NEWSLINK January 2024_compressed

Motor Schools Association membership magazine. Driver training and testing, road safety.

Motor Schools Association membership magazine. Driver training and testing, road safety.


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msagb.com<br />

Newslink<br />

The Voice of MSA GB<br />

Issue 372 • <strong>January</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

New cars: a weighty<br />

safety concern<br />

EuroNCAP warns that the<br />

‘concerning’ trend towards<br />

heavier cars could put<br />

other road users at risk<br />

We work for all Driver Trainers. Want to join? SAVE £25 – see pg 35 for special offer

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

No end in sight to the chaotic<br />

DVSA v Examiner carnival<br />

Colin Lilly<br />

Editor,<br />

Newslink<br />

A warning often given is ‘CAUTION! The light<br />

you see at the end of the tunnel may be the<br />

express coming in the opposite direction.’<br />

This is the situation that, once again, the<br />

DVSA is facing. The DVSA, the little engine that<br />

tried, is about to enter the tunnel with its<br />

passengers of clients and their ADI trainers on<br />

a mystery trip.<br />

The express coming towards them is the<br />

PCS Express with its threats of industrial<br />

action threatening to derail the DVSA plans to<br />

reduce the driving test waiting list, not to<br />

mention the passengers on the journey.<br />

The only person likely to prevent the<br />

disaster is the signalman, the Minister of<br />

Transport. Can they activate the right signals<br />

or throw the points at the last moment?<br />

Over the next couple of months, we will see<br />

how this tale proceeds.<br />

Most driver trainers presenting clients for<br />

test are desperate to see a reduction in waiting<br />

times, and some progress has been achieved.<br />

The average waiting list was down to 18.3<br />

weeks in November. But this has produced<br />

some collateral damage. Bringing all examiners<br />

with a warrant card back to frontline testing<br />

has not received universal approval among<br />

staff, while creating damage to the normal<br />

management structure.<br />

The dispute is not just about examiners’ pay,<br />

which is currently approximately £8k below<br />

the national average adult salary. It is also the<br />

conditions that PCS members are complaining<br />

MSA GB Annual Conference <strong>2024</strong>:<br />

Prices and venue announced<br />

Time to get the weekend<br />

cleared....<br />

Venue and pricing<br />

details released.<br />

See pg 26 for more details<br />

and first news<br />

about. The 5-out-of-7 rotas with compulsory<br />

weekend working and the perceived lack of<br />

support to assist following instances of<br />

examiner abuse have also been cited as<br />

causes for complains.<br />

The PCS reported that 59.21% of its<br />

examiner members voted in its recent ballot,<br />

with 90.5% in favour of industrial action.<br />

Despite a high proportion of non-voters this<br />

still represents 54.5% of all DVSA members.<br />

Our members are reporting that some local<br />

examiners are leaving to become driver<br />

trainers as this now seems an attractive<br />

alternative. In recent years, a good income can<br />

be made despite the risks of self-employment.<br />

In the 1930s, when the role of driving<br />

examiner was created, the structure was<br />

designed to attract ex-military or retired<br />

police officers. The fact they had a pension<br />

meant they could accept a lower salary. The<br />

current salary still reflects this history.<br />

Although some younger examiners are<br />

entering the DVSA it is still not attractive to<br />

many as a career. For example, the two-year<br />

contract given to recent recruits does not<br />

encourage someone with a family seeking a<br />

mortgage. A complete re-structuring of the<br />

role is necessary, but only the Secretary of<br />

State for Transport can permit this.<br />

There is little doubt that this could be a long<br />

and damaging dispute. Unfortunately, the<br />

ultimate victims are those caught in the<br />

current waiting lists.<br />

It is down to your personal choice where<br />

your allegiances lie. Not an easy decision.<br />

Despite all this on the horizon we hope that<br />

all MSA GB members and their families have a<br />

happy and successful New Year.<br />

• Examiners to strike: see pg 6<br />

• New L-test data: see pg 8<br />

Welcome to your<br />

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Making a splash in<br />

a big heavy Range<br />

Rover. But are<br />

these goliaths a<br />

safe option for<br />

other road users?<br />

See page 12<br />

Follow the link<br />

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you to access<br />

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Newslink<br />

The Voice of MSA GB<br />

Issue 372 • <strong>January</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

New cars: a weighty<br />

safety concern<br />

EuroNCAP warns that the<br />

‘concerning’ trend towards<br />

ever heavier cars could be<br />

putting other road users at risk<br />

We work for a l Driver Trainers. Want to join? SAVE £25 – see pg 35 for special offer<br />

msagb.com<br />

Newslink <strong>January</strong> 01-40.in d 2 07/01/<strong>2024</strong> 12:58<br />

<strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 03

Contents<br />

08<br />

26<br />

12<br />

More examiner strike misery on<br />

the way for ADIs and learners<br />

The PCS union has said its ballot before<br />

Christmas gives it an overwhelming<br />

mandate for more industrial action – pg 8<br />

18<br />

Good news on L-test capacity... or<br />

is it another false dawn?<br />

Despite DVSA’s best efforts, the number of<br />

tests available was up by only five per cent<br />

- will that bring down waiting times? – pg 10<br />

Conference<br />

speakers update<br />

20<br />

Identifying the errors on the move<br />

– and handling them safely<br />

Steve Garrod takes a look at the best way<br />

to put your pupil right without disrupting<br />

the lesson flow – pg 18<br />

The case of the missing<br />

L-test candidates<br />

Close but no cigar: why we’re still no closer<br />

to finding out whether L-test slots are<br />

being lost – pg 9<br />

EU’ve got to be joking, say road<br />

safety groups<br />

17-year-olds will be able to get behind the<br />

wheel of LGVs across Europe unless MEPs<br />

perform a U-turn – pg 14<br />

Duty of Care: Who is to blame, and<br />

is there a claim?<br />

Tom Harrington explains exactly what an<br />

ADI’s obligations are in regard to their Duty<br />

of Care to pupils – pg 26<br />

Newslink<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 />

Newslink 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 />

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Editorial/Production: Rob Beswick<br />

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

t: 0161 426 7957<br />

Advertising sales: Colin Regan<br />

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t: 01942 537959 / 07871 444922<br />

Views expressed in Newslink 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 <strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

