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msagb.com<br />

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

The Voice of MSA GB<br />

Issue 373 • <strong>February</strong> 2024<br />

Priced off<br />

the road?<br />

Concern as soaring insurance<br />

premiums force young<br />

people to ditch their<br />

dream of driving own car<br />

Let’s get back<br />

to meeting<br />

face-to-face...<br />

MSA GB<br />

Conference<br />

Early bird booking discount<br />

extended until <strong>February</strong> 23!<br />

Day tickets<br />

£49<br />

from just<br />

See pg 20 for more details<br />

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


msagb.com<br />

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

Here comes the crunch<br />

Colin Lilly<br />

Editor,<br />

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

If you recall my editorial from the January<br />

issue, in which I reimagined the old adage<br />

about what is providing the light at the end of<br />

the tunnel... well, the timetable has been<br />

announced and the express is on its way.<br />

The PCS (Public and Commercial Services)<br />

union has announced the days when its<br />

members at the DVSA will strike as part of the<br />

industrial action voted for by its members.<br />

Thursday 8th and Friday 9th <strong>February</strong> are<br />

the strike dates for examiners and customer<br />

service centre agents. On the 10th and 11th,<br />

Saturday and Sunday, members of DVSA staff<br />

contracted to work weekends will also strike.<br />

This could result in the loss of as many as<br />

8-10,000 driving test slots.<br />

When announcing the strikes the PCS union<br />

General Secretary Mark Serwotka described<br />

plans by Mark Harper, Secretary of State for<br />

Transport, to reduce the driving test backlog<br />

as “flawed”. The union added that the plans<br />

posed significant safety challenges for the<br />

examiners and the candidates. They will also<br />

erode the terms and conditions of examiners.<br />

Mark Serwotka said: “Our members are<br />

already working their hardest to clear the<br />

backlog, but they need extra resources, extra<br />

examiners, not instructions from Mark Harper.<br />

“They want to maintain the high standards<br />

they are used to delivering but they’re unable<br />

to do that if they’re expected to work longer<br />

and longer hours.<br />

“If Mark Harper were serious about reducing<br />

the backlog, he would invest in DVSA,<br />

employing more examiners, not just expecting<br />

the existing ones to work harder.”<br />

Early Bird Discount<br />

extended. Just £49 for a<br />

day of quality CPD.<br />

See pg 20 for more<br />

details<br />

In response DVSA said it has been working<br />

with PCS regarding the working arrangements<br />

for examiners and L-test service staff. It has<br />

made an offer to PCS to end the dispute but<br />

this has been rejected.<br />

We are unable to confirm what level of<br />

impact the industrial action might have on our<br />

services. Not all DVSA staff are PCS members,<br />

and even if they are, they might choose not to<br />

strike. So,we will not know which staff are<br />

participating in strike action until it takes place.<br />

As always, the DVSA will attempt to contact<br />

the candidates whose test has been affected,<br />

either directly or through the contact details<br />

provided. If they have not been contacted,<br />

they should attend as normal.<br />

If candidates arrive for their appointment to<br />

find their test cancelled, out of pocket<br />

expenses can be claimed.<br />

Some driving tests will be rescheduled<br />

ahead of the strikes but any cancelled at short<br />

notice will be allocated to the next available<br />

date.<br />

The possible effect on the customer service<br />

centre is difficult to predict, but enquiries may<br />

take longer than normal to answer. Some<br />

service will be available between 8am and<br />

4pm on 8th and 9th <strong>February</strong>.<br />

In the release the DVSA said that the<br />

customers expect a seven day per week<br />

service and as a publicly funded service, the<br />

DVSA feels obliged to provide this.<br />

How long will it be before the public expect<br />

evening testing as standard, or, dread the<br />

thought, 24/7 tests?<br />

As providers of a service, we need to make it<br />

clear the hours we are willing to work and at<br />

what price. It is amazingly easy to be dragged<br />

into a constant cycle of work, which is harmful<br />

to the well-being.<br />

More on the strike action: see pg 6<br />

MSA GB Annual Conference 2024:<br />

Book NOW<br />

Welcome to your<br />

digital, interactive<br />

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

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

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

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

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

appropriate web page or email so you<br />

can find more details easier.<br />

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

the magazine: just click for more<br />

information on any given subject.<br />

To get the<br />

full story,<br />

click here<br />

How to access this<br />

magazine<br />

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

Go online and read the interactive<br />

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

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

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

you can download the magazine to<br />

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

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

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

www.msagb.com<br />

COVER STORY<br />

This is not a test: a<br />

live insurance<br />

premium quote<br />

offered to a new<br />

driver. Are the<br />

insurers pricing<br />

young people out of motoring?<br />

See pg 12<br />

Follow the link<br />

MSA GB sends<br />

you to access<br />

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

and then just<br />

click Download<br />

(circled above)<br />

to save a copy<br />

on your device<br />

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

The Voice of MSA GB<br />

Issue 373 • <strong>February</strong> 2024<br />

Priced off<br />

the road?<br />

Concern as soaring insurance<br />

premiums force young<br />

people to ditch their<br />

dream of driving own car<br />

Let’s get back<br />

to meeting<br />

face-to face .<br />

MSA GB<br />

Conference<br />

Early bird booking discount<br />

extended until <strong>February</strong> 23!<br />

Day tickets<br />

from just<br />

See pg 20 for more details<br />

£49<br />

We work for a l Driver Trainers. Want to join? SAVE £25 – see pg 39 for special offer<br />

