaced motor traffic to surrounding

‘main roads’ to keep the residential roads

in the LTN traffic free.

The major objection is that these

schemes funnel traffic into limited road

space, increasing congestion, journey

times and pollution. Problems have been

experienced by emergency services

needing to access roads within an LTN,

28

and also by delivery drivers, some

disabled motorists and carers. While

emergency services are supposed to have

keys (where necessary) to access an

LTN, anecdotal evidence suggests this is

not always the case. Signage of these

areas is not always prominent and a

great many motorists have been caught

out and fined as a result. There is no

recognition of this type of scheme on

GPS systems, although they are never

100 per cent accurate in any case, and

therefore people can be led astray by

them. The result is that many local

motorists are inclined to believe that

such areas are little more than a

money-making scheme for local councils,

to boost their finances.

As far as I can see, any consultation

about such a scheme has been

conducted only with those living in the

area concerned. It has not included

others living locally who would also be

‘‘

These schemes funnel traffic

into limited road space,

increasing congestion, journey

times and pollution... with

a lack of accurate signage,

motorists are inclined to see

them as a money-making

scheme for local councils

‘‘

impacted by the closure of certain roads

that they often use. Residents living

within the schemes’ boundaries are keen

to have less traffic on their doorsteps, but

the motorists have to put up with being

diverted to other areas and can be fined

if they use their usual routes and have

had no say in the matter.

From my point of view, such schemes

mean I have to use the main routes now

available, increasing journey times and

pollution, and it also limits the number of

side roads, which usually have low traffic

anyway, to be available for teaching.

These schemes mean only pedestrians,

motorcyclists or cyclists can use the

roads, but it does not stop the pollution

that motor traffic creates elsewhere. and

is not eco-friendly.

While we all understand the need to

reduce traffic pollution, I believe this is

the wrong approach.

In my area there has been a

considerable resistance to the schemes

and the local council’s website has

received a great many adverse comments

in its current consultation about making

the schemes permanent.

If you have had any experience of

these schemes, and would like to

contribute to the discussion, don’t

hesitate to contact me.

CONTACT

To comment on this article, or provide

updates, contact Alex at

msaeditorgreaterlondon@gmail.com

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

Trailer trashed got me thinking

about their safety rules

Terry Pearce

MSA GB West Midlands

Recently I was a passenger in a car

driving up the M1 to Sheffield to watch

the snooker at the Crucible when the

traffic ahead of us suddenly slowed.

We were in the middle lane when I

saw the remains of a trailer partly

obstructing the outside lane. Luckily,

there was a police car a few cars behind

us who pulled into the outside lane to

sort it.

Cars have an MOT but it got me

wondering, what about their trailers?

How many people who tow trailers have

them inspected regularly for faults, etc?

The car towing it had managed to pull

up on the hard shoulder and no one else

was involved, but can you imagine the

potential carnage a loose trailer could

cause? The pictures were downloaded

from the dashcam, if you wondered how

I managed to take them so quickly!

CONTACT

To comment on this article, or provide

updates from your area, contact

Terry at terry@terrypearce.co.uk

Who’d have thought it; young men

like to be driven about safely!

by an MSA GB member

I came across this story on the internet

the other day, and thought I would share

it with my fellow ADIs.

In a way, commenting on this makes

me sound a bit churlish, as the

organisation behind it is clearly doing its

best to improve road safety, but I couldn’t

but wonder how much money had been

spent stating, as Basil Fawlty would put

it, ‘the bleedin’ obvious.’

Anyway, here goes... New research by

Government road safety campaigners at

THINK! has found that “many young

men who have been driving for a while

are overconfident in their driving ability

and believe they can safely take risks

when at the wheel.”

Get away! Who’d have thought it!

It goes on: “This includes driving too

fast, especially when in a hurry or on

roads they think they know well, and

being more likely to use a handheld

mobile at the wheel.” Thanks, THINK!

However, while that spot of research is

never going to raise any eyebrows among

ADIs, there was one interesting new fact

to emerge.

It appears that contrary to what has

always been assumed, young men don’t

like being driven about by friends who

drive recklessly.

The THINK! report added: “For this

group of young men, the mates they

silently prefer to be driven by are those

who drive safely.”

THINK! revealed the research as it

Western AGM and

training day

MSA GB Western: Members

please note that we hope to

run our traditional area

conference and AGM this

year as an in-person event,

rather than by Zoom.

The committee hopes we

can all get together on

Monday, 8th November

2021, at Oake Manor Golf

Club, near Taunton.

Obviously, any plans will

be dependent on Covid-19

rules at the time, but the

hope at this stage is for an

all-day event, with keynote

speakers, Q&A and chances

for networking and

discussing the key issues

with your fellow instructors.

More details on speakers

and how to book will be

available shortly.

We will contact all local

members direct, or keep an

eye on the MSAGB Western

area Facebook page.

launched the Good Driver campaign to

help normalise this silent respect and

spark a conversation about good driving

by encouraging young men to see that

“mates respect mates who don’t take

risks on the road.”