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 />

<strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 05

News<br />

IN BRIEF<br />

UK survey reveals main<br />

gripes for van drivers<br />

In a new survey from AA Accident Assist,<br />

the thing that irritated van drivers most<br />

was tailgating (29%), closely followed by<br />

middle lane hogging and mobile phone use<br />

(21%).<br />

Women are most annoyed by a vehicle<br />

that is too close to their back bumper,<br />

with 34% identifying it as the most<br />

irritating driver behaviour compared to<br />

27% of men.<br />

The poll of 13,400 drivers also found<br />

that that a third (32%) are unaware of or<br />

choose to ignore the two-second rule.<br />

Drivers’ lack of adherence to the<br />

two-second distance rule has particularly<br />

negative consequences in the winter as<br />

data shows that accidents caused by<br />

vehicles driving too close to the ones in<br />

front and failing to stop in time increase by<br />

a quarter.<br />

Furthermore, more than 10% of<br />

rear-end crashes lead to concertina<br />

shunts, involving at least three vehicles.<br />

Taoiseach promises to<br />

act on road deaths rise<br />

The Irish police (the Garda) ran one of its<br />

biggest-ever road safety campaigns over<br />

Christmas as alarm was raised over a big<br />

increase in road deaths.<br />

Ireland’sTaoiseach Leo Varadkar has<br />

expressed his own concern after 170 lives<br />

were lost in road traffic crashes by the<br />

start of December - 33 more than for the<br />

same period last year, equating to a 20<br />

per cent rise at a time when the EU is<br />

calling on member states to halve road<br />

deaths against a 2011 baseline.<br />

Safety campaigners including PARC<br />

road safety group have called for extra<br />

Garda resources to be focused on the<br />

roads, as well as renewed road safety<br />

promotions and stricter driving licence<br />

enforcement to be made a national<br />

priority.<br />

The top four counties for road deaths<br />

are Tipperary, Mayo, Galway and Cork.<br />

PARC also wants urgent action so that<br />

mutual recognition of driver<br />

disqualifications between Ireland and the<br />

UK be implemented immediately.<br />

RoSPA slams Government<br />

as progress on improving<br />

road safety grinds to a halt<br />

The World Health Organisation’s Global<br />

Status Report on Road Safety, which was<br />

published in December, should serve as a<br />

wake-up call to the UK Government after it<br />

exposed the appalling lack of progress the<br />

country is making on reducing road fatalities<br />

and serious injuries.<br />

That’s the view of RoSPA, which said<br />

reducing road casualties over the past<br />

decade has “ground to a halt”, with little<br />

interest shown by the Conservative<br />

Government in improving road safety.<br />

The charity has called on the Government<br />

to publish its long overdue Road Safety<br />

Strategic Framework, which has not been<br />

updated in England since 2019.<br />

According to the latest figures from the<br />

report and RoSPA’s analysis of recent road<br />

safety statistics, fatalities and injuries in the<br />

UK have plateaued. There has been just a five<br />

per cent reduction in road deaths across<br />

Great Britain since 2010, versus a 46 per cent<br />

reduction across UK in the decade leading up<br />

to that year.<br />

By way of contrast, the wider European<br />

region has seen a 36 per cent reduction in<br />

road deaths.<br />

David Walker, Head of Road and Leisure<br />

Safety at RoSPA, said: “We are seeing around<br />

81 people killed or seriously injured on our<br />

roads every day, which is unacceptable and<br />

evidently linked to the dramatic lack of UK<br />

road safety progress over the last decade.<br />

“We cannot and must not wait to act and<br />

urge the Government to publish its long<br />

overdue Road Safety Strategic Framework<br />

for England, and to set out casualty reduction<br />

targets that are in line with other G7 nations.<br />

Only then can we begin to address our woeful<br />

position on the road safety leaderboard.”<br />

Bike riders and pedestrians bear<br />

brunt of danger on world’s roads<br />

The annual number of road traffic deaths has<br />

fallen slightly to 1.19 million per year,<br />

according to the latest WHO report, meaning<br />

there are 3,200 deaths every day. Road<br />

traffic crashes remain the biggest single killer<br />

of children and young people aged from 5 to<br />

29 years of age.<br />

Overall, set against the benchmark of<br />

2010, road traffic deaths have fallen by 5%,<br />

but WHO describes it as a “persistent global<br />

health crisis”, with pedestrians, cyclists and<br />

other vulnerable road users facing an acute<br />

and rising risk of death.<br />

“The tragic tally of road crash deaths is<br />

heading in the right direction, downwards, but<br />

nowhere near fast enough,” says WHO<br />

Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom<br />

Ghebreyesus. “The carnage on our roads is<br />

preventable. We call on all countries to put<br />

people rather than cars at the centre of their<br />

transport systems, and ensuring the safety<br />

of pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable<br />

road users.”<br />

Ten countries succeeded in reducing road<br />

traffic deaths by half: Belarus, Brunei,<br />

Denmark, Japan, Lithuania, Norway, Russian<br />

Federation, Trinidad and Tobago, UAE and<br />

Venezuela. 35 more countries made notable<br />

progress, reducing deaths by 30-50 per cent.<br />

The most dangerous region is South East<br />

Asia, accounting for 28 per cent of all<br />

fatalities, with 25 per cent in the Western<br />

Pacific. 5 per cent are in Europe and 12 per<br />

cent in the Americas.<br />

Fifty-three per cent of all road traffic<br />

fatalities are vulnerable road users.<br />

Pedestrians make up 23 per cent of these but<br />

powered two-wheel riders make up 21 per<br />

cent, despite there being far fewer in number.<br />

Meanwhile, research indicates that 80% of<br />

the world’s roads fail to meet pedestrian<br />

safety standards and just 0.2% have cycle<br />

lanes, leaving these road users dangerously<br />

exposed.<br />

And while 9 in 10 people surveyed identify<br />

as pedestrians, just a quarter of countries<br />

have policies to promote walking, cycling and<br />

public transport.<br />

06 <strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

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

Britain’s parking woes increase<br />

Drivers are being hit with an average of<br />

nearly 36,000 parking tickets a day by<br />

private companies in Britain.<br />

More than 3.3 million tickets were handed<br />

out between July and September, according<br />

to analysis of Government data by the PA<br />

news agency and the RAC Foundation.<br />

The figure is up 16% from 2.9 million during<br />

the same period last year and represents a<br />

record daily average of 35,960.<br />

Each ticket can be up to £100, meaning the<br />

total cost to drivers may be near £3.6 million<br />

per day at the current rate.<br />

Private parking businesses have been<br />

accused of using misleading and confusing<br />

signs, aggressive debt collection and<br />

unreasonable fees.<br />

A long-awaited code of practice aimed at<br />

eradicating some of the sector’s worst<br />

behaviour was due to be introduced after<br />

legislation was passed in Parliament in March<br />

2019, but it was withdrawn following a legal<br />

challenge by parking companies. It would<br />

have halved most fines and set an upper limit<br />

of £50<br />

RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding<br />

said: “In March it will be five years since a law<br />

was enacted to better regulate the private<br />

parking sector, yet even now we don’t know<br />

when these will be introduced.<br />

“This glacial pace has been a source of<br />

immense frustration to the millions of drivers<br />

heavily penalised for supposed infringements<br />

in private car parks and to all the MPs who, at<br />

the time the legislation was being debated,<br />

were queueing up to recount to Parliament<br />

the parking horror stories reported by their<br />

constituents.”<br />

New LGV driving test<br />

centre opens in Ayrshire<br />

DVSA opened a new large goods<br />

vehicles (LGV) practical driving test<br />

centre in Dreghorn, Ayrshire on Monday,<br />

<strong>January</strong> 8.<br />

The new facility will replace Ayrshire’s<br />

existing LGV test centre at Kilmarnock.<br />

The address for the new facility is:<br />

Dreghorn LGV Test Centre, 9A<br />

Corsehill Mount Road, Dreghorn, Irvine,<br />

Ayrshire KA11 4JZ<br />

The DVSA has contacted all candidates<br />

regarding the new facility in Dreghorn.<br />

However, if an LGV trainer has booked<br />

any tests on behalf of their pupils, they<br />

are asked to let them know about these<br />

changes.<br />

<strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 07

News<br />

New year, new round of<br />

strikes ready to hit L-tests<br />

Decisive examiners’ ballot<br />

clears way for more tests lost to<br />

industrial action... with the DVSA<br />

plans to reduce L-test backlog at<br />

the heart of latest dispute<br />

Mark Serwotka: The<br />

strike is to protect<br />

examiners’ working<br />

terms and conditions<br />

<strong>2024</strong> looks to be off to a rocky start already<br />

as far as relations between driving examiners<br />

and the DVSA are concerned, after the PCS<br />

union said new strike days would be<br />

announced shortly.<br />

The number of days to be lost, and<br />

whether it will via a national strike or<br />

targeted local action, is yet to be decided.<br />

The latest threat of strikes comes after a<br />

ballot held by the PCS in December, in which<br />

1,900 examiners voted for industrial action by<br />

a margin of 90.5%, on a turn out of 59.21%.<br />

The ballot was triggered by ongoing<br />

discontent among examiners over the DVSA’s<br />

‘driver services recovery programme’, which<br />

is the agency’s latest attempt to cut L-test<br />

waiting times. It involves increasing the<br />

number of tests some examiners will cover,<br />

as well as bringing back to testing all DVSA<br />

staff who hold a ‘warrant card’ to conduct<br />

L-tests, including senior management.<br />

But as far as the PCS is concerned, the<br />

programme is over-riding examiners’<br />

working terms and conditions.<br />

The plan to cut waiting times is “driven by<br />

the political ambitions of Mark Harper,<br />

Secretary of State for Transport”, the PCS<br />

said. As a result “significant safety risks to<br />

test candidates and examiners” are being<br />

overlooked, as well as an erosion of staff’s<br />

terms and conditions.<br />

The programme also completely fails to<br />

address the root causes of the backlog and<br />

requires staff to cover 150,000 tests above<br />

capacity, it claims.<br />

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary,<br />

said: “To recover a backlog of tests that was<br />

their own making, Mark Harper and the DVSA<br />

management have demonstrated that they<br />

are willing not only to jeopardise our<br />

members’ safety and attack their terms and<br />

conditions; they are also showing scant<br />

regard for safety standards for driving test<br />

candidates.<br />

“But this huge ballot result for PCS<br />

members at the DVSA indicates that that<br />

they are prepared to take highly disruptive<br />

strike action across England, Wales and<br />

Scotland to protect the integrity of the<br />

driving test and their existing terms and<br />

conditions.<br />

“Although they desperately want to see a<br />

reduction in waiting times, our members will<br />

not tolerate paying the price for political stunts<br />

and managerial failings that threaten to further<br />

undermine this vital public service.”<br />

It may not come as a surprise to learn that<br />

the DVSA has rejected this interpretation of<br />

events. In a statement sent out to all ADIs the<br />

agency said: “The Public and Commercial<br />

Services (PCS) Union has confirmed that<br />

members working at DVSA have voted for<br />

industrial action.<br />

“It is disappointing that the PCS ballot<br />

supports industrial action. DVSA remain open<br />

to talks with PCS to find a resolution.<br />

“DVSA colleagues do an outstanding job in<br />

helping to keep our roads safe.<br />

“They are working hard to reduce waiting<br />

times, which includes employing new driving<br />

examiners on flexible contracts with<br />

weekend hours and asking more eligible<br />

managers and administrative colleagues to<br />

carry out driving tests full-time.<br />

“In November 2023, 196,481 practical car<br />

driving tests were carried out as a result of<br />

examiners’ hard work and effort.<br />

“This is the highest since April 2007 and<br />

helped to reduce the monthly average<br />

national driving test waiting time to 18.3<br />

weeks in November.”<br />

Peter Harvey, on behalf of MSA GB, said<br />

the news just before Christmas was the last<br />

thing ADIs wanted to hear. “Like all our<br />

members, the L-test waiting times fiasco is<br />

causing severe problems. Too many learners<br />

are chasing too few tests, and as a result<br />

many are engaging in risky practices to grab<br />

any that come available.”<br />

“The announcement in the autumn that<br />

the DVSA would add as many as 150,000<br />

additional tests to the roster, in addition to<br />

those created by other means such as<br />

recruiting new examiners, was a chink of light<br />

that suggested <strong>2024</strong> could see a return to<br />

waiting times at a manageable level.<br />

However, any hopes that it will work look<br />

likely to be tempered by this news of possible<br />

strike action.”<br />

Peter rejected the PCS claim that test<br />

waiting times were of the DVSA’s making.<br />

“We all know that this problem comes in the<br />

wake of Covid – when it has to be noted, PCS<br />

members were quick to reject any swift<br />

return to work after the disruptions of<br />

lockdown. I am surprised they should make<br />

such a transparently false claim.<br />

“But this strike is not entirely the PCS’s<br />

fault either; it seems hardly believable that<br />

the DVSA should put in place its recovery<br />

programme without first bringing the<br />

examiners’ union on side.”<br />

He added: “This latest row does make you<br />

wonder what’s going on in both sides’ heads.<br />

All I know for sure is that there are two<br />

innocent parties hit by this: ADIs, and our<br />

learners.<br />

“It seems pretty clear that neither party is<br />

high on the list of importance for those<br />

negotiating on behalf of either the examiners<br />

or the DVSA.”<br />

08 <strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

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

The question of the missing candidate:<br />

Are L-test slots going to waste, or is<br />

the system working efficiently?<br />

In December’s Newslink, one of our regular<br />

contributors made what to many was a point<br />

that chimed with them: that often they were<br />

seeing evidence of L-test ‘no shows’ in their<br />

local driving test centres, with examiners sat<br />

patiently waiting for candidates to arrive,<br />

only for them to fail to turn up for their test.<br />

“I’ve been in my test centre, where there<br />

are seven examiners, and seen only five go<br />

out on test,” was the comment. “Was their<br />

inactivity as a result of no shows?”<br />

Given the current state of the L-test<br />

waiting times, any unused L-tests would be a<br />

crying shame.<br />

The finger of blame for this – if it were a<br />

major problem – was pointed at the modern<br />

culture of learners grabbing L-tests via<br />

booking websites and bots, without checking<br />

with their ADI first, and simply not turning up<br />

on the day when they discovered that they<br />

were nowhere near test ready, or that their<br />

instructor was not available on that day.<br />

Therefore, the question was asked, was<br />

this really a widespread problem, and if so,<br />

was it something the DVSA could do more to<br />

tackle, perhaps with a promotional campaign<br />

highlighting the need to book tests only<br />

when ready – and to make sure if they have a<br />

test, they attend.<br />

Fundamentally, was this a problem<br />

indicative of how the testing system was<br />

working at present, with lots of missed and<br />

wasted tests, or was it a rare occurrence?<br />

To get to the bottom of whether our<br />

contributor had experienced an isolated case<br />

of examiner idleness or administration time,<br />

or whether there was a problem of unused<br />

test slots across the country which was<br />

exacerbating the L-test waiting times, we<br />

decided to challenge the DVSA. An FOI<br />

request was clearly needed to answer the<br />

question, so at the end of November<br />

Newslink asked the following of the DVSA:<br />

Could you tell me how many L-test slots<br />

were not taken up in the past four weeks? In<br />

other words, for clarity, how much spare/<br />

wasted capacity was there in the L-test<br />

system this month?<br />

Unfortunately, as anyone who has ever<br />

attempted an FOI will know, the devil lies in<br />

getting your terminology correct and being<br />

very precise with the question so you extract<br />

the data you are looking for. From the reply<br />

received it was clear our question didn’t hit<br />

the nail on the head this time - as can be seen<br />

by the answer. However, it did reveal an<br />

interesting statistic.<br />

The DVSA replied:<br />

There were only 2,879 L-test slots NOT<br />

taken up in the period from 06-11-2023 to<br />

03-12-2023.<br />

Note, L-test slots. In other words, every<br />

test was booked apart from 2,879. But it does<br />

not tell us what we wanted to know: how<br />

many test slots were not used - whether<br />

because they were never booked (the 2,879<br />

mentioned here) or because the examiner<br />

was absent, or the candidate failed to show.<br />

Therefore, a new request has gone in:<br />

Sir/Madam<br />

Many thanks for your reply to my FOI<br />

request, as referenced above.<br />

However, the answer received didn’t quite<br />

deliver the information I required.<br />

I was looking for the total spare capacity in<br />

the L-test booking system, ie, the number of<br />

car driving test slots not booked which are<br />

available, plus the number of L-test slots<br />

that were not used (but had been booked).<br />

Therefore, can I ask you to tell me how<br />

many L-test slots were not used, including all<br />

which were not booked in the first place, plus<br />

all those that, for whatever reason (including<br />

examiner sickness, industrial action, internal<br />

problems causing the need to cancel a test<br />

and candidates’ failure to attend), were<br />

unused for the period 06/11/2023 -<br />

03/12/2023.<br />

So I am after the total number of ‘lost’<br />

tests for the period in question.<br />

Do you think we’ll get to the bottom of how<br />

many tests weren’t taken up?<br />

Hopefully - and if we do, we’ll definitely let<br />

you know.<br />

However, the answer does tell us one thing:<br />

the L-test system is pretty efficient, in that<br />

virtually every test slot is allocated. After all,<br />

on a total testing regime of around 1.7 million<br />

tests, 2,879 equates to just two per cent of<br />

‘unused’ capacity.<br />

Even the harshest critic would accept that<br />

a booking system that allocates 98 per cent<br />

of its available slots is doing well, particularly<br />

when those slots are scattered over a wide<br />

geographical area.<br />

So that’s one good point - even if it wasn’t<br />

quite the one we were looking for!<br />

<strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 09

News<br />

Low L-test increase highlights need<br />

for DVSA’s staffing nuclear option<br />

Test data, July-September 2023<br />

n 663,000 car theory tests<br />

were conducted, up 10%<br />

n the car theory test pass rate<br />

