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Motor Schools Association members magazine; driver training and testing; road safety

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msagb.com<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong><br />

The Voice of MSA GB<br />

Issue 371 • <strong>December</strong> 2023<br />

The burning issue<br />

Why do cars catch fire... and<br />

how can they be prevented?<br />

NASP vows to keep<br />

up pressure on TIP<br />

and waiting times<br />

We work for all Driver Trainers. Want to join? SAVE £25 – see pg 39 for special offer


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

We need a focus on safe driving,<br />

not on the race to book a test<br />

Welcome to your<br />

digital, interactive<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong><br />

Colin Lilly<br />

Editor,<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong><br />

As we approach the end of 2023, I suspect<br />

that most driver trainers’ main wish for 2024<br />

is a reduction in driving test waiting times.<br />

I first became an ADI in 1978 and at that<br />

time the waiting list was six to nine months,<br />

with some London centres over a year. The<br />

number of people applying for a test had<br />

increased since 1977 and there were not<br />

enough examiners coming from the Driving<br />

Examiners’ Training Centre at Cardington.<br />

The delays meant that pupils would apply<br />

for a driving test on their first lesson, and as<br />

the average number of hours needed to pass<br />

a test at that time was 20-25, it fitted nicely<br />

with the list. However, at that time it was<br />

possible to book more than one test per pupil,<br />

so another test was booked for a month later<br />

as this was the wait required after failing.<br />

This was an insurance to avoid pupils who<br />

failed getting caught up in the waiting list<br />

backlog and having to wait another six<br />

months for another. Applications were made<br />

by post and any change of date required a<br />

phone call – or ten!<br />

Of course, double applications only made<br />

the list longer, but needs must.<br />

Within a couple of years industrial action at<br />

DVLA meant that very few licences were<br />

being processed. Up to this time provisional<br />

licences were renewable every two years and<br />

some pupils had to delay their test because<br />

their licence had lapsed.<br />

Early computerisation of the system<br />

meant that drivers could not have two tests<br />

booked in the same category. This ended the<br />

‘double booking’ ploy but ironically, also<br />

massively reduced the driving test waiting, to<br />

six to eight weeks. That was much easier for<br />

the trainers to plan test dates.<br />

At present we have long test waiting times<br />

at the majority of centres. If tests could be<br />

booked beyond 24 weeks, then many would<br />

be longer.<br />

We know that the embryo of the waiting<br />

list was the Covid lockdowns but its<br />

continuation for over three years is<br />

concerning.<br />

I feel we should have some sympathy for<br />

the DVSA as it is a victim of the modern<br />

world. By bringing warrant holders back to<br />

every day testing it is not ‘business as usual’.<br />

Perhaps the provision of assumed easy<br />

access via the internet has backfired. This<br />

has allowed technology through apps and<br />

BOTs to acquire access easier than any<br />

individual ADI or learner can.<br />

The real downside of the current situation<br />

has diverted the goal of new drivers from<br />

learning to drive safely to a competition to<br />

book a test. Pupils so desperate to book tests<br />

as soon as possible has led to unprepared<br />

test candidates and wasted tests, late<br />

cancellations and failures to attend.<br />

This is a long way from the profession I<br />

entered 45 years ago. We need to drag it back<br />

to a focus of safe driving.<br />

See a pale blue box in any article or<br />

on an advert? It it contains a web<br />

address or email, it’s interactive. Just<br />

click and it will take you to the<br />

appropriate web page or email so you<br />

can find more details easier.<br />

You’ll also find these panels across<br />

the magazine: just click for more<br />

information on any given subject.<br />

To get the<br />

full story,<br />

click here<br />

How to access this<br />

magazine<br />

You can read <strong>Newslink</strong> in three ways:<br />

Go online and read the interactive<br />

magazine on the Yumpu website; or,<br />

if you would like to read it when you<br />

don’t have a mobile signal or WiFi,<br />

you can download the magazine to<br />

your tablet, PC or phone to read at<br />

your leisure. Alternatively, a pdf can<br />

be found on the MSA GB website, at<br />

www.msagb.com<br />

Follow the link<br />

MSA GB sends<br />

you to access<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong>,<br />

and then just<br />

click Download<br />

(circled above)<br />

to save a copy<br />

on your device<br />

MSA GB Office Christmas opening hours<br />

All members should note that the MSA GB head office will close for the<br />

Christmas break on Wednesday, 20th <strong>December</strong> at 12noon, re-opening<br />

on Tuesday, 2nd January, at 9am.<br />

We would like to wish all our staff, members, their families and all in<br />

the ADI community a restful and peaceful Christmas, and wishing<br />

you all a Happy New Year.<br />

COVER STORY<br />

Why do cars<br />

catch fire – and<br />

will the presence<br />

of more EVs on<br />

the roads make<br />

the probem<br />

better, or worse?<br />

See page 20<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023 03


Contents<br />

10<br />

18<br />

14<br />

17<br />

13<br />

ORDIT applications paused as<br />

DVSA focuses on L-tests<br />

No risk to trainers’ registrations, even<br />

if they are about to expire, the DVSA<br />

confirms – pg 6<br />

Union wants tighter minibus rules<br />

The NASUWT teaching union is calling for<br />

exemptions that allow schools to run<br />

minibuses without a full operator’s licence to<br />

be scrapped – pg 10<br />

08<br />

More fun and games on the<br />

Clevedon beach front<br />

After the wiggly lines we’re back to how<br />

we were in Clevedon - just £1.6m poorer<br />

– pg 12<br />

We’ll keep pushing...<br />

NASP representatives offer ADIs a<br />

round-up on what’s new and a Q&A<br />

session, vowing to keep up pressure on the<br />

DVSA over waiting times – pg 14<br />

Getting to grips with your<br />

TIP data is half the battle<br />

Steve Garrod offers some pointers on<br />

what to look for, as TIP is a blizzard of<br />

information – pg 18<br />

Conference round-up<br />

Reports from the area conferences and<br />

AGMs as MSA GB maintains its democratic<br />

roots and puts its members in charge<br />

– from pg 30<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong><br />

The Voice of MSA GB<br />

The Motor Schools Association<br />

of Great Britain Ltd<br />

Head Office:<br />

Peershaws,<br />

Berewyk Hall Court,<br />

White Colne, Colchester,<br />

Essex CO6 2QB<br />

T: 01787 221020<br />

E: info@msagb.com<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong> is published monthly on behalf of the MSA GB<br />

and distributed to members and selected recently<br />

qualified ADIs throughout Great Britain by:<br />

Chamber Media Services,<br />

4 Hilton Road, Bramhall, Stockport,<br />

Cheshire SK7 3AG<br />

Editorial/Production: Rob Beswick<br />

e: rob@chambermediaservices.co.uk<br />

t: 0161 426 7957<br />

Advertising sales: Colin Regan<br />

e: colinregan001@yahoo.co.uk<br />

t: 01942 537959 / 07871 444922<br />

Views expressed in <strong>Newslink</strong> are not necessarily those<br />

of the MSA GB or the publishers.<br />

Although every effort is made<br />

to ensure the accuracy of<br />

material contained within<br />

this publication, neither MSA<br />

GB nor the publishers can<br />

accept any responsibility for<br />

the veracity of claims made<br />

by contributors in either<br />

advertising or editorial content.<br />

©2023 The Motor Schools<br />

Association of Great Britain<br />

Ltd. Reproducing in whole<br />

or part is forbidden without<br />

express permission of the<br />

editor.<br />

04 NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

MSA GB Board<br />

of Management<br />

National Chairman &<br />

Area 2 - East Coast Chair<br />

Mike Yeomans<br />

7 Oak Avenue, Elloughton,<br />

Brough HU15 1LA<br />

T: 07772 757529<br />

E: mike.yeomans@msagb.com<br />

AREA 1<br />

Vice Chairman<br />

Peter Harvey MBE<br />

T: 01505 814823<br />

E: peter.harveymbe@msagb.com<br />

Area 1 – Scotland &<br />

Northern Ireland<br />

Chair: Steven Porter<br />

18 Heron Place, Johnstone<br />

PA5 0RW<br />

T: 01505 345372 or<br />

07747 600672<br />

E: steven.porter@msagb.com<br />

Area 3 – London & South East<br />

Chair: Tom Kwok<br />

52B Sutton Road, Muswell Hill,<br />

London N10 1HE<br />

07956 269922<br />

E: tom.kwok@msagb.com<br />

How MSA GB<br />

is organised, in<br />

four AREAS<br />

AREA 4<br />

AREA 2<br />

AREA 3<br />

Area 4 – West Coast & Wales<br />

Chair: Arthur Mynott<br />

9 Hagleys Green, Crowcombe,<br />

Taunton TA4 4AH<br />

T: 01984 618858<br />

E: arthur.mynott@msagb.com<br />

Keep in touch<br />

If you have updated your address, telephone numbers or<br />

changed your email address recently, please let us know<br />

at head office by emailing us with your new details and<br />

membership number to info@msagb.com.<br />

If you can’t find your membership number, give us a ring<br />

on 01787 221020.<br />

Follow MSA GB on social media<br />

Just click on the icon to go<br />

through to the relevant site<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023 05