The campaign has been created in

collaboration with the County FA and

media partners Acast, COPA90, Twitch

and Jungle Creations.

Content will run throughout July across

video on demand, social media, online

video, podcast and in-game streaming.

If you want to get involved and

publicise the campaign, go to

https://www.think.gov.uk/wp-content/

uploads/2021/06/THINK-Good-Driverstakeholder-toolkit.pdf

where you’ll find some pretty good

information that could be passed on to

pupils for their post-test lives.

You can also follow the campaign at

@THINKgovuk on Twitter.

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021

29


Regional News

Let’s take a leaf out of Europe’s

book and push emergency corridors

Guy Annan

MSA GB Western

The concept of the ‘emergency corridor’

is something I’ve only recently become

aware of. Possibly many of you already

know about it but I thought I’d share this

article to raise awareness and to ask,

why hasn’t this sensible system been

formally adopted in this country?

The emergency corridor

So what is the emergency corridor? It’s

a way the authorities can ensure that

emergency vehicles can cut through built

up traffic on motorways and dual

carriageways and get to the scene of a

crash without too much of a hold-up. If

you take the German version of the

corridor as an example, as soon as

vehicles on motorways and roads outside

a built-up area with at least two lanes for

one direction start to move at walking

pace only or come to a standstill, these

vehicles must, in accordance with

Section 11(2) of the German Road

Traffic Regulations, leave a gap between

the lane on the far left and the lane

immediately adjacent to it on the right to

allow police and emergency vehicles to

pass (the emergency corridor).

The three-metre requirement is the

absolute minimum; a fire brigade vehicle

can easily be three metres wide.

It’s not a widespread measure; the

three metre corridor is part of the traffic

regulations in only a handful of countries:

Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany,

Hungary, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovenia

and Switzerland. But it has real value;

according to a study conducted in

Austria, an emergency corridor may

speed up the arrival of EMS/FRS to the

scene by up to four minutes and increase

the chances of crash survival by 40 per

cent.

With the current debate surrounding

the use of hard shoulders on motorways

as live running lanes, some people have

suggested that emergency corridors could

be a solution to one of the problems their

absence causes, ie, nowhere for

emergency vehicles to go. However, it is

a common misconception that a hard

shoulder exists in order to allow

emergency vehicles to pass. Although in

some countries hard shoulders may be

used by emergency vehicles, especially

when bypassing a congested road, in

normal usage, the hard shoulder is

designed to serve as an emergency

stopping lane that can be used by

motorists in case of a technical problem

Vehicles swing apart to create a lane between the

outside (fast) lane and the one immediately on its

inside. In this diagram, cars in lanes 1 and 2 also

edge to their right to create a safe space

30

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

A perfectly executed ‘emergency

corridor’ in Germany.

That country has made the

creation of such corridors

mandatory, with fines and point

penalties for transgressing

on their vehicle or in other emergency

situation. Even when a hard shoulder is

available, it is beneficial for all road users

to have drivers form an emergency

corridor instead of leaving the hard

shoulder as the only option for EMS/FRS

vehicles when they need to reach a

collision site. The width of the hard

shoulder might not always be sufficient

for a fire engine to pass. Since hard

shoulders may serve as an area where

drivers can pull out if their vehicle has

broken down, use of the same hard

shoulder by emergency vehicles may not

be the best idea as it may get blocked

easily.

In addition to that, in some European

regions the infrastructure may be

different from what drivers expect – and

it is possible that there may not be any

hard shoulder at all in some cases.

Therefore, it is important to have an

alternative way of giving the emergency/

rescue workers enough space for their

passage, and the emergency corridor

may be the solution, especially on narrow

roads.

Awareness raising

Before, during, and after the

introduction of a law obliging drivers to

form an emergency corridor, education

and awareness-raising campaigns with

leaflets and/or demonstrative video

campaigns are recommended. The public

should be made aware of what an

emergency corridor is, what purpose it

serves and how it should/should not be

used.

For spreading all the necessary

information about emergency corridors,

how to form them and on which side of

roads, information signs or billboards

alongside motorways could be used.

Once the level of consciousness among

the general population increases, some

drivers may give a lead to others thus

multiplying the number of those who act

correctly in congested traffic. Continuous

monitoring and evaluation of the share of

people who are aware of emergency

corridors is recommended. An evaluation

survey should be conducted among EMS/

FRS drivers and based on results this

measure can be further promoted and

campaigns designed accordingly.

Enforcement

Responsible and reasonable behaviour

upstream of road collision sites as well

as on congested roads is crucial and may

save lives. In the EU countries where

forming of emergency corridors is

required by law, disobedience in crisis

situations is enforced by police and

drivers may receive both fines and

penalty points on their driving licence;

penalties may vary significantly in

different EU Member States. Considering

people’s lives can be put at risk,

penalties in some EU countries are set at

a high level.

Similarly, deliberate obstruction as well

as misuse or abuse of the emergency

corridor is punishable. In some cases, it

may be tempting for drivers to follow an

ambulance passing to the incident in an

attempt to easily overtake a large number

of other vehicles in a traffic jam.