was 46.1%, up 1.4 %<br />

n 432,000 car practical tests<br />

were conducted, up 5%<br />

n the car practical test pass rate<br />

was 48.9%, up 0.2%<br />

Hopes at the DVSA that recruiting new<br />

examiners and adding more capacity to the<br />

L-test system would help reduce waiting<br />

times appear to have been dashed, after new<br />

figures showed only a marginal increase in<br />

the number of tests conducted.<br />

Between July-September 2023, just five<br />

per cent more tests were completed,<br />

compared with the same period in 2022.<br />

432,174 L-tests were conducted from<br />

July-September 2023, compared with<br />

412,735 for the same quarter in 2022 - an<br />

increase of just shy of five per cent. In this<br />

period the DVSA had placed its faith on<br />

tactics such as buying back examiner leave,<br />

asking recently retired examiners to return to<br />

work and recruiting up to 250 new<br />

examiners, in a bid to reduce test waiting<br />

times. But clearly these plans have not<br />

delivered the hoped-for improvements.<br />

A number of examiner walk-outs over a<br />

long running pay and terms and conditions<br />

dispute have clearly not helped matters.<br />

The period covered does not, however,<br />

include the more radical changes to working<br />

practices brought in in October, when DVSA<br />

chief executive Loveday Ryder announced<br />

that all ‘warrant card’ holding staff would be<br />

switched to cover L-tests. This has seen<br />

Standards Checks and Part 3 tests<br />

drastically cut back, and senior<br />

figures who traditionally work<br />

on DVSA policy, strategy and<br />

management return to the<br />

ranks as examiners.<br />

MSA national vice<br />

chairman Peter Harvey said the news of only<br />

a small increase in L-tests possibly explains<br />

why Ms Ryder took such bold steps in<br />

October. “I think this five per cent increase in<br />

tests, while welcome, was nowhere near the<br />

increase the DVSA hoped for when it<br />

announced its strategy at the back end of<br />

2021.<br />

“Recruiting additional examiners was<br />

always a long-term solution, as it takes<br />

several months to select and train suitable<br />

candidates. However, we do know that the<br />

take-up and timescales have not been what<br />

the DVSA expected, so possibly these new<br />

examiners have not delivered the number of<br />

extra tests predicted.<br />

“Buying back examiner leave, adding in<br />

extra tests and recalling recently retired<br />

examiners were always marginal strategies.”<br />

He added that the news that just five per<br />

cent more tests were conducted “does bring<br />

into sharp focus the question why the<br />

moves announced in October<br />

were not made earlier.”<br />

He said: “NASP has been<br />

told consistently that the<br />

DVSA was doing all it could<br />

to reduce test waiting<br />

times... only for this somewhat nuclear<br />

option to be announced in October, when<br />

even the most senior officials were asked to<br />

take examining duties. Perhaps a prior sight<br />

of these disappointing results for July-<br />

September prompted drastic action.”<br />

“As ADIs, we can hope only that the next<br />

quarter’s figures, for October-December,<br />

sees some of the benefits of that strategy<br />

coming into play, and that by the time we are<br />

reviewing the figures for tests from <strong>January</strong>-<br />

March <strong>2024</strong>, we will see all the DVSA’s<br />

measures taking effect.”<br />

Peter did highlight one statistic that is to<br />

be welcomed: the slight increase in overall<br />

pass rate. “It is encouraging to see that the<br />

pass rate is rising and that we are<br />

tantalisingly close to a 50 per cent pass rate.<br />

“If we could see a further uplift in the pass<br />

rate, taking it to above 50 per cent at last,<br />

that alone would have a real impact on<br />

waiting times.<br />

“The thing we all know from driver training<br />

is few pupils give up if they fail; every test<br />

failure becomes a new test candidate, thus<br />

increasing the waiting times still further. A<br />

pass rate above 50 per cent would change<br />

the overall picture completely.”<br />

DVSA chief executive Loveday<br />

Ryder has, it appears, fired all the<br />

weapons in the DVSA’s armoury<br />

in a bid to reduce waiting times<br />

To see the entire set of<br />

test figures, click here<br />

10 <strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

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


In July to September 2023 (Quarter 2), 432,000 car practical tests were<br />

conducted in Great Britain, an increase of 5% on July to September 2022<br />

(Quarter 2).<br />

The total pass rate was 48.9%, with 47.7% of females passing compared to<br />

49.9% of males.<br />

The total pass rate for July to September 2023 (Quarter 2) was up 0.2<br />

percentage points from the same quarter of the previous year.<br />

July to September 2023 Total Female Male<br />

Tests conducted 432,174 198,054 234,058<br />

Tests Passed 211,294 94,526 116,744<br />

Pass Rate (%) 48.9% 47.7% 49.9%<br />

July to September 2022<br />

Tests conducted 412,735 197,559 215,078<br />

Tests Passed 200,969 92,327 108,607<br />

Pass Rate (%) 48.7% 46.7% 50.5%<br />

Year-on-year change<br />

Tests Conducted +5% 0% +9%<br />

Tests Passed +5% +2% +7%<br />

Pass Rate +0.2% +1.0% -0.6%<br />


In July to September 2023 (Quarter 2), 663,000 car theory<br />

tests were conducted in Great Britain, an increase of 10% on<br />

July to September 2022 (Quarter 2).<br />

The total pass rate was 46.1%, with 48.0% of females passing<br />

compared to 44.6% of males. The total pass rate for July to<br />

September 2023 (Quarter 2) was up 1.4 percentage points<br />

from the same quarter of the previous year.<br />

July-September 2023 Total Female Male<br />

Tests Conducted 663,103 293,394 369,692<br />

Tests Passed: 305,832 140,914 164,907<br />

Pass Rate (%): 46.1% 48.0% 44.6%<br />

July- September 2022<br />

Tests conducted 602,677 271,322 331,293<br />

Tests Passed 269,362 125,493 143,827<br />

Pass Rate (%): 44.7% 46.3% 43.4%<br />

Year-on-year change<br />

Tests conducted +10% +8% +12%<br />

Tests Passed +14% +12% +15%<br />

Pass Rate +1.4% +1.8% +1.2%<br />

<strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 11

News<br />

Too heavy, too wide: Modern cars are safety<br />

risk and causing problems for parking – NCAP<br />

The consumer crash testing organisation<br />

Euro NCAP has warned of what it described<br />

as a “concerning” trend towards heavier,<br />

more powerful and taller cars which “put<br />

other drivers at risk”, as it announced its<br />

latest group of test results.<br />

Of the 11 cars rated in Euro NCAP’s final<br />

tests of the year, only three weighed less<br />

than two tonnes, and only one, the smart #3,<br />

is classified as a ‘small family car’.<br />

Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General<br />

Euro NCAP commented: “For years, Euro<br />

NCAP was accused of pushing up the weight<br />

of cars. It was thought that additional safety<br />

features meant extra mass.<br />

“That was never really the case and the<br />

increase in vehicle weight we see nowadays<br />

is certainly not safety-related – it is down to<br />

consumer preference for larger vehicles and<br />

to electrification, with ever bigger batteries<br />

being used to quell consumers’ range anxiety.<br />

“But this is a trend that helps neither safety<br />

nor the environment: big, heavy cars are<br />

generally less energy efficient than small, light<br />

ones, and there is a safety concern when<br />

those two types of vehicles collide or, worse,<br />

when vulnerable road users are involved.”<br />

A report published by VIAS Institute in<br />

Belgium in September warned that the trend<br />

towards heavier, higher, more powerful cars<br />

and pick-ups has serious consequences for<br />

drivers of smaller vehicles as well as<br />

pedestrians, cyclists and bike riders.<br />

It comes as a parking champion said the<br />

UK’s car parks were struggling to cope with<br />

the trend towards larger cars.<br />

According to the British Parking<br />

Association, the standard size of a car<br />

parking space in the UK should be<br />

approximately 4.8 metres in length by 2.4<br />

metres in width, but this is a standard set in<br />

1976, and it has not changed since, despite<br />

the trend for wider cars.<br />

This is is not just a problem created by<br />

chunky 4x4s either. Taking one of Europe’s<br />

most popular small cars, the VW Polo, as an<br />

example, the latest version of the hatchback<br />

is 12 per cent larger than its 1970s<br />

counterpart.<br />

In the 1970s, the original measured 3.81<br />

metres long and 1.63 metres wide; today,<br />

those measurements have jumped to 4.28<br />

metres and 1.78 metres respectively.<br />

This trend for larger ‘small’ cars, plus the<br />

switch to SUVs and 4x4s, means many<br />

drivers struggle to park correctly in car parks,<br />

effectively forcing other motorists to avoid<br />

some parking slots.<br />

Almost two-thirds (65%) of motorists say<br />

that modern cars are too big for multi-storey<br />

car parks, while more than one-in-four (28%)<br />

have dented the car in the next space when<br />

opening their door.<br />

The research, conducted by the Startline<br />

Motor Finance Used Car Tracker, also found<br />

that 45% of respondents had been ‘stuck’ in<br />

their car because there is not enough room to<br />

open the door, and a similar number have<br />

abandoned an empty car parking space<br />

because they thought they could get stuck<br />

or damage their car in parking.<br />

The Startline survey was prompted by<br />

research from Which? that revealed more<br />

than 150 car models are now too big to fit in<br />

average car parking spaces.<br />

It found that 161 car models it tested were<br />

longer than a standard car parking bay, with<br />

12 exceeding the limit by more than 30cm.<br />

This was an increase from 2019, when only<br />

The latest Land<br />

Rover Defender<br />

weighs in at a<br />

colossal 2,970g...<br />

is the fashion for<br />

larger and<br />

heavier cars<br />

putting other<br />

road users at<br />

risk?<br />

129 did not fit the standard bay.<br />

The research also revealed that 27 models<br />

are too wide for drivers to comfortably open<br />

their doors when parked between two other<br />

cars. Which? categorised a car as being “too<br />

wide” if its width leaves less than 22cm<br />

between the car and the bay.<br />

A spokesman for one national car parking<br />

group admitted that because its car parks<br />

were built and designed around car standards<br />

from the 1970s and 80s, modern cars were<br />

causing considerable problems.<br />

“The fact is, too many modern cars will<br />

only just fit into a standard car parking space<br />

at a pinch; it takes the driver to be only a few<br />

centimetres off perfect parking to leave a<br />

driver trying to access the adjoining space<br />

struggling to park, or unable to open doors<br />

properly.<br />

“We know that in some cases, drivers are<br />

being forced to abandon a free space because<br />

the drivers on either side are in wider cars<br />

and have parked just off centre, making the<br />

spare space unusable.”<br />

12 <strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

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

CPD: have you recorded all yours for 2023?<br />

There are two key things to do in <strong>January</strong>: fill<br />

in your self-assessment tax form, if you<br />

haven’t already done so, and make sure your<br />

continuing professional development (CPD)<br />

records are up to date.<br />

MSA GB approved supplier FBTC can help<br />

with the self-assessment and the move<br />

towards making tax digital, but the CPD<br />

recording is down to you!<br />

What is CPD?<br />

CPD is any development activity that has<br />

helped you:<br />

n learn something new<br />

n refresh your existing knowledge<br />

n improve your skills<br />

n keep up-to-date with the latest<br />

developments<br />

You might have:<br />

n been to meetings, events or webinars<br />

n taken training courses - either online or<br />

in person<br />

n had help to improve your driver training<br />

skills from a registered trainer<br />

n watched videos, listened to podcasts or<br />

read blog posts, magazines and books.<br />

Reading Newslink counts as CPD!<br />

You can download a template to record any<br />

CPD you have done.<br />

Have you got these on your list?<br />

Some things you might have forgotten to<br />

record include:<br />

n attending DVSA’s mock test webinar in<br />

June 2023, or watching the recording after<br />

n attending DVSA’s top 10 faults made<br />

during the driving test webinar in August<br />

2023, or watching the recording after<br />

n requesting your ADI driving test data<br />

report and analysing which areas your pupils<br />

have made faults in<br />

n ordering and reading Practical Teaching<br />

Skills for Driving Instructors<br />

As you’re reflecting on what you’ve done<br />

in 2023, think about topics you’d like to focus<br />

on in <strong>2024</strong>. You might want to explore:<br />

n driving laws, rules and techniques<br />

n driving and vehicle technology<br />

n digital and technology skills<br />

n personal growth and wellbeing<br />

n finance and business management<br />

n disabilities, learning difficulties and<br />

neurodiversity<br />

n data protection<br />

n health and safety<br />

n safeguarding<br />

When you’re considering what<br />

development to do, think about:<br />

n existing skills that you want to improve<br />

n new skills that will help you in your<br />

current role<br />

n new skills that will help you develop and<br />

specialise in particular areas you’re interested<br />

in<br />

n And if you reading this and you are not an<br />

MSA GB member... joining a local or national<br />

ADI association!<br />

n Want to know how to<br />

get a full day of CPD<br />

at a bargain price?<br />

Then why not<br />

join us at the<br />

MSA GB<br />

Annual<br />

Conference<br />

<strong>2024</strong>? See pg<br />

20 for full<br />

details of what’s<br />

in store.<br />

<strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 13

News<br />

Road safety group vents anger as EU transport<br />

committee backs 17-year-olds to drive LGVs<br />

‘Just one more delivery to do... then I<br />

can go home to a glass of milk, a<br />

bedtime story and a nice nap...’<br />

16-year-olds to be allowed<br />

to learn to drive cars after<br />

proposal from Finland accepted<br />

Road safety groups in the EU have accused<br />

politicians across the bloc of ignoring the<br />

evidence after the European Parliament’s<br />

transport committee formally agreed to<br />

reform driving licence rules in the European<br />

Union to allow drivers as young as 17 to<br />

handle LGVs.<br />

The same committee also backed a<br />

proposal from Finland to allow 16-year-olds<br />

to learn to drive.<br />

The European Transport Safety Council<br />

(ETSC) said the decision would have<br />

“devastating consequences for road safety”<br />

if the decision makes it into legislation.<br />

MEPs voted in favour of a European<br />

Commission proposal that in future, all EU<br />

Member States must issue driving licences to<br />

17-year-olds to drive heavy goods vehicles<br />

under an accompanied driving scheme.<br />

The vote was carried by a majority of one.<br />

The decision has the potential to massively<br />

expand the number of teenagers driving<br />

lorries. Today, only five countries allow<br />

teenagers as young as 18 to drive a lorry:<br />

Finland, Germany, Ireland, Poland and Spain.<br />

But recently compiled data from Finland,<br />

Germany and Poland clearly show that the<br />

youngest lorry drivers (18-19 years) are<br />

much more likely to cause a crash.<br />

In a nod to the contentious nature of the<br />

decision, EU transport ministers responded<br />

by stating that Member States should not be<br />

forced into allowing such young drivers to get<br />

behind the wheel. However, such proposals,<br />

once accepted in one member state, usually<br />

end up being accepted practice across others,<br />

despite initial reticence.<br />

As one MEP pointed out, “such is the<br />

cross-border nature of much of the EU’s LGV<br />

traffic, it is difficult to see how, for example,<br />

police in the Netherlands could refuse to<br />

allow an 18-year-old German with a full LGV<br />

licence from driving on the country’s roads.”<br />

ETSC says that from a road safety<br />

perspective, the minimum age in the EU for<br />

lorry drivers should be 21. The safety<br />

advocates see no justification for<br />

encouraging teenagers as young as 17 to<br />

drive lorries.<br />

In a letter to MEPs before the decision was<br />

taken the ETSC said: “Research by the<br />

German Insurance Association (GDV) shows<br />

that HGV drivers aged 18-20 caused a much<br />

higher number of collisions resulting in<br />

personal injury, in relation to the number of<br />

licences registered for that age group, when<br />

compared to all other HGV age groups.<br />

“That proportion decreases considerably<br />

up to 24 years and remains stable in older age<br />

groups.<br />

“Similarly, data from Statistics Finland<br />

(2014 to 2020), show that the involvement in<br />

collisions of truck and bus drivers aged 18-19<br />

in proportion to the number of driving<br />

licences for that age group, is considerably<br />

higher with respect to other age groups and<br />

it decreases with increasing age of the driver.<br />

In Poland, data provided by the Motor<br />

Transport Institute (ITS) show the same<br />

trend.<br />

“That is why we urge you to reject this<br />

proposal.”<br />

In another surprising move, the EU<br />

Transport Committee also supported the idea<br />

of allowing children aged 16 to drive speedlimited<br />

cars.<br />

This controversial idea originated in Finland.<br />

and prompted the Commission’s own impact<br />

assessment to state : “The measure may<br />

pose an additional road safety risk, notably<br />

for vulnerable road users”.<br />

Ellen Townsend, policy director at ETSC<br />

commented: “This legislation was introduced<br />

under the banner of a ‘road safety package’<br />

– but frankly if we end up encouraging large<br />

numbers of teenagers to drive lorries, the<br />

consequences will be devastating.”<br />

She added that there was a glimmer of<br />

hope the transport committee’s decision will<br />

be shelved. “This decision will need to be<br />

ratified by a plenary vote in the European<br />

Parliament in <strong>January</strong>. We hope policymakers<br />

will take a step back and reconsider the<br />

consequences of these changes, before<br />

voting on plans that will make our roads more<br />

dangerous for everyone. “<br />

In a complex vote, covering an array of<br />

proposed changes to licensing rules, there<br />

was one silver lining for safety. MEPs backed<br />

the concept of an EU-wide zero-tolerance<br />

limit for alcohol for novice drivers.<br />

This would see newly-qualified drivers<br />

subject to a low 0.2 g/l blood alcohol<br />

concentration limit across the EU.<br />

However, this change would only affect<br />

Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark and Finland,<br />

because all other EU Member States already<br />

set a limit of 0 or 0.2 for novice drivers.<br />

Spain’s limit for this group is 0.3.<br />

The measures are all part of a revised EU<br />

Driving Licence Directive, which will need to<br />

be negotiated by MEPs, together with EU<br />

Transport Ministers and the European<br />

Commission.<br />

14 <strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

News<br />

Public calls time on England and Wales’s<br />

high drink-driving limit amid rise in deaths<br />

More than four-in-five motorists think the<br />

Government should bring in tougher<br />

penalties for drink driving, to stop people<br />

getting behind the wheel while under the<br />

influence.<br />