PLUS<br />

Join us at the MSA GB Conference 2024.<br />

See pg 20-21 for details<br />

NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024 03


Contents<br />

06<br />

28<br />

08<br />

17<br />

11<br />

Here we go again... the examiners<br />

are downing tools<br />

Driving examiners are going out on strike<br />

again this month, at a loss of around<br />

8-10,000 driving tests – pg 6<br />

Public health body calls for<br />

graduated licensing<br />

Welsh body wants new drivers restricted<br />

over who they can drive with, and when, in<br />

a bid to cut fatalities – pg 8<br />

One step forward... one step back<br />

as L-tests go begging<br />

Finally we have an answer to the question<br />

as to how many L-tests go unused... and<br />

it’s more than you think – pg 10<br />

The leafy suburbs are getting cross<br />

with ADIs - this time, Bromley<br />

More tutting and frowning as ADIs take<br />

their pupils too close to posh houses on<br />

tree-lined roads... – pg 14<br />

Conference<br />

news update<br />

20<br />

It’s time to make CPD compulsory,<br />

says one ADI advocate<br />

Instructors need to see the benefits of CPD<br />

– and the best way to convince them is by<br />

making it mandatory, says one ADI – pg 18<br />

Driver behaviour - and the<br />

wheel of change<br />

There’s some powerful psychology lurking<br />

behind changing the way drivers think,<br />

says Steve Garrod – pg 28<br />

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

The Voice of MSA GB<br />

The Motor Schools Association<br />

of Great Britain Ltd<br />

Head Office:<br />

Peershaws,<br />

Berewyk Hall Court,<br />

White Colne, Colchester,<br />

Essex CO6 2QB<br />

T: 01787 221020<br />

E: info@msagb.com<br />

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

and distributed to members and selected recently<br />

qualified ADIs throughout Great Britain by:<br />

Chamber Media Services,<br />

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

Cheshire SK7 3AG<br />

Editorial/Production: Rob Beswick<br />

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

t: 0161 426 7957<br />

Advertising sales: Colin Regan<br />

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

t: 01942 537959 / 07871 444922<br />

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

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

Although every effort is made<br />

to ensure the accuracy of<br />

material contained within<br />

this publication, neither MSA<br />

GB nor the publishers can<br />

accept any responsibility for<br />

the veracity of claims made<br />

by contributors in either<br />

advertising or editorial content.<br />

©2023 The Motor Schools<br />

Association of Great Britain<br />

Ltd. Reproducing in whole<br />

or part is forbidden without<br />

express permission of the<br />

editor.<br />

04 NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024


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

MSA GB Board<br />

of Management<br />

National Chairman &<br />

Area 2 - East Coast Chair<br />

Mike Yeomans<br />

7 Oak Avenue, Elloughton,<br />

Brough HU15 1LA<br />

T: 07772 757529<br />

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

AREA 1<br />

Vice Chairman<br />

Peter Harvey MBE<br />

T: 01505 814823<br />

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

Area 1 – Scotland &<br />

Northern Ireland<br />

Chair: Steven Porter<br />

18 Heron Place, Johnstone<br />

PA5 0RW<br />

T: 01505 345372 or<br />

07747 600672<br />

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

Area 3 – London & South East<br />

Chair: Tom Kwok<br />

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

London N10 1HE<br />

07956 269922<br />

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

How MSA GB<br />

is organised, in<br />

four AREAS<br />

AREA 4<br />

AREA 2<br />

AREA 3<br />

Area 4 – West Coast & Wales<br />

Chair: Arthur Mynott<br />

9 Hagleys Green, Crowcombe,<br />

Taunton TA4 4AH<br />

T: 01984 618858<br />

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

Keep in touch<br />

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

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

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