Nevertheless, the ambulance might not

be the only emergency vehicle trying to

reach the spot as more than one

ambulance may be working its way to

the incident, or a fire engine may follow,

requiring an even wider corridor to get

where it needs to intervene. Hence it is

strictly forbidden to use the emergency

corridor for private vehicles.

It is important that all drivers comply

with the law as this particular measure is

functional only if all drivers abide. Even

one single vehicle can block the whole

corridor, be it due to deliberate

obstruction by the driver, lack of

knowledge or panic behaviour in a crisis

situation. It is advised that drivers remain

calm and try to do their best to create a

corridor in a systematic and organised

way.

This seems to be at to be a very good

idea but as we can’t even educate people

to use the red X on a motorway, how

could we educate this?

More on responding to emergency

vehicles on page 32

CONTACT

To comment on this article, or provide

updates, contact Guy at g.annan@

alphadrivingtaunton.com

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021

31


Road Safety News

Emergency! Five simple tips to help an

ambulance on a blue light journey

Road safety campaign group and

breakdown organisation GEM has come

up with five simple tips to help drivers

handle blue light vehicles approaching

them – and they could be ideal to pass

on to your pupils during a lesson.

The tips relate to locations and

situations where confusion can occur,

such as traffic lights, roundabouts,

motorways without hard shoulders and

stretches of road with solid white lines

where overtaking is not allowed.

The tips come in 10 animations which

provide simple-to-follow advice,

approved by the emergency services, on

what to do and what not to do when

helping an emergency vehicle.

GEM chief executive Neil Worth said:

“Every driver wants to help and do the

right thing, but the approach of a blue

light vehicle can take them by surprise.

“We hope that our tips will minimise

confusion and reduce risk.”

At traffic lights

An ambulance won’t want you to go

through a red traffic light. So don’t break

the law or take any risks by moving past

the light. If you’re first in the queue at a

red light, stay where you are, and leave

the ambulance to find its way around

you.

Roundabouts and junctions

If you’re approaching a roundabout or

a junction and you see an ambulance,

look at its position, as this will let you

know where it wants you to go.

If you’re already at the junction, be

patient and wait for it to come past.

There may be more than one emergency

vehicle approaching the junction, so

check before moving off.

A scene from the GEM Blue LIght Aware

animation series

Solid white lines

On a road with a solid white line

system, an ambulance will probably

switch off its siren as it follows you. This

is because overtaking is not allowed. So

keep going – at the speed limit if it’s safe

– until you’re clear of the solid white

lines. When the siren goes on again,

that’s your cue to let the ambulance go

past.

Motorways and dual carriageways

On motorways and dual carriageways,

move to the left to allow an ambulance

to pass in the outside lane if it’s clear. In

slow and stationary traffic, emergency

vehicles often use the motorway hard

shoulder, so you should only go onto the

hard shoulder if you have an emergency

of your own. If there’s no hard shoulder,

make way for emergency vehicles by

creating an ‘emergency corridor’ (as

shown in the picture). When you’ve let

an emergency vehicle through, stay

where you are, as other vehicles are

likely to be coming through.

Smart motorways

On a smart motorway, one or more

lanes may be closed because of an

incident ahead – you’ll know because of

red X signs above the carriageway.

Emergency vehicles will use these lanes

if they can. Keep out of the red X lanes.

If no lanes appear to be closed, get ready

to help create the emergency corridor.

Watch the animations

You can see the animations at

https://www.bluelightaware.org.uk/

Driver fatigue highlighted as summer season starts

GEM has also launched a new road

safety campaign highlighting the

dangers of driving while tired, as

people in the UK gear up for their

summer holidays.

The campaign warns drivers to be

watchful for the symptoms of fatigue

and the risks of being behind the

wheel when tired.

This summer holiday season, with

staycations more popular than ever, is

likely to see more families heading off

to destinations many hours’ drive

away.

GEM chief executive Neil Worth

commented: “At its most basic, fatigue

reduces drivers’ ability to concentrate

and focus on what is going around

them. Safety and hazard information

that’s usually interpreted immediately

by a driver who is fully alert can take

the fatigued driver a lot longer to get

to grips with.”

He warns passengers to watch out

for “drivers drifting out of the lane,

changing speed more frequently or

fidgeting in their seat. If you spot any

or all of these symptoms, you must get

the driver to stop and rest.”

Researchers believe fatigue is

involved in 10-25 per cent of all

crashes and a fifth of all serious

collisions on motorways.

32

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

Smartphone-connected

security system added to

Ford’s anti-theft devices

Ford has added a new connected security

system to its car range, providing added

peace of mind to owners.

Despite many people across Europe

staying at home amid the pandemic,

vehicle crime remains a huge problem,

and is even on the increase in some

countries. Car alarms can help to deter

thieves. However, in cities where

vehicles may be parked on the street

overnight, owners may ignore the alarm,

not realising it is from their car, or fail to

hear it altogether.

But to counter this, Ford has made its

smartphone-connected heightened

security system, SecuriAlert (formerly

known as Guard Mode), available to car

owners for the first time.