In a new survey, over half of respondents<br />

(56%) were ‘strongly’ in favour and 27%<br />

agreed ‘somewhat’. Only 5% disagreed.<br />

Road safety professionals believe the drink<br />

drive limit in England and Wales – the highest<br />

in Europe - should be lowered, while the<br />

Government says it wants better<br />

enforcement of the existing law.<br />

Over half the motorists polled (57%) think<br />

both measures should be introduced, with a<br />

further 23% favouring better enforcement<br />

and another 11% saying lower the limit.<br />

“Adding those responses together, more<br />

than 90% want the Government to take<br />

action on tackling drink driving,” comments<br />

Hunter Abbott, MD of breathalyser firm<br />

AlcoSense, who commissioned the poll.<br />

“Only 4% said drink driving doesn’t need to<br />

be addressed.<br />

“In 2021, there were 260 deaths on<br />

Britain’s roads where a motorist was over the<br />

legal limit – the highest since 2009. Drunk<br />

drivers account for nearly a fifth of all road<br />

fatalities”.<br />

Research shows that if you drive with an<br />

alcohol level of 80mg per 100mL of blood<br />

(the English/Welsh limit) you are 13 times<br />

more likely to be involved in a fatal accident<br />

than when sober. At 50mg (the Scottish<br />

limit) this decreases to five times more likely.<br />

When given this information, 69% of<br />

motorists called for a reduction in the<br />

English/Welsh limit. Over a quarter (27%)<br />

said it should be reduced to the Scottish level,<br />

with another quarter (26%) thinking it should<br />

be cut to zero. A further sixth (16%) thought<br />

it should be somewhere in between.<br />

In countries such as Poland, Sweden and<br />

Norway the legal limit is just 20mg.<br />

Only 15% said England and Wales should<br />

remain at 80mg.<br />

“Drink drive campaigns including<br />

advertising are not effective on their own.<br />

Over half of motorists told us they make no<br />

difference to their attitude towards drinking<br />

and driving,” adds Mr Abbott, who is a<br />

member of the Parliamentary Advisory<br />

Council for Transport Safety (PACTS).<br />

“The AlcoSense survey makes clear that<br />

people want tougher legislation and robust<br />

enforcement to drive down the number of<br />

alcohol-related accidents”.<br />

n An estimated two million motorists drove<br />

home after a Christmas party despite<br />

thinking they were at the drink drive limit or<br />

just over.<br />

A study of 2,000 drivers before Christmas,<br />

asking about their driving and drinking habits,<br />

found that 5% would get behind the wheel<br />

after a few drinks, even though they knew<br />

they would have reached the limit or<br />

exceeded it.<br />

With 41.2 million licensed vehicles on the<br />

roads, that’s a potential two million drivers.<br />

Over one in ten (11%) said they would drive<br />

if they thought they were close to the legal<br />

limit but ‘just about OK’.<br />

And nearly one in five (18%) reckoned they<br />

would drive after drinks with friends or family<br />

after celebrating Christmas, knowing they<br />

had alcohol in their system but feeling ‘sure’<br />

they were under the limit.<br />

The problem is, “even small amounts of<br />

alcohol slow your reaction time, inhibit<br />

judgement, reduce concentration and affect<br />

eye, foot and hand co-ordination,” said<br />

Hunter Abbott.<br />

“This increases the likelihood of a crash. At<br />

just one-eighth of the current limit for<br />

England and Wales you are still 37% more<br />

likely to be involved in a fatal road accident<br />

than when sober”.<br />

Of those who said they would drive despite<br />

being close to or over the limit, the most<br />

popular excuse was ‘I feel sober enough’ –<br />

cited by 56% of respondents – while 43%<br />

justified it by saying they ‘only have a short<br />

distance to drive’.<br />

One in four (26%) claimed that one of the<br />

reasons they were happy to risk driving after<br />

drinking at Christmas was because ‘the roads<br />

will be quiet’, and 22% thought they’d<br />

‘probably get away with it’ as there were<br />

fewer police around.<br />

The survey also found that the ‘next day’<br />

effect is also still not fully understood. One in<br />

five said they would drive at 7am the morning<br />

after a party, despite feeling worse for wear.<br />

If you consume four pints of mediumstrong<br />

beer or four large glasses of wine, it<br />

can take as long as 14 hours for the alcohol to<br />

clear your system.<br />

That means if you’re drinking between<br />

9pm and 11pm, you may not be completely<br />

sober until 11am the following day.<br />

That probably explains why almost a fifth<br />

of drink drive convictions are ‘the morning<br />

after the night before’.<br />

The survey did suggest that attitudes<br />

towards drink driving have noticeably<br />

hardened in society, with it being seen as an<br />

unpopular habit, “but there’s still an<br />

irresponsible minority who are prepared to<br />

put their lives at risk, as well as those of<br />

other road users,” added Mr Abbott.<br />

16 <strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

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

Get 10p off every litre of fuel<br />

with 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 />

What are the latest UK petrol prices and diesel prices?<br />

The prices right are the latest available unleaded petrol and diesel averages across<br />

supermarket, motorway and independent forecourts in the UK, according to data compiled<br />

by the RAC. Prices correct at the start of <strong>January</strong>, with more fuel price falls possible.<br />

However, as tensions continue to escalate in the Red Sea where Houthi rebels are harrassing<br />

shipping, analysts believe prices could rise sharply in the coming months if the situation<br />

does not ease.<br />


UK average 140.29p<br />

Supermarket 137.45p<br />

Motorway 164.39p<br />

DIESEL<br />

UK average 148.17p<br />

Supermarket 145.81p<br />

Motorway 174.53p<br />

AlcoSense: Every ADI should have one handy<br />

MSA GB has teamed up with leading supplier<br />

of personal breathalyser kits AlcoSense to<br />

bring our members a very special offer.<br />

They’ve agreed to discount their entire<br />

range of products (excluding single-use<br />

disposables) by 10 per cent for members if<br />

bought through the MSA GB website – from<br />

the entry-level Lite 2 (£44.99) to the<br />

top-of-the-range Ultra (£249.00), with other<br />

options available.<br />

The kits give an instant and accurate<br />

snapshot of whether you – or your pupil<br />

– has alcohol in your/their system, and are<br />

particularly useful ‘the morning after.’<br />

Peter Harvey, MSA GB national vice<br />

chairman, commented: “These are a quality<br />

product. They arrive well packaged,<br />

with the required batteries, five<br />

mouthpieces and full instructions.<br />

“The Excel version is very easy<br />

to use, with a simple menu, and can<br />

be adjusted to suit the country you<br />

are in depending on the legal limit<br />

there.<br />

“Once set up, the breathalyser<br />

gives a very clear reading in traffic light<br />

colours, making it 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 –<br />

Don’t drive.<br />

“The set is very compact, about<br />

the same size as a mobile phone but<br />

a little deeper. It is ideal for<br />

eliminating any concerns you may<br />

have the morning after – or for your<br />

pupils.<br />

The Excel model costs around £100 and can<br />

be viewed: https://alcosense.co.uk/<br />

alcosense/alcosense-excel.html ”<br />

Go through the MSA GB website at https://<br />

msagb.com/members/member-discounts/<br />

to secure your member discount.<br />

<strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 17

Towards your CPD<br />

And we’re off!<br />

Identifying faults on the move<br />

Steve Garrod takes a look<br />

at the challenges involved in<br />

identifying driving faults on the<br />

move, and how to communicate<br />

them to your pupil without<br />

disrupting the driving process<br />

Identifying driving faults still plays a major<br />

part in teaching people to drive, but to do this<br />

effectively it is important to have your pupil’s<br />

full attention while discussing them.<br />

If we are not able to engage with pupils to<br />

discuss faults, the risk of them being<br />

repeated increases, with the risk that the<br />

faults becoming potentially dangerous.<br />

There is nothing wrong with pulling up<br />

somewhere suitable to analyse what went<br />

wrong and what action needs to be put in<br />

place to prevent the fault being repeated.<br />

That is not to say we need to pull up for every<br />

driving fault made; if we did the car would<br />

spend more time parked by the kerbside than<br />

on the move! The skill of a good instructor is<br />

to be able to prioritise faults and to be aware<br />

of the prevailing road and traffic conditions,<br />

and then determine the correct action to take<br />

for the particular pupil.<br />

For example; if you can deal with the fault<br />

by asking a question then it may be<br />

appropriate to keep on the move (such as a<br />

‘driving fault’), but if something specific<br />

needs to be highlighted it may necessary to<br />

pull up (such as a serious or dangerous fault).<br />

The reason for this is there is a real danger of<br />

what is commonly referred to as ‘teaching<br />

out of the rear window’ and distracting our<br />

pupil’s attention while we try to discuss what<br />

happened, subsequently building up more<br />

faults, which is known as instructor-induced<br />

faults.<br />

Questions beginning with ‘What’, ‘Where’<br />

and ‘When’ are often answered with a quick<br />

response or a recall of a fact, which do not<br />

require much thinking, such as:<br />

n “What is the danger of not checking<br />

your mirrors?”<br />

n “Where should you look before emerging?”<br />

n “When will you signal?”<br />

Questions beginning with ‘Which’, ‘Why’,<br />

‘Who’ and ‘How’ require a little more thought,<br />

such as making choices, reasoning and<br />

understanding meaning, such as:<br />

n “Which mirrors should you check before<br />

overtaking?”<br />

n “Why is it important to return to the left<br />

hand lane after overtaking?<br />

n “Who has priority?”<br />

n “How could you have made that<br />

situation easier?”<br />

Which question we ask will depend on the<br />

amount of time there is for it to be answered.<br />

If pupils are asked too deep a question, their<br />

performance may drop while they take time<br />

to consider their response (known as an<br />

instructor induced fault).<br />

Questions on the move, therefore, should<br />

be in the present or future tense to help<br />

pupils focus on what they are doing or what<br />

they are going to do; eg:<br />

n “What is the next hazard?”<br />

n “How will you deal with this?”<br />

n “Where will you stop?”<br />

n “When will it be safe to go?”<br />

Questions while stationary should be more<br />

thought provoking or in the past tense, or<br />

refer to a question that was asked on the<br />

move, such as:<br />

n “What could have happened had I not<br />

There is nothing wrong with<br />

pulling up to analyse what<br />

went wrong... but we don’t<br />

need to pull up for every<br />

driving fault made; if we<br />

did the car would spend<br />

more time parked by the<br />

kerbside than on the move!<br />

asked you to slow down?”<br />

n “Who had priority?”<br />

n “What should you do if someone is<br />

overtaking you before you enter a higher<br />

speed limit?”<br />

n “Where should you have waited at that<br />

junction?”<br />

n “Why do you think I asked you which<br />

mirrors should you check?”<br />

Read the last five questions again and think<br />

about what could happen if you asked them<br />

on the move. How might they affect your<br />

pupil’s concentration? The chances are you<br />

will still be discussing them by the time you<br />

reach the next hazard, which could prevent<br />

your pupil from dealing with it safely (another<br />

instructor induced fault).<br />

18 <strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

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

If your pupil positions incorrectly before<br />

emerging, and there is no following traffic,<br />

just ask them to stop and secure the car<br />

before asking:<br />

n “Where are you positioned?”<br />

n “How could this affect other traffic?”<br />

n “What could you have done to make this<br />

situation easier?”<br />

If your questions are likely to cause a<br />

hazard because of other traffic, just ask your<br />

pupil to look at how they have positioned the<br />

car before asking them to pull up as soon as it<br />

is convenient to discuss what has happened.<br />

You can then ask suitable questions to find<br />

out why the fault occurred (analyse) and<br />

correct the fault (remedy). This way the fault<br />

remains fresh in both yours and your pupil’s<br />

mind. The next time you approach a similar<br />

junction you could then ask, “Where will you<br />

wait?” (prompt).<br />

Contrary to what we are sometimes led to<br />

believe, asking questions is not the only way<br />

to teach. Good instructors know when to<br />

keep quiet! For example; if you keep asking<br />

questions, how will you know if your pupil<br />

really does understand what to do?<br />

Imagine you keep asking “Which mirrors<br />

will you check?”, “What is the next speed<br />

limit?” “What could that cyclist do?” How do<br />

you know if your pupil is going to check his<br />

mirrors, has recognised the next speed limit<br />

or seen the cyclist?<br />

There comes a point when we need to<br />

allow pupils to drive for themselves. One of<br />

the biggest reasons I saw for failed driving<br />

tests when I worked as an examiner was<br />

pupils not being able to work things out for<br />

themselves. Many pupils come to rely on<br />

“One of the main weaknesses<br />

under the heading ‘Make<br />

effective use of mirrors’ is before<br />

changing speed, because there is<br />

no prompt from the examiner<br />

before slowing down or<br />

accelerating... so ask your pupil<br />

before they set off ‘When should<br />

you check your mirrors’?”<br />

their instructor using questions as prompts.<br />

For example, the last three questions can<br />

also be used as prompts. This is one of the<br />

reasons independent driving was introduced.<br />

One of the main weaknesses under the<br />

heading ‘Make effective use of mirrors’ is<br />

before changing speed, because there is no<br />

prompt from the examiner before slowing<br />

down or accelerating. So, the next time you<br />

are dealing with use of mirrors ask your pupil<br />

before they set off that you will be assessing<br />

their use of mirrors and ask your questions<br />

before they move off, eg “When should you<br />

check your mirrors”?, “Why is it important to<br />

check the mirrors before slowing down or<br />

speeding up? or “What could be the danger<br />

of not checking your mirrors before slowing<br />

down and increasing speed?” (risk assessment).<br />

To increase the level of thought required<br />

you could develop these questions to…<br />

“What could you do if someone is following<br />

too closely?” or “What would you do if<br />

someone is about to overtake you before<br />

entering a higher speed limit?”<br />

Adding the words ‘could’ or ‘would’ after<br />

‘what’ means you are introducing probability<br />

to the question, which gives options to the<br />

answers and requires more thought,<br />

therefore not generally not advised for<br />

questions on the move.<br />

Once you have discussed these questions<br />

you can then allow your pupil to drive for a<br />

few minutes while you assess their use of<br />

mirrors without any questions on the move.<br />

If you find that mirror checks have been<br />

missed you could could ask a quick question<br />

or ask if they might prefer a prompt as a<br />

reminder. As a general rule, once you have<br />

been given the correct answer to your<br />

question followed by the correct response,<br />

pupils should be encouraged to carry out a<br />

task independently, eg “Well done, you now<br />

have responsibility to check your mirrors<br />

from now on’.<br />

This technique can be used for all tasks, such<br />

as road positioning, “Where will you position<br />

before turning right?”… “Well done, I’ll leave you<br />

to do that on your own from now on”.<br />

Asking questions is a skill and you do need<br />

to have a stable stretch of road in front of you<br />

to ask them. When you have quiet moments<br />

during the day it is worth thinking about how<br />

to formulate thought provoking questions to<br />

stretch your learners thinking.<br />

At the end of each session, and not<br />

necessarily the end of the lesson, you could<br />

ask you pupil what they felt went well and<br />

what would have made the session even<br />

better. Encouraging pupils to analyse their<br />

performance and focus on positives rather<br />

than negatives is encouraging rather than<br />

de-motivating. It also helps you agree the<br />

goals for the next session.<br />

<strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 19

Members’ section<br />

MSA GB Annual Conference <strong>2024</strong><br />

It’s a case of all roads lead to Telford as we head to Shropshire<br />

for the MSA GB Annual Conference <strong>2024</strong>.<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 />

Get in quick:<br />

Early Bird<br />

Prices<br />

running out<br />

soon!<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 <strong>January</strong> 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 <strong>January</strong> 20<br />

If booked before<br />

£49<br />

<strong>January</strong> 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 />

20 <strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

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

Conference speakers<br />

The conference will comprise of a number of speakers and workshops, with<br />

speakers drawn to create the most comprehensive and diverse ptrogramme<br />

possible.<br />

Just some of the confirmed speakers and topics we will cover are :<br />

SPEAKERS TO INCLUDE (pictured right, from top)<br />

n G Sabina – Roberts<br />

n Graham Feest<br />

n Manuel Picardi<br />

n Dr Julia Malkin MBE<br />

n Representatives from FBTC<br />

PLUS representatives from the DVSA and MSA GB, with a comprehensive<br />

update on the latest from the driver training and testing sector<br />

Topics to include<br />

Teaching with<br />

and for<br />

disabilities<br />

Your tax – going<br />

digital and what you<br />

can claim for<br />

MSA GB<br />

update and<br />

future plans<br />

Update on the next<br />

European driving<br />

licence directive<br />

LGBTQ+ business<br />

awareness -<br />

Gender diversity<br />

Safer roads, vehicles,<br />

and road users:<br />

using a safe systems<br />

approach<br />

DVSA changes:<br />

how they will effect<br />

driver trainers<br />

BOOK NOW:<br />

Early Bird discount<br />

ends on <strong>January</strong> 20<br />

<strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 21

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 />

22 <strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

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 />

<strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 23

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 />

- Newslink<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 />

24 <strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

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 />

In every issue of Newslink will be publishing a list of local ADI<br />

groups and associations. We will only publish those groups who let<br />

us know they are happy to be included in our list, so if you would<br />

like to see your details here, please contact Peter Harvey at<br />

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 December<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 <strong>January</strong> 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 />

<strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 25

Towards your CPD<br />

Who’s to blame... and<br />

do I have a claim?<br />

Tom Harrington considers the<br />

Duty of Care & Obligations<br />

expected of motorists and<br />

asks, are you liable for a<br />

prosecution over a careless slip<br />

of concentration or a mistake?<br />

What is Duty of Care?<br />

Duty of care constitutes the first of the<br />

three primary elements of tort (duty of care,<br />

breach and causation). While there are many<br />

situations in which an individual might have<br />

acted carelessly, unless they have a duty of<br />

care to the person harmed by their<br />

carelessness, then no claim will arise.<br />

This is a key point - while a case might<br />

present the clearest existence of breach and<br />

causation possible, it will fail if duty of care is<br />

not present at the time of the breach.<br />

Although the term ‘duty of care’ can seem<br />

a little alien at first, it can roughly be thought<br />

of a responsibility of an individual to not harm<br />

others through their carelessness.<br />

In the case of motoring, for example, a<br />

driver on the road has a responsibility to<br />

other road users to not cause an accident<br />

through driving carelessly. In other words,<br />

they have a duty of care to other road users.<br />

Because of its ability to make or break a<br />

given case, duty of care is often thought of as<br />

a ‘control mechanism’ within the law -<br />

essentially, a way for the courts to make a<br />

distinction between cases which are legally<br />

significant, and therefore worth pursuing, and<br />

those cases which do not merit legal attention.<br />

Therefore, in essence, a duty of care is a<br />

legal obligation imposed on an individual<br />

requiring that they adhere to a reasonable<br />

standard of care while performing acts that<br />

could foreseeably harm others.<br />

On the road<br />

Road accidents have given rise to a very<br />

small proportion of reported cases of<br />

negligence in recent years. There are,<br />

however, a significant number of unreported<br />

cases. The application of general negligence<br />

principles to most road accidents is<br />

unproblematic and so does not give rise to<br />

many novel points of principle on matters<br />

such as causation, contributory negligence,<br />

the quantification of damages and the like,<br />

rather than duty and standard of care.<br />

The duty of care owed by road users is to<br />

exercise reasonable care towards those<br />

sufficiently proximate to be foreseeably<br />

affected by their actions. This will principally<br />

mean other road users in their vicinity, but to<br />

a lesser extent it will include others, such as<br />

the owners of property adjacent to the<br />

highway and relatives of accident victims, or<br />

rescuers who suffer psychological harm. The<br />

duty in respect of psychological harm is one<br />

of the few examples of road users’ duty to<br />

give rise to significant disputes.<br />

The concepts of ‘duty’ and ‘liability’ should<br />

not be confused, as duty is only one of the<br />

requisite elements for establishing liability. A<br />

simple example will serve to demonstrate<br />

this distinction.<br />

Example<br />

Three drivers (D1, D2 and D3) were<br />

approaching a zebra crossing at which a<br />

pedestrian (P) was attempting to cross.<br />

D1 and D2 were approaching from the<br />

same direction at 100 km/h, while D3 was<br />

approaching from the opposite direction at<br />

50km/h. D3 stopped before reaching the<br />

crossing and P safely crossed the lane that<br />

D3 was travelling on.<br />

However, from the opposite carriageway,<br />

D1 drove through the crossing without<br />

attempting to stop, but did not injure P. D2<br />

attempted to stop, but lost control of the<br />

vehicle and collided with both P and D3’s<br />

vehicle, causing severe personal injuries to P<br />

and D3, and destroying D3’s vehicle.<br />

In this case all three drivers owe a duty to<br />

P and to other motorists to drive in a manner<br />

that does not put them at risk of injury. D3<br />

has discharged his duty by driving with the<br />

appropriate degree of care. D1 failed to<br />

discharge his duty, as he put P (at least) at<br />

26 <strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

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

serious risk; however, D1 is not liable for any<br />

of the injuries / damage outlined as he did not<br />

cause any injury or damage.<br />

The focus falls on D2: he has breached his<br />

duty and caused damage and will be liable,<br />

provided the appropriate steps are taken by<br />

the injured parties to recover their losses.<br />

Thus all three motorists carry a legal duty;<br />

two of them breached that duty, but only one<br />

is liable for the injuries sustained. It should be<br />

noted that the driving of D1 and D2 could also<br />

give rise to criminal prosecution, but that is a<br />

separate issue from tortuous liability.<br />

‘Nervous Shock’<br />

The facts in the Bourhill v Young case<br />

concerned an Edinburgh fishwife (that’s Mrs<br />

Euphemia Bourhill ... no seriously, this was in<br />

1943... Ed) getting off a tram to pick up her<br />

fish basket. John Young was a motorcyclist<br />

who passed the tram on the near side, and<br />

some 50 feet further on crashed into a car<br />

and was killed.<br />

After his body was removed, Mrs. Bourhill<br />

approached the site and saw the blood on the<br />

road. She alleged that she suffered ‘nervous<br />

shock’ as a result of the accident and gave<br />

birth to a stillborn child about a month later.<br />

Lord Russell held that Mr Young was<br />

negligent in the incident that led to his<br />

demise as he was travelling too fast.<br />

However, he dismissed the plaintiff’s appeal<br />

for damages against him on the basis that<br />

Mrs Bourhill was not within John Young’s<br />

vision, but standing behind the solid barrier of<br />

the tramcar and his speed in no way<br />

endangered her.<br />

The determination of the level of<br />

precautions that a road user should exercise in<br />

any given circumstances is largely dependent<br />

on factual matters. In most instances the<br />

Rules of the Road or Highway Code and a<br />

modicum of common sense will give a<br />

sufficient indication of what is reasonable.<br />

The application of general negligence<br />

principles to road accidents provides little in<br />

the way of extra legal principles, specifically<br />

adapted to the context of road use. The cases<br />

mainly demonstrate straightforward<br />

applications of the various factors in respect<br />

of the standard of care.<br />

Thus, for example, situations of increased<br />

risk of harm demand a corresponding<br />

increase in the degree of caution a motorist<br />

must exercise. Motorists approaching buses<br />

with disembarking passengers will be<br />

expected to anticipate the risk of children<br />

running out suddenly from behind the bus.<br />

Reasonable care demands that the driver<br />

reduces his speed to that where the car can<br />

be brought to a stop and, perhaps, sound the<br />

“D2 attempted to stop, but<br />

lost control of the vehicle and<br />

collided with both P on the<br />

pedestrian crossing and D3’s<br />

vehicle, causing severe<br />

injuries to P and D3, and<br />

destroying D3’s vehicle...”<br />

audible warning device in order to warn<br />

children to the car’s presence.<br />

Other situations of increased risk will also<br />

give rise to a duty to take appropriate extra<br />

precautions. The social utility of a driver’s<br />

purpose, such as an emergency vehicle in a<br />

rescue or a police officer in pursuit of an<br />

escaping offender, will afford the driver a<br />

greater degree of latitude than ordinary<br />

driving situations. In such instances the<br />

driver is not immune from liability in<br />

negligence, but the social utility of the<br />

driver’s actions will permit the creation of a<br />

greater level of risk to others than would<br />

normally be tolerated or allowed.<br />

Strick v Tracey provides an excellent<br />

example of the limits of this proposition. A<br />

police car was escorting a Civil Defence fire<br />

tender to a school fire. The police vehicle<br />

entered a busy intersection, controlled by<br />

traffic lights against the lights (red) and<br />

stopped in the middle of the junction. The fire<br />

tender, which had been a considerable<br />

distance behind the police car, did likewise.<br />

Both emergency vehicles were using flashing<br />

lights and sirens. Mrs Tracey entered the<br />

intersection with the traffic lights in her<br />

favour. She saw the police car break the<br />

lights and noticed the yellow vehicle<br />

approaching from her left but, believing the<br />

danger had passed, drove into the junction<br />

and collided with the fire tender.<br />

Although emergency vehicles are entitled<br />

a degree of latitude, in determining<br />

negligence, O’Hanlon J. held that all three<br />

drivers had been negligent to some extent.<br />

The burden of prevention on motorists is<br />

usually slight, as they will often merely be<br />

required to slow down or keep greater look<br />

out, thereby slightly increasing the length of<br />

their journey. Vehicle owners’ will also be<br />

expected to maintain their vehicles in a<br />

roadworthy condition and the cost of making<br />

it safe cannot be avoided.<br />

The need to incorporate new safety<br />

devices is more problematic, but it is possible<br />

that the owner could be held negligent for<br />

failing to incur a modest expense installing a<br />

safety device which would significantly<br />

reduce the magnitude of risk.<br />

The case law demonstrates that the courts<br />

are quite demanding in the behaviour<br />

required of drivers to meet the legal standard,<br />

though they are sometimes satisfied that<br />

serious accidents can occur despite the<br />

exercise of reasonable care.<br />

‘Neighbour Principle’<br />

Marshall v Osmond also provides a useful<br />

example of the relevance of the utility of the<br />

defendant’s conduct in determining the<br />

appropriate standard of care. In this case the<br />

English Court of Appeal held that where a<br />

police officer caused an injury through his<br />

driving, the fact that he was in pursuit of<br />

joyriders was relevant in determining the<br />

level of behaviour required.<br />

Continued on page 28<br />

<strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 27

Towards your CPD<br />

Continued from page 27<br />

In this case the police officer’s driving was<br />

held not to be negligent, though similar<br />

driving by a civilian for his own pleasure<br />

would be classed as negligent.<br />

In the case of O’ Brien v Parker, Lavan J.<br />

accepted in principle that a driver will not be<br />

in breach of duty if he loses control of the<br />

vehicle due to a sudden and unforeseeable<br />

onset of a disabling medical condition. In the<br />

instant case, though, the driver was found to<br />

have had sufficient advance warning and<br />

ought to have stopped driving.<br />

The establishment of the general principle<br />

of duty of care had to wait until the House of<br />

Lords decision in Donoghue v Stevenson.<br />

Lord Atkins’ formulation of the ‘neighbour<br />

principle’ is probably the most famous and<br />

respected formulation of the general concept<br />

of the duty of care.<br />

That states: “You must take reasonable<br />

care to avoid acts or omissions which you<br />

can reasonably foresee would be likely to<br />

injure your neighbour.<br />

“Who then, in law, is my neighbour? The<br />

answer seems to be persons who are so<br />

closely and directly affected by my act that I<br />

ought reasonably to have them in<br />

contemplation as being so affected when I<br />

am directing my mind to the acts or<br />

omissions which are called in question”.<br />

So where does this leave us? With<br />

self-responsibility, where one has been<br />

partly responsible for causing one’s own<br />

injuries, in addition to breach of duty by<br />

another person. It is the responsibility of<br />

every road user to take reasonable care not<br />

to cause injury or damage to other road<br />

users. Whether there is a breach of this duty<br />

“The driver of a vehicle is<br />

expected to meet the same<br />

standards of care and skill as<br />

‘the average motorist’. There is<br />

no need to display driving skills<br />

comparable to an F1 racing<br />

driver or first-responder”<br />

will depend on all the circumstances, such as<br />

the time, place, weather, the light, the road,<br />

speed, manner of driving other traffic and<br />

state and condition of the driver.<br />

In conclusion, coping with the everincreasing<br />

volume of traffic, inadequate road<br />

infrastructure, poor driving standards and<br />

the unacceptable casualty rate, it’s essential<br />

to recognise and emphasise the importance<br />

of the driver’s duty of care/obligations and<br />

“A learner driver who takes<br />

control of a car for the very<br />

first time is still expected to<br />

meet the ‘average’ standard.<br />

If they cause an accident,<br />

even if it was through their<br />

inexperience, they will be<br />

held just as liable...”<br />

responsibility to himself, his passengers and<br />

all those he encounters whilst traversing the<br />

public highway.<br />

Conclusion<br />

Every time you go out in your car, you put<br />

yourself under certain legal obligations. This<br />

happens whether you are aware of these<br />

duties or not, so it is best to know what your<br />

obligations are, and how you must behave to<br />

meet them. Knowing this information can<br />

also be helpful to recognise when other road<br />

users have failed in their duties towards you<br />

– something which could lead to a personal<br />

injury claim.<br />

As a road user, you owe a legal ‘duty of<br />

care’ to all other road users. This means you<br />

are obliged to take reasonable care to ensure<br />

any action you take, or any action you fail to<br />

take, does not cause injury to another road<br />

user, or damage to property.<br />

But what counts as someone failing in their<br />

duty of care? No road user can be expected<br />

to behave perfectly in every situation. But<br />

some minimum standards are required of<br />

road users by law. The driver of a vehicle is<br />

expected to meet the same standards of care<br />

and skill as ‘the average motorist’. There is no<br />

need to display driving skills comparable to an<br />

F1 racing driver or ambulance first-responder<br />

– only the skill and attention of the average<br />

motorist. This is what’s called an ‘objective<br />

standard’. The standard of care is set and<br />

every motorist must meet it. No<br />

consideration is given to the individual<br />

circumstances or abilities of each motorist.<br />

But herre’s the crux: A learner driver who<br />

takes control of a car for the very first time is<br />

still expected to meet this same standard. If<br />

they cause an accident, even if it was through<br />

their inexperience, they will be held just as<br />

liable for their conduct as someone who had<br />

been driving for ten years. As such, a bad<br />

driver cannot avoid liability by arguing that<br />

they were taking all the care of which they<br />

were capable. Hopelessness is no excuse!<br />

If you have suffered a personal injury or<br />

other harm due to another driver failing to<br />

meet the necessary standards of care, you<br />

may be able to claim compensation. Liability<br />

could result from a wide range of behaviour<br />

– from acts of negligence that were nothing<br />

more than momentary lapse of attention, to<br />

reckless or dangerous driving. If the standard<br />

of driving is so poor that there is a criminal<br />

prosecution (including a driver being ordered<br />

onto a driver improvement course or even a<br />

custodial sentence), making a compensation<br />

claim against them will be a great deal easier.<br />

This is because the ‘burden of proof’ is<br />

higher in criminal matters than it is for civil<br />

claims – so if evidence of their sub-standard<br />

driving is enough to convict them for a<br />

criminal offence, it will automatically be<br />

sufficient proof to establish their liability for<br />

negligence (which is a civil matter).<br />

If you are injured in a car accident because<br />

of another road user’s poor driving, then it is<br />

recommended you contact the police<br />

immediately. They may not investigate but, if<br />

they do, then you or your solicitors should be<br />

able to obtain a copy of the police’s report<br />

once it is completed.<br />