News<br />

MSA GB Annual Conference 2024:<br />

Prices and venue announced<br />

Time to get the weekend<br />

cleared....<br />

Venue and pricing<br />

details released.<br />

See pg 24 for more<br />

details and first news<br />

DVSA closes applications for<br />

ORDIT trainer and renewals<br />

If you are looking to renew your driving<br />

instructor trainer (ORDIT) registration, note<br />

that the DVSA is not accepting any more<br />

applications until April 2024.<br />

This may have caused concern to some<br />

trainers whose registration lapses before<br />

then, as usually you have to do this every four<br />

years, before your ORDIT registration runs<br />

out.<br />

However, the DVSA has confirmed that no<br />

trainers will be removed from the register.<br />

If you want to renew your registration<br />

before 31 March 2024, you can wait until then<br />

to book your re-assessment.<br />

Update for Know Your Traffic Signs<br />

Know Your Traffic Signs has been updated,<br />

making it an even better info resource that<br />

every ADI should have in their glovebox.<br />

The latest edition has guidance on clean air<br />

zones and ultra low emission zone and low<br />

emission zones in London; tunnel restriction<br />

codes; parking places for electric taxis; bus<br />

gates; share space and parallel crossings.<br />

It also has updated guidance and signs for<br />

road charging, rising bollards, pedestrian and<br />

cycle zones, road works; and bridge height<br />

warning signs, as well as guidance specific for<br />

Scotland and for Wales.<br />

As well as accessing the<br />

PDF free of charge on GOV.<br />

UK, you can also buy the<br />

Know Your Traffic Signs<br />

book from the Safe Driving<br />

for Life shop.<br />

Use code FO35 to get<br />

35% off until 31 <strong>December</strong><br />

2023, meaning the book<br />

costs £3.24 plus shipping.<br />

At all other times, you can use code ADI1 to<br />

get 25% off anything you buy from the Safe<br />

Driving for Life shop.<br />

Blackpool DTC to<br />

extend stay at the<br />

Castle until January<br />

The DVSA has announced that Norbreck<br />

Castle Hotel will remain its base in<br />

Blackpool for all testing until the end of<br />

January 2024.<br />

The lease at the former DTC in the town<br />

expired on May 26, and the switch to the<br />

hotel was meant to be for a short duration<br />

while a new permanent home was found.<br />

However, the DVSA has confirmed that<br />

the relocation will continue for a little<br />

longer, with all tests based there until<br />

Friday, 26 January 2024.<br />

As a reminder, the address for the<br />

temporary centre is: Lancastria Suite, Rear<br />

of Norbreck Castle Hotel, Queen’s<br />

Promenade, Norbreck, Blackpool FY2 9AA.<br />

As before, examiners will meet<br />

candidates at their cars at the time of the<br />

test. The car park must not be used for<br />

candidates to practise parking exercises.<br />

ETSC targets improved<br />

motorbike safety<br />

The European Transport Safety Council is<br />

hosting a half-day event focused on<br />

improving motorbike safety across<br />

Europe.<br />

To be held on 13th <strong>December</strong>, from<br />

10am 12.30pm, the event includes<br />

presentations on reducing road deaths<br />

among PTW users, the future of<br />

motorcycle safety, ABS on bikes, training<br />

standards for new riders and gaps in<br />

motorbike safety from a rider’s<br />

perspective.<br />

The event is free and can be accessed<br />

by clicking HERE.<br />

BBC’s One Show pays tribute to Lou<br />

Hampshire-based ADI and charity fundraiser<br />

Lou Walsh was honoured in a special tribute<br />

on the BBC’s The One Show on 3rd<br />

November.<br />

Lou – who tragically died on 25th August,<br />

after suffering from a brain haemorrhage, at<br />

the age of just 50 – had helped raise<br />

hundreds of thousands of pounds for the<br />

BBC’s Children in Need charity appeal, by<br />

organising nine Big Learner Relays over the<br />

years.<br />

This year would have been her tenth, but it<br />

was cancelled in the wake of her untimely<br />

death.<br />

One Show presenter Alex Jones paid a<br />

short tribute to Lou during a slot promoting<br />

this year’s appeal, acknowledging all her hard<br />

work over the years and passing on the<br />

BBC’s own condolences to her family.<br />

It was a moving tribute, and proved once<br />

again how Lou’s legacy was felt far beyond<br />

the ADI community.<br />

06 NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

Brave mum joins police campaign to reduce<br />

road casualties among young riders<br />

A bereaved mum has team up with Cheshire<br />

Police to launch an emotive new campaign<br />

with the aim of reducing the number of young<br />

people killed or seriously injured on the roads,<br />

particularly in motorcycle collisions.<br />

Harry Abbey was riding to work on his<br />

motorbike in July 2021 when he was involved<br />

in a serious collision. He died at the scene; he<br />

was just 19.<br />

Now, Harry’s mother Bev and his three<br />

siblings have bravely opened up on the<br />

impact losing Harry has had on them, with<br />

the hope that it stops any other family from<br />

having to go through the same pain and<br />

heartbreak.<br />

The video has been released on Cheshire<br />

Police’s social channels and will be used in<br />

schools and colleges across the county. The<br />

full version is available on the Cheshire Police<br />

website.<br />

Bev Abbey, Harry’s mother, said: “Losing<br />

Harry has been one of the most traumatic<br />

experiences of mine and my family’s life. That<br />

pain, it doesn’t go away, it will be there all the<br />

time – you just make more room for it and<br />

learn to live alongside it.<br />

“I want young people to know that they<br />

have a responsibility for not only their own<br />

lives, but a responsibility to come home –<br />

back to the people that love them.”<br />

Bev has also given Harry’s bike to the<br />

constabulary to be used by the roads<br />

education team.<br />

PC Darren Daniels, road safety education<br />

officer for Cheshire Constabulary, said: “I<br />

attend schools and colleges across the<br />

county all the time, educating and<br />

encouraging young people on how to stay<br />

safe while driving their cars or riding their<br />

bikes – yet serious and fatal collisions still<br />

happen.<br />

“We want young people to understand that<br />

they are not invincible, and their life matters.<br />

“It matters to those who are left behind<br />

dealing with the consequences and I hope<br />

that by Bev bravely sharing Harry’s story –<br />

and using his bike as an educational tool – we<br />

can make a real difference and help to reduce<br />

the number of young people who are<br />

needlessly killed on the county’s roads.”<br />

You can see the<br />

video by clicking<br />

on this panel<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023 07


News<br />

Grants boost for road<br />

safety projects<br />

The Road Safety Trust has announced the<br />

second set of projects which have<br />

received funding through its 2023 Small<br />

Grants Programme.<br />

The Small Grants Programme funds<br />

local projects with a practical focus that<br />

‘show a proposed link to reducing<br />

casualties’.<br />

In total, six projects have been awarded<br />

funding through the 2023 funding round,<br />

which ran earlier this year.<br />

The recipients include:<br />

n University of the West of England<br />

(UWE Bristol)’s small scale trial to test the<br />

effectiveness of implementing centre line<br />

removal (CLR) on roads with 20 and<br />

30mph limits when it comes to reducing<br />

speeds.<br />

It will take place in small town and semirural<br />

settlement areas within East Lothian<br />

Council’s local highway network. The trial<br />

seeks to understand the potential for CLR<br />

as a low cost intervention in support of<br />

the growing introduction of 20mph speed<br />

limits across the UK.<br />

n National Young Rider Forum is to run<br />

a project to improve the hazard perception<br />

skills of motorcyclists, in order to help<br />

them avoid collisions.<br />

Traditional car-perspective hazard<br />

tests do not appeal to motorcyclists, as<br />

they do not reflect the typical hazards<br />

that riders face on the roads.<br />

Therefore, this project will create a<br />

hazard test that is filmed from the<br />

perspective of a rider on a bike, providing<br />

more relevant hazards.<br />

The resultant test will be shown to<br />

riders of varying experience and crash<br />

history. Example clips will be used by the<br />

National Young Rider Forum on their<br />

website to engage young riders with<br />

hazard perception, and will also be put out<br />

through social media.<br />

n Nottingham Trent University is<br />

looking to create a cost-effective and<br />

innovative tool for on-road tractor<br />

assessments and training, to improve<br />

driver skills, and ultimately reduce<br />

collisions. A 360-degree hazard test using<br />

footage recorded from tractors on real<br />

roads will be compiled in collaboration<br />

with The Farm Safety Foundation (FSF).<br />

‘Do it for Dave’ is the cry as Fire &<br />

Rescue teams back Biker Down<br />

Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Service has<br />

launched a new campaign to increase uptake<br />

on the Biker Down training course.<br />

Biker Down, which is run by 20 Fire and<br />

Rescue Emergency Services across the UK,<br />

is for bikers of all ages and experience, and<br />

teaches practical skills on what to do in the<br />

event of a crash, including essential first aid,<br />

how to protect the scene of a crash to ensure<br />

safety is maintained, plus tips on conspicuity<br />

and how to avoid the dreaded SMIDSY<br />

syndrome (Sorry mate, I didn’t see you).<br />

The course covers:<br />

n Crash scene management – advice from<br />

emergency service personnel on how to<br />

protect a casualty and other road users who<br />

may have stopped to assist.<br />

n Casualty care – a motorcycle-specific<br />

input, looking at basic lifesaving skills such as<br />

CPR, airway management and helmet<br />

removal (when & how).<br />

n The science of being seen – a session<br />

looking at conspicuity issues and the classic<br />

SMIDSY situations.<br />

What did participants say? “I thought the<br />

course was excellent and I very much<br />

appreciated it. I even had a chance to put a<br />

little part of it into practice yesterday when<br />

one of my ride-out team broke down and I<br />

managed to get the guys who had stopped<br />

with him to move their bikes which were not<br />

in the best place – just round a corner. A<br />

small thing that I might not have thought of<br />

without your insight.”<br />

The Leicestershire campaign - dubbed ‘Do<br />

it for Dave’ – tells the true story of Dave, a<br />

real biker who suffered a sudden cardiac<br />

arrest while riding his bike.<br />

He survived thanks to the assistance of<br />

Peter, Tim, Paul and Susie – all of whom had<br />

been on a Biker Down course.<br />

The Leicestershire campaign was launched<br />

at the Motorcycle Live show in November,<br />

and featured an interview with Dave, who<br />

said: “Without their help the doctors have<br />

told me I wouldn’t be here, pure and simple.”<br />

You can find out more here:<br />

https://tinyurl.com/3htnwexa<br />

And to find out more about the course see:<br />

https://www.roadwise.co.uk/bikerdown/<br />

Theory test pass rate dips below practical<br />

The BBC has reported that a learner driver<br />

failed their theory test 59 times before<br />

passing recently – at a total cost of £1,380.<br />

The learner, who has not been identified,<br />

did most of their tests at the Redditch theory<br />

centre.<br />

Others who struggled with the test include<br />

a learner in Hull who failed 57 tests, and one in<br />

Guildford who fell short 55 times.<br />

However, such struggles are not new: the<br />

Representatives<br />

from<br />

Leicestershire<br />

Fire & Rescue<br />

Service launch<br />

the ‘Do it for<br />

Dave’ campaign<br />

at Motorcycle<br />

Live<br />

record for attempting the test is believed to<br />

be held by a 28-year-old who passed in 2012<br />

– at his 93rd attempt.<br />

The story comes amid growing concern<br />

over the plummeting pass rate on the theory<br />

test. As recently as 2008 the pass rate stood<br />

at 65 per cent, while the latest figures<br />

suggest it is now just 44 per cent.<br />

Ironically, that puts it below the current<br />

L-test pass rate.<br />

08 NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023


News<br />

Union joins parents in calling for tighter rules<br />

on teachers in minibuses, not relaxing them<br />

Teachers should not be allowed to drive<br />

school and college minibuses without formal<br />

qualifications or statutory safeguards, a<br />

teaching union has said.<br />

The NASUWT teaching union is calling for<br />

exemptions that allow schools and colleges<br />

to run minibuses without a full operator’s<br />

licence to be scrapped to prevent further<br />

tragedies on the road.<br />

The call came ahead of the 30th<br />

anniversary of a minibus crash on the M40<br />

near Warwick that claimed the lives of 12<br />

schoolchildren and their teacher.<br />

Pupils from Hagley Roman Catholic High<br />

School in Worcestershire – and their teacher<br />

Eleanor Fry, who was driving at the time –<br />

were killed when their minibus crashed on the<br />

way home from a concert in London on<br />

November 18, 1993.<br />

Liz and Steve Fitzgerald, whose daughter<br />

Claire was one of the pupils who died in the<br />

crash, are also calling on the Government to<br />

address safety concerns.<br />

The parents are campaigning for the<br />

Government to legislate for best practice<br />

which would mean all schools with minibuses<br />

to have an operator’s licence.<br />

In a joint statement they said: “We are<br />

looking for support from Government to<br />

redress this inequality in safety for young<br />

people and teachers alike urgently. This is a<br />

matter above politics, it is a matter of life and<br />

death.”<br />

Currently, school staff in the UK can be<br />

asked to drive minibuses with just a car<br />

driving licence.<br />

The NASUWT is calling for the Section<br />

19/22 exemptions, which allow schools to<br />

operate minibuses without a full public<br />

service vehicle (PSV) operator’s licence, to be<br />

withdrawn.<br />

This would mean that all drivers of<br />

minibuses would need to have formal<br />

qualifications and statutory safeguards on<br />

driving would be in place, the union said.<br />

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT general<br />

secretary, said: “Many parents will be<br />

horrified to realise that 30 years after this<br />

appalling tragedy, school minibuses are still<br />

being driven by teachers without full minibus<br />

driving licence qualifications or without<br />

statutory safeguards in place.<br />

“It is still the case that teachers can do a<br />

whole day of teaching pupils and then drive<br />

A police officer inspects floral tributes<br />

to the victims of the M40 minibus crash<br />

and supervise pupils, sometimes for many<br />

hours.<br />

“We are calling on the Transport Secretary<br />

to close this loophole in the regulations, bring<br />

in statutory safeguards and ensure that all<br />

drivers of minibuses have formal<br />

qualifications.<br />

“Thirty years on from this tragedy, the<br />

most appropriate way to honour the memory<br />

of the victims is to do everything possible to<br />

ensure such a terrible accident doesn’t<br />

happen again.”<br />

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the<br />

Association of School and College Leaders<br />

(ASCL), said: “School minibuses are essential<br />

in being able to provide a range of activities to<br />

pupils but the law as it stands is complex and<br />

C1, D1: what are they?<br />

C1: With a Category C1 Licence drivers are<br />

able to drive an LGV of between 3,500kg<br />

and 7,500kg. You can also add a trailer of<br />

no more than 750kg. This vehicle is<br />

commonly known as a 7.5 ton, Class 3 or<br />

C1, and is typically used for making local<br />

supermarket deliveries, or removals.<br />

D1: People who hold a D1 licence can drive<br />

minibus-style with no more than 16<br />

passenger seats, and a maximum length<br />

of 8 metres.<br />

in need of review.<br />

“The Royal Society for the Prevention of<br />

Accidents advises that anyone who operates<br />

a minibus service to carry passengers has a<br />

duty of care under health and safety law to<br />

take all reasonable precautions to ensure that<br />

it is operated safely, and it recommends that<br />

all minibus drivers should receive specific<br />

minibus driver training.”<br />

The call also comes as road safety groups<br />

have voiced alarm that the Government<br />

intends to relax the licensing rules on C1 and<br />

D1 licensing.<br />

One MSA GB member told <strong>Newslink</strong>: “This<br />

smacks of the way the Department for<br />

Transport scrapped B + E licence testing, for<br />

towing trailers. That licence category was<br />

brought in for a reason, because it was clear<br />

that people were passing their driving test<br />

and then towing a trailer, without taking any<br />

additional training to cope with the different<br />

challenges involved.<br />

“That decision may well come back to bite<br />

the Department for Transport; scrapping C1<br />

and D1 licence categories could also lead to an<br />

increase in road fatalities.”<br />

A Government spokesperson said: “Every<br />

death on our roads is a tragedy and we<br />

continue to work tirelessly to improve road<br />

safety for all users.<br />

“We provide guidance to schools and local<br />

authorities on driving school minibuses and<br />

we continue to work with the sector on<br />

promoting road safety.”<br />

10 NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

Scotland sends tough message to pavement parkers<br />

A public information campaign has been<br />

launched in Scotland to make people aware<br />

that they could soon be fined for parking on<br />

the pavement.<br />

The Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 bans<br />

pavement parking, double parking and<br />

parking at dropped kerbs, with exemptions<br />

designated by local authorities – for example<br />

to ensure safe access for emergency<br />

vehicles.<br />

However, while it has been in law since<br />

then, penalties have been rare. But from<br />

<strong>December</strong> 11, local authorities will begin<br />

enforcing the law vigorously, with fines of up<br />

to £100, reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.<br />

The new campaign includes radio, outdoor<br />

and social media advertising, highlighting the<br />

dangers pavement parking poses to<br />

pavement users, forcing them to take<br />

unnecessary risks by moving around the car<br />

and onto the road.<br />

Fiona Hyslop, Scotland’s minister for<br />

transport, said: “The message here is clear:<br />

pavement parking is unsafe, unfair and illegal,<br />

and you could be fined up to £100 for it.<br />

“Local authorities can begin to issue fines<br />

from <strong>December</strong> 11, so this campaign is really<br />

important to make sure everyone in Scotland<br />

is aware that enforcement is coming.<br />

“We’re highlighting the danger that illegal<br />

pavement parking poses to pavement users,<br />

and in particular those with mobility issues or<br />

visual impairments, or parents pushing prams<br />

and buggies.<br />

“Scotland is the first of the four nations of<br />

the UK to make pavement parking illegal<br />

nationwide. This change in legislation is a step<br />

towards developing communities that are<br />

better able to support active travel, building<br />

on the work that is already underway to<br />

reduce emissions and helping us meet our<br />

world-leading climate change targets.”<br />

Mike Harrison has been a wheelchair user<br />

following a cycling collision 17 years ago. He<br />

said the news that pavement parkers were to<br />

be punished was “about time.”<br />

He said: “Vehicles on the pavement can be<br />

just a nuisance – or a severe obstacle. It<br />

increases my journey time, I’m often in<br />

danger of scratching my hands on a wall, or<br />

vegetation sticking out makes it difficult to<br />

get past.<br />

“Sometimes there is no way you can<br />

squeeze past, so you have to enter the road,<br />

and of course, you’re more vulnerable there,<br />

particularly with traffic coming bahind you.<br />

“The new enforcement will make it clear to<br />

people what is required and will make<br />

journeys safer and more convenient.”<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023 11