Once activated, SecuriAlert sends a

notification to the vehicle owner’s

smartphone if it identifies any vehicle

activity, including attempts to open

doors or gain access with a key,

providing peace of mind to customers

when their cars are out of sight – or out

of earshot.

How SecuriAlert works

Owners activate SecuriAlert when they

are away from their vehicle. The feature

is quickly and easily switched on or off

– “armed” or “disarmed” – using the

FordPass smartphone app.

Once active, it makes use of the

vehicle’s existing sensors to identify if an

attempt is being made to enter the

vehicle. Using the onboard modem,

FordPass Connect, the car will

immediately send a push notification to

the owner’s smartphone if it detects any

activity involving their vehicle.

The FordPass app reveals the time

and reason for any SecuriAlert alarms

– via the smartphone – as well as the

vehicle’s last known location.

If an attempt is made to open a door

using a key – an action that would not

trigger a conventional vehicle alarm

– SecuriAlert will still send an alert. This

can be particularly useful in identifying

attempts to access to a car using a

cloned or stolen key.

When the owner returns to their

vehicle – to drive to work in the

morning, for example – they simply

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021

disarm SecuriAlert via the FordPass app

and continue on their journey.

First introduced for commercial

vehicles earlier this year, SecuriAlert is

one of a suite of connected features now

available to Ford customers.

In 2020, Ford made its connected

vehicle services complimentary to

customers across Europe, and recently

announced a cross-manufacturer

connected-vehicle partnership to warn

drivers of hazards on the road ahead.

Over 100,000 Ford vehicles in the UK

‘‘

If the vehicle’s onboard

sensors detect an attempt to

enter the car, it sends a push

message to your smartphone

alerting you to the threat

‘‘

already have access to the SecuriAlert

feature.

Richard Bunn, director of retail

connectivity solutions, Ford Mobility,

Ford of Europe, said the new security

system could be a game changer in the

fight against car theft. “Whether left on

the street overnight or in a car park on a

shopping trip, we know our customers

care about the security of their car and

its contents.

“SecuriAlert builds on Ford’s growing

connectivity ecosystem to empower

owners with the knowledge that if

something happens with their vehicle

when they aren’t driving it, they will be

the first to know.”

See https://youtu.be/oc4XV5P5SZ8

Lessons to teach

youths safer

driving habits

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue

Service is partnering with sustainable

mobility specialist Arval UK to deliver

lessons for secondary school students.

The Key Stage 4 lesson is aimed at

14-year-old Year 10 students and acts

as a prelude to the service’s flagship

‘Safe Drive Stay Alive’ show.

Named ‘Passenger Power’, the lesson

aims to empower young people to

challenge risks to their personal safety

as a passenger in a vehicle.

It includes animations and stories

based around the most common causes

of death and serious injury in road

traffic collisions – speed, mobile phones/

distractions, drink and drugs and

non-use of seatbelts – the ‘Fatal Four’.

Christine Sharma of Dorset and

Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said:

“Young people remain one of the most

vulnerable road user groups in the UK.

“Students have told us they feel

uncomfortable challenging dangerous

driving as a passenger. This lesson

explores brain development in

adolescents, the part that peer pressure

plays, and invites students to consider

assertive ways to help keep themselves

and their friends safe.

“Our hope is that schools across the

UK will be able to deliver this lesson.

Moving forward, this intervention will

become part of our wider suite of road

safety education across Dorset and

Wiltshire.”

A second lesson for Key Stage 3

students in Year 7 and 8 will be

launched later this academic year and

will focus on travelling independently

– ready for teachers to plan delivery to

students as they enter secondary school

this autumn.

Ailsa Firth, Arval UK HR director and

community executive sponsor, said:

“Developing an understanding of road

safety starts from an early age. We’re

proud to support Dorset and Wiltshire

Fire and Rescue Service to help keep

the next generation safe.”

“These lessons will establish core

principles which could help make them

safer drivers in the future too.”

Click here for

the TES lesson

33


Company profile

For they’re jolly good Fellows!

Tri-Coaching Partnership

founders Susan McCormack

and Graham Hooper

accredited as Fellows in

coaching by international body

These are exciting times for Tri-Coaching

Partnership, which has been established

as the number one authority for

coaching in driver development within

the driver training industry for over a

decade.

The BTEC Level 4 Professional Award

in Coaching for Driver Development is a

fundamental piece of CPD (Continuing

Professional Development) for any ADI

who wants to develop both themselves

and their business.

Founding directors Susan McCormack

& Graham Hooper have been investing in

their own Continual Professional

Development again and have now been

accredited as Fellows in coaching and

mentoring by ‘The International Authority

for Professional Coaches and Mentors’

(IAPC&M).

This was a stringent qualifying process

where they had to meet tough criteria,

including being able to evidence over

240 hours of specific coaching training

and over 2,500 hours of coaching

experience. CPD is fundamental to the

accreditation, with at least 30 hours

having to be accrued every year and

evidence of this presented to cover the

previous 10 years – plus a 1,500-word

essay describing their personal

contribution to coaching and mentoring.