A damning report from the police should<br />

assist you in any personal injury claim. Even<br />

when fault for an accident is not at issue, you<br />

should instruct specialist personal injury<br />

solicitors when making a compensation claim.<br />

28 <strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

Area News<br />

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

Signal your frustration to me!<br />

Arthur Mynott<br />

MSA GB<br />

West Coast & Wales<br />

Hello everyone. I trust you all had good<br />

Christmas and not too sober New Year. I’m<br />

writing this before Christmas because of the<br />

deadlines, so I’m still looking forward to the<br />

festive season!<br />

As in previous years, Marie and I are off to<br />

our daughter’s, along with her in-laws, for a<br />

traditional Christmas Day. We have been<br />

doing this for many years now, although last<br />

year we had planned to be cruising the<br />

Bahamas on Christmas Day.<br />

When we told our daughter of her plans,<br />

she originally told us off as we weren’t going<br />

to be there on Christmas Day! Unfortunately,<br />

we had to reschedule the cruise due to<br />

Marie’s impending operation so we ended up<br />

at our daughter’s anyway. One day, I may<br />

persuade Marie to drive back so I can enjoy a<br />

few drinks but I’m still working on that,<br />

although I do make up for it over the festive<br />

period with a few ciders, sherries and the odd<br />

port and lemon.<br />

Signal failure<br />

As we are starting a New Year, I would like<br />

to begin with something that really annoys<br />

me on the roads, and that is the lack of<br />

signals from other drivers. Why do some<br />

think they don’t need to use them when on<br />

the road? Have they forgotten the “mirror,<br />

signal, manoeuvre” routine they were taught<br />

when learning to drive and when doing their<br />

test? If it was necessary then, surely it’s<br />

necessary whenever your driving? I bet they<br />

would signal if the police were following them<br />

so if it’s necessary then, why not do it every<br />

time? It is not as though it requires a great<br />

deal of effort to move the indicator arm, just a<br />

flick of a finger and I doubt it uses up one<br />

calorie! Perhaps there should be some<br />

adverts on the television from the<br />

government reminding people to use their<br />

indicators when necessary?<br />

There used to be a myth that it was BMW<br />

drivers who never signalled, and there were<br />

many jokes to this effect, but now it seems to<br />

apply to many other makes – and lots of van<br />

drivers, too.<br />

Many times I have been waiting to enter a<br />

roundabout and waiting for drivers coming<br />

from the road on the right who are not<br />

signalling but then turn left instead, meaning I<br />

have missed an opportunity to enter the<br />

roundabout!<br />

You can never second guess other road<br />

users, though. On one occasion, when<br />

teaching, a car approaching from the right<br />

was signalling its intention to turn left before<br />

us, so my pupil moved to set off. However, I<br />

stopped him as the other car’s speed, road<br />

position and direction of its wheels made me<br />

think that despite the indicator, he wasn’t<br />

planning on taking the first exit at all.<br />

Sure enough, he barrelled straight on,<br />

across the roundabout in front of us!<br />

Afterwards I explained to the pupil the<br />

reasons why I didn’t think he was turning left;<br />

a lesson well learned.<br />

That’s the end of this rant so I will finish by<br />

wishing you all a Happy New Year and look<br />

forward to seeing as many of you as possible<br />

at the National Conference in March, and at<br />

the many other events we are planning<br />

throughout the coming year.<br />

Webinar to tackle key safeguarding issues for ADIs<br />

Arthur Mynott<br />

I have organised a webinar for MSA GB<br />

members across the country, on<br />

Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults<br />

Awareness. It will be on Sunday, February 25,<br />

and held online, starting at 9.30am and<br />

running for three hours.<br />

The cost to attend will be £50.<br />

As we are working with vulnerable adults<br />

every day this course will help you to know<br />

what to do if you suspect any of our students<br />

may be having problems.<br />

As we teach our pupils, we get to know<br />

them quite well and they very often talk to us<br />

about their concerns. Sometimes we find it<br />

hard to give a considered reply or know how<br />

to respond, particularly if there are concerns.<br />

This course will help you deal with these<br />

sort of situations when they arise.<br />

There will be a CPD certificate for all<br />

attendees.<br />

If you would like to participate, then please<br />

reply asap using my contact details below.<br />


Arthur Mynott, Chairman West Coast &<br />

Wales MSA GB<br />

Tel 07989852274<br />

arthur.mynott@msagb.com<br />

<strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 29

Area News<br />

DVSA sets out its Vision 2030<br />

at the British Motor Museum<br />

Janet<br />

Stewart<br />

London & the<br />

South East<br />

I was at a conference at the end of November<br />

at which Loveday Ryder was speaking. She<br />

was talking about keeping Britain moving<br />

“Safely and Sustainably”.<br />

Some of the facts and figures were very<br />

interesting, and others rather disturbing. In<br />

2023 there were 850,000 electric cars on the<br />

roads, as we move collectively towards<br />

sustainability. However, 24 per cent of<br />

greenhouse gases are still coming from<br />

transport.<br />

The DVSA’s remit is to set standards,<br />

assess, test, accredit, regulate, inform,<br />

educate and advise. This looks at first sight<br />

like a rather impressive list until you realise<br />

that there is a lot of overlap and some of the<br />

terms are synonyms.<br />

The figure of 7 per cent was quoted as the<br />

increase in demand for driving tests which<br />

was attributed to the economy, strike action<br />

and changes in consumer behaviour.<br />

However, waiting times for tests are coming<br />

down in some places, but certainly not in the<br />

London area. To help reduce the problem, 240<br />

staff who held the appropriate warrant will be<br />

conducting tests until the end of March <strong>2024</strong>.<br />

In view of the size of the problem this does<br />

seem to be a mere drop in the ocean but<br />

there is an on-going recruitment drive for<br />

new examiners. Staff who were working on<br />

new ways of delivering services having been<br />

re-assigned to conduct driving tests, the new<br />

initiatives have been kicked into the long<br />

grass.<br />

On November 20, 93,000 tests were<br />

available across the country but there were<br />

still 113 test centres with wait times at 24<br />

weeks. The pass rate is currently standing at<br />

48 per cent. In October 169,910 tests were<br />

conducted resulting in 81,595 passes.<br />

Naturally, there were many questions put<br />

to Loveday about the rise in the use of bots<br />

to secure L-tests. 76% of learners say that<br />

they booked their test using one of the<br />

cancellation sites rather than the official<br />

DVSA booking system. She said that they<br />

were doing the best they could to stop these<br />

BMW or Thunderbirds...?<br />

sites, and many accounts had been banned or<br />

closed down.<br />

The problem is, as has been pointed out<br />

before, it is not an offence to re-sell a driving<br />

test.<br />

Standard checks have been curtailed until<br />

April but test performances are being<br />

monitored to pick up sub-standard<br />

instruction.<br />

Loveday took questions for much longer<br />

than the time that had originally been allotted<br />

and was refreshingly honest in her answers.<br />

There were quite a number of disgruntled<br />

ADIs in the room and they did not let her off<br />

lightly. One suggestion to help reduce<br />

waiting times and stop learners from just<br />

having a go was to raise the cost of the<br />

“Loveday joined the queue<br />

behind me and we were<br />

chatting generally when<br />

another instructor started<br />

haranguing her really<br />

aggressively, jabbing his<br />

finger in her face... ”<br />

driving test. However, this would be a very<br />

lengthy process and is something for which<br />

the Government would not currently have<br />

much appetite.<br />

Increasing to 28 days the time before a<br />

test can be sat following a failure is awaiting<br />

approval.<br />

More examiners are now wearing bodycams<br />

as aggression against them is<br />

increasingly concerning. If someone is noted<br />

to be aggressive at the theory test stage, a<br />

marker goes on them and there will be an<br />

extra person in the car for the driving test.<br />

Following an incident on test, the next test<br />

will have to be at a different test centre.<br />

To avoid aggressive behaviour on taxi<br />

tests, the result is sent out 24 hours later so<br />

that the examiner is not in confrontation with<br />

the candidate.<br />

We are all suffering as a result of the<br />

waiting times and resultant pressure on<br />

learners. There has been an increase in<br />

malicious complaints against ADIs. Every<br />

complaint must be investigated and while the<br />

ADI might be wholly exonerated, the pupil is<br />

not penalised in any way. There is no<br />

satisfactory way round this issue.<br />

It was suggested that a learner should not<br />

30 <strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

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

BMW or Thunderbirds...?<br />

be permitted more than three attempts at<br />

the theory test to prevent multiple attempts<br />

and the test being used as a learning method.<br />

When the Q and A came to an end we went<br />

for lunch. Loveday joined the queue behind<br />

me and we were chatting generally and not<br />

about driving when another instructor<br />

approached and started haranguing Loveday<br />

really aggressively, jabbing his finger in her<br />

face.<br />

I found this unacceptable after the level of<br />

interrogation she had already been subjected<br />

to. We all have reasons to be aggrieved at the<br />

moment but there also has to be mutual<br />

respect.<br />

It was a very cold day and for part of it I<br />

was outside with a Green Flag chap who was<br />

changing my tyre (fortunately I carry a full<br />

size spare). My husband asked me why I had<br />

not changed the tyre myself. Yes, I know how<br />

to do it and have done so in the past, but I was<br />

not appropriately dressed! This very nice<br />

man took photos of everything that he was<br />

doing, including my locking wheel nut. I asked<br />

him why. It is because of the abuse these<br />

people get and accusations of them not<br />

doing the job properly.<br />

I suppose I should not have been surprised<br />

in our current blame culture.<br />

On a lighter note, I also had time to look at<br />

some of the cars in the museum. There was a<br />

1931 BMW and the Thunderbirds car, among<br />

many others. My New Year quiz question is<br />

this: looking at the photos can you work out<br />

which is the BMW and which the<br />

Thunderbirds car?<br />

Wishing everyone an optimistic start to<br />

<strong>2024</strong>.<br />

Wales to get tough on enforcing 20mph limit<br />

Enforcement of the new 20mph default<br />

speed limit in built-up areas across Wales<br />

kicks-in this month after what the<br />

Government described as a “grace period.”<br />

The £34 million law has been in<br />

operation since last September, but police<br />

have enforced it with roadside<br />

interventions and a light touch. However, it<br />

will now be enforced – though not all<br />

drivers exceeding the 20mph limit will face<br />

prosecution. Police say the initial focus will<br />

be on penalising the most hazardous<br />

offenders, which road safety groups<br />

believe will be those driving at over 26mph.<br />

A spokesperson for the Welsh<br />

Government stated, “we’ve given a grace<br />

period but we will now start to enforce”.<br />

If speeding persists on specific 20mph<br />

stretches, authorities plan to escalate<br />

preventive actions such as enhanced<br />

roadside engagement, speed calming<br />

methods, or additional speed cameras.<br />

The 20mph speed limit reduction affects<br />

35% of Welsh roads with lamp-posts<br />

situated no more than 200 yards apart.<br />

Drivers are assured they won’t be<br />

penalised for incorrect road signs<br />

displaying the old speed limit.<br />

Doing The Strand<br />

In the December issue John Lomas<br />

asked the following poser:<br />

1) In the UK, on a two-way road, where<br />

is it a legal requirement to drive on the<br />

right?<br />

2) Do you know of anywhere, on a<br />

two-way road, where it is advisable to<br />

keep to the right?<br />

The answer is the Savoy Hotel, in<br />

London – the place which dictates the<br />

tight turning circle of a black cab. The<br />

curious answer lies in the fact that The<br />

Strand, off which The Savoy stands, is<br />

a one -way street running from right to<br />

left in front of the entrance approach<br />

The full answer to question 1 is:<br />

Starkie Street Garage entrance, Savoy<br />

Court, off The Strand, London<br />

https://maps.app.goo.gl/<br />

gYG1BDuZ2oecsRvY7<br />

The full answer to question 2 is:<br />

The entrance to Starkie St roof top<br />

parking is entered by turning right from<br />

a one way street, obviously vehicles<br />

emerging are also turning right. So<br />

staying right on the access road avoids<br />

the need for vehicles to cross in front<br />

of another in the opposite direction..<br />

https://maps.app.goo.gl/<br />

GbH1ejBD4ZCdpojB7<br />

<strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 31

Area News<br />

Crossing the rubicon, US-style<br />

John Lomas<br />

MSA GB<br />

West Coast<br />

& Wales<br />

Over the years I have noticed that in films<br />

and other programmes about America, you<br />

often see people crossing diagonally at<br />

crossroads as well as crossing the<br />

individual roads, when they get their ‘Cross<br />

Now’ instruction.<br />

I have recently noticed that there is a<br />

traffic light controlled crossroads near me<br />

which is marked and controlled for the<br />

same movements (see above right). Are<br />

there many of these in the UK? I certainly<br />

haven’t noticed any others, and of course<br />

when driving it doesn’t really make a<br />

difference to the way it is dealt with.<br />

Incidently, reading a discussion about<br />

the different experiences for Americans<br />

visiting the UK, I have seen comments<br />

about them being surprised that<br />

pedestrians can cross our roads at places<br />

other than controlled crossings. Someone<br />

posted that in New York, they have<br />

even used a cab to get to the other side<br />

of the road because it is too far to walk<br />

to the next junction, cross over<br />

and then walk back.<br />

Can someone who has<br />

been to the States tell<br />

me, do their ‘jaywalking’<br />

laws apply everywhere,<br />

even outside cities and<br />

towns?<br />

I do sometimes<br />

wonder about the<br />

existence of common<br />

sense in America when I see<br />

examples of some roadside signs<br />

over there. Would it really be necessary<br />

to have a sign like this one anywhere<br />

else in the world (above)?<br />

Having written the above I have<br />

remembered the number of cars which<br />

appear to have been driven into flood<br />

waters, or even fords, and have then had to<br />

be abandoned; but those drivers generally<br />

knew the water was there without having<br />

to be told, they just chose to ignore proper<br />

precautions.<br />

Talking of fords, do many of you actually<br />

teach your pupils the best way to deal with<br />

them either in theory, or if you have one<br />

near enough, as a practical leson? I was<br />

wondering if hybrids and EVs require a<br />

different approach because they may be<br />

more, or possibly less, susceptible to<br />

trouble driving through water?<br />

Someone, somewhere is<br />

watching for YOU.<br />

You may have come across one of the<br />

many ‘Stupid Parking Places’ pages on<br />

FaceBook. Sadly, I spotted an ADI included<br />

What is a driving instructor?<br />

I thought you might be amused by this hoodie/<br />

fleece I have seen on Facebook. It would appear<br />

to come from an American vendor (as the price<br />

was in dollar $).<br />

If you can’t read it clearly it reads<br />

Driving Instructor (noun)... An individual who<br />

does precision guess-work based on unreliable<br />

data provided by those with questionable<br />

knowledge... see also Wizard, magician<br />