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

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

on 01787 221020.<br />

Follow MSA GB on social media<br />

Just click on the icon to go<br />

through to the relevant site<br />

NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024 05


News<br />

New numbers<br />

for 68 DTCS<br />

Members should note that the contact<br />

telephone numbers for 68 DVSA driving test<br />

centres (DTCs) have changed. The old<br />

number will no longer be active so please<br />

update your contact details.<br />

The affected DTCs are in the Yorkshire,<br />

North-West, North-East, the Midlands,<br />

South-East & London, South-West regions,<br />

and Scotland and Wales.<br />

DTC telephone numbers are given to<br />

candidates so they can contact their local<br />

driving test centre if there is bad weather on<br />

the day of their test.<br />

The new contact numbers start with an<br />

020 code, which appear as a London number.<br />

However, you will be connected directly to<br />

your local DTC, as usual. The numbers are not<br />

routed through DVSA’s contact centre.<br />

Let your pupils know<br />

DVSA has contacted candidates who have<br />

a test booked at the 68 DTCs to let them<br />

know the new number they should use in the<br />

event of bad weather. If you have booked a<br />

test on behalf of your pupil, please let them<br />

know about the change in contact number.<br />

Further changes<br />

DVSA has invested in VOiP technology<br />

because it allows calls to be made using a<br />

broadband internet connection instead of a<br />

regular landline.<br />

It will introduce this technology to all DTCs<br />

over the next few months. They will be<br />

contacting you to confirm the new numbers<br />

in due course.<br />

This will improve the quality of the calls to<br />

DVSA.<br />

Click here for the full<br />

list of new numbers<br />

Pavement ban comes in<br />

Members are reminded that the anticipated<br />

ban on pavement parking in Edinburgh has<br />

comes into affect, with motorists facing a<br />

£100 fine. Edinburgh is the first city in<br />

Scotland to implement the ban, but won’t be<br />

the last.<br />

The rules are designed to protect<br />

pedestrians, especially people in wheelchairs<br />

and those pushing buggies. However,<br />

concern has been raised on whether it could<br />

cause access difficulties for emergency<br />

service and public utility vehicles.<br />

It’s ‘all out’ again as DVSA and<br />

PCS refuse to agree terms<br />

As reported in the January issue, the ballot on<br />

industrial action by examiners, organised by<br />

the Public and Commercial Services Union<br />

(PCS) before Christmas, came down in favour<br />

of further strikes by driving examiners.<br />

This was the last news ADis wanted to<br />

hear, and MSA GB has voiced its frustration<br />

over this turn of events to the DVSA.<br />

The PCS has served DVSA notice of strike<br />

action on:<br />

n 8 and 9 <strong>February</strong>. This will involve all PCS<br />

members in DVSA including driving<br />

examiners and customer service centre<br />

agents<br />

n 10 and 11 <strong>February</strong> . This will involve any<br />

PCS members in the DVSA who are<br />

contracted to work weekends. This will also<br />

involve examiners where weekend testing is<br />

performed.<br />

The DVSA said its customer service centre<br />

might be affected by the strike action, and it<br />

may take longer than usual to answer your<br />

query. The customer service centre will be<br />

open from 8am to 4pm on 8 and 9 <strong>February</strong>.<br />

It must be reiterated that if your pupils<br />

have a test scheduled for the days set out<br />

above, they must attend unless they are told<br />

directly by the DVSA not to. Not all examiners<br />

are members of the PCS, and not all PCS<br />

members will strike, so there is a chance the<br />

impact will be less than you may imagine.<br />

However, MSA GB believes we could see as<br />

many as 8-10,000 L-tests lost.<br />

The DVSA comment: “We have been<br />

working with PCS to address concerns raised<br />

about the working arrangements for driving<br />