The next stage was a capability

interview, where they were each

interviewed by the accreditation officer of

the IAPC&M for 90 minutes and

assessed against three main areas:

Underpinning Knowledge and

Understanding; Reflective Practice; and

Developing Capability.

The questions they faced were

challenging – here are some examples:

n Why is it important to practice CPD

and what should it cover?

n Describe, with examples, your

approach to CPD?

n What are your learning and

development objectives for the next 12

months?

n How do you evaluate your success?

n Describe a situation you have come

across which you would like to explore

with a supervisor, coach, or mentor.

What would you gain from this?

n What actions do you take to

promote coaching within the wider

community? This could include coaching,

writing, social media etc.

There were many more questions that

challenged them both and they had to

think on their feet, as they had no idea in

advance what questions they would face.

They then each had to deliver a

60-minute live coaching session and a

60-minute live mentoring session, where

they were assessed on their abilities in

the moment, with the following areas

being marked to establish their expertise:

n Establishing a coaching agreement

n Establishing trust and the relationship

with the client.

n Use of self in coaching

n Active listening

n Powerful questioning.

n Direct communication

n Creating awareness through feedback

and challenge

n Considering options

n Action planning

n Managing progress and accountability

n Assessing success strategies.

The pass mark requirement was a

minimum of 85 per cent in each area –

to score lower in any area would result in

‘‘

We are proud of this

accreditation... and hope it

represents our commitment

to keeping coaching at the

forefront of driver

development for ADIs

‘‘

a failure. They will need to go through a

similar process every three years to

maintain their status as Accredited

Fellow in Coaching and Mentoring.

This is what the IPAC&M says about

the Fellow accredited status:

“Fellow is the most prestigious level

and it’s a true mark of distinction and an

aspiration for all, and the designation of

fellowship is now more than ever a

demonstration of your impact on the

profession of coaching.

“To become a fellow, you are required

to have extensive experience and can

clearly demonstrate a sustained or

significant contribution to the profession

or wider industry, entry is granted based

on the outcome of an external

assessment undertaken after successful

completion of an extensive application

process covering key competence areas.”

Graham and Susan said: “We are

proud to have achieved this accreditation

and hope it represents our commitment

to keeping coaching at the forefront of

driver development for Approved Driving

Instructors.

It will give us the opportunity to

develop more courses for a wider

audience, who, themselves can be

accredited by the IAPC&M as coaches,

adding even more value to anyone

seeking to broaden their horizons.

“We will be offering everyone the

opportunity to become accredited with

the IAPC&M via our own certificated

course which will be launched in

September this year.

“We have a webinar that you are

invited to attend on July 15th at 7pm,

going out live on zoom - you can register

for the event via www.coachex.co.uk

“As an extra incentive, all MSA GB

members receive 20 per cent discount

on our full range of courses, which can

be found at

www.tri-coachingpartnership.com

“We are proud of our record of bringing

CPD opportunities to the ADI community

and are grateful that our experiences

within the industry have allowed us to

achieve this prestigious award of

Fellowship of the IAPC&M.”

If anyone requires information about

coaching/training and courses, please

get in touch on 0800 058 8009 or

email info@tri-coachingpartnership.

co.uk

34

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Aitchoo! Sounds

like we’re at max

hay fever level!

Do you have pupils who suffer badly from

hay fever – or do you suffer yourself?

This time of year can be the worst for

sufferers, and with a fifth of the UK’s

population believed to be upset by

pollen to some degree, it’s a widespread

menace.

Symptoms of the seasonal allergy can

include sneezing, itchy or watery eyes

and a runny nose – all of which are

potentially distracting for anyone behind

the wheel of a car as they compromise

our ability to concentrate and focus on

the driving task.

The problem for sufferers is that the

main over the counter medicines for

treating it can be dangerous for drivers,

because their sedative effect can leave a

sufferer feeling fatigued, dizzy or groggy.

GEM chief executive Neil Worth said

the arrival of hay fever can herald weeks

of misery for millions. “Every sneeze

brings a couple of seconds where you

won’t be able to concentrate on your

driving, while inflamed or itchy eyes

reduce the quality of your vision,” he

said. “Sufferers will often find they are

distracted by their symptoms.

“Some antihistamines can have a

sedative effect. This means they can

make you feel tired, lethargic and

unable to concentrate, putting you at far

higher risk if you attempt to drive.

“That’s why it’s so important to heed

any warnings on treatments you use

– whether over the counter or prescribed

by your doctor. If the drug can make you

drowsy, then you must not drive.”

GEM has created a six-point

‘POLLEN’ safety checklist for any driver

likely to need a hay fever medicine:

• Prescription: if your medicine may

cause drowsiness, don’t drive.

• Over the counter: it’s not just

prescription medicines that can cause

drowsiness.

• Label: check for drowsiness

warnings on any medicines you’re taking

• Look for alternatives: if you need to

drive and a medicine is making you

drowsy, ask about other options

• Enquire: check with your doctor or

pharmacist if a medicine could affect

your ability to drive.