in its ranks the other day (below). I have<br />

anonymised it... It is parked with the<br />

offside wheels on a pavement and partially,<br />

at least, parked over a double yellow line.<br />

The photo only showed the rear of the car<br />

so I don’t know if the yellow lines’ terminal<br />

marking was under the car or if the lines<br />

extended in front of the car.<br />

Now, obviously, I hope that it wasn’t one<br />

of our members BUT I did feel that it ought<br />

to be brought to your attention as a<br />

cautionary tale and to remind you that<br />

virtually everybody out there has a camera<br />

these days, and your signed-up driving<br />

school car makes you an obvious target for<br />

any real or assumed slippage from correct<br />

standards.<br />

I have also seen, on the same site, another<br />

FB photo featuring the seemingly now<br />

obligatory ‘I Passed with ‘X’ Driving School’<br />

board and the car was clearly parked on a<br />

corner over double yellow lines.<br />

Whoever posted it on that site obscured<br />

the pupil’s face but left the school’s identity<br />

clear for all to see.<br />

See pg 31 for answers<br />

to John’s questions in<br />

the December issue, on<br />

whether any roads in<br />

the UK demand you use<br />

the right lane for<br />

progress<br />

Contact John via:<br />

20 Snowdon Place,<br />

Upper Stratton, Swindon.<br />

SN2 7LR<br />

T: 0779 609 1767<br />

E: johnstardriving@<br />

hotmail.com<br />

32 <strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

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

Brian Thomson<br />

The Angus Driving Instructors Association<br />

(ADIA) has gone from strength to strength in<br />

its first year under a new chairperson, with a<br />

solid growth in members. We finished off<br />

2023 with 24 members and hopefully most/<br />

all/more will join in the coming year.<br />

The ‘meeting’ part of the story started off<br />

with chair Lynn Newton giving a report on<br />

how she felt the year had gone. She outlined<br />

what plans ADIA had for next year,<br />

particularly in regards to meeting frequency<br />

in different locations, fundraising and training.<br />

She also told the meeting about the results<br />

of an online survey that was put out to the<br />

members, asking for their views on costs,<br />

training, expectations, and various other<br />

topics.<br />

We had an approximately a 50% feedback<br />

response (can’t win them all) from the<br />

members, but there were some good<br />

suggestions contained within them.<br />

The ADIA treasurer, Claire Robertson, gave<br />

the year end breakdown of the finances and<br />

the year’s closing balance, saying she felt the<br />

association was in a good position to put<br />

money towards training throughout next<br />

year.<br />

Vice chair Brian Thomson gave a<br />

presentation on the benefits of being an MSA<br />

Four days after the AGM (below) came the official<br />

ADIA ‘works night out’. This saw 15+ of us (some<br />

partners came along too) met up at a Montrose<br />

Chinese restaurant where a Secret Santa draw and<br />

Christmas jumpers were the order of the day.<br />

Left, Frances noticed the paparazzi were close...<br />

while above, Lynn takes a selfie and accidently gets<br />

some of the group in.<br />

Meetings and meals as ADIA goes from<br />

strength to strength in Angus<br />

GB member, with slides showing some of the<br />

offers and discounts available.<br />

In the attending group, only one local<br />

member was not an MSA GB member too,<br />

but his words must have had some effect on<br />

the outlier as by the end of the meeting they<br />

too had signed up. Full house!<br />

The evening continued with the AGM, with<br />

the existing committee positions remaining<br />

as last year:<br />

n Chair: Lynn Newton<br />

n Deputy chair/secretary: Frances<br />

Matthews<br />

n Treasurer: Claire Robertson<br />

n Social organiser: Ailsa Vickrage (not<br />

present),<br />

n Vice chair: Brian Thomson<br />

Pictured left are some of the group revelling<br />

in some nostalgia at an “end of evening” slide<br />

show.<br />

<strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 33

Area News<br />

Great food and even better company as<br />

GDDIA marks Christmas in style<br />

Glasgow & District Driving<br />

Instructors Association had a<br />

grand Christmas Night Out, as<br />

Alex Buist reports<br />

The call came in October from Bryan Phillips<br />

and it went something like this:<br />

Bryan: “Mr Buist, seeing as you are now<br />

retired, could you sort out the Christmas<br />

night out.<br />

Me: Certainly Mr Phillips, would you like it to<br />

be the same venue as last year?<br />

Bryan: Aye, don’t see that being a problem,<br />

can you fix it?<br />

Me: Now I’m Bob, of course I can”.<br />

Other bits of chat went on but the<br />

foundation was laid.<br />

So I phoned my friend Ravi, who owns a<br />

lovely Indian eestaurant in Bishopbriggs<br />

called The Swaran. It has a back room which<br />

accommodates us all perfectly.<br />

Can we book this for our Christmas night<br />

out Ravi? No worries ... when for, that’s when<br />

the dilemma starts. Being retired I can go<br />

anytime but what about the other guys, they<br />

are very busy, like everyone else run of their<br />

feet. Not sure says I, get back to you soon/<br />

Back to Bryan we go, with the 16th<br />

December agreed on... only Ravi can’t fit us in.<br />

What about the 9th? “Yep, the 9th is fine, do<br />

you want it booked?” “Ideal.”<br />

December 9 it was. Then the Whatsapp<br />

messages started, to let all members know<br />

that the date was confirmed and the venue<br />

was booked. As I said, with everyone being<br />

rushed of their feet it took a while for all to<br />

reply, eventually we had the required number<br />

of members.<br />

The next step was to let them know that<br />

the Secret Santa was going to be in force<br />

again. The criteria is very simple: cost should<br />

be no more than £15 and the gift should be<br />

completely inappropriate and absolutely<br />

useless.<br />

Even on a Whatsapp page you could sense<br />

the wickedness of some of the members<br />

thinking what they could purchase.<br />

I then went through everyone and sorted<br />

out the victims ... er recipients... of the gifts,<br />

then it was a matter of letting the individuals<br />

know who they had. Again, when passing the<br />

names over you could sense evil in some of<br />

the replies. I may add that although evil may<br />

have been present there was never any<br />

malice, it was all in very good humour.<br />

Bryan then phones me again to tell me that<br />

he intends to incorporate John Archer’s<br />

retirement presentation into the night’s fun.<br />

December 9 duly arrives and the members<br />

duly arrive resplendent in their Christmas<br />

jumpers and shirts, ready for a good night.<br />

First on the agenda was the presentation<br />

to a very emotional John Archer. John has<br />

been an ADI for 32 years and felt it was time<br />

to rip up the L-plates.<br />

Bryan made a terrific speech and it was<br />

very poignant for him as John had been the<br />

ADI that had taught him to drive and had<br />

planted the seed for him to train as an ADI.<br />

John was extremely surprised and<br />

delighted and informed everyone that he<br />

would still be around and attending meetings.<br />

(There’s a short piece on this from Bryan<br />

34 <strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

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

on the facing page)<br />

Then the festivities started Ravi and his<br />

staff were excellent and soon the drink (soft<br />

drinks only, honest, if you believe that, well ...)<br />

started to flow.<br />

The food was absolutely first class and<br />

there was more than enough of it, but it didn’t<br />

stop them all from talking, telling stories<br />

about the learners they had taught in the<br />

past year, and the dodgy phone calls they’d<br />

received from prospective clients.<br />

I know that this is something that is<br />

repeated all over the country whenever<br />

instructors get together. It’s amazing how<br />

many instructors have received calls going<br />

along the lines of: “I’ve a test booked next<br />

week and my instructor has let me down, can<br />

I borrow your car. I can drive mate, no<br />

problem, just need your car”, and the other<br />

classic, “Maybe if you could give me a lesson<br />

everyday so I get used to car.”<br />

We have all had them but I think that some<br />

of the responses would make excellent<br />

reading.<br />

This went on through the meal, then it was<br />

time for Santa to dish out the presents.<br />

Decked in their festive jumpers, the<br />

group must have been an arresting<br />

sight for other diners...<br />

Honestly I’m sure some of those attending<br />

slipped back to their childhood at that time.<br />

Some of the gifts were absolutely hilarious,<br />

some quite near the bone, but every one of<br />

them created a great amount of laughter and<br />

a great amount of camaraderie.<br />

The end of the night came all too soon and<br />

we began saying our ‘cheerios’ and looking<br />

forward to the next night out.<br />

Having been involved with this group for<br />

nearly 28 years it never fails to amaze me<br />

how we all gel and have such a ball together.<br />

Every year we do this it gets better and<br />

seeing the changes to the members is<br />

something that makes it all the better.<br />

So to all instructors who are reading this,<br />

from all at Glasgow and District Driving<br />

Instructors Association, we hope you had a<br />

fantastic Christmas and that <strong>2024</strong> brings you<br />

all you hope for.<br />

To join the GDDIA, contact<br />

Bryan Phillips T: 07989 339 646<br />

E: bryan.phillips@hotmail.co.uk<br />

“Some of the gifts were absolutely hilarious, some quite near the<br />

bone, but they created a great amount of laughter and a great<br />

amount of camaraderie. Having been involved with this group<br />

for nearly 28 years it never fails to amaze me how we all gel<br />

and have such a ball together...”<br />

John’s hanging<br />

up his L-plates<br />

Bryan Phillips<br />

Editor, Area 1 Scotland<br />

John Archer, MSA GB member from<br />

Glasgow has decided that after 32 years<br />

of teaching learners within Glasgow’s<br />

North and East ends, it’s time to finally<br />

remove his driving school roof box from<br />

his Peugeot 3008 and banish it to the<br />

garden shed and retire!<br />

Over the many years John has played<br />

an active role in the driver training<br />

community, and we couldn’t let him<br />

retire without some kind of recognition.<br />

At the Glasgow and District Driving<br />

Instructors Association Christmas Night<br />

Out, I said a few words to congratulate<br />

him on his career and wished him well on<br />

his retirement on behalf of the GDDIA.<br />

I also presented John with a card<br />

signed by all the association members<br />

and some gifts to as a token of their<br />

appreciation for all his hard work.<br />

It was in many ways appropriate for<br />

me to be paying tribute as John taught<br />

me to drive 25 years ago, and also put<br />

me on the track to being an ADI.<br />

I ended by saying that John was<br />

always welcome and not to be a stranger<br />

to the GDDIA. Therre was also an offer: if<br />

John should decide retirement isn’t for<br />

him, he is welcome to a franchise with<br />

me!<br />

<strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 35

The ADIs’ view...<br />

A look back... and a look forward<br />

Happy new year!<br />

In <strong>January</strong> it’s always a good idea to reflect on<br />

the past 12 months, and look forward to the<br />

year ahead. We asked a few of Newslink’s<br />

regular contributors some questions on how<br />

they saw 2023, and what they were hoping<br />

<strong>2024</strong> would bring.<br />

Here’s what they came up with...<br />

What was your personal highlight of 2023?<br />

Arthur Mynott: Playing the Golf Tour in<br />

October with DIGA (the Driving Instructors<br />

Golf Association) on The Wirral. A great few<br />

days away. Also hosting a successful MSA GB<br />

West Coast & Wales Area Conference in<br />

November.<br />

Janet Stewart: Riding along a beach in<br />

Morocco on a quality horse.<br />

Colin Lilly: Taking more short breaks in<br />

parts of the country I have not visited before,<br />

and growing fresh vegetables in our garden.<br />

John Lomas: Managing to get to a regional<br />

meeting!<br />

Steven Porter: I got to go to a Superbikes<br />

meeting at Donnington racetrack for the first<br />

time to see a friend of mine’s son-in-law<br />

whose career I’ve been following for last<br />

couple of years.<br />

My youngest got invited into the pits to<br />

meet John McPhee and the team with his<br />

bike. Oh, and my twin’s 21st birthday<br />

celebrations.<br />

Rob Beswick: My twin daughters’ A level<br />

results, which were stunning and got them in<br />

to the universities they wanted, and my<br />

eldest daughter getting a 2:1 in her degree,<br />

which landed her a job with Balfour Beatty.<br />

I’m the first person in my family since the<br />

1800s not to be an engineer, so for my<br />

daughter to start a career as a geological<br />

engineer was a proud moment.<br />

What’s your biggest regret from the year?<br />

AM: Attending the funeral of my last<br />

surviving uncle.<br />

JS: Not galloping said horse in Morocco<br />

faster and longer!<br />

CL: Not retiring from learner driver training<br />

at the end of 2022. This year the pupils’<br />

objectives seem to have changed, and the<br />

quest for an early test is more important than<br />

learning to drive safely. Sadly, probably the<br />

least enjoyable of a 45-year career.<br />

JL: Unfortunately, it looks like my eyes<br />

aren’t going to allow much more driving. I can<br />

still pass the optician’s chart test, but<br />

Highlight? Riding a quality<br />

horse along a beach in<br />

Morocco... Regret? Not<br />

galloping it for much longer!<br />

daylight runners on oncoming cars are<br />

causing flaring, so it may be time to hang up<br />

the keys.<br />

SP: Not getting to go on holiday this year,<br />

instead bowing down to my good lady and<br />

getting a kitchen!<br />

RB: I could say Stockport County losing in a<br />

play-off final on penalties... but I’ll try to stay<br />

highbrow and say my continued inability to<br />

submit an FOI request to the DVSA which<br />

gets me the information I want first time.<br />

<br />

How would you mark the year out of 10<br />

- and why?<br />

AM: 7. Lovely, long hot summer but very<br />

wet autumn!<br />

JS: 8/10, because I did not allow myself to<br />

be pushed by desperate pupils.<br />

CL: 7. Driver training became less<br />

enjoyable. I realise I made a mistake returning<br />

to learner drivers after the Covid lockdown.<br />

JL: 8 or 9 – because I am still waking up in<br />

the morning, so that’s a good start!<br />

SP: Probably 8.5 out of 10. Business wise<br />

it’s been as good as I want it to be, personally<br />

I’ve done some things I haven’t done before<br />

and spending this time with my family was an<br />

added bonus.<br />

RB: 8. Daughters’ successes and a great,<br />

possibly last, big family holiday in Crete, plus<br />

the completion of some major house<br />

renovations, could have pushed it higher, but<br />

the sad death of my brother-in-law after a<br />

brave fight with dementia put a dampener on<br />

the year.<br />

What was your biggest disappointment -<br />

from an ADI’s point of view …?<br />

JS: The performance of the DVSA.<br />

CL: The change of focus among the pupils<br />

to the constant search for a cancellation test,<br />

rather than focus on improving their driving<br />

to reach test standard.<br />

SP: This never ending waiting list and trying<br />

to change your business to suit it by booking<br />

tests as soon as pupils have passed their<br />

theory, trying to look six months down the<br />

line, then having to swap tests about when<br />

they haven’t got up to test standard.<br />

RB: The DVSA’s lack of critically aware<br />

thinking on waiting times. Setting a goal of<br />

8-12 weeks by December 2022 was<br />

laughable as it was clearly unachievable, and<br />

continuing to claim that was the aim in 2023<br />

simply built up false hopes. They should have<br />

been braver with both the Government in<br />

demanding more help, and with ADIs in telling<br />

the story as it is.<br />

How would you mark the DVSA’s<br />

performance in 2023 - and why?<br />

AM: I would have to give them a poor mark<br />

because of their continued failure to reduce<br />

test waiting times.<br />

JS: I would give the DVSA 5/10 because<br />