News<br />

Clevedon goes back to how it was<br />

– just £1.6m lighter in the wallet<br />

Colin Lilly<br />

Editor<br />

MSA GB <strong>Newslink</strong><br />

The controversial sea front road markings in<br />

the North Somerset town of Clevedon has<br />

once again hit the headlines. I have written of<br />

this saga a number of times during 2023.<br />

For new members and those unfamiliar<br />

with the story, this involves a change to the<br />

road layout and markings which came into<br />

place on the sea front despite opposition<br />

from various quarters. It involved a reduction<br />

in the number of parking places, their<br />

relocation into a ‘central lane’ (see photo), the<br />

installation of a two way cycle lane and some<br />

bizarre wavy road markings.<br />

It caused uproar at the time, and much<br />

confusion and criticism. Eventually, in<br />

September, the council employed an<br />

independent consultancy, Audit West, to<br />

review the scheme and other changes in<br />

nearby areas, including the introduction of<br />

one-way streets. The scheme initially was<br />

estimated to cost £200,520. By the time the<br />

scheme was completed, along with changes<br />

and modifications along the way, it came in at<br />

£1.3 million – a mere £1.1 million over budget.<br />

In November the council agreed to the<br />

consultant’s recommendations.<br />

They would remove the two-way cycle<br />

path and replace it with a contraflow cycle<br />

path to the eastern side of The Beach (the<br />

sea front faces west).<br />

The parallel parking would go, to be<br />

replaced by angled, sea-facing parking on The<br />

Beach. The irony of this is the removal of<br />

angled parking in the first place was probably<br />

the most controversial part of the scheme, as<br />

it had been a very popular feature for<br />

decades.<br />

In addition, a coach pick-up and drop-off<br />

point, and loading bay, would be introduced,<br />

as would a pedestrian crossing on The Beach.<br />

The mini roundabout on The Beach would<br />

change but the one-way system, 20mph<br />

zone and changes to the other roads in the<br />

area would stay.<br />

The changes are estimated to cost<br />

£375,000, and will be made during 2024.<br />

So, a scheme, which few outside the<br />

council supported, will end up costing around<br />

£1.6 million, to create something that already<br />

existed anyway apart from the introduction<br />

of a one-way system and a 20mph zone.<br />

What a happy council taxpayer am I!<br />

In the 1950s this could have been the<br />

subject of an Ealing comedy, unfortunately<br />

the title a Comedy of Errors has already been<br />

taken.<br />

When the scheme is returned to its former<br />

state, I will provide a photo in <strong>Newslink</strong>.<br />

Driver with 46 points avoids a ban<br />

Colin Lilly<br />

A driver from Bath who was caught speeding<br />

15 times on the same road in less than four<br />

months, amassing 46 points in the process,<br />

has escaped a ban after magistrates accepted<br />

his plea that losing his licence would have a<br />

detrimental effect on his family.<br />

Daniel John Bennett’s 46 points are almost<br />

four times the usual number that would lead<br />

to disqualification.<br />

The offences were committed on Lansdown<br />

Lane, Bath between March 12, 2023, and June<br />

28. He was caught travelling at between 28<br />

and 32 mph in what is a 20mph zone.<br />

To put this in context, Lansdown Lane is a<br />

hill on the edge of Bath which was the site of a<br />

four-fatality crash in 2015 involving a<br />

runaway 32-tonne tipper truck. A local<br />

four-year-old girl and three occupants of a<br />

car from Wales were killed.<br />

Addressing the concerns of local residents,<br />

the local authority introduced a number of<br />

traffic management features, including a fixed<br />

speed camera and a mobile camera site for<br />

those who thought it was okay to increase<br />

speed when outside the camera zone.<br />

Instead of the ban, the magistrates gave<br />

him three points for a combined 14 of the<br />

offences and four points for the 32mph<br />

offence. He was also fined £769 and ordered<br />

to pay a victim surcharge fee of £308 and a<br />

contribution of £95 towards prosecution<br />

costs, making a total court bill of £1,172.<br />

But the magistrates stepped back from<br />

their right to disqualify him after hearing how<br />

a ban would impact on his family.<br />

Drink-driving rules blurred<br />

The British Medical Association president<br />

has warned that the trend for larger and<br />

stronger alcoholic drinks means that “just<br />

having one” before you get behind the<br />

wheel is now too dangerous.<br />

Sir Ian Gilmore pointed out that when<br />

drink-driving rules were introduced, the<br />

idea you could have “one or two drinks was<br />

common”. But he cautioned that back in<br />

the 1970s a 125ml glass of 9 per cent wine<br />

was the usual measure, and beer was often<br />

3-4 per cent proof. Today wines of that<br />

strength are “virtually unheard of” and are<br />

served in 250ml glasses, while the trend<br />

for stronger ales means many beers are 6<br />

per cent proof.<br />

These bigger measures and stronger<br />

drinks have blurred how many units can be<br />

consumed, Sir Ian said, so the only safe<br />

option is to have none.<br />

12 NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

PCS ballot could derail DVSA<br />

L-test waiting time strategy<br />

MSA members will be concerned that the<br />

PCS union is currently balloting its driving<br />

examiner members on further industrial<br />

action in the new year.<br />

More than 1,900 members working for the<br />

DVSA are involved in the latest postal ballot,<br />

which will run until noon on <strong>December</strong> 13.<br />

The issue at stake is what the PCS has<br />

claimed to be an attempt by the DVSA to erode<br />

examiners’ terms and conditions by the way it<br />

has introduced the driver services recovery<br />

programme – the scheme by which DVSA<br />

hopes to reduce the L-test waiting times.<br />

The PCS said: “The DVSA is willing to<br />

jeopardise members’ safety, terms and<br />

conditions and the standards of safety that<br />

driving tests require to recover the backlog of<br />

tests that was their making. That’s why we<br />

want members to say ‘Yes’ to industrial action.”<br />

PCS complaints<br />

PCS is demanding written confirmation<br />

that there are no plans to introduce an<br />

eight-test day, the withdrawal of the cluster<br />

5-over-7 contracts, and the creation of<br />

acceptable overtime incentives and a new<br />

remuneration package to reward staff for<br />

their efforts during the recovery period.<br />

PCS also demands the return of driving<br />

examiner line management for certain staff<br />

and the removal of same grade peer-to-peer<br />

management, as well as a binding<br />

The European Transport Safety Council has<br />

welcomed the support of MEPs for<br />

improvements to the way dangerous driving<br />

is enforced across EU Member States.<br />

The MEPs backed a European<br />

Commission proposal to extend the scope of<br />

existing rules on cross-border enforcement<br />

of traffic penalties, and a new law which<br />

would see driving disqualifications issued in<br />

one Member State apply in all other EU<br />

countries.<br />

UK road safety groups said the moves<br />

were a sensible step in the right direction,<br />

but would not protect the UK roads from<br />

dangerous European nationals who were<br />

banned in their home nations as no<br />

reciprocal agreements of this kind are in<br />

memorandum of understanding on job and<br />

role security; and an agreement for a joint<br />

PCS and DVSA review and update of the lone<br />

working policy and processes of risk<br />

assessments.<br />

Some of its members were quoted on the<br />

PCS website as saying they felt strongly<br />

about voting Yes.<br />

One examiner, named as ‘Gary’, said: “I feel<br />

strongly about voting yes. I, like the<br />

overriding majority of my colleagues, are<br />

concerned about the test backlog and we<br />

have been working hard to try and get<br />

waiting lists down to a reasonable level since<br />

Covid. But the DVSA has now implemented a<br />

recovery plan, which not only doesn’t<br />

address the problem, but significantly and<br />

adversely affects staff from all parts of<br />

DVSA.”<br />

His colleague, ‘Caroline’ , said that she felt<br />

“this agency has changed for the worst over<br />

the last few years. It is clear that road safety<br />

and the well-being of staff do not appear to<br />

be on the list of priorities for this agency.”<br />

She adds. “Those in the decision-making<br />

roles seem unaware what the role of a driving<br />

examiner involves and that we should be<br />

providing an environment of safe driving for<br />

all.”<br />

The result of the ballot should be known<br />

before Christmas, with any strikes likely to<br />

take place at the end of January<br />

place between the UK and the EU since<br />

Brexit.<br />

MEPs are also backing penalties to be<br />

viewed as cross-Europe sanctions for ‘hit<br />

and run’ crashes, dangerous overtaking,<br />

wrong-way driving, use of an overloaded<br />

vehicle and some other offences.<br />

MEPs also want offences to be followed<br />

up more quickly by the home Member<br />

States once a penalty has been issued to a<br />

foreign resident driver.<br />

Unfortunately MEPs failed to agree to<br />

tackle the critical issue of penalty points. 22<br />

out of 27 EU Member States now have these<br />

systems, which discourage dangerous<br />

driving. ETSC says it’s essential that drivers<br />

also face these non-financial penalties when<br />

MSA GB commented: “We were hoping<br />

that the DVSA plan to reduce test waiting<br />

times had been approved by all stakeholders<br />

in the DVSA – including the examiners’ union.<br />

“There seems little point in the DVSA<br />

adding 2-300 new examiners to the roster as<br />

part of its post-Covid plan if it is then going to<br />

lose 1,900 examiners on a number of days<br />

through strike action, effectively undoing any<br />

improvements in the waiting times.<br />

“Once again it looks like ADIs and their<br />

pupils will be caught between this bickering<br />

couple. ”<br />

MEPs look to enforce driving bans across borders<br />

they commit traffic offences abroad.<br />

They also failed to address what to do<br />

with bans for speeding via the points<br />

system.<br />

The ETSC said that in principle, driving<br />

bans resulting from speeding should<br />

universally apply in other Member States.<br />

Ellen Townsend, Policy Director of ETSC<br />

commented: “Overall, today’s votes in the<br />

European Parliament are a positive step for<br />

road safety that could further cut the<br />

number of foreign-registered drivers that<br />

currently get away with dangerous driving<br />

outside of their home country.<br />

“There can be no justification for letting<br />

foreign-registered drivers off the hook<br />

while locals follow the rules.”<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023 13


News: NASP Q&A<br />

NASP pledges to keep pushing DVSA to<br />

improve training, and booking system<br />

MSA GB National Chairman Mike Yeomans<br />

joined fellow NASP representatives Carly<br />

Brookfield from the DIA and Lynne Barrie of<br />

the ADI NJC to answer ADIs’ questions in a<br />

special online Q&A session last month.<br />

The event’s focus was very much skewed<br />

towards the ongoing problems with L-test<br />

waiting times, though other issues were<br />

covered, including whether the Part 3 and<br />

Standards Check remained fit for purpose<br />

and concerns over an increase in imposters<br />

taking tests on behalf of others.<br />

After the DVSA’s major announcement in<br />

October that all staff who held an L-test<br />

warrant card would be transferred from their<br />

usual roles to testing duties in an attempt to<br />

blitz the backlog, it was disappointing that so<br />

far, no firm data had been released from<br />

DVSA as to how this approach was faring.<br />

Carly Brookfield suggested that the initiative<br />

may not be bearing fruit at the moment, “as<br />

I’m sure we’d have had a press release<br />

outlining the improvements by now if it was<br />

having a marked effect.”<br />

But the three NASP representatives<br />

agreed that it was a huge effort by the DVSA,<br />

and it was effectively increasing the examiner<br />

headcount by 230 - which could add up to<br />

150,000 extra test slots by the end of March,<br />

when the initiative is scheduled to end.<br />

The release of pent-up demand post-<br />

Covid, plus driving examiners’ recent<br />

industrial action, had increased waiting times,<br />

but another huge factor was the change in<br />

learners’ behaviour when it came to booking<br />

L-tests. Worried that they will struggle to<br />

get a test when they were ready to take it,<br />

many were booking one as soon as they<br />

started lessons, increasing demand and<br />

unbalancing the entire system.<br />

As of November 13 there were 562,296<br />

L-tests booked up to the end of the test<br />

booking window of 24 weeks - but within<br />

that same timeframe there were as many as<br />

82,000 tests available.<br />

The problem for many ADIs was that those<br />

tests were not necessarily available in their<br />

local test centres: there were still too many<br />

centres with 20+ week waiting times, while<br />

others had a little better availability.<br />

Lynne Barrie pointed out that in her local<br />

area, most new test bookings being made<br />

now were for April and May, but ADIs just 20<br />

miles away were reporting availability much<br />

sooner.<br />

Another concern was that this huge<br />

change in booking habits appeared to be<br />

increasing the number of ‘no shows’ and late<br />

cancellations as learners realised they had<br />

little chance of passing.<br />

Lynne commented that at her local DTC<br />

recently, she had seen five examiners going<br />

out for tests but two sitting idle because their<br />

tests had been cancelled last minute.<br />

Everyone hopes this new strategy is a<br />

success – though if it does succeed, it would<br />

beggar the question, why wasn’t it tried<br />

earlier?<br />

ADIs were told the DVSA was pulling out all<br />

the stops to cut waiting lists as soon as<br />

pandemic restrictions relaxed – so why wait<br />

two years to try this strategy?<br />

There was praise for the Ready to<br />

Pass campaign - with the<br />

suggestion that the DVSA should<br />

run a follow-up publicity drive to<br />

highlight the problems created by<br />

failing to show for tests, and using<br />

third party booking apps<br />

14 NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

Ready to Pass<br />

The DVSA’s Ready to Pass campaign was<br />

praised for raising awareness of the standard<br />

candidates needed to reach for their test, but<br />

Carly Brookfield suggested a follow-up<br />

campaign was needed to highlight the<br />

problems created by failing to appear for<br />

tests and using third party booking apps -<br />

even going as far as suggesting that learners<br />

could be sanctioned for failing to attend<br />

numerous times, perhaps by not allowing<br />

them to book a test for a period.<br />

“We need a tough and direct message to<br />

get out there, to stop people paying over the<br />

odds by booking tests through apps...<br />

perhaps we need to block people out of the<br />

system if they ‘fail to appear’ for tests several<br />

times,” suggested Carly.<br />

The clear problem was those running the<br />

bots were several steps ahead of the DVSA;<br />

“it’s a sad fact that the digital criminals are<br />

always ahead of the rest of society.”<br />

Mike Yeoman said his area of Hull was<br />

constantly receiving requests for lessons<br />

from people outside the area, and such<br />

moves were undermining the business model<br />

of being able to book L-tests.<br />

Focus on L-tests<br />

Switching all warrant card-holding staff to<br />

cover L-tests had led to the cancellation of<br />

many Part 3 tests, ORDIT assessments and<br />

Standards Checks. On the latter, only those<br />

ADIs who had previously failed a Standard<br />

Check, or whose pupils’ test performances<br />

were causing concern, would now receive one<br />

for the time being, and it was highly unlikely<br />

that any other Standards Checks would take<br />

place before the start of April.<br />

The same was true of ORDIT assessments,<br />

but anyone whose ORDIT registration was<br />

due to lapse needn’t worry, as this pause in<br />

activity would not lead to them losing their<br />

position on the ORDIT register.<br />

One online participant asked the NASP<br />

representatives if they considered the<br />

Standards Check and ADI Part 3 exam old<br />

fashioned and entirely in keeping with the<br />

modern demands placed on an ADI. NASP<br />

agreed it seemed dated, and the DVSA was<br />

concerned about the quality of training some<br />

new PDIs were receiving. Unfortunately the<br />

current situation meant it was impossible to<br />

do anything about it: any reforms of the<br />

system had been placed on the backburner as<br />

the DVSA sought to tackle test waiting times.<br />

TIP initiative<br />

The DVSA’s Test Information Programme<br />

(TIP) was reaping some benefits: it was<br />

becoming clear that a small number of ADIs<br />

were bringing learners to test who were not<br />

up to the standard, with Lynne Barrie saying<br />

that there were some ADIs with a 90 per cent<br />

test failure rate. These instructors were now<br />

being identified, and would receive a<br />

Standards Check.<br />

However, NASP still believed that the<br />

timing for bringing in TIP was poor, given<br />

L-test waiting times. While it was easy for<br />

the DVSA to say learners shouldn’t have a<br />

test unless they were clearly ready to pass, it<br />

was difficult to convince a pupil to cancel a<br />

test when they knew the waiting time at<br />

their local DTC was as high as five months.<br />

The DVSA has tweaked the parameters on<br />

the TIP after pressure from NASP, and fewer<br />

ADIs were now falling into the ‘concern’<br />

category over their pupils’ L-test<br />

performance. The number of ADIs in this<br />

category had fallen from 10,000 – a quarter<br />

of the Register – to 4,000. NASP would<br />

continue to keep a sharp eye on how TIP was<br />

working.<br />

Testing and training reforms<br />

There was a certain amount of frustration<br />

creeping in to NASP’s conversations with the<br />

DVSA over reforms to its tests and processes.<br />

Continued on page 16<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023 15


News: NASP Q&A<br />

Continued from page 15<br />

The usual refrain that legislation was<br />

required to alter, for instance, Parts 1, 2 and 3<br />

of ADI qualifying seemed a little weak - in<br />

Carly Brookfield’s words, “we’re getting sick<br />

of the excuses for not making qualifying<br />

better aligned with the Standards Check and<br />

the client-centred learning that is expected.”<br />

There was still too much emphasis in the<br />

Part 3 exam on fault spotting: “This is not<br />

coaching, or client-centred learning.”<br />

Mike Yeoman suggested that what was<br />

needed was a fresh look at the L-test – “to<br />

move it away from a fault-based assessment,<br />

which it is at the moment, to a more<br />

expansive drive in which candidates can gain<br />

marks by handling situations well.”<br />

Lynne Barrie agreed that the current test<br />

“doesn’t always bring out the best elements<br />

of your pupil’s ability.”<br />

Trainee licences<br />

NASP has raised the issue of trainee<br />

licences being extended, as accessing Part 3<br />

tests was becoming difficult. From the start<br />

of Part 1, trainees have two years to book<br />

their Part 3 test, but while that timeframe<br />

was fair in normal circumstances, with fewer<br />

Part 3s available now, some trainees are<br />

starting to struggle to find a test before their<br />

two-year qualification period expired.<br />

So far the DVSA has not intimated it would<br />

relax this timeframe, but NASP would keep<br />

pushing for it.<br />

Changes to the qualification system<br />

Looking ahead to how the system could be<br />

reformed in the future, it was suggested that<br />

the DVSA may not be the best organisation<br />

to run the training and monitoring process of<br />

ADIs. “Perhaps it should simply focus on<br />

testing,” was one suggestion, “and leave<br />

professional qualifications and subsequent<br />

assessments to outside bodies.”<br />

On examiner quality, the DVSA is aware<br />

that some of its examiners are not of the<br />

standard required and it is looking into the<br />

issue – in some areas, “different standards<br />

seem to be being applied on tests.”<br />

Pass Plus - future initiatives?<br />

One questioner asked whether Pass Plus<br />

could be made mandatory – or is it now<br />

out-dated?<br />

With learners now allowed on motorways<br />

and fewer insurance companies recognising<br />

Pass Plus with lower premiums, it seemed<br />

unlikely that Pass Plus would become<br />

mandatory.<br />

However, a DIA-led project called<br />

Milestones could lead to major changes in the<br />

“Mike Yeoman suggested that what was needed was a fresh look at<br />

the L-test – ‘to move it away from a fault-based assessment, which<br />

it is at the moment, to a more expansive drive in which<br />

candidates can gain marks by handling situations well.’<br />

Lynne Barrie agreed that the current test ‘doesn’t always bring out<br />

the best elements of your pupil’s ability.’<br />

way people learned to drive, said Carly<br />

Brookfield. Milestones was a modular<br />

programme in which learners worked through<br />

a pre-planned curriculum in stages, in a<br />

graduated learning process. This would then<br />

be followed by an L-test, and rounded off by a<br />

post-test module.<br />

The DVSA is awaiting results from the trial,<br />

to gauge its effectiveness.<br />

Digital dilemma<br />

Returning to L-test bookings, could the<br />

DVSA create its own app to counter the bots,<br />

asked one ADI? Carly said that the DVSA was<br />

not digitally proficient enough to do so; it’s<br />

booking system was creaking at the knees<br />

already, and she wondered what had<br />

happened to Loveday Ryder’s promise on<br />

taking over at the agency, of securing<br />

funding for a comprehensive overhaul of its IT<br />

systems. The need to build a booking system<br />

that works for ADIs and pupils was a priority.<br />

SEN in theory test centres<br />

Another questioner asked if NASP could<br />

press the DVSA to allow learners with SEN to<br />

access theory test centres before their test,<br />

to familiarise themselves with the lay-out<br />

and format prior to a test. Some pupils with<br />

SEN struggle to adapt to new settings and<br />

environments.<br />

Mike Yeomans said work was underway to<br />

do something on this: “I know the DVSA is<br />

working on a video explaining the theory test<br />

process, but that work has been held up by<br />

the focus on L-test waiting times.”<br />

B + E tests<br />

The removal of B + E testing still rankled<br />

with some on the Q&A, and it was suggested<br />

that the DfT now had its beady eye on D1 and<br />

C1 testing too. NASP had lobbied hard to<br />

prevent the removal of B + E testing, and had<br />

then worked to create the ‘Safe towing’<br />

accreditation, but there were still major<br />

concerns that the loss of B+ E testing could<br />

create road safety issues in the future.<br />

It was particularly frustrating that B + E<br />

tests had been sacrificed to provide extra<br />

LGV test slots, but the alleged demand for<br />

these appears to have been over-estimated.<br />

Test imposters<br />

The increase in people taking driving and<br />

theory tests on behalf of others was a<br />

concern, said NASP. It was suggested that<br />

people guilty of such frauds be blocked out of<br />

the booking system for a period, as they were<br />

clearly exhibiting risky behaviour in this<br />

regard which would possibly be carried over<br />

into their driving at a later stage.<br />

“People who make bad choices to commit<br />

an L-test fraud are likely to make bad choices<br />

on the road, too.”<br />

Driver training syllabus<br />

One questioner asked if NASP agreed with<br />

the current driver training syllabus? Not<br />

everything, which was why NASP is<br />

constantly pushing the DVSA to make<br />

improvements and would continue to do so.<br />

Improving driver standards and road safety<br />

was a constant fight that NASP would<br />

continue to lead.<br />

Sharing TIP data<br />

There was concern that ADIs’ TIP data<br />

could be published by the DVSA at some<br />

point in the future, in an attempt to help the<br />

public identify the best-performing ADIs.<br />

Lynne Barrie pointed out that many ADIs had<br />

concerns over such data being released<br />

without their consent; if an ADI wanted to<br />

publicise their L-test results, that was for<br />

them, but not all wanted to do so, particularly<br />

those ADIs who specialisied in training more<br />

challenging pupils.<br />

Finally, the panel was asked why it had not<br />

simply rejected the TIP initiative when it was<br />

first brought in? NASP had pushed back<br />

against the DVSA’s plans, but it had felt like a<br />

fait accompli when it was introduced as it had<br />

the backing of the Government. It was felt<br />

that TIP would help protect the public from<br />

poor-performing ADIs. “We will have to show<br />

that TIP is providing a lot of bad data before<br />

the DVSA would contemplate scrapping it,”<br />

was the verdict.<br />

However, NASP was getting results on TIP:<br />

Mike Yeomans pointed out that it was<br />

pressure from NASP that had forced the<br />

DVSA to adjust the parameters under which<br />

ADIs were classed as a cause for concern.<br />

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For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