• New drug: be particularly careful if

you are using a medicine for the first

time.

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021

Lockdowns have left quarter

of drivers feeling nervous

Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of drivers

say they now feel more nervous about

driving than they did before the

Covid-19 pandemic started, research by

Spanish car manufacturer SEAT has

found.

If that figure was representative across

the country it would mean that almost

10 million drivers are feeling

apprehensive while driving, now that the

lifting of many Covid-19 restrictions

allows travel anywhere within the UK.

Almost half of the drivers surveyed

(44 per cent) who said they now feel

more nervous pointed to a lack of

driving practice over the last year, while

42 per cent stated the return of highvolume

traffic following a year of

lockdowns was also to blame.

More than a quarter (26 per cent) feel

less assured about their own parking

skills.

With the global pandemic causing the

UK to go into multiple lockdowns since

March 2020, drivers have found

themselves covering significantly fewer

miles behind the wheel. Of those

surveyed, 40 per cent estimated they

had covered fewer than 2,500 miles

since the first lockdown started,

compared to just 11 per cent in the year

before Covid-19.

Drivers in London have been the most

impacted by the lockdowns, with 44 per

cent claiming they are now more

nervous about driving. Driving in big

cities was ranked the second biggest

cause for motorists feeling apprehensive

about driving again, with driving at night

taking the top spot.

Young drivers aged 18-24 were the

most impacted age group, with a third

stating they now feel less confident. In

particular, 38 per cent feel less confident

about parking compared to an average

of 26 per cent for all age groups.

John French, head of product at SEAT

UK, commented: “For much of the past

14 months, millions of motorists across

the UK have been confined to their local

area, driving on roads they’re acquainted

with.

“Now, following the lifting of most

social distancing restrictions, drivers are

once again navigating unfamiliar places

and faced with high volumes of traffic,

tight parking spaces and certain road

types they’ve perhaps become

unaccustomed to.

“SEAT offers a huge number of

technologies which help to alleviate

these concerns, encompassing parking,

as well as city and motorway driving.”

These include Park Assist, Adaptive

Predictive Cruise Control, Dynamic Road

Sign Display and SEAT’s Front Assist.

This latter system alerts the driver if

they get too close to the vehicle in front

and automatically applies the brakes in

an emergency to prevent a collision.

Cars also feature Lane Keeping System,

which helps keep the car in lane.

35


Q & A with... Jennifer Owen

A little more conversation with

the DVSA would help us all

Scottish ADI Jennifer Owen

might need the Highway

Code re-writing... to include

an entire chapter on cows...

When did you become an ADI, and

what made you enter the profession?

I qualified in 2009 having trained full

time while still working. I was looking for

a new career and always fancied an

office with a view…so here I am!

What’s the best bit about the job?

That every hour brings new challenges.

The elation of pupils when they pass

always makes me smile.

...And the worst?

The worst part of my job would

probably be the lack of patience and

understanding of other road users shown

to learners.

The number of drivers out there who

woke up one morning with a licence is

baffling!!

What’s the best piece of training advice

you were ever given?

Always smile and remember, someone,

somewhere is always having a worse day

than you are.

What one piece of kit, other than your

car and phone, could you not do without?

My diary; I would be lost without it!

Jen Owen with her tuition car

What needs fixing most urgently in

driving generally?

The attitude of drivers in general.

Everyone is always in a hurry,

undertaking/overtaking, doing whatever it

takes to get wherever they are going five

minutes early.

Patience really is a virtue!

Teaching? I’d rather be driving...

Jen at her favourite spot, the golf course

What should the DVSA focus on?

For me it has to be the Standards

Check procedures. There aren’t many

jobs where members have to sit exams

every couple of years to ensure they are

doing their job properly. Surely examiners

can verify the quality of instructors’

teaching based off the pupils taken to

test?

What’s the next big thing that’s going to

transform driver training/testing?

I would imagine the introduction of

electric cars and also the increase of

automatic cars on the road. In time

manual cars will become a thing of the

past.

Electric cars – yes or no? And why?

As above, it’s clear that electric cars

are the future, whether we like it or not.

There are many pros and cons, for

example they are certainly better for the

planet, however, the charging of them for

ADIs could prove tricky!

36

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

‘‘

Government urged to

‘rethink’ e-scooter rules

More attention has to be

given to the overall drive of

the pupil on test... we need

more communication between

examiners and ADIs about the

ability of the pupil

‘‘

How can we improve driver testing/

training in one move?

I feel that perhaps more attention has

to be given to the overall drive of a pupil

on a test. I think it is currently rather

harsh; you can have a pupil with no

minors or just a very few, return to the

test centre with one major fault and

therefore a fail, yet you can have a pupil

return with up to 15 minors and still

pass!

I think there has to be more

communication between examiners and

instructors regarding the ability of pupil

presented for test.

What keeps you awake at night?

Usually my partner Jim snoring!

No one is the finished article. What do

you do to keep on top of the game?

I take the attitude that I must always

strive to be better and always give. Every

day is a learning day.