examiners and the driving test service<br />

provided by DVSA. We have made an offer to<br />

PCS to end the dispute, which has been<br />

rejected.<br />

“It is disappointing that strike action will<br />

now go ahead. This will mean the hard work<br />

and commitment from colleagues in DVSA to<br />

reduce driving test waiting times will be<br />

undone, and have a negative impact on the<br />

services we offer our customers.”<br />

In response the PCS said: “This dispute is in<br />

connection with the DVSA’s ‘driver services<br />

recovery programme’. This is a politically<br />

driven programme which seeks to restore the<br />

national average waiting time for L-tests to<br />

seven weeks.<br />

“However, the programme poses<br />

significant safety risks to test candidates and<br />

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

terms and conditions. It fails to address the<br />

root causes of the backlog and requires staff<br />

to deliver an additional 150,000 tests on top<br />

of their normal workloads.<br />

“This is despite DVSA’s own admission that<br />

even 150,000 additional driving tests will still<br />

result in missing the seven-week target.<br />

“Despite PCS’s best efforts, an acceptable<br />

agreement has not been reached through<br />

dispute resolution negotiation and our<br />

reasonable demands have not been met.”<br />

PCS General Secretary, Mark Serwotka,<br />

added: “The actions of DVSA management<br />

are reckless, prioritising business need over<br />

the health, safety and welfare of our<br />

members while attempting to attack their<br />

terms and conditions.<br />

“The actions taken by the agency show a<br />

total disregard for our members upon whom<br />

they rely to keep the tests operating.<br />

“Our members want to support a reduction<br />

in the driving test waiting times, while<br />

maintaining high standards and the integrity<br />

of the services they deliver, but are not<br />

prepared to do so at a detrimental cost to<br />

their health and safety nor their terms and<br />

conditions.<br />

“This strike action is avoidable and DVSA<br />

must now act to table a proposal that<br />

adequately addresses the concerns raised<br />

and meets the PCS demands.”<br />

MSA GB national vice chairman Peter<br />

Harvey said: “Both parties appear unwilling to<br />

find a compromise to this dispute, which is<br />

both worrying and frustrating. If none can be<br />

found, I assume more strike dates will be<br />

announced in March and April, and more<br />

progress in reducing L-test waiting times will<br />

be lost. Meanwhile, both parties will stay sat<br />

on top of their ivory towers preaching the<br />

righteouness of their cause while diverting<br />

their eyes from the innocent victims in this<br />

row, ADIs and their pupils.”<br />

06 NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024


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

CPD planning for 2024?<br />

We know that it is a really busy time of the<br />

year, but it’s important to find time to<br />

continue to develop your skills.<br />

Continuing professional development<br />

(CPD) is any development activity that<br />

has 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 />

When you’re planning your CPD you<br />

should consider:<br />

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

improve<br />

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

current role or develop you in areas you’re<br />

interested in<br />

To help you to do this you can:<br />

n check and see if your local or national<br />

driving instructor association is holding<br />

any free or paid for meetings, events or<br />

webinars and get them booked and added<br />

into your calendar<br />

n book training courses - either online<br />

or in person<br />

n work with a registered trainer to<br />

improve your driver training skills<br />

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

read blog posts, magazines and books<br />

n keep an eye out for blog post and<br />

webinars from DVSA.<br />

Some of the topics you might like to<br />

focus on include: driving laws, rules and<br />

techniques; personal growth and<br />

wellbeing; finance and business<br />