Shock tactics won’t make young<br />

people drive safely, survey finds<br />

ADIs who use shock tactics to get over the<br />

dangers of reckless driving to their pupils are<br />

probably wasting their time, a new survey<br />

has found, as it does little to improve safety<br />

and may actually make things worse.<br />

The study, carried out by Dr Elizabeth Box,<br />

research director at the RAC Foundation,<br />

found such approaches can prompt defensive<br />

or even hostile reactions, particularly among<br />

young men. They are also likely to experience<br />

optimism bias about their own capabilities<br />

and the scale of their risk exposure.<br />

The study found that, rather than stating<br />

the dangers, a more interactive approach is<br />

better, where the facts about road safety are<br />

shared and young participants are<br />

encouraged to come to their own conclusions<br />

about what good driving behaviour looks like.<br />

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC<br />

Foundation, said: “In a world where young<br />

drivers are bombarded with numerous<br />

influences, we must harness the power of<br />

evidence-based interventions, behavioural<br />

theories, and psychological insights to create<br />

programmes that resonate with their needs<br />

and the realities they face.<br />

“This report underscores the importance<br />

of moving beyond traditional approaches,<br />

such as ‘shock and tell’ testimonial events,<br />

which may yield strong reactions but often<br />

fail to leave a lasting impact.”<br />

Dr Box’s report, Empowering Young Drivers<br />

with Road Safety Education, found that<br />

improving road safety was best by using<br />

interventions based on research evidence<br />

and behavioural theory rather than intuition<br />

and personal knowledge. Road safety<br />

education needs to be subtle and<br />

sympathetic to the physiological changes<br />

young brains are going through, and young<br />

people’s attitudes to risk.<br />

Her research included a project called<br />

DriveFit which consisted of a 40-minute film<br />

followed by a 45-minute online workshop<br />

two weeks later.<br />

The film features expert guests in a talk<br />

show-style format offering information,<br />

demonstrations and tips about how young<br />

drivers can understand the implications of<br />

risky driving behaviour such as speeding,<br />

tiredness, mobile phone use and intoxication.<br />

The workshops then allow young people to<br />

discuss the film and extract relevant learning<br />

for their own personal situations.<br />

Steve Gooding added: “The findings<br />

presented echo a growing consensus that<br />

“This report underscores the<br />

importance of moving beyond<br />

traditional approaches, such<br />

as ‘shock and tell’ testimonial<br />

events, which may yield strong<br />

reactions but often fail to leave<br />

a lasting impact.”<br />

our approach to road safety education must<br />

evolve. It is not enough to impart information<br />

about risks; we must also empower young<br />

and pre-drivers with cognitive skills, hazard<br />

perception abilities, and the capacity to make<br />

safe choices in the face of distractions, peer<br />

influence, and fatigue.<br />

“The DriveFit intervention case study<br />

included in the report, which recently<br />

received a Prince Michael International Road<br />

Safety Award, demonstrates that thoughtful<br />

design and assessment can yield positive<br />

results. While the improvements may be<br />

modest, they represent the important<br />

incremental steps that lead us towards safer<br />

outcomes for this at-risk group.”<br />

Let’s talk about speed, says Brake as deaths rise<br />

Road safety charity Brake has called for a<br />

national conversation on speeding in the way<br />

people did about drink-driving after DfT<br />

statistics revealed a 10% increase on road<br />

deaths in 2022.<br />

Crucially, road deaths caused by drivers<br />

exceeding the speed limt were up by 20%.<br />

Brake made its call as the UK marked<br />

National Road Safety Week in November. Its<br />

own survey found that while overwhelmingly<br />

drivers supported local speed limits, a third<br />

admitted speeding and 40% said they<br />

thought going over the speed limit “by just a<br />

bit” was okay.<br />

While there has been controversy over<br />

speed limits being reduced from 30mph to<br />

20mph in built-up areas in Wales, two-fifths<br />

agreed with the lower limit.<br />

Ross Moorlock, interim CEO at Brake, said:<br />

“Road death is sudden. It’s traumatic. It<br />

sends shockwaves across families, schools,<br />

workplaces and communities. This year, we<br />

have already supported more than 1,500<br />

people affected by road crashes through our<br />

National Road Victim Service.<br />

“Today, five people will be killed on our<br />

roads. And tomorrow, another five won’t<br />

make it home to their families. And so on, and<br />

so on, until we all say ‘Enough!’ and start<br />

taking responsibility for each other’s safety<br />

on the road.<br />

“The speed we choose to drive at can<br />

mean the difference between life and death.<br />

Our speed dictates whether we can stop in<br />

time to avoid a crash, and the force of impact<br />

if we can’t stop. This Road Safety Week,<br />

whoever you are, and however you travel, I<br />

urge you to join the conversation and talk<br />

about speed. Please talk to as many people<br />

as you can to find out why, when five people<br />

die on our roads every day, so many of us<br />

still choose to drive too fast.”<br />

The charity wants a national conversation<br />

on speed, to raise awareness of the dangers<br />

of excessive and inappropriate speed, and<br />

challenge drivers who people still think it is<br />

acceptable to drive faster than the limit.<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023 17