What’s the daftest /most dangerous

thing that’s ever happened to you while

teaching?

Daftest moment would have to be a

pupil who came out for his lesson on

Halloween dressed in a HotDog outfit!

Most dangerous would be when I was on

a lesson and we were met by two

rampaging cows on a country road.

It gets worse: somewhat ironically, my

biggest fear in life are cows! It wasn’t a

good day at the office!

When are you at your happiest?

I’m at my happiest probably on the

golf course with my partner Jim

somewhere in Argyll.

#Carradale/Machrihanish

What film, music or show gives you

most pleasure?

I am a great lover of Scottish music.

Bands such as Tide Lines, Skippinish

and Skerryvore always make me smile.

Following the extension of its rental

e-scooter trials, the Government has

been urged to introduce ‘more robust

rule enforcement and safety

measures’.

The trials, which got underway in

July 2020, are designed to help the

Government assess the benefits of

e-scooters – in particular their impact

on public space, motor traffic, the

environment and safety.

To date, approximately 50 towns

and cities across the UK have

launched e-scooter rental schemes,

which were initially due to end in

August this year.

However, the decision was recently

made to extend them until spring

2022.

The National Accident Helpline says

without putting adequate safety and

rule enforcement measures in place,

the trials ‘put the public at risk’.

It is calling for the speed limit of the

devices to be reduced from 15.5mph

to 12.5mph and for other measures

such as the legal requirement of

helmets.

The National Accident Helpline is

also raising the issue of the illegal use

of privately-owned e-scooters.

It points to statistics from cycling

retailer Halfords, which show sales of

privately-owned e-scooters have risen

by 184 per cent.

Jonathan White, legal and

compliance director of National

Accident Helpline, said: “E-scooters

are seen as an attractive option in

helping the nation to embrace more

environmentally friendly transport

options.

“However, introducing these

schemes without putting adequate

safety and rule enforcement measures

in place puts the public at risk.

“With e-scooter trials being

extended and private sales growing,

we would ask that the Government

rethinks its recommendation and

ensures there is a legal requirement in

place to wear appropriate safety

protection, such as cycle helmets,

when operating e-scooters.

“We believe the speed limit should

also be reduced to 12.5mph, as is the

case in Germany.

“Other new safety initiatives in the

trial areas could include specific

e-scooter routes or roads, usage

curfews, and even artificial noise

devices that issue audible alerts to

pedestrians.”

‘‘

The Government needs to

rethink its strategy and include

a legal requirement to wear

appropriate safety protection,

such as cycle helmets

‘‘

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021

37


Membership

Members’ discounts and benefits

MSA GB has organised a number of exclusive discounts and offers for members. More details can be found on our website at

www.msagb.com and click on the Member Discounts logo. To access these benefits, simply log in and click on the Member

discount logo, then click the link at the bottom of the page to allow you to obtain your special discounts.

Please note, non-members will be required to join the association first. Terms and conditions apply

Ford launches special offer

for MSA GB members

Some exciting news for members: Ford has partnered with

MSA GB to offer exclusive discounts on all car and

commercial Ford vehicles.

Take a look at the Ford website www.ford.co.uk for vehicle

and specification information.

For further information, to view frequently asked questions,

to request a quote and to access the member discount

codes, please go to the Members’ Benefits page on the MSA

GB website and follow the Ford link.

Please note these discounts are only available to MSA GB

members and their immediate family if they are members

who pay annually.

ACCOUNTANCY

MSA GB’s Recommended

Accountancy Service, FBTC

offers a specialist service for

driving instructors. It has been

established over 20 years ago and

covers the whole of the UK. The team takes

pride in providing unlimited advice and

support to ensure the completion of your tax

return is hassle free, giving you peace of mind.

MSA GB OFFER:: FBTC will prepare you for

Making Tax Digital and will be providing

HMRC compliant software to all clients very

soon. Join now to receive three months free.

ADVANCE DRIVING

AND RIDING

IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s

largest road safety charity, is

proud to partner with the

Motor Schools Association GB in

order to work together to make our roads

safer through driver skills and knowledge

development.

MSA GB OFFER:: Enjoy a 20% saving on our

Advanced Driver Course for members.

BOOKKEEPING

Easy-to-use bookkeeping & tax spreadsheets

designed specifically for driving instructors. It

will reduce the time you need to spend on

record-keeping. Simply enter details of your fee

income and expenses throughout the year and

your trading profit, tax & national insurance

liability are automatically calculated.

MSA GB OFFER:: We’re proud to offer all MSA

GB members 25% discount.

CAR AIR FRESHENERS / CANDLES

Mandles’ handmade scented collections use

quality ingredients to ensure

superior scent throw from all

its candles and diffusers.

Check our our website for

further details.

MSA GB OFFER:: Special discount

of 20% on all car air fresheners and refills.

CARD PAYMENTS

MSA GB and SumUp believe in

supporting motor vehicle

trainers of all shapes and sizes.