management; or teaching specific groups,<br />

such as people with disabilities, learning<br />

difficulties and neurodiversity.<br />

One way to get a lot of this covered is by<br />

attending the MSA GB Conference 2024.<br />

See pg 20-21 for more details.<br />

n Time to make CPD compulsory:<br />

One ADI’s view, see pg 18<br />

MSA GB payment<br />

hotline<br />

Dear MSA GB member<br />

and colleague,<br />

While being a driving<br />

instructor does offer<br />

incredible flexibility, we<br />

understand that it can<br />

leave you time poor for<br />

those everyday admin jobs. So, to help make<br />

things easier when paying for your membership or<br />

booking tickets for our calendar of events, we’ve<br />

set up a dedicated payment line:<br />

01787 221299.<br />

This also means that our membership team are<br />

more available for answering member queries and<br />

resolving any issues you may be experiencing.<br />

Our membership team can still be contacted on:<br />

01787 221020.<br />

We look forward to taking your call.<br />

NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024 07


News<br />

Wales’ public health body calls<br />

for GDL to protect new drivers<br />

Public Health Wales has stepped out of its<br />

usual area of expertise by calling for the<br />

introduction of graduated driver licensing<br />

(GDL), which would, it said, save lives.<br />

Its call comes in a response to a Welsh<br />

Government consultation paper on a new<br />

road safety strategy. Public Health Wales said<br />

GDL could be designed to allow new drivers<br />

to gain experience and skills gradually over<br />

time in low-risk environments.<br />

Among its suggestions are for newly<br />

qualified drivers under the age of 25 not to<br />

give lifts to other young people, and not drive<br />

late at night.<br />

It also wants a drink-drive limit of 20mg<br />

per 100ml of blood – the equivalent of a<br />

half-pint of beer/small glass of wine.<br />

Public Health Wales has also called for<br />

Wales to adopt a road safety strategy that<br />

focuses on public health, addresses<br />

inequalities in the harms that result from road<br />

traffic, and prioritises walking, cycling and<br />

public transport over driving.<br />

Dr Sarah Jones, a consultant in<br />

environmental public health at Public Health<br />

Wales, said: “Historically, our road network<br />

has been built with the prioritisation of<br />

private motor vehicle users in mind, but it is<br />

becoming increasingly clear that this is not an<br />

approach that is fit for the future.<br />

“A modal shift is required to encourage<br />

more people to use transport options such as<br />

walking, cycling, or public transport, as an<br />

alternative to the car. Only then can Wales<br />

hope to develop a road system that supports<br />

decarbonisation efforts that will reduce air<br />

pollution and address the climate emergency,<br />

as well as inequalities in access.<br />

“A road safety strategy is a public health<br />

strategy, and all elements of the new<br />

strategy should be explicitly considered in<br />

terms of how they may be expected to<br />

protect, improve or harm health.”<br />

Public Health Wales also recommends that<br />

pedestrian crossing wait times should be cut<br />

and time allowed to cross extended.<br />

Other specific policy proposals included<br />

ensuring that cycling infrastructure should be<br />

clearly separated from other motor vehicles<br />

and that ‘paint only’ lanes are not acceptable.<br />

MSA GB said: “We do have a measure of<br />

GDL in place at the moment, and the issue of<br />

restricting new drivers has been much<br />

debated in recent years.<br />

“However, a continual criticism of the<br />

restrictions suggested by Public Health<br />

Wales is that bans on lifts by new drivers<br />

would be very difficult to enforce, night-time<br />

driving bans would stop young people<br />

accessing jobs in the night-time economy,<br />

and there is little evidence that drink-driving<br />

is a big problem among the young: typical<br />

culprits are middle-aged men, so why target<br />

youngsters with this measure?<br />

“Public Health Wales hasn’t come up with<br />