Towards your CPD: L-test data<br />

Steering a path through<br />

the TIP minefield<br />

Understanding the ADI Driving<br />

Test Data Report, which is<br />

available to all ADIs by clicking<br />

on the link at the end of this<br />

article, forms an essential part<br />

of our CPD, but only if what is<br />

being recorded is understood.<br />

Steve Garrod takes a closer look<br />

The first thing to say on your L-test data<br />

report is that like a lot of things in life, some<br />

headings are easier to interpret than others.<br />

For example, ‘Use of Mirrors’ before<br />

‘signalling’, ‘changing direction’ and ‘changing<br />

speed’ can be easier to understand than<br />

‘Steering’.<br />

It is important to point out, however, that it<br />

is making effective observation rather than<br />

looking at the mirrors that is marked, and<br />

changing speed means accelerating as well<br />

as slowing down. Changing direction is often<br />

marked when candidates are moving back to<br />

the left after passing a bus or a delivery van<br />

which is about to, or in the process of, moving<br />

off, as well as checking to the right before<br />

passing them.<br />

The reason for using ‘Steering’ as an<br />

example is because it was the subject that<br />

brought up more questions than any other<br />

heading at a recent Standards Check<br />

workshop. Steering can be quite difficult to<br />

interpret unless present at an end-of-test<br />

debrief. ‘Steering’ could mean not steering<br />

correctly at junctions, eg understeering or<br />

oversteering (not steering enough and<br />

maybe entering a side road on the wrong side<br />

of the road, or steering too much and having<br />

problems with straightening up having<br />

turned).<br />

But ‘steering’ can also be mixed up with<br />

‘Meeting Traffic’ or ‘Adequate clearance’. For<br />

example, if a candidate leaves it late to steer<br />

around a parked vehicle having given way to<br />

an oncoming vehicle, then this is marked as a<br />

steering fault. If you are conducting a mock<br />

test, then think about how you would debrief<br />

the fault. “You left it late to steer around the<br />

parked vehicle, causing you to steer onto the<br />

other side of the road due the lack of<br />

available space to turn’. When teaching we<br />

like to see our clients steer on a shallow angle<br />

past a parked vehicle wherever possible to<br />

reduce the amount of space needed on the<br />

opposite side of the road.<br />

Steering can also mean clipping or<br />

mounting the kerb or pavement when<br />

turning left or pulling up by the side of the<br />

road. From a teaching point of view, you could<br />

ask how to avoid this fault and the answer<br />

would normally be to steer later, when<br />

turning left, or straightening up earlier when<br />

pulling up next to the kerb.<br />

Interestingly, when pulling up, if the<br />

pavement is mounted but the fault is<br />

corrected and the car comes to rest with all<br />

four wheels on the road, then this is a<br />

steering fault, but if a wheel is left on the<br />

kerb, then this is marked as ‘Position for<br />

normal stops’<br />

Steering can also be marked when<br />

cornering – for example, if a driver is too<br />

close to a kerb or too near the centre of the<br />

road. It can be mistaken for road positioning,<br />

but if the position was correct upon entering<br />

the bend, then you need to ask yourself how<br />

the fault could be corrected. If a solid white<br />

line crossed or straddled, then a fault would<br />

be recorded under ‘Road markings.’<br />

Likewise, when turning right, if a driver<br />

goes past their point of turn, which is often<br />

caused by focusing on oncoming traffic and<br />

steering late, this is marked as a steering<br />

fault.<br />

Sometimes it can be tricky to assess a<br />

steering fault if a candidate approaches a<br />

junction too quickly. If it results in entering<br />

the side road on the wrong side of the road,<br />

then it could be marked as ‘steering’ as the<br />

effect of the fault was to steer onto the<br />

wrong side of the road, even though the<br />

cause of the fault was the speed on approach.<br />

18 NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

It is one of those situations where if one of<br />

these faults has already been marked as a<br />

serious fault, then the other fault may be<br />

marked.<br />

Contrary to belief, the method of steering<br />

is not marked unless it causes a problem. So,<br />

if someone crosses their hands while<br />

steering it is only marked if there is a problem.<br />

It may not be how we like to see someone<br />

steer, and it should be pointed out to the pupil<br />

why we teach the ‘Pull Push’ method, as it is<br />

considered to be a safer and more efficient<br />

method of steering. In much the same way as<br />

we teach ‘Handbrake, then neutral’ when<br />

coming to rest. It encourages the driver to<br />

stop before selecting neutral, but so long as<br />

we have come to rest, selecting neutral<br />

before applying the handbrake is not a fault.<br />

As for myself, I always encourage my learners<br />

to come to rest, then take a deep breath<br />

before saying ‘Hhhhhhaaaaaandbrake’!<br />

Another heading that can cause confusion<br />

is ‘Controlled stop’. It is only the stop itself is<br />

marked, either not quick enough or not<br />

keeping the vehicle under control. Failing to<br />

check blind spots correctly after the stop is<br />

marked under ‘Move off safely’ and not under<br />

the Controlled stop.<br />

Other control faults are Accelerator. This is<br />

not often marked but generally refers to<br />

erratic use, such as not accelerating<br />

smoothly, of failing to come off the<br />

accelerator when changing gear. If the engine<br />

“Contrary to belief, the method<br />

of steering is not marked unless<br />

it causes a problem. So, if<br />

someone crosses their hands<br />

while steering it is only marked<br />

if there is a problem....”<br />

is revved at a pedestrian crossing, then it is<br />

marked under ‘Pedestrian crossings’, and if<br />

used too harshly then it could be recorded as<br />

a fault under ‘Eco safe Control’ or use of<br />

speed. This is the same for a ‘Footbrake’ fault.<br />

Late braking is marked in the ‘Eco safe<br />

planning’ box, then as a footbrake fault after<br />

that. Other footbrake faults could be stopping<br />

too short of a Give Way line, meaning the view<br />

into the new road is restricted.<br />

Clutch faults are rare because coasting is<br />

recorded under ‘gears’ as the gears are not<br />

properly engaged. Clutch faults are usually<br />

recorded for not pressing it down sufficiently<br />

when stopping, and subsequently stalling.<br />

A gear fault, particularly changing to a<br />

lower gear, is associated with lack of forward<br />

planning, especially when going up a steep<br />

hill. Allowing the engine to labour often leads<br />

to a rushed gear change and subsequent<br />

incorrect gear selections, such as 4th gear<br />

instead of 2nd gear.<br />

Driving in too low a gear for too long with<br />

the engine over-revving could be an Eco safe<br />

fault, and then a gear fault.<br />

The <strong>final</strong> heading in this section is<br />

‘Handbrake’. This could be for not applying it<br />

properly when coming to rest and allowing<br />

the car to roll backwards, or applying it when<br />

not fully at rest. It can be marked if it is left on<br />

having moved off, although this fault would<br />

initially be recorded under ‘Moving off<br />

control’.<br />

I hope this has helped to demystify how<br />

some of the faults are recorded, but it is no<br />

substitute for either going out on a test or<br />

listening to the end-of-test debrief.<br />

Below you’ll find the link for your form. I<br />

wish you all a very happy festive or holiday<br />

period and we’ll be ready to go in the New<br />

Year!<br />

Click on this panel<br />

to go to your TIP<br />

data<br />

NEWSLINK ■ DECEMBER 2023 19


Towards your CPD<br />

Car fires: A<br />

burning issue<br />

Why do cars catch fire? Tom<br />

Harrington takes a look at the<br />

reasons behind car fires, how<br />

they can be prevented and<br />

whether having more electric<br />

vehicles on the road will make<br />

the problem better -or worse<br />

How likely is your car to catch fire while you’re<br />

driving it?<br />

It’s the stuff of nightmares – seeing smoke<br />

or flames appear as you are inside a moving<br />

vehicle. Thankfully, it’s not very likely.<br />

Despite the number of combustible<br />

materials that comprise a vehicle, most<br />

drivers won’t ever experience a spontaneous<br />

vehicle fire, and modern manufacturing has<br />

meant that vehicle fires on the road have<br />

dropped significantly in the past couple of<br />

decades.<br />

Even so, a report into car fires in Ireland<br />

found that Irish fire brigades attended over<br />

2,300 vehicle fires in 2019, and the AA<br />

reported 1 or 2 vehicle fires a week affecting<br />

traffic on Ireland’s main routes between June<br />

2020 and June 2021. Not all of these turn into<br />

fully-fledged fires – some are stopped<br />

quickly, and others are false alarms.<br />

A Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) spokesman told<br />

us that “quite often steam from a car’s<br />

radiator or dust from the safety airbags can<br />

be mistaken for smoke.”<br />

That said, better safe than sorry – you<br />

should treat any steam or smoke as a<br />

potential fire until you’ve confirmed it’s not.<br />

Causes of car fires<br />

Arson: The biggest cause of vehicle fires<br />

attended by fire brigades is arson or<br />

vandalism of parked vehicles. Dublin Fire<br />

Brigade has said that most of the car fires<br />

they attended in 2020 were due to arson,<br />

echoing comments made by by James Long,<br />

an Irish lecturer and President of the Society<br />

of Automotive Forensic Engineers, who said<br />

most fires he has investigated have had a<br />

deliberate cause.<br />

Figures for the UK show that around half of<br />

all vehicle fires between 2015 and 2020 were<br />

“deliberate”, and that’s before you count<br />

accidental fires caused by human activity.<br />

Spontaneous fire: This would be the kind<br />

of fire that would have most instructors<br />

worried: could my car burst into flames?<br />

While obviously a big problem, it’s<br />

relatively rare for a vehicle to catch fire while<br />

you’re driving ‘spontaneously’, although they<br />

do happen. A study by the US National Fire<br />

Prevention Association found that the most<br />

common cause of ‘highway fires’ – nondeliberate<br />

vehicle fires on the road or at the<br />

roadside – was mechanical faults, accounting<br />

for around half the highway fires in the US<br />

between 2013 and 2017. Electrical faults<br />

caused another fifth. With improvements in<br />

manufacturing and tighter regulations on<br />

roadworthiness, though, this type of fire is<br />

getting rarer – the US study shows they have<br />

dropped by 80% between 1980 and 2019.<br />

20 NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

Collisions: Fires can also result from<br />

collisions, especially if the vehicle is badly<br />

damaged and fuel leaks on to hot<br />

components. DFB say that this is also,<br />

thankfully, rare: “Modern car design takes<br />

into account collisions, and as such, [they are]<br />

designed to prevent fire following a collision.”<br />

The data from the US showed that only 4%<br />

of car fires on the roads were caused by<br />

collisions, but those tend to be serious –<br />

two-thirds of deaths associated with car<br />

fires happened when there had been a<br />

collision first.<br />

Batteries (for EVs): While electric vehicles<br />

do not run the risk of fuel leaks, there is still a<br />

combustion risk from lithium-ion batteries,<br />

especially at hot temperatures. Fires caused<br />

by or affecting the battery of an EV may need<br />

different treatment, and a damaged battery<br />

could reignite hours later if it retained a<br />

charge.<br />

Tyres: Tyres can also catch fire and are<br />

particularly hard to put out. Poorly inflated<br />

tyres rubbing against a solid surface on the<br />

chassis can reach ignition temperatures, or a<br />

failed brake lock system can cause heat too.<br />

Surprising other causes: James Long<br />

identified some surprising causes of vehicle<br />

fires, too. For instance, those slovenly drivers<br />

who throw a cigarette stub out of their<br />

window can get their just desserts if it is<br />

sucked back in as the vehicle moves and may<br />

smoulder in the backseat without a driver<br />

noticing. This form of instant justice has<br />

become less likely in recent years, however,<br />

with flame-retardant seat covers a legal<br />

obligation for manufacturers, but it could<br />

cause a problem if there were papers or some<br />

other flammable material on the back seat.<br />

Another odd one comes from fallen<br />

autumn leaves or branches under a vehicle in<br />

a parking spot, which can be drawn into a<br />

vehicle’s catalytic convertor as the driver<br />

starts the engine. Similarly, debris on the<br />

roadway can get caught in wheels or axles<br />

and cause friction fires – this can be a cause<br />

of truck fires, according to the Australian<br />

Road Transport Suppliers Association.<br />

Can a parked car catch fire?<br />

An extremely rare but possible cause of a<br />

fire in a parked vehicle is refracted sunlight<br />

from a reflective object – a non-tinted<br />

pocket mirror left on a seat, for example, or in<br />

a really unusual case, a bottle of water. This is<br />

unlikely to develop into a full fire, given that<br />

seat covers must be flame-retardant, but<br />

could burn holes in upholstery if left<br />

unchecked. Particularly true if the object that<br />

channels the light into a flame is sat on<br />

combustible materials.<br />

What do I do if my car catches fire or I see<br />

smoke while driving?<br />

Stop, pull into a safe place, get all<br />

passengers out of the vehicle and call the<br />

emergency services. As James Long points<br />

out, “the electrical system can get<br />

compromised in a fire and that could affect<br />

your central locking”, so you don’t want to<br />

delay leaving the vehicle.<br />

If it’s safe, you could use an extinguisher to<br />

tackle a small external fire, but don’t put<br />

yourself at risk – as DFB remind us, “a car<br />

can be replaced, you can’t”.<br />

Long also advises against opening the<br />

bonnet if smoke is coming out, as you could<br />

inadvertently make matters worse by<br />

introducing more oxygen to the flames.<br />

Step away from the live lanes once you get<br />

out of the car, and get behind a crash barrier<br />

if there is one because other drivers may not<br />

see you with smoke or flames in their line of<br />

vision.<br />

Stay well away from the vehicle – both<br />

DFB and James Long cite toxic chemicals as a<br />

risk to those near car fires, especially if the<br />

refrigerant or other fuels start to burn, and<br />

there is a danger of injury from smoke<br />

inhalation.<br />

One thing that is unlikely to happen is the<br />

Hollywood-style explosion; rather “tyres can<br />

pop, and boot/bonnet struts can fire off like<br />

missiles”.<br />

It’s a good idea to get as far as you can<br />

away from the vehicle, as there have been<br />

recorded cases of gas springs shooting from<br />

the car.<br />

If you can see or smell fuel after a collision,<br />

it’s best to err on the side of caution and<br />

move away from the vehicle too.<br />

It’s also worth telling the emergency<br />

services what type of vehicle it is from the<br />

offset and if you were carrying any<br />

flammable cargo that would require different<br />

treatment.<br />

A fire in an electric vehicle usually needs<br />

more water than an ICE one, and their<br />

An apology<br />

In the November<br />

issue, we neglected<br />

to acknowledge<br />

Tom Harrington as<br />

the author of the<br />

piece we published<br />

on colour blindness.<br />

Apologies, and glad<br />

to put that oversight<br />

right in this issue.<br />

batteries need careful treatment, as they<br />

have been known to suddenly reignite hours<br />

later. (See next page for more)<br />

How do you prevent a car fire?<br />

Keeping on top of your vehicle’s<br />

maintenance and getting it serviced regularly<br />

is the best way to avoid a spontaneous fire,<br />

given that around two-in-three roadside fires<br />

are caused by mechanical or electric faults.<br />

Never ignore a warning light on your<br />

dashboard; if your vehicle is part of a product<br />

recall, don’t wait to return it. You might avoid<br />

some short-term inconvenience, but it could<br />

result in a much larger problem or even<br />

serious injury if a fire broke out.<br />

The older your vehicle is, the more<br />

important it is to keep on top of your<br />

maintenance.<br />

In the US, roughly three-quarters of the<br />

fires attributed to faults in 2017 involved cars<br />

that were at least ten years old. Also, some<br />

faults develop over time rather than<br />

suddenly, especially if caused by fraying<br />

electrical wires, insulation or rubbing of fuel<br />

lines.<br />

This means a regular service might catch<br />

the issue before it catches fire. The AA offers<br />

an approved car service from trusted garages<br />

around the country.<br />

Hybrids – the worst offenders<br />

A recent study by US insurer, Auto<br />

Insurance EZ found that hybrid cars had the<br />

worst fire record, while EVs were the least<br />

likely type of car to catch fire.<br />

Hybrid cars had 3,474.5 fires per 100,000<br />

sale; petrol cars had 1,529.9 fires per 100,000<br />

sales and EVs had just 25.1 fires per 100,000<br />

sales.<br />

The primary cause of fires in EVs are<br />

batteries, according to AutoinsuranceEZ.<br />

There were 82,000 Hyundai Kona EVs in a<br />

fire risk recall in the US because of the<br />

battery.<br />

Continued on page 22<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023 21


Towards your CPD<br />

Continued from page 21<br />

In the US a major recall of the Chevrolet<br />

Volt EV entailed 70,000 vehicles. And what<br />

about hybrid recalls because of battery<br />

problems? There were 27,600 Chrysler<br />

Pacifica vehicles recalled because of fire risk.<br />

And there have been a total of 4,500 vehicles<br />

recalled for batteries being a fire risk among<br />

the following ranges: the BMW 530e,<br />

xDrive30e, Mini Cooper Countryman AII4 SE,<br />

i8, 330e, 745Le xDrive and X5xDrive45e.<br />

Electric car fires<br />

So, although EVs catch fire far less<br />

frequently than hybrid or petrol cars when<br />

they do, it’s a different type of fire due to<br />

lithium-ion batteries, AutoinsuranceEZ<br />

reported. EV fires are significantly harder to<br />

put out, and firefighters need special training<br />

to do so. This is because the lithium-ion<br />

batteries are essentially a fuel source so the<br />

fire can burn for hours and be very difficult for<br />

firefighters to cool down.<br />

Over-charging and high temperatures are<br />

risks for lithium-ion battery fires.<br />

Tips to prevent battery fires in EV vehicles<br />

One of the main triggers for battery fires is<br />

high temperatures. This is of great<br />

importance in countries like Australia, with<br />

extreme summer temperatures. If an EV<br />

battery is exposed to extreme temperatures<br />

– 50 deg C + – then exothermic reactions<br />

On <strong>December</strong> 7, 2022,<br />

several electric vehicles<br />

being transported by<br />

truck went up in flames<br />

on the M1.<br />

can get triggered and generate more heat.<br />

Also, charging at high temperatures can lead<br />

to a gas generation that can ultimately lead to<br />

the car catching fire.<br />

It is advised to avoid parking in direct<br />

sunlight or leaving your EV in hot<br />

surroundings. Keep batteries in cool, dry<br />

areas with adequate ventilation.<br />

Don’t overcharge: The EV should be<br />

unplugged before the battery is at full<br />

capacity. It is also dangerous for battery<br />

health to leave it completely drained.<br />

Batteries should be charged when they are<br />

between 20-80 per cent capacity.<br />

Damage from the road: Potholes, rocks, or<br />

other debris from the road can be very<br />

dangerous for batteries, with side impacts or<br />

underside punctures posing a great threat.<br />

Damaged batteries should be taken<br />

immediately to a qualified electrician.<br />

Let the EV cool down: Don’t start charging<br />

as soon as the car stops because the<br />

lithium-ion battery is very hot. Let the<br />

system cool down before you plug it in.<br />

Finally: The story goes that a motorist<br />

whose car caught fire, ran to a house and<br />

asked an elderly lady for some water to put<br />

out the fire. The lady replied – “Hot or cold”?<br />

Never leave your Chevy Volt parked upside down ...<br />

Much of the debate around electric vehicles<br />

catching fire stems from 2012, when US<br />

crash investigators were left baffled after<br />

two unattended Chevy Volts caught fire and<br />

burned down garages within weeks of each<br />

other.<br />

A little history is in order. At the time the<br />

NHTSA was putting the Chevy Volt through<br />

crash simulations. In one test, a Volt was<br />

subjected to a side impact and a simulated<br />

roll. The Volt was then placed outside in an<br />

inverted position with a fully charged<br />

battery. Though it is standard practice to<br />

remove the energy in the form of gasoline<br />

from a test vehicle, the Volt was left fully<br />

charged in the inverted position. Days later,<br />

the Volt battery caught fire.<br />

The NHTSA then ordered three batteries<br />

from Chevrolet. They began a series of<br />

impact tests on the independent batteries<br />

outside of the vehicles. The first battery<br />

produced no thermal action. The second and<br />

third caught fire. A report was released to the<br />

public and within weeks two garage fires<br />

were reported simultaneously, one in<br />

Connecticut and one in North Carolina. It<br />

would be reported months later after a<br />

thorough investigation that neither of the<br />

Volts nor the EVSEs was deemed responsible<br />

for the fires, but the media damage was done<br />

and the narrative began that EVs are<br />

susceptible to catch fire.<br />

So, which vehicle is more likely to catch<br />

fire, and are their fires equal? Maybe the<br />

closest we have to an answer is data<br />

provided by Steven Risser, senior leader for<br />

Battelle, a non-profit research and<br />

development firm, and one of the leading<br />

experts on the risk of fires in electric<br />

vehicles.<br />

Steven said: “The propensity and severity<br />

of fires and explosions from lithium-ion<br />

battery systems are somewhat comparable<br />

to or perhaps slightly less than those for<br />

gasoline or diesel fuels, according to an<br />

in-depth investigation in 2017.”<br />

Tesla claims that gasoline powered cars<br />

are about 11 times more likely to catch fire<br />

than one of its cars, and it can back that stat<br />

up: its 500,000 EVs produced globally have<br />

covered accumulative 10 billion EV miles, and<br />

according to Elon Musk, there have been just<br />

five fires per billion miles for Tesla. Most Tesla<br />

fires occur after high-speed violent crashes.<br />

It’s also worth noting that the number of<br />

Tesla fires have been reduced since it added<br />

additional metal plating to protect the<br />

battery. Steven Risser added that a little<br />

more data is needed but for the time being, it<br />

appears that time and data are tracking in<br />

EVs’ favour.<br />

When so-called legacy manufacturers<br />

reach a point where their profits depend on<br />

EV sales, then maybe we will get the rest of<br />

the data that EV enthusiasts suspect: that<br />

this has been ‘fake news’ from the start.<br />

22 NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

Navigating the digital roads: A guide for ADIs on<br />

getting social media to work in your favour<br />

As members of the Motor Schools<br />

Association of Great Britain (MSA GB), we<br />

recognise the importance of embracing<br />

digital platforms to educate our students,<br />

elevate our profiles, and stay abreast of<br />

industry updates, including valuable insights<br />

from MSA GB.<br />

The power of social media for ADIs<br />

Social media has become a dynamic tool<br />

for driving instructors to engage with their<br />

students, showcase their expertise, and keep<br />

up with industry trends. Here’s how you can<br />

lever social media to drive success in your<br />

driving instructor business:<br />

1. Educate Your students<br />

- Share informative and visually appealing<br />

content, such as road safety tips, driving<br />

techniques, and updates on driving<br />

regulations.<br />

- Create short video clips demonstrating<br />

common driving scenarios or providing<br />

tutorials on specific manoeuvres.<br />

2. Raise Your profile<br />

- Showcase your achievements,<br />

certifications, and positive reviews to build<br />

trust with potential students.<br />

- Share success stories and testimonials<br />

from satisfied students to demonstrate your<br />

teaching prowess.<br />

3. Stay informed with industry news<br />

- Follow MSA GB on social media platforms<br />

to stay updated on the latest industry news,<br />

regulations, and educational resources.<br />

- Engage in discussions with fellow<br />

instructors, exchanging insights and best<br />

practices.<br />

4. Promote special offers and discounts<br />

- Use social media to announce<br />

promotions, discounts, or package deals to<br />

attract new students.<br />

- Encourage current students to share<br />

your posts, expanding your reach within their<br />

social networks.<br />

5. Interactive learning opportunities<br />

- Host live Q&A sessions, allowing<br />

potential and current students to ask<br />

questions directly.<br />

- Run polls or quizzes to keep your<br />

audience engaged and test their knowledge<br />

of road rules.<br />

6. Consistent branding<br />

- Maintain a cohesive brand image across<br />

all social media platforms, including a<br />

professional profile picture, a concise bio, and<br />

consistent messaging.<br />

- Use branded visuals and colours to<br />

create a sand trustworthy online presence.<br />

Tips for social media success<br />

1. Choose the Right Platforms:<br />

Select platforms that align with your<br />

target audience. Instagram and Facebook are<br />

popular choices for visual content, while<br />

Twitter is excellent for real-time updates.<br />

Share informative<br />

and visually<br />

appealing content in<br />

your online<br />

activities, such as<br />

road safety tips,<br />

driving techniques,<br />

and updates on<br />

driving regulations.<br />

2. Content calendar:<br />

Plan your posts in advance using a content<br />

calendar. This ensures a consistent flow of<br />

valuable information and prevents sporadic<br />

updates.<br />

3. Engage with your audience:<br />

Respond promptly to comments and<br />

messages. Engaging with your audience<br />

builds a sense of community and trust.<br />

4. Hashtags:<br />

Research and use relevant hashtags to<br />

increase the visibility of your posts. This can<br />

attract potential students interested in<br />

learning to drive.<br />

5. Analytics:<br />

Monitor the performance of your posts<br />

using analytics tools provided by social media<br />

platforms. Adjust your strategy based on<br />

what resonates most with your audience.<br />

By incorporating social media into your<br />

driving instructor business, you not only<br />

enhance your teaching capabilities but also<br />

contribute to the broader community of<br />

driving instructors.<br />

Stay connected, stay informed, and drive<br />

success through the digital avenues available<br />

to us.<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023 23


Members’ section<br />

MSA GB Annual Conference 2024<br />

It’s a case of all roads lead to Telford as we head to Shropshire<br />

for the MSA GB Annual Conference 2024.<br />

To be held from March 22-23 at the stunning Telford Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort<br />

in Shropshire, it promises to be the ideal mix of information, debate, advice,<br />

education, networking and fun, as the MSA GB membership comes<br />

together to learn more about, and discuss, the big issues of the day.<br />

We are in the middle of confirming our keynote presenters, but we can<br />

guarantee an exciting and knowledgeable roster of high-profile names from<br />

the DVSA and driver training and road safety communities.<br />

Bookings are open now. Just click on the link below to book. See the price list<br />

below, with day, day/night and full weekend packages available.<br />

We have endeavoured to keep our prices as low as possible while providing a high-quality<br />

weekend, and the Telford Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort has more than enough to keep nondelegate<br />

partners happy, with a superb swimming pool and spa, golf and other attractions<br />

on site, as well as having the beautiful Severn Valley and iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site<br />

of Ironbridge Gorge on its doorstep. Even better, we have arranged a special MSA GB<br />