Together we are on a mission to

ease the operational workload of our members

by providing them with the ability to take card

payments on-the-go or in their respective

training centres. SumUp readers are durable

and user-friendly. Their paperless onboarding is

quick and efficient. Moreover, their offer comes

with no monthly subscription, no contractual

agreement, no support fees, no hidden fees

– just the one-off cost for the reader coupled

with lowest on the market transaction fee.

MSA GB OFFER:: We are offering MSA GB

members discounted 3G reader.

CPD & TRAINING

COURSES

As part of its new relationship

with MSA GB, Tri-Coaching is

delighted to offer a massive

20% discount across the board on all our

training products and courses, exclusively to

MSA GB Members.

MSA GB OFFER: 20% off all Tri-Coaching

courses.

DISABILITY AIDS

Driving shouldn’t just be a

privilege for people without

disabilities; it should be

accessible for all and there’s

never been an easier time to make

this the case! MSA GB members can take

advantage of BAS’s Driving Instructor

Packages which include a range of adaptations

at a discounted price, suitable for teaching

disabled learner drivers.

MSA GB OFFER: Special Driving Instructor

Packages for MSA members.

HEALTH / FINANCE COVER

The Motor Schools Association of Great Britain

has agreed with HMCA to offer discounted

rates for medical plans, dental plan, hospital

cash plans, personal accident

plan, travel plan, income

protection and vehicle

breakdown products.

MSA GB OFFER: HMCA only

offer medical plans to

membership groups and can offer up to a

40% discount off the underwriter’s standard

rates. This is a comprehensive plan which

provides generous cash benefits for surgery

and other charges.

To get the full story of

the discounts available,

see www.msagb.com

38 NEWSLINK n JULY 2021


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

Membership offer

Welcome new ADIs

We’ve a special introductory offer for you!

PUPIL INSURANCE

Help your pupils private practice

by signing them up to

Collingwood’s instructor

affiliate programme.

MSA GB OFFER:: £50 for your

first referral and a chance to

win £100 of High Street vouchers!

PSYCHOLOGY TRAINING

Confident Drivers has the only

website created especially for

drivers offering eight different

psychological techniques

commonly used to reduce

stress and nerves.

MSA GB OFFER: One month free on a

monthly subscription plan using coupon code.

PUPIL SOURCING

Go Roadie provides students

when they need them, with

all the details you need

before you accept. Control

your own pricing, discounts

and set your availability to suit

you. Full diary? No cost!

MSA GB OFFER: Introductory offer of 50%

off the first three students they accept.

TYRES

VRedestein’s impressive range

of tyres includes the awardwinning

Quatrac 5 and the

new Quatrac Pro – offering

year-round safety and

performance.

MSA GB OFFER: 10% discount on

purchases across our tyre ranges.

Congratulations on passing your

Part 3 and becoming an ADI.

There’s an exciting career

open to you from today.

It’s one that is alive with

possibilities as you build

your skills, your client

base and your income.

But for all the excitement,

it can also be a

challenging profession. Who

can you turn to if you’re

struggling to get over key driver

training issues to a pupil? Where can you

go to soak up advice from more

experienced ADIs? Who will help you if

you are caught up in a dispute with the

DVSA? If the worst happens, who can

you turn to for help, advice and to fight

your corner?

The answer is the Motor Schools

Association of Great Britain – MSA GB

for short.

We are the most senior association

representing driving instructors in Great

Britain. Establised in 1935 when the

first driving test was introduced, MSA GB

has been working tirelessly ever since on

behalf of ordinary rank and file ADIs.

We represent your interests and your

views in the corridors of power, holding

regular meetings with senior officials

from the DVSA and the Department for

Transport to make sure the ADIs’ voice is

heard.

We’d like you to join us

We’re there to support you every

step of the way. Our officebased

staff are there, five

days a week, from 9am-

5.30pm, ready to answer

your call and help you in

any way.

In addition our network of

experienced office holders

and regional officers can offer

advice over the phone or by email.

But membership of the MSA GB doesn’t

just mean we’re there for you if you’re in

trouble. We also offer a nationwide

network of regular meetings, seminars

and training events, an Annual

Conference, and a chance to participate

in MSA GB affairs through our

democratic structure

In addition, you’ll get a free link to our

membership magazine Newslink every

month, with all the latest news, views,

comment and advice you’ll need to

become a successful driving instructor.

You’ll also automatically receive

professional indemnity insurance worth

up to £5m and £10m public liability

insurance free of charge.

This is essential legal protection covering

you against legal claims ariving from your

tuition.

So join us today: No joining fee,

saving you £15, plus two free gifts

and 13 months membership for

the price of 12 – all for just £70!

SPECIAL OFFER

Join MSA GB today!

and get 13 months membership

for the price of 12 – plus

no joining fee, saving £15

To get the full story of

the discounts available,

see www.msagb.com

Call 0800 0265986 quoting discount code

Newslink, or join online at www.msagb.com

Just

£70

for 13 months membership PLUS TWO FREE GIFTS: An

MSA GB canvas A4 case and a RFID credit card wallet

NEWSLINK n JULY 2021 39

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