the right answers to the problem.”<br />

Motorists falling into line with<br />

new lower limit, researchers say<br />

Analysis has shown that the Welsh motoring<br />

public has quickly fallen into line with new<br />

rules on speed limits throughout the country.<br />

On September 17, the default limit on most<br />

roads in Wales became 20mph, and research<br />

by Agilysis has found that it has had an<br />

immediate effect, with traffic speeds falling<br />

by 2.4mph since the lower limit’s introduction.<br />

Agilysis analysed speeds on nearly 500km<br />

of roads in 10 Welsh towns and cities. It<br />

covers the three-month period postintroduction<br />

on September 17, 2023.<br />

The report found that average speeds on all<br />

roads affected are down by 2.4mph compared<br />

to pre-change levels.<br />

It builds on previous analysis, which<br />

showed there was a 2.9mph drop in speeds in<br />

the immediate aftermath of the change.<br />

Agilysis says the figures show that while<br />

there has been a small increase in speeds<br />

since the initial survey, compliance with the<br />

new 20mph limits is “generally good and<br />

shows a general acceptance of the new limit<br />

among drivers”.<br />

The report also shows there are slight<br />

variations across the ten towns and cities<br />

included in the analysis, with Bangor<br />

experiencing the most significant reduction<br />

in average speeds (-3.2mph) and Merthyr<br />

Tydfil displaying the smallest change<br />

(-1.3mph).<br />

Just over half (52.9%) of all analysed<br />

journeys were driven above the 20mph<br />

speed limit, while 17.9% were driven above<br />

the enforcement threshold of 26mph.<br />

A total of 5.4% of journeys were driven at<br />

speeds above the threshold for a court<br />

summons.<br />

The Welsh Government recently confirmed<br />

the enforcement of 20mph speed limits will<br />

begin in January, following an initial<br />

adjustment period. Police will still be able to<br />

try education of speeders first, however,<br />

before prosecution takes place.<br />

But Agilysis says introducing stronger<br />

speed enforcement measures will be a crucial<br />

next step towards achieving greater<br />

compliance across the road network.<br />

08 NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024


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

Pothole plague hits 80 motorists a day says RAC<br />

It will come as no surprise to ADIs that<br />

Britain’s ‘pothole plague’ is getting worse –<br />

but new figures released by the RAC has<br />

highlighted just how many motorists it<br />

affects every year.<br />

In 2023 the RAC received call-outs to<br />

pothole-related breakdowns nearly 30,000<br />

times. That’s equivalent to 80 breakdowns a<br />

day and up a third on 2022. The fourth<br />

quarter of 2023 saw 5,153 breakdowns<br />

caused by potholes, the highest for any<br />

October to December period since 2017.<br />

Faults included broken suspension springs,<br />

damaged shocks and distorted wheels.<br />

The RAC says the problem will be getting<br />

worse at the moment as we are in the middle<br />

of ‘pothole season’ – January to March –<br />

when water makes its way into cracks in the<br />

road, freezes and expands, causing surfaces<br />

to deteriorate even more.<br />

Its Pothole Index, which has tracked the<br />

condition of Britain’s roads since 2006, now<br />

stands at 1.70, up from 1.62 in 2022. While<br />

this is nowhere near the all-time high of 3.5<br />

recorded in Q1 2010, at 1.7 the index suggests<br />

drivers are more than one-and-a-half times<br />

as likely to experience pothole damage as<br />

they were 15 years ago.<br />

Simon Williams, RAC head of policy, said:<br />

“The cracks in Britain’s road maintenance<br />

system have once again been embarrassingly<br />

exposed. Potholes are so much more than an<br />

irritation – they are a very serious danger to<br />

all road users which we fear is getting worse.<br />

“Local councils have been cash-strapped<br />

for years due to lower road maintenance<br />

budgets, causing roads across the country to<br />

fall into disrepair and leaving drivers fighting<br />