Conference discount on all spa treatments and golf fees!<br />

Please note: All prices below are EARLY BIRD prices, and will be held until January 20.<br />

After that date, some prices may rise.<br />

https://msagb.com/msa-gb-national-conference/<br />

Full Conference packages<br />

Two nights’ accommodation and breakfast, Friday & Saturday<br />

evening meals, Saturday lunch, Conference delegate ticket<br />

Single booking:<br />

£275<br />

Couple sharing (with non-delegate ticket):<br />

£385<br />

* Non delegates receive lunch<br />

on the Saturday<br />

Telford Hotel,<br />

Spa & Golf<br />

Resort<br />

One-day Conference packages<br />

One night’s accommodation and breakfast, Friday OR Saturday<br />

evening meals, Saturday lunch; Conference delegate ticket<br />

Single booking:<br />

£165<br />

Couple sharing (with non-delegate ticket):<br />

£235<br />

Conference day delegate<br />

* Non delegates receive lunch<br />

on the Saturday<br />

Conference delegate ticket for Saturday Booked after January 20<br />

If booked before<br />

£49<br />

January 20 ...<br />

£59<br />

Thinking of bringing<br />

the family?<br />

There are other options available during<br />

Saturday should you wish to make this a<br />

family weekend and bring the children.<br />

You can find full details at:<br />

https://msagb.com/msa-gb-nationalconference/<br />

24 NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

Congratulations, James!<br />

Congratulations to James Waller, who<br />

was the winner of the MSA GB’s recent<br />

prize draw to win an AlcoSense<br />

Breathalyser.<br />

James said: “I was really shocked but<br />

pleased to get the call from Peter Harvey<br />

saying that I had won. I’ve only ever won one<br />

other prize draw, so it was a great surprise to<br />

have won this time.’<br />

James joined MSA GB after seeing several<br />

positive reviews on a local ADI forum. He was<br />

initially just looking for public liability<br />

insurance, but over time has come to enjoy<br />

the many other benefits associated with MSA<br />

GB membership, including our extensive<br />

driver training programme, news round-ups,<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong> and the exclusive content on the<br />

MSA GB App.<br />

James has had his own driver training<br />

business since 2016, and since 2021 has<br />

worked full-time as an emergency response<br />

driving instructor for the Norfolk Fire and<br />

Rescue Service.<br />

Prior to that, he was a police officer for 22<br />

years, where he spent 10 years as a driving<br />

instructor for the Norfolk Constabulary.<br />

AlcoSense: Every ADI should have one handy<br />

Peter Harvey<br />

I would like to offer my congratulation to<br />

James Waller on being the winner of our prize<br />

draw for a breathalyser kindly donated by<br />

AlcoSense.<br />

When the one I was asked to try arrived, it<br />

was well packaged, includes the required<br />

batteries, five mouthpieces and full<br />

instructions. The Excel version is very easy to<br />

use, with a simple menu, and can be adjusted<br />

to suit the country you are in depending on the<br />

legal limit there.<br />

Once set up, the breathalyser gives a very<br />

clear reading in traffic light colours, making it<br />

easy to follow.<br />

Green, as you would expect, tells you you<br />

are okay to drive.<br />

Amber advises you that alcohol is present<br />

but you are below the limit you entered at set<br />

up – though it is so important to check what<br />

the limit is in the country you use it.<br />

Red is pretty self-explanatory – Don’t<br />

drive.<br />

The set is very compact, about the same<br />

size as a mobile phone but a little deeper. It is<br />

ideal for eliminating any concerns you may<br />

have the morning after – or for your pupils.<br />

The Excel model costs around £100 and can<br />

be viewed: https://alcosense.co.uk/<br />

alcosense/alcosense-excel.html<br />

There are several other options available<br />

ranging from single use kits for around £6 up<br />

to £250, Now we are all getting back into<br />

travelling, one of these may be an ideal gift for<br />

someone you know.<br />

Even better, go through the MSA GB<br />

website at https://msagb.com/members/<br />

member-discounts/<br />

to secure your member discount.<br />

Get 10p off every litre of fuel with<br />

special MSA GB deal<br />

The cost-of-living crisis is putting many<br />

ADIs under considerable financial pressure,<br />

and nowhere is it felt more than through<br />

the rising cost of fuel.<br />

So to help alleviate some of the burden<br />

on our members, we’re thrilled to<br />

announce a brand-new partnership with<br />

Fuel Card Services.<br />

A fuel card from MSA GB partner, Fuel<br />

Card Services can provide huge benefits to<br />

businesses that use vehicles on a daily<br />

basis:<br />

n Cutting fuel costs - save up to 10p per<br />

litre and get a consistent price.<br />

n Increased security - fuel cards are a<br />

safer alternative to carrying cash and<br />

eliminate fraud.<br />

n Streamline admin - HMRC compliant<br />

invoices, no receipts, one neat invoice and<br />

a dedicated account manager.<br />

n Tighter control of business expenses<br />

- view transactions and reports online 24/7.<br />

n Increased flexibility for refuelling<br />

across a huge network.<br />

n Fleet convenience - a quick and<br />

convenient way for fleets to refuel.<br />

There are a range of fuel cards available<br />

on the market and for your business to<br />

truly benefit from investing in fuel cards,<br />

you need to choose the right one for your<br />

businesses’ requirements.<br />

FUEL CARD SERVICES offers a large<br />

choice of networks from leading brands,<br />

such as BP, Shell, Esso and UK Fuels, so<br />

you can decide which networks you wish<br />

to include on your business account.<br />

Fuel Card Services and MSA GB are<br />

helping to deliver cost savings to<br />

members throughout the country.<br />

For more details and to obtain a fuel<br />

card through MSA GB, go to our website at<br />

https://msagb.com/members/<br />

member-discounts/<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023 25


Members’ section<br />

MSA GB launches new partnership with insurer to<br />

keep you on the road when things go wrong<br />

MSA GB partners with AI<br />

Insurance Solutions Limited<br />

to provide members with dual<br />

control cars for when things<br />

don’t quite go to plan.<br />

A critical service to driving instructors is the<br />

provision of a dual-controlled replacement<br />

vehicle for non-fault and fault accidents.<br />

But in recent months we have had several<br />

calls from MSA GB members across the<br />

country who have been let down by their<br />

insurance company not being able to supply a<br />

dual-controlled vehicle when they have had<br />

an accident.<br />

They report that they are usually offered a<br />

replacement vehicle but not one with dual<br />

controls – which isn’t a lot of good when<br />

running a driving school.<br />

MSA GB steps in<br />

Understanding the stress and the<br />

detriment to your business this can cause,<br />

we are pleased to announce that we have<br />

formed an exclusive agreement with AI<br />

Solutions Ltd to supply a replacement vehicle<br />

to you should the need arise.<br />

This means that MSA GB members will be<br />

able to obtain both a replacement manual or<br />

automatic dual-controlled car for both fault<br />

and non-fault accidents, without the need to<br />

buy an extra insurance policy to cover the risk.<br />

The cost of using this new service is zero.<br />

You don’t need to register or buy an<br />

insurance policy.<br />

If you need to use the service the cost of<br />

your replacement vehicle will be charged<br />

either to their insurance policy or yours,<br />

depending entirely on who is at fault.<br />

Additionally, if the vehicle needs to be<br />

recovered, this also will be charged to the<br />

appropriate insurer.<br />

However, we must stress that this does<br />

not impose any restrictions on where you get<br />

your vehicle repaired.<br />

The FCA states under ‘treating customers<br />

fairly’ that - ‘a policy-holder does not have to<br />

use the services of their broker or insurer but<br />

can access any service they choose without<br />

their instructor insurance policy being<br />

invalidated.’<br />

So, in the event of an accident you simply<br />

need to contact The AI Insurance Solutions<br />

Emergency (AIIS) assistance line on 01945<br />

425211. AIIS will then inform your insurer and<br />

organise for your replacement dual controlled<br />

car to be delivered to your chosen location as<br />

soon as possible.<br />

If your vehicle is drivable and legal<br />

post-event, then it is best to arrange a<br />

delivery to the body repairer at an agreed<br />

time. If the vehicle, however, is not drivable,<br />

then AI Solutions will ensure that it is<br />

delivered to the most convenient location for<br />

you.<br />

Sadly, statistically, road traffic crashes do<br />

happen, and we cannot prevent you from<br />

being involved in one.<br />

However, with this new agreement we<br />

hope to ensure that any impact to MSA GB<br />

members is kept to a minimum.<br />

How it<br />

works...<br />

n A prompt and<br />

courteous reporting<br />

process 24 hours a day<br />

n To be taken to a safe<br />

place/home if your car<br />

is not drivable<br />

n A replacement dual<br />

controlled car on same<br />

day as accident<br />

reported, if before 2pm<br />

(in Scotland, this may<br />

take up to 24hrs)<br />

n The vehicle will be of<br />

a similar size<br />

n Regular updates on<br />

your vehicle’s repair<br />

26 NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

FAQs on the new membership service<br />

Q: How do I use the service?<br />

A: You just call AIIS’s emergency<br />

assistance number on 01945 425211.<br />

Q: What will the service cost me?<br />

A: Just the cost of a call.<br />

Q: Should I notify my insurance company?<br />

A: Absolutely, although AIIS will also talk to<br />

them to confirm hire provision and, where<br />

appropriate, details of the repairer.<br />

Q: What if my vehicle is not drivable?<br />

A: AIIS will recover the vehicle to safe<br />

storage and get you home or to a<br />

nominated location.<br />

Q: Is this an insurance product that I need<br />

to purchase?<br />

A: No, the service is provided to you on a<br />

no-cost basis.<br />

Q: What if my vehicle is drivable?<br />

A: AIIS can arrange for an estimate to<br />

completed and deliver the car to the<br />

repairer to ensure that you are mobile<br />

throughout the process and that there is<br />

no loss of income.<br />

Emergency crash protocol: What to do if you are involved in a crash<br />

In the event of a crash, call 01945 425211 to use the AIIS offer<br />

More MSA GB membership offers<br />

and discounts - see pg 38-39<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023 27


Members’ section<br />

New membership service: Find My Local<br />

MSA GB Instructor directory launched<br />

Cut through the competition<br />

by advertising your skills on<br />

MSA GB’s own ADI directory<br />

With the DVSA (https://tinyurl.com/<br />

4b3t9a9e) reporting a 24 per cent increase in<br />

the number of new driving instructor<br />

registrations in 2022/2023, compared to<br />

2020/2021, our industry is set to become<br />

even more competitive as driving instructors<br />

do battle to gain the attention of those<br />

wanting to learn to drive.<br />

To help MSA GB members cut through the<br />

industry noise and raise their profile, we’re<br />

delighted to announce the launch of our<br />

online ‘Find My Local MSA GB Instructor’<br />

directory, which will be proudly displayed on<br />

the MSA GB home page and on the MSA GB<br />

App.<br />

Once live, this new directory will be easily<br />

accessible by the public, who can use our<br />

simple search engine to source a driving<br />

instructor in their local area, who suits their<br />

learning needs.<br />

For MSA GB members it couldn’t be simpler<br />

to input your details and make sure you stand<br />

out from the crowd. We’ve included several<br />

opportunities for you to highlight any special<br />

skills or teaching experience that you may<br />

have, for example teaching pupils with<br />

disabilities or those who are particularly<br />

anxious drivers.<br />

To upload your profile onto the MSA GB<br />

directory, all you need to do is:<br />

n Log into the Member Area<br />

n Look to the left of the page and scroll<br />

down until you see three blue arrow tabs.<br />

n Click on the tab - ‘Add Directory listing’<br />

n You will then be taken to the following<br />

page:<br />

n Input your details and upload your photo<br />

(adding your photo is optional)<br />

n Once you’ve inputted all your details,<br />

check that all your information is correct<br />

n Tick the box if you agree to share your<br />

details on the website. Please note if you do<br />

not tick the box your details will not appear<br />

on the on the Find My Local MSA GB<br />

Instructor directory.<br />

n Click submit – and your done!<br />

This is just one of the many fantastic<br />

benefits that MSA GB members get to enjoy<br />

with their membership, which also includes:<br />

n PI & PL Insurance cover totalling £10<br />

million.<br />

n Legal & Technical Advice<br />

n Member Representation<br />

n Access to a wealth of exclusive<br />

information and downloadable resources<br />

n Member Discounts<br />

n Our monthly digital industry magazine<br />

- <strong>Newslink</strong><br />

n Comprehensive driving school cover.<br />

We hope registering is a straightforward<br />

process, but if you need any assistance, or<br />

have any queries, don’t hesitate to contact<br />

our membership team on info@msagb.com<br />

or 01787 221 020<br />

28 NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023


ADI groups and associations<br />

MSA GB is proud of its long-standing links with many local ADI<br />

groups around the country. Many are small, dedicated to driver<br />

training in one city, town or even focused on a sole DTC, but all<br />

work tirelessly to improve the work of being an ADI. This can<br />

be in representing ADIs’ interests and views to your DVSA area<br />

manager, offering an ADI’s voice to local authorities and town<br />

planners, or by simply providing a network within which ADIs can<br />

find help and advice from their fellow instructors. After all, for<br />

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

many ADIs working as sole traders, being a driving instructor can<br />

be a lonely task: local ADI groups help stop it feeling quite so much<br />

that it’s ‘you against the world.’<br />

From this issue onwards <strong>Newslink</strong> will be publishing a list of local<br />

ADI groups and associations. We will only publish those groups<br />

who let us know they are happy to be included in our list, however,<br />

so if you would like to see your details here, please contact Peter<br />

Harvey at peter.harveymbe@msagb.com<br />

Aberdeen and District Driving Schools<br />

Association<br />

Secretary: Derek Young<br />

T: 07732 379396<br />

E: derekyoungcreel@aol.com<br />

Meets quarterly February (AGM), May,<br />

August and November.<br />

Cost £35 per annum<br />

Angus Driving Instructors Association<br />

Secretary: Frances Matthew<br />

T: 07703 664522<br />

E; francesmatthew@hotmail.co.uk<br />

This group holds six meeting per year<br />

(usually one week after the Scottish<br />

committee meeting)<br />

Cost £20 per year.<br />

Aylesbury Vale Driving Instructors<br />

Association<br />

Chairman: Sue Pusey<br />

T: 07780 606868<br />

E: AVDIA@btinternet.com<br />

Meetings are first Wednesday of every<br />

month at Church of the Holy Spirit,<br />

Camborne Avenue, Aylesbury, HP21 7UE.<br />

7.30pm start.<br />

Guest speaker every other month,<br />

refreshments provided.<br />

Annual fee £30. First meeting free as try<br />

before you buy.<br />

Birmingham Approved Driving Instructors<br />

Contact: Dave Allen<br />

T: 07939 627493<br />

E: Daveallen1999@googlemail.com<br />

Cornwall Association of Approved Driving<br />

Instructors (CAADI)<br />

Secretary: Rachael Lloyd-Phillips<br />

E: rachael@oneandallsom.co.uk<br />

This group meets via Zoom on the 3rd<br />

Monday every other month at 7.30pm.<br />

City of Dunfermline and District ADIs<br />

Secretary: Gail Pilch<br />

T: 07817 661450<br />

E: dunfermlineadisecretary@outlook.com<br />

Meetings are bi-monthly, at<br />

Dunfermline Northern Bowling Club, Dewar<br />

Street,<br />

Dunfermline KY12 8AD<br />

Glasgow & District Driving Instructors<br />

Association<br />

Contact: Bryan Phillips<br />

T: 07989 339 646<br />

E: bryan.phillips@hotmail.co.uk<br />

Meet on the last Sunday of the month,<br />

once every quarter, at<br />

The Fort Theatre, Kenmuir Ave,<br />

Bishopbriggs, Glasgow, G64 2DW.<br />

Joining fee: £15 per year<br />

Hinckley & District Driver Trainers<br />

Association (HDDTA)<br />

Chairman: Barrie Pates<br />

T: 07914 408 739<br />

E: haddta@yahoo.com<br />

Hull and East Riding Driving Instructors<br />

(HERDI)<br />

Contact: Andrew<br />

T: 07754542993<br />

E: herdi.rsa@gmail.com<br />

Lanark Driving Instructors<br />

Secretary: Sandra Smillie<br />

T: 07975 147150<br />

Meet quarterly from March which is our<br />

AGM<br />

South Warwickshire Association<br />

of ADIs (SWAADI)<br />

Contact: Andy Thomas<br />

T: 01926 717230 / 07900 673634<br />

E: artommo@hotmail.com<br />

We meet at 8.30pm every third Monday of<br />

the month except August and <strong>December</strong><br />

(no meetings) at The Windmill Inn,<br />

Tachbrook Rd, Leamington Spa CV31 3DD,<br />

Rolls and snacks are available for a small<br />

charge and membership is £25 a year and<br />

includes a monthly newsletter and addition<br />

to a WhatsApp group for local issues/<br />

traffic updates, etc.<br />

Swindon Driving Instructors Association<br />

(Swindon DIA)<br />

Contact: Sandra Jill Richens<br />

T: 07795 006015<br />

E: SJRichens@btinternet.com<br />

Taunton Association Driving Instructors<br />

See Facebook page – search ‘Taunton ADI<br />

& PDI Forum’<br />

Wirral Association of Professional Driving<br />

Instructors (APDI)<br />

Chairman: Brian Murray<br />

T: 07810 094332<br />

Secretary: Richard Gillmore<br />

T: 07790 193138<br />

E: wirral-apdi@hotmail.co.uk<br />

W: wirralinstructors.co.uk<br />

Meet monthly on the first Thursday of the<br />

month (except January and August)<br />

at Heswall FC, Brimstage Road, Heswall,<br />

Wirral CH60 1XG<br />

Further information and to join, please visit<br />

the website.<br />

Why join a local association?<br />

Local news, local input – a local voice...<br />

If you want to see your local ADI group listed in this index,<br />

contact Peter Harvey on peterharveymbe@msagb.com<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023 29