they are trying – but they are also very<br />

trying.<br />

CL: 8 for effort, 4 for results. There’s no<br />

doubt they have made a lot of effort trying to<br />

reduce the waiting list. Bringing all warrant<br />

card holders back to testing felt like their last<br />

gasp, but it’s still not enough.<br />

SP: This is going to sound like I’m sticking<br />

up for them, but I do feel for them (in a way)<br />

that Covid and the strikes have made it<br />

extremely difficult to make progress on<br />

reducing waiting times. However, if they paid<br />

their examiners a decent wage (the<br />

Government, that is), more people would<br />

become examiners and we wouldn’t have<br />

such a lengthy waiting list, I think. The DVSA’s<br />

mark? Could do better.<br />

RB. 4. You can’t knock the effort but it’s felt<br />

like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic<br />

at times.<br />

If you were forcing the DVSA to make a New<br />

Year’s Resolution, what would it be?<br />

AM: Interact better with ADIs and listen to<br />

The DVSA must.... Interact better with ADIs and listen to them...<br />

upgrade their systems properly and not on the cheap... achieve<br />

some autonomy from Government.... pay its examiners more...<br />

and trust only ADIs to book L-tests...<br />

36 <strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

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

them when they have good points to make,<br />

and advice to offer.<br />

JS: Upgrade their systems properly and<br />

not on the cheap.<br />

CL: Go to your government paymasters<br />

and hopefully achieve some autonomy. This<br />

could allow them to charge more for their<br />

service to improve pay and conditions for<br />

their examiners and develop a driving test fit<br />

for purpose. It would also give them some<br />

freedom from the constraints of Government<br />

policy. We can all dream.<br />

SP: Pay your examiners more!<br />

RB: Solve the examiner dispute with a solid<br />

pay offer and an acceptance that they need<br />

examiners inside the tent, not outside.<br />

I think it also needs a new strategy that<br />

blocks out the bots on test bookings.<br />

Perhaps change the rules so that only ADIs<br />

can book tests by first putting in their ADI<br />

number and a unique password they create.<br />

As a stick to go with the carrot, make it clear<br />

that abusing the new system – which would<br />

after all give ADIs real power – would be seen<br />

as a reason to be removed from the Register.<br />

What are you most looking forward to in<br />

<strong>2024</strong>?<br />

JS: More holidays and less work.<br />

JL: December 31st; another year ticked off!<br />

CL: Building on the leisure time activities<br />

created in 2023.<br />

SP: I’m going to do more travelling next<br />

year following John McPhee on his superbikes<br />

career with my youngest and friend.<br />

I’m also going to do some travelling with<br />

my sons and, if she’s behaving, maybe my<br />

good lady, ... maybe.<br />

RB: I’m a sports nut, so the football Euros in<br />

Germany followed by the Olympics in Paris<br />

sounds like Heaven.<br />

What is the big change that’s coming in the<br />

next 12 months - either personally, or for<br />

ADIs in general?<br />

CL: Very difficult to predict with a General<br />

Election possible. What will new government<br />

policies on the environmental issues? Will<br />

transport policy become an issue?<br />

JL: Probably another 12 sessions of a<br />

fortnightly course of chemo.<br />

SP: Im going to retire at 52 or DVSA are<br />

going to pay examiners a decent wage and<br />

bring this waiting list down to 4-6 weeks.<br />

Looks like early retirement for me then .<br />

RB: On a motoring front, the continued<br />

push to EVs is going to challenge a lot of ADIs.<br />

At some point you’ll have to jump... is <strong>2024</strong><br />

the year you do?<br />

It will also be interesting to see how the<br />

General Election turns out.<br />

DIGA diary for <strong>2024</strong><br />

Challenging courses, stunning views<br />

and always a warm welcome<br />

Fancy a round of golf with like-minded<br />

driver trainers and ADIs? Then why not join<br />



Now in its 34th year, <strong>2024</strong> sees another<br />

exciting line-up of competitions at some of<br />

the most challenging and picturesque golf<br />

courses across the country<br />

Here’s the diary as it stands:<br />

March at The Wrekin<br />

If you’re going to the MSA GB conference<br />

we’re playing The Wrekin Golf Club,<br />

Shropshire on Friday, 22nd March. It’s just<br />

20 minutes away from the Telford Hotel,<br />

Spa and Golf Resort where the conference<br />

is being held.<br />

This is a wonderful, scenic golf course<br />

surrounded by woodland that benefits<br />

from spectacular and inspiring views. It<br />

presents a fair test for all levels of all<br />

golfers.<br />

May - Beeston<br />

Friday, May 3 sees DIGA’s next event at<br />

Beeston Fields Golf Club in Nottinghamshire.<br />

The course celebrated its centenary<br />

last year and is set amongst beautiful<br />

parkland. It is renowned for its superb<br />

condition and facilities.<br />

July - Redditch<br />

On July 5 we visit Redditch Golf Club<br />

which is a mix of parkland and tree-lined<br />

holes with outstanding greens which<br />

provides an interesting test for all levels of<br />

golfer.<br />

September - Saddleworth<br />

It’s been a while since we’ve played the<br />

stunning course at Saddleworth Golf Club<br />

in the foothills of the Pennines. Last visited<br />

by DIGA back in June 1995, we will be<br />

making up for lost time when we return on<br />

September 6.<br />

This is a real treat: fantastic views all the<br />

way round but look out for the view from<br />

the 14th tee – described by Peter Alliss no<br />

less as “one of the best in golf”.<br />

November - nearly Christmas...<br />

Friday, November 15 is when DIGA holds<br />

its Christmas event, this time at Broadway<br />

Golf Club. It’s not the first time we’ve<br />

played this great course, which is one of<br />

the best in the Cotswolds with superb<br />

views over the Malvern and the Black<br />

Mountains.<br />

Tour of Wales<br />

Before we wrap up the year we will be<br />

hosting our three-day tour. This year it is in<br />

Wales, from October 20-22, when we will<br />

be playing Porthmadog, Neyyn & Royal St<br />

David courses respectively.<br />

If you want to get on this, act quickly as<br />

places are limited and it is nearly sold out.<br />

Hopefully, there is something for all<br />

golfing fans here. All DIGA events follow a<br />

similar pattern, with welcome<br />

refreshments before we head off on to the<br />

course. A challenging round of golf is<br />

followed by a convivial meal and prizegiving.<br />

Want to know more?<br />

If you would like to join us at any of the<br />

events, please check out our website<br />

diga.org.uk or contact Richard Tookey<br />

at r2key19@gmail.com<br />

<strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 37

Members’ discounts<br />

Members’ discounts and benefits<br />

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 />

bottom of the page to allow you to obtain your special discounts.<br />

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

Access to a replacement dual<br />

control car after a crash<br />


MSA GB has partnered with AI Insurance Solutions Limited to provide members with a<br />

replacement dual controlled car when things don’t quite go to plan.<br />

If you lose your dual-controlled tuition car in a crash, MSA GB’s new partnership with AI<br />

Insurance Solutions Ltd will have you back on the road and teaching in no time.<br />

Our exclusive agreement with AI Solutions Ltd will supply a replacement vehicle to you<br />

should the need arise – at no cost. Contact The AI Insurance Solutions Emergency (AIIS)<br />

assistance line on 01945 425211 for more details, or see pg 26.<br />

Ford updates special<br />

members’ offer<br />

Ford has partnered with MSA GB to offer exclusive<br />

discounts on all car and commercial Ford vehicles.<br />

Take a look at the Ford website www.ford.co.uk<br />

for vehicle and specification information. See the<br />

Members’ Benefits page on the MSA GB website<br />

and follow the Ford link for more details..<br />

Please note these discounts are only available to<br />

MSA GB members and their immediate family if they<br />

are members who pay annually.<br />


MSA GB’s Recommended<br />

Accountancy Service, FBTC<br />

offers a specialist service for<br />

ADIs. It has been established<br />

over 20 years ago and covers the<br />

whole of the UK. The team takes pride in<br />

providing unlimited advice and support to ensure<br />

the completion of your tax return is hassle free,<br />

giving you peace of mind.<br />

MSA GB OFFER:: FBTC will prepare you for<br />

Making Tax Digital and will be providing HMRC<br />

compliant software to all clients very soon.<br />

Join now to receive three months free.<br />



As the UK’s largest road safety<br />

charity, IAM RoadSmart is<br />

proud to partner with the<br />

Motor Schools Association<br />

GB. Working together to promote and<br />

enhance motorists skills on our roads.<br />

MSA GB OFFER:: Get 10% off Advanced courses;<br />

visit www.iamroadsmart.com/course and<br />

use the code MSA10 at the checkout or call<br />

0300 303 1134 to book.<br />


Protect yourself and your pupils with a<br />

personal breathalyser. We’ve teamed up with<br />

AlcoSense, the award-winning range of<br />

personal breathalysers, to offer an exclusive<br />

discount to all MSA GB members. A personal<br />

breathalyser takes the guesswork out of<br />

whether there’s residual alcohol in your<br />

system (or that of your learner driver pupil)<br />

the morning after the night before.<br />

MSA GB OFFER:: 10% off any AlcoSense product<br />

(excluding single-use disposables) – from the<br />

entry-level Lite 2 (£44.99) to the top-ofthe-range<br />

Ultra (£249.00).<br />


Mandles’ handmade scented collections use<br />

quality ingredients to ensure superior scent<br />

throw from all its candles and<br />

diffusers. Check our our website<br />

for further details.<br />

MSA GB OFFER:: Special discount<br />

of 20% on all car air fresheners<br />

and refills.<br />


MSA GB and SumUp believe<br />

in supporting motor vehicle<br />

trainers of all shapes and sizes.<br />

Together we are on a mission to<br />

ease the operational workload of<br />

our members by providing them with the ability<br />

to take card payments on-the-go or in their<br />

respective training centres. SumUp readers<br />

are durable and user-friendly. Their paperless<br />

onboarding is quick and efficient. Moreover,<br />

their offer comes with no monthly subscription,<br />

no contractual agreement, no support fees,<br />

no hidden fees – just the one-off cost for the<br />

reader coupled with lowest on the market<br />

transaction fee.<br />


Driving shouldn’t just be a<br />

privilege for people without<br />

disabilities; it should be<br />

accessible for all and there’s never been an easier<br />

time to make this the case! MSA GB members<br />

can take advantage of BAS’s Driving Instructor<br />

Packages which include a range of adaptations at<br />

a discounted price, suitable for teaching disabled<br />

learner drivers.<br />

MSA GB OFFER:: Special Driving Instructor<br />

Packages for MSA GB members.<br />


Save up to 10p per litre of fuel with Fuel Card<br />

Services. Fuel Card Services offers a large<br />

choice of networks from leading brands, such<br />

as BP, Shell, Esso and UK Fuels so you can<br />

decide which networks you wish to include on<br />

your business account.<br />

MSA GB OFFER:: An MSA GB fuel card will save<br />

you up to 10p per litre.<br />


The Motor Schools Association of Great<br />

Britain has agreed with HMCA to<br />

offer discounted rates for medical<br />

plans, dental plan, hospital cash<br />

plans, personal accident plan,<br />

travel plan, income protection<br />

and vehicle breakdown products.<br />

MSA GB OFFER:: HMCA only offer<br />

medical plans to membership groups<br />

and can offer up to a 40% discount off the<br />

underwriter’s standard rates. This is a<br />

comprehensive plan which provides generous<br />

cash benefits for surgery and other charges.<br />

To get the full story of the<br />

discounts available, see<br />

www.msagb.com<br />

38 <strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong>

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


Join the Collingwood<br />

Instructor Programme and<br />

refer your pupils for learner<br />

insurance.<br />

MSA GB OFFER:: MSA GB OFFER:: £50 for<br />

your first referral and £20 for all additional<br />

referrals.<br />


Confident Drivers has the only<br />

website created especially for<br />

drivers offering eight different<br />

psychological techniques<br />

commonly used to reduce stress and nerves.<br />

MSA GB OFFER:: One month free on a monthly<br />

subscription plan using coupon code.<br />


Go Roadie provides students<br />

when they need them, with all<br />

the details you need before you<br />

accept. Control your own pricing,<br />

discounts and set your availability<br />

to suit you. Full diary? No cost!<br />

MSA GB OFFER:: Introductory offer of 50% off<br />

the first three students they accept.<br />


50% Discount on two<br />

packages for MSA GB<br />

members<br />

Quickbooks is offering an online<br />

50% discount for MSA GB members on two of<br />

their premium accounting packages.<br />

Essentials Package For small businesses<br />

working with suppliers. Manage VAT and<br />

Income Tax with up to three users.<br />

Plus For businesses managing projects,<br />

stock, VAT, and Income Tax. Up to five users.<br />

The packages are contract-free throughout<br />

with no cancellation fee. This exclusive<br />

member offer can only be secured by<br />

contacting our MSA GB representative at<br />

Quickbooks - Ollie Nobes, on: 07723 507 026<br />

or email: Ollie_Nobes@intuit.com quoting:<br />

**MSAGB**<br />

To get the full story of the<br />

discounts available, see<br />

www.msagb.com<br />

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 />

possibilities as you build<br />

your skills, your client base<br />

and your income.<br />

But for all the excitement,<br />

it can also be challenging;<br />

who can you turn to if you’re<br />

struggling to get over key driver<br />

training issues to a pupil? Where can<br />

you go to soak up advice from more<br />

experienced ADIs? Who will help you if you<br />

are caught up in a dispute with the DVSA? If<br />

the worst happens, who can you turn to for<br />

help, advice and to fight your corner?<br />

The answer is the Motor Schools<br />

Association of Great Britain – MSA GB for<br />

short.<br />

We are the most senior association<br />

representing driving instructors in Great<br />

Britain. Establised in 1935 when the first<br />

driving test was introduced, MSA GB has<br />

been working tirelessly ever since on<br />

behalf of ordinary rank and file ADIs.<br />

We represent your interests and your<br />

views in the corridors of power, holding<br />

regular meetings with senior officials<br />

from the DVSA and the Department for<br />

Transport to make sure the ADIs’ voice is<br />

heard.<br />


Join MSA GB today!<br />

SPECIAL OFFER: Join for just £60 with your<br />

PI & PL insurance included immediately!<br />

No joining fee - saving you £25<br />

Call 01787 221020 quoting discount code<br />

Newslink, or join online at www.msagb.com<br />

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 />

there, five days a week,<br />

from 9am-5pm, ready to<br />

answer your call and help<br />

you in any way.<br />

In addition our network of<br />

experienced office holders and<br />

regional officers can offer advice over<br />

the phone or by email.<br />

But membership of the MSA GB doesn’t<br />

just mean we’re there for you if you’re<br />

in trouble. We also offer a nationwide<br />

network of regular meetings, seminars and<br />

training events, an Annual Conference, and<br />

a chance to participate in MSA GB affairs<br />

through our democratic structure<br />

In addition, you’ll get a free link to our<br />

membership magazine Newslink every<br />

month, with all the latest news, views,<br />

comment and advice you’ll need to become<br />

a successful driving instructor.<br />

You’ll also automatically receive<br />

professional indemnity insurance worth up<br />

to £5m and £10m public liability insurance<br />

free of charge.<br />

This is essential legal protection covering<br />

you against legal claims ariving from your<br />

tuition.<br />

<strong>NEWSLINK</strong> n JANUARY <strong>2024</strong> 39

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