for compensation when their vehicles are<br />

inevitably damaged.<br />

“Fortunately, the Government has<br />

committed an extra £8.3bn of funding to local<br />

councils over the next 11 years, which we<br />

hope will give squeezed authorities some<br />

certainty of cash to help them plan<br />

consistent longer-term maintenance.<br />

“Now we urge the DfT to lay out clear<br />

guidance as to how this money should be<br />

best used so that councils can actually<br />

improve their roads for the future.”<br />

However, the Local Government<br />

Association admitted that the extra cash “is<br />

not going to fully fix the problem”, with a<br />

number of commentators describing the<br />

cash as a ‘drop in the ocean’. One road<br />

maintenance expert said, “it will take more<br />

than the money put up by Government to<br />

sort out the UK’s crumbling roads. You would<br />

probably need to put a zero on the end of that<br />

figure to do that.”<br />

NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024 09


News<br />

The truth is out there...<br />

DVSA reveals<br />

number of<br />

L-tests that<br />

go begging<br />

Regular readers will be aware that in recent<br />

issues, <strong>Newslink</strong> has been trying to get to the<br />

bottom of whether L-tests are going to<br />

waste because they are not being conducted,<br />

for whatever reason.<br />

We all know that there are not enough test<br />

slots available, and waiting times are lengthy<br />

as a result. But is the system operating<br />

efficiently, in that, are any L-tests going<br />

unused?<br />

To find out, we made a Freedom of<br />

Information request (FoI) in November, with<br />

the answer arriving in December and<br />

published in our January issue.<br />

That found that in the period November 6<br />

to December 3 (four weeks) there were just<br />

2,879 unallocated tests. By our maths, that’s<br />

about three per cent of all tests in the system.<br />

However, this did not quite get to the heart<br />

of our query: we didn’t want to know how<br />

many were unallocated (ie, a test slot without<br />

a candidate’s name next to it); we wanted to<br />

know how many tests went unused - ie,<br />

either without a candidate being offered the<br />

slot, or where candidates failed to turn up, or<br />

had their test cancelled for some other<br />

reason, such as examiner short-notice<br />

In December’s <strong>Newslink</strong>, 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 />

sickness/absenteeism.<br />

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

So we submitted a second contributor FOI: had experienced ‘I wanted isolated to case<br />

of examiner idleness or administration time,<br />

know how much total spare or whether capacity there was a problem there of unused<br />

test slots across the country which was<br />

was in the L-test booking<br />

exacerbating<br />

system,<br />

the L-test<br />

ie,<br />

waiting<br />

the<br />

times, we<br />

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

request was clearly needed to answer the<br />

number of car driving test<br />

question,<br />

slots<br />

so at<br />

not<br />

the end<br />

booked<br />

of November<br />

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

which are available, plus the Could number you tell me how of many L-test slots<br />

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

L-test slots that were not other used words, (but for clarity, had how much spare/<br />

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

been booked).<br />

system this month?<br />

Unfortunately, as anyone who has ever<br />

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

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

getting your terminology correct and being<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 />

The response was disheartening to begin<br />

with. As the data requested “will be published<br />

at some point in the future”, the DVSA is not<br />

bound to release the figures. “We routinely<br />

publish data about car test cancellations that<br />

occurred due to leave, disputes, acts of<br />

nature, medical absences and the pandemic.<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 />