Area news<br />

Great conference leaves us in the know<br />

on EVs, tax, disabled drivers and DVSA<br />

Arthur Mynott<br />

MSA GB<br />

West Coast & Wales<br />

The MSA GB West Coast & Wales Area 4<br />

Conference and AGM took place at the<br />

Gloucester Robinswood Hotel, Gloucester on<br />

Thursday, 6th November, and our audience of<br />

ADIs were treated to a wide range of excellent<br />

presenters relevant to our industry.<br />

The day started with a welcoming speech<br />

from yours truly, and then I introduced our<br />

first speaker, Matt Cleevely from Cleevely<br />

Electric Vehicles, a local garage company<br />

which kindly supplied a couple of EVs for test<br />

drives on the day.<br />

Matt was a mine of information on electric<br />

cars, their servicing, repair and the many<br />

different makes and models. He discussed<br />

many of the myths surrounding these<br />

vehicles, answering lots of questions from<br />

the audience. He was so enthusiastic about it<br />

even I was almost inclined to buy one!<br />

This was followed by a presentation from<br />

Alan Gott of FBTC Accountancy Services, the<br />

MSA GB recommended accountants. I had<br />

met Alan earlier this year and asked if he<br />

would like to come to our event to talk about<br />

‘Making Tax Digital’, so the seed was sown.<br />

Alan introduced himself by saying he was<br />

from FBTC but was going to talk about<br />

making tax digital, and not his company. He<br />

said that he was a Geordie through and<br />

through but had left his cloth cap at home,<br />

and he was a self-confessed ‘tax nerd’!<br />

Alan explained how Making Tax Digital<br />

would affect us as driving instructors when it<br />

eventually comes in, such as submitting<br />

quarterly accounts as well as annual<br />

accounts, the fines you would get for not<br />

doing so on time plus the apps and software<br />

you would need to do this.<br />

He explained everything we needed to<br />

know in easy-to-understand terms and<br />

answered lots and lots of questions from the<br />

audience. It was a shame when I had to ask<br />

him to finish because of time restraints but<br />

he and his colleague Jason stayed for the rest<br />

of the day to enjoy the other speakers, and<br />

were on hand to answer more questions.<br />

After a short refreshment break our next<br />

speaker was Haydn Jenkins from Disability<br />

Driving Instructors. Many of you will have<br />

heard about this excellent organisation,<br />

which offers driving lessons to people who<br />

are mildly or severely disabled, are hearing<br />

impaired or suffer from other cognitive<br />

disabilities.<br />

Haydn showed us a host of pictures of the<br />

various driving aids available to disabled<br />

drivers, such as the hand accelerator/brake<br />

control and the ‘lollipop’ control on the<br />

steering wheel, among others.<br />

I was intrigued by the fact that there are no<br />

wires on the lollipop; it was connected via<br />

Bluetooth to a panel behind the dashboard,<br />

the wonders of modern technology.<br />

Haydn closed his presentation by showing<br />

a video of a woman with no arms driving and<br />

steering her car with her legs.<br />

Disability Driving Instructors is always on<br />

the look-out for new instructors throughout<br />

the country as its aim is to provide a suitably<br />

qualified instructor within a radius of 40-50<br />

miles from any disabled driver. If you are<br />

interested in finding more about them then<br />

please contact me on my details below, and I<br />

will pass on your details.<br />

AGM<br />

Following Haydn’s presentation, we held<br />

our AGM which was conducted by MSA GB<br />

National Chairman Mike Yeomans. The Area<br />

Committee were elected to their previous<br />

positions.<br />

Following the AGM we held a minute’s<br />

silence in memory of Clive Snook, the former<br />

MSA GB Western Chairman and long-<br />

30 NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

Arthur Mynott makes a<br />

presentation to Colin Lilly<br />

in recognition of his hard<br />

work for the MSA GB<br />

standing committee member who passed<br />

away recently (see November <strong>Newslink</strong>), and<br />

also for the late Lou Walsh, the Hampshirebased<br />

ADI and prolific fundraiser for BBC’s<br />

Children in Need.<br />

This was immediately followed by a<br />

presentation to Colin Lilly to mark his many<br />

years as Chairman in the previous MSA<br />

Western area, along with flowers delivered to<br />

his home for his wife, Rosemary (see panel).<br />

Peter Harvey and Loveday Ryder<br />

After a delicious two-course buffet lunch<br />

we resumed the afternoon’s activities with a<br />

presentation from Peter Harvey MBE. Peter<br />

gave an update as to what is going on in our<br />

industry, any changes we need to be aware of<br />

and any links that would be of use to us.<br />

This was immediately followed by the DVSA<br />

Chief Executive Loveday Ryder appearing via<br />

a video link. We originally had the DVSA<br />

driver training policy adviser, John Sheridan<br />

booked to attend but he had to withdraw<br />

owing to the DVSA switching all senior<br />

examiners to conduct driving tests in order to<br />

bring the waiting times down.<br />

Loveday couldn’t attend in person due to<br />

other commitments that day but asked if she<br />

could appear via video link, which was set up<br />

by Peter Harvey, Mike Yeomans and I. We<br />

were all ready to go when the time arrived,<br />

with the use of two laptops, a projector and<br />

screen, and it went ahead without a hitch.<br />

Loveday spoke about, among other things,<br />

why the reduction in waiting time for tests<br />

hasn’t been as quick as she predicted at our<br />

conference last year. Her aim is still to reduce<br />

the average waiting time to seven weeks.<br />

The failure to hit this target was blamed on,<br />

in varying degrees, strike action, sickness<br />

and a change in the public’s test-buying<br />

habits since the pandemic. Now senior<br />

examiners who held a testing warrant card<br />

were delivering driving tests the waiting<br />

times were starting to come down at various<br />

locations throughout the country, and she<br />

was optimistic that this would continue over<br />

the coming months.<br />

Afterwards, Loveday was happy to answer<br />

an array of questions from the audience, who<br />

were very appreciative for her presentation<br />

that day.<br />

I ended the day by thanking all the<br />

speakers for the day, the hotel for the use of<br />

their facilities and the delicious buffet, and<br />

wished everyone a safe journey home.<br />

When I <strong>final</strong>ly got home, I sat down on my<br />

sofa and went ‘PHEW’, relieved that<br />

everything had gone well, and then opened a<br />

deserved can of cider – what else for a West<br />

Country boy!<br />

Get in touch<br />

Arthur Mynott<br />

arthur.mynott@msagb.com<br />

07989852274<br />

An editor’s thanks<br />

Colin Lilly<br />

Editor<br />

MSA GB <strong>Newslink</strong><br />

As Arthur mentions in his article left, I<br />

received some gifts at the recent<br />

Conference to mark my time with MSA GB<br />

in the Western region.<br />

I did not anticipate the gifts, as I stood<br />

down as Chairman during the time when<br />

Covid was disrupting so many of our<br />

normal proceedings.<br />

I was proud to serve for 30 years as<br />

Regional Chairman of the MSA GB<br />

Western Region. I am a proud West<br />

Countryman and have always been keen<br />

to promote both road safety and the<br />

careers and work of driving instructors.<br />

Becoming Editor of <strong>Newslink</strong> has been<br />

an excellent opportunity to pursue the<br />

latter and further my writing as a regional<br />

editor for 30 years.<br />

My wife Rosemary, who has supported<br />

me throughout this time, was very<br />

grateful for the flowers and I greatly<br />

appreciated the presentation of the wine<br />

carafe at the meeting. Of course, I must<br />

express my gratitude to the regional<br />

committee members over the years, and<br />

members across the region.<br />

Thank you, everyone!<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023 31


Area News<br />

The tech is catching up at pace but<br />

it can’t replace the driver just yet<br />

Janet<br />

Stewart<br />

London & the<br />

South East<br />

Blind spot lights<br />

MSA GB Area 3’s conference and AGM took<br />

place on 12th November, and while it was a<br />

little disappointing that a few people who had<br />

booked on failed to attend, it was still a very<br />

worthwhile and informative event.<br />

It was led by our Chairman, Tom Kwok, with<br />

his usual enthusiasm. He went through the<br />

five top reasons for failure of the Standards<br />

Check. Briefly, they are as follows:<br />

Failure to adapt the lesson plan. When<br />

appropriate the lesson plan needs to be<br />

changed to help the pupil work towards their<br />

learning goals. Commonly, the ADI will try to<br />

stick to the plan, ignoring faults, change the<br />

plan when it is not necessary to do so or not<br />

discuss changing the plan with the pupil.<br />

Inappropriate teaching style. This could be<br />

giving unnecessary briefings, not matching<br />

the Q & A to the pupil’s ability, or failing to<br />

notice that the pupil is not comfortable with<br />

the teaching style.<br />

Failing to encourage the pupil to take<br />

responsibility for their own learning. There<br />

must be a client-centred approach, with the<br />

pupil analysing mistakes with the help of<br />

appropriate Q & A.<br />

The instructor needs to listen carefully to<br />

the pupil’s answers.<br />

Appropriate feedback. The pupil should be<br />

given appropriate and timely feedback, not<br />

ignoring faults that do not relate to the lesson<br />

plan. Where possible feedback should be<br />

given at the time and on the move, not<br />

retrospectively.<br />

Adequate feedback on safety-critical<br />

incidents. The ADI must not overlook or<br />

ignore a safety-critical incident. Such<br />

incidents must be analysed in depth ensuring<br />

the pupil’s understanding.<br />

The situation should be replicated as soon<br />

as possible to ensure learning has taken<br />

place.<br />

After Tom’s presentation, MSA GB National<br />

Chairman Mike Yeomans delivered a very<br />

interesting presentation on Advanced Driver<br />

Assistance Systems (ADAS).<br />

I am sure that I am not alone in having a car<br />

that is capable of doing far more than I am<br />

aware of. Many of us pick up a new car and<br />

don’t go much beyond checking where the<br />

headlamp control (and the high beam) is, and<br />

what sort of speeds the windscreen wipers<br />

can manage.<br />

We then struggle to set up our phones and<br />

spend a frustrating time trying to programme<br />

in our favourite radio stations.<br />

Or is it just me?<br />

One of the most common systems in cars<br />

is a collision avoidance sensor. When the<br />

vehicle is getting too close to, say, the one in<br />

front, many cars will now come up with a<br />

warning on the dashboard, possibly sound an<br />

alarm and then brake on the driver’s behalf.<br />

This is really helpful in unexpected situations<br />

but can be very disconcerting for a learner<br />

who has not been told about this in advance.<br />

Adaptive cruise control is a bit ‘marmite’. If<br />

the car has to slow down for any reason the<br />

car will then accelerate back up to the set<br />

speed and it will often do this very quickly,<br />

taking the driver unawares.<br />

However, it will enable the driver to keep to<br />

a safe distance on a motorway and, coupled<br />

with lane keep assist, is leading to a reduction<br />

in rear end shunts.<br />

Some cars now have a blind spot light in<br />

the corner of the door mirror. This will<br />

activate when another vehicle is in the blind<br />

spot, giving a warning of encroachment that<br />

the driver may not have seen. This is<br />

particularly useful at night when the light<br />

coming on is more noticeable. One of the<br />

latest systems is fatigue detection. A sensor<br />

notices when the driver’s eyes seem to be<br />

drooping or lacking movement, indicating<br />

lack of attention.<br />

Park assist is now quite common and can,<br />

on some vehicles, be activated by phone.<br />

Auto-park is the only adaptation not<br />

currently permitted on driving tests. We are<br />

also moving towards interactive traffic lights;<br />

connectivity will tell the car that the lights are<br />

going to change.<br />

It should be borne in mind that these<br />

systems act as a ‘smart co-pilot’,<br />

complementing but are not replacing the<br />

skills of the driver. From April 2024 all<br />

European cars will have to have Intelligent<br />

32 NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

“Advanced Driver Assistance<br />

Systems act as a ‘smart co-pilot’,<br />

complementing – but not<br />

replacing – the skills of the driver”<br />

Speed limit recognition<br />

Speed Awareness, so that the car will<br />

respond to speed limits.<br />

It is my understanding that the driver will<br />

be able to override this.<br />

For more information go to https://<br />

adashub.co.uk. It gives a clear and concise<br />

over-view and explanation of all these<br />

technologies.<br />

Peter Harvey<br />

Peter Harvey, MSA GB National Vice-<br />

Chairman, addressed the subject of ADIs and<br />

the DVSA and where we seem to be as 2023<br />

draws to a close. First, he talked about the<br />

sorts of complaints that are made about<br />

ADIs, starting with a reminder: you must not<br />

use a tablet or mobile phone for conducting a<br />

mock test and certainly not for any other<br />

reason! The driving test examiner is in a<br />

different relationship vis-à-vis a learner and<br />

is not supervising and, therefore, can use a<br />

tablet for marking.<br />

Touching the pupil and bad language are<br />

obviously unacceptable. It is easy to forget<br />

how much harm social media can do. Having a<br />

few drinks can end up on Facebook. The<br />

public will complain to the DVSA, noticing<br />

that, for example, the ADI was seen drinking<br />

coffee while on a lesson. Our colleagues will<br />

tell learners to complain about an experience<br />

they have had with another instructor. Eyes<br />

and ears are everywhere these days and we<br />

need to be totally professional at all times.<br />

In the event of a complaint the ADI will be<br />

interviewed and required to give a full<br />

explanation of the event. If the ADI is<br />

convicted of anything, they should tell the<br />

DVSA straight away, and explain and<br />

apologise. Do not wait for them to come to<br />

you.<br />

DVSA are now checking that your green or<br />

pink certificate remains in the window until<br />

the car is safely parked in the test centre car<br />

park and the ADI has left the vehicle. Some<br />

ADIs who intend to remove their badge<br />

before the test are taking it out too early.<br />

An ADI may fail a Standards Check twice<br />

and get a third attempt, but no more than<br />

that.<br />

The DVSA’s TIP (Test Information<br />

Programme) criteria that may trigger a<br />

Standards Check have been amended and<br />

the five indicators are:<br />

n Average number of driving faults being<br />

six or more.<br />

n Average number of serious faults per<br />

test being 0.55% or above<br />

n Physical action taken by the examiner<br />

being above 10% of all tests<br />

n Pass rate less than 55%<br />

n Fewer than five L-tests per year.<br />

About 4,200 ADIs are hitting these trigger<br />

points. ADIs can check their own status by<br />

going to https://tinyurl.com/yvw4mtml.<br />

The data analysis is available immediately and<br />

it is an automatic system.<br />

The future<br />

Peter then went on to talk about the future<br />

and what we might expect to see from the<br />

DVSA. Will the number of normal stops on a<br />

test be reduced to one? Will there be more –<br />

possibly the entire test – conducted on the<br />

sat nav? Should the frequency of the<br />

emergency stop be reduced to one in seven?<br />

What about the future of the 20mph speed<br />

limit, already introduced in Wales and<br />

possibly going to be introduced in Scotland?<br />

How about a limit of 25mph?<br />

Other issues in the melting pot are how<br />

long a learner should have to wait after failing<br />

a test before they can re-apply; should it be<br />

28 days? The current marking system is fault<br />

based with the examiner deciding on the<br />

seriousness of the fault. Should a more<br />

holistic view be taken, with positive rather<br />

than negative marking?<br />

Most test centres are in areas of high<br />

“It is easy to forget how much<br />

harm social media can do ...<br />

eyes and ears are everywhere<br />

these days and we need to be<br />

totally professional at all<br />

times...”<br />

population density. Should there be more<br />

scope for driving on rural roads? What about<br />

commentary driving?<br />

If a driving test is cancelled by the DVSA a<br />

pupil may claim two hours for the hire of the<br />

car (but not for tuition) and, where<br />

appropriate, loss of half a day’s salary.<br />

It was also stressed how the MSA GB<br />

Chairman sits on NASP (the National<br />

Associations Strategic Partnership)<br />

committee along with the heads of the DIA<br />

and ADINJC. They have regular meetings with<br />

DVSA, and frank and open discussions do<br />

take place.<br />

If we, as ADIs, want something to change,<br />

we need to speak up and let our<br />

representatives know what we would like<br />

them to put forward.<br />

The afternoon/early evening concluded<br />

with the first Area 3 AGM for which, in the<br />

absence of the Secretary, I also took the<br />

minutes.<br />

I ended up with nine pages of notes to<br />

type up – no sympathy expected!<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023 33


Area News<br />

Scotland AGM: Another Great Meeting<br />

Brian<br />

Thomson<br />

MSA GB Scotland<br />

When around 70 people congregate at Castle<br />

Cary Hotel for a Sunday morning meeting it<br />

can only mean one thing: Yes, it’s MSA GB<br />

Scotland’s training and AGM.<br />

The event actually starts on the Saturday<br />

afternoon with committee members<br />

gathering to discuss, plan and set up what we<br />

can in preparation for the members and some<br />

non-members (not for long though) arriving<br />

the next day, eager to hear what’s going on<br />

in our industry, and what changes are<br />

heading our way.<br />

The doors open to attendees at 9am for a<br />

prompt 9.30am start, and it’s great to see<br />

people arriving well before then just to get<br />

‘booked in’ and meet other members for a<br />

good catch-up.<br />

On arrival, it’s collect your named lanyard<br />

from Jean Harvey’s table – she’s got finding<br />

your badge down to a seamless art ... it’s all<br />

down to laying them out alphabetically! –<br />

collect a conference pack containing flyers<br />

from meeting sponsors, the agenda for the<br />

day and some goodies from MSA, get your<br />

name marked off the attendance sheet and<br />

you’re free to go and find a table.<br />

Theme for the table names this year was<br />

classic cars, Anglias, Cortinas, etc.<br />

The meeting itself was opened bang on<br />

time by the Scottish chairman Steven Porter,<br />

who offered everyone a warm welcome and<br />

ran through what the day was to hold.<br />

First up was Stuart Lochrie of Bright<br />

Coaching, who offered what was just the first<br />

in a number of excellent presentations. He<br />

had the audience doing their morning<br />

exercises and explaining various coaching<br />

techniques available.<br />

Next up was Carol Mackie from AI<br />

Insurance solutions Ltd. Her presentation<br />

was very much from the heart as far as what<br />

she could and would do to assist MSA GB<br />

members with any issues regarding obtaining<br />

a replacement dual controlled car if their own<br />

was off the road after an accident.<br />

After a break the audience were treated to<br />

the training duo of Kev and Tracey Field from<br />

Confident Drivers. Again they had the room<br />

involved in discussions, questions, and even<br />

re-inventing the wheel as we know it.<br />

Just before the break for lunch,<br />

presentations were put on hold to allow the<br />

Annual General Meeting to take place. Steven<br />

Porter read out his chairman’s report for the<br />

year before handing over to Mike Yeomans,<br />

(MSA GB National Chairman), to preside over<br />

the nominations of the Scottish committee<br />

for the next 12 months.<br />

Steven Porter was voted in as chairman for<br />

another year, with Bryan Phillips voted in as<br />

deputy chairman and as editor.<br />

I will take on the roles of secretary and<br />

treasurer.<br />

One of my duties was to read out a note<br />

from Shelagh Oakes who informed the<br />

committee that she would be retiring and<br />

giving up her membership of the MSA GB<br />

after 34 years.<br />

Peter Hearn, DVSA<br />

After a hearty lunch it was the turn of<br />

Peter Hearn, who is the DVSA’s Area<br />

Operations Manager North. The audience had<br />

plenty of questions for him, with information<br />

“After a break the audience were<br />

treated to the training duo of Kev<br />

and Tracey Field from Confident<br />

Drivers... they had the room<br />

involved in discussions, with<br />

plenty of questions...”<br />

34 NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

Above, Carol Mackie<br />

Top, from left, Bryan Phillips;<br />

Stuart Lochrie using Judge<br />

Dredd in his presentation;<br />

and discussions in the room<br />

From left, Malcolm Smith,<br />

ADI Enforcement, Peter Hearn<br />

and Peter Harvey<br />

on the new Highway Code and test waiting<br />

times among them. Between Peter and the<br />

other Peter (Harvey) they kept the<br />

discussions going with a bit of humour and<br />

lots of audience involvement.<br />

This was followed by Peter Harvey MBE,<br />

who gave the room some insights into what<br />

has changed recently – and what could be<br />

changing in the future.<br />

Peter finished off his presentation with an<br />

emotional thank you to MSA GB members for<br />

a gift of an Edinburgh stay and attendance to<br />

the Military Tattoo for him and Jean, to mark<br />

him standing down as National Chairman.<br />

He handed the close of the day over the<br />

deputy chairman, Bryan Phillips ,who gave<br />

thanks for all attending and wished everyone<br />

a safe journey home.<br />

Steven Porter<br />

makes a point<br />

– or kicks off<br />

the Karaoke...<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023 35


Area News<br />

Great conference proves the need<br />

for ADIs to get together<br />

John Lomas<br />

MSA GB<br />

West Coast<br />

& Wales<br />

It was great to attend the MSA GB West<br />

Coast & Wales conference in Gloucester<br />

last month. It attracted a reasonable<br />

audience and as you will have read in<br />

Arthur’s report on page 30, those present<br />

were able to hear a series of great<br />

presentations, including Matt Cleevely<br />

from Cleevely Electric Motors, Alan Gott<br />

from FBTC and Haydn Jenkins from<br />

Disability Driving Instructors.<br />

As ever, the highlight of these events<br />

tends to be the interaction with the DVSA,<br />

and after Peter Harvey had brought us up<br />

to date on the latest news, Loveday Ryder<br />

joined us by video link.<br />

Ms Ryder apologised for the absence of<br />

DVSA representatives but at the same<br />

time, I think most people there appreciated<br />

that what ADIs want at the moment is<br />

everything possible to be done in order to<br />

bring the waiting lists down to a more<br />

acceptable time gap.<br />

It was lovely to watch Arthur Mynott<br />

make a belated presentation to Colin Lilly in<br />

recognition of his long service to the West<br />

Country Region including being its<br />

Chairman previously.<br />

At the AGM all officers for the area were<br />

returned to office without challenge, but I<br />

should remind everyone that none of us<br />

are getting any younger, so do please<br />

consider whether you might have<br />

something to offer in the future.<br />

With such a large area committee<br />

meetings are held over Zoom so do not<br />

involve the travel which they used to.<br />

If you have any thoughts and opinions<br />

you want brought forward you can also<br />

contact me to get them included in my<br />

column in <strong>Newslink</strong>.<br />

If you decide you might like to get<br />

involved on the committee, feel free to<br />

contact any existing committee member<br />

for a chat.<br />

I understand that there were at least<br />

four instructors who became new<br />

members at the meeting. Welcome to the<br />

association and I hope we will see you at<br />

future meetings in your local area.<br />

Accessibility<br />

Overall I thought our hosts, Gloucester<br />

Robinswood Best Western Hotel, did a great<br />

job, though with one slight criticism: there<br />

was no internal lift access down to the<br />

conference room or up to the dining room.<br />

As you know I am a mobility scooter user<br />

now, though I can still get about on my own<br />

two feet with care – and a stick – so could<br />

manage the stairs, and someone was good<br />

enough to carry my folded walker for the<br />

initial entry and <strong>final</strong> egress. The ramped<br />

access to the different levels was,<br />

according to the information I got from<br />

reception, outside the building and the<br />

weather was not really conducive for such<br />

use<br />

I have definitely been to MSA meetings in<br />

the past where attendees were using<br />

wheelchairs of varying types so they could<br />

have been disadvantaged by the<br />

arrangements. I’ve mentioned my<br />

difficulties to a Disability Access<br />

campaigning group in Gloucester, and<br />

hopefully the hotel will take note.<br />

Beware of highwaymen employed by<br />

councils, etc<br />

I return now to a topic which I have raised<br />

previously: vehicles carried on recovery<br />

transporters being charged by ANPR<br />

systems, who clocked the number plate<br />

but – obviously – didn’t have a note that<br />

Christmas Quiz!<br />

There are only two related questions to ask, but they may act as a trigger to an interesting<br />

conversation with a pupil. These could be learning aids – it’s all about getting them thinking!<br />

1) In the UK, on a two-way road, where is it a legal requirement to drive on the right?<br />

2) Do you know of anywhere, on a two-way road, where it is advisable to keep to the right?<br />

Put your thinking caps on, and if you can come up with any places in your local area, let me know at<br />

the email address on the facing page. I’ll give you the answer I know of in january’s <strong>Newslink</strong>.<br />

36 NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

the user had paid the necessary fee to<br />

enter the zone/cross the bridge, etc.<br />

My previous experience was on the<br />

Thames Crossing but now I have seen a<br />

photo and newspaper article about it<br />

happening in the CAZ in Bristol.<br />

So another word of warning; if your<br />

vehicle has to be recovered insist that the<br />

recovery driver either tapes over the<br />

registration plate or removes it and puts it<br />

in the car.<br />

Hopefully nobody has received a<br />

speeding fine due to the ANPR anomaly,<br />

but how many have had to appeal and<br />

prove that they weren’t driving at that<br />

particular time and place?<br />

If it was one of you, how long would it<br />

take to prove to the registrar that it is an<br />

unwarranted charge and should not be held<br />

against your record?<br />

Editor’s note: see end of article<br />

Tyre safety<br />

Have a look at the photo at the top of the<br />

facing page: (no, not mine, the tyre!)<br />

When I saw this picture of a sockingly<br />

bald tyre on Facebook I thought you might<br />

be able to use it as a teaching aid when<br />

talking to pupils about tyre safety.<br />

It isn’t a picture from a British<br />

contributor; rather it comes from a road<br />

safety site in Zambia, called Traffic Desk.<br />

I have found it quite interesting because<br />

it’s a country that drives on the left and its<br />

signage is a mixture of UK-style ones with<br />

some local or international additions. The<br />

authorities also sometimes put up the<br />

sorts of hand-drawn diagrams of<br />

procedures which are very much like the<br />

ones many of us do (or did in my case).<br />

The only good news to come out of the<br />

pic is it’s almost good enough to check<br />

your parting by!<br />

Editor’s note: At MSA GB we’ve never<br />

heard of a car on a recovery vehicle<br />

receiving a speeding ticket, but with so<br />

much reliance on ‘intelligent’ technology,<br />

which at times we all know can be pretty<br />

dumb, it isn’t out of the realms of<br />

possibility.<br />

Therefore, as a reminder, if you do<br />

receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution<br />

(NIP), you can always ask to see<br />

photographic evidence of your<br />

misdemeanour. Hopefully, even the most<br />

stringent applier of the highway rules will<br />

agree you can’t get a ticket when your<br />

car is on the back of a trailer!<br />

Tragic tale of four wasted lives<br />

proves need for us to keep the<br />

focus on young drivers’ safety<br />

Bob Page<br />

MSA GB London & the South East<br />

Hello folks. I don’t know about you but I found<br />

myself profoundly affected by the death last<br />

month of the four teenage boys in<br />

Snowdonia, after they were involved in a car<br />

crash (see below for more details)<br />

Although I know nothing of the details,<br />

which I’m sure will all come out at the inquest,<br />

their deaths after the car they were travelling<br />

in crashed makes me think of my<br />

responsibilities as a driver trainer.<br />

Travelling home from a successful test I,<br />

and I’m sure many others, take time to stress<br />

to my new driver the need to avoid overconfidence,<br />

especially when carrying<br />

passengers. Bravado can kill.<br />

I feel the DVSA also does its bit with the<br />

Theory Test and Show me - Tell me<br />

components of the L-test, and also including<br />

more rural routes on driving tests, but at the<br />

risk of taking to my favourite soap box I do<br />

think that the Government could do more to<br />

get these messages out to the public via the<br />

media.<br />

Lets face it, during the 70s we were<br />

constantly being bombarded by positive road<br />

safety messages, and drink-driving,<br />

clunk-click every trip, etc, adverts. Why can’t<br />

we see similar ads now?<br />

As I say, I have no idea if my assessment of<br />

this tragic crash is correct but I hope it makes<br />

all of us even more aware of our responsibility<br />

for the future of our trainees.<br />

RIP boys.<br />

Young boys killed were ‘thriving in life’<br />

The tragic news that the bodies of four young<br />

men from Shrewsbury – Jevon Hirst, Harvey<br />

Owen, Wilf Fitchett and Hugo Morris – had<br />

been discovered after the car they were<br />

travelling in crashed on an isolated road in<br />

Gwynedd, north Wales, will have sent a shiver<br />

down the spine of parents everywhere.<br />

It is believed their silver Ford Fiesta plunged<br />

off a windy country road and overturned in a<br />

flooded ditch. It was not known exactly when<br />

the fatal crash took place, but brutal weather<br />

in the area around the time the boys<br />

disappeared may have played a factor.<br />

So too could inexperience: the driver will<br />

have been only a handful of weeks from<br />

passing his test, and it is likely that he had not<br />

encountered such poor weather conditions<br />

before, nor the challenges associated with<br />

navigating narrow, winding rural roads.<br />

For ADIs the tragedy was a salutary<br />

reminder of the responsibility we carry to<br />

ensure not only are our charges prepared for<br />

the L-test, but they are prepared for posttest<br />

driving, too.<br />

MSA GB said: “Too many young people are<br />

involved in serious incidents in the two years<br />

immediately after passing their test. Often the<br />

factors involved include inexperience, as they<br />

encounter conditions that their training could<br />

never replicate, as well as an inability to handle<br />

distractions.”<br />

Tributes have been paid to all four, with<br />

them all being described as charming,<br />

creative, funny and gentle souls who felt<br />

empathy for others.<br />

If any good can come out of the deaths, it<br />

has to be that all ADIs use their fate as a<br />

reminder to their young charges, that they are<br />

not invincible and must always be aware that<br />

crashes such as this can be just around the<br />

corner.<br />

Left, the four young victims: RIP<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023 37


Members’ discounts<br />

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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<br />

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<br />

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

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38 NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

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Membership offer<br />

Welcome, new ADIs<br />

We’ve a special introductory offer for you!<br />

Congratulations on passing your<br />

Part 3 and becoming an ADI.<br />

There’s an exciting career<br />

open to you from today,<br />

one that’s alive with<br />

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it can also be challenging;<br />

who can you turn to if you’re<br />

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you go to soak up advice from more<br />

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We represent your interests and your<br />

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We’d like you to<br />

join us<br />

We’re there to support you<br />

every step of the way.<br />

Our office-based staff are<br />

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you in any way.<br />

In addition our network of<br />

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the phone or by email.<br />

But membership of the MSA GB doesn’t<br />

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network of regular meetings, seminars and<br />

training events, an Annual Conference, and<br />

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You’ll also automatically receive<br />

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to £5m and £10m public liability insurance<br />

free of charge.<br />

This is essential legal protection covering<br />

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NEWSLINK n DECEMBER 2023 39

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