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 />

03/12/2023.<br />

This information is published So I am after the in total arrears,” number of ‘lost’ the<br />

Note, L-test slots. In other words, every tests for the period in question.<br />

DVSA said.<br />

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

many tests weren’t taken up?<br />

“This information is Hopefully exempt - and if we from do, we’ll definitely let<br />

you know.<br />

disclosure under section<br />

However,<br />

22(1)<br />

the answer<br />

(information<br />

does tell us one thing:<br />

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

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

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

Sir/Madam<br />

intended for future publication)<br />

on a total testing regime<br />

of<br />

of around<br />

the<br />

1.7<br />

FoIA,<br />

million<br />

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

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

which states that the ‘unused’ information capacity. is held by<br />

However, the answer received didn’t quite Even the harshest critic would accept that<br />

the public authority with a booking a system view that allocates to its 98 per cent<br />

I was looking for the total spare capacity in of its available slots is doing well, particularly<br />

publication at some future when those slots date. are scattered We over a wide<br />

geographical area.<br />

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

anticipate that this will be in April 2024.”<br />

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

No luck, then... but wait, a glimmer...<br />

The DVSA went on to say: “We can<br />

however provide you with the number of<br />

tests lost as available tests were not booked<br />

and due to other cancellation reasons that<br />

are not published. This was 10,730. ’<br />

So, in answer to the question, just short of<br />

11,000 tests went begging from November<br />

6-December 3. If this figure were to be<br />

extrapolated across the whole year, it would<br />

mean 140,000 tests are being lost every<br />

year, to examiner sickness, no shows and<br />

those tests that went unallocated.<br />

You could not expect any system to be<br />

completely watertight, but to lose 140,000<br />

tests a year does seem rather leaky.<br />

Two points to consider. First, the above<br />

figure DOES NOT include any tests lost to<br />

industrial action, as there were no strikes<br />

held in the period under consideration.<br />

Therefore the number of tests unused in, say<br />

<strong>February</strong>, could be far higher, as industrial<br />

action takes its toll again.<br />

Two, you remember all that fuss about<br />

dragging in DVSA senior management to run<br />

L-tests? How ‘warrant card’ holding staff<br />

were being returned to the frontline in a noble<br />

effort to reduce L-test waiting times?<br />

Well, that contribution will add an extra....<br />

... 140,000 L-tests to the roster, according<br />

to the DVSA. Exactly the same number of<br />

being losts being lost/going unallocated!<br />

NEWSLINK n JANUARY 2024 09<br />

10 NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024<br />

03-12-2023.<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 />

request, as referenced above.<br />

deliver the information I required.<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 -


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

Scottish Government launches new campaign to<br />

address issues of older drivers’ eyesight<br />

The Scottish Government and Road Safety<br />

Scotland have joined forces to encourage<br />

older drivers to have their eyesight checked<br />

so they can continue driving safely.<br />

Research shows that the number of<br />

drivers over the age of 60 killed or seriously<br />

injured in a car crash is increasing, and they<br />

now amount to 29% of all KSI victims.<br />

With that in mind, the Fitness to Drive<br />

campaign highlights that eyesight can affect<br />

the ability of older drivers.<br />

It calls for anyone in that age +60<br />

demographic to have their eyes examined<br />

regularly, or as soon as they notice a change.<br />

It is common for drivers to adapt their<br />

driving behaviour as they get older, for<br />

example, by not driving at night or on busier<br />

roads to avoid the glare from oncoming<br />

traffic, or by driving shorter distances. These<br />

adaptations often happen gradually and can<br />

be a sign of deteriorating vision.<br />

Janet Pooley, chief optometric adviser at<br />

the Scottish Government, said: “As we get<br />

older, we can experience changes to our<br />

eyesight, including blurred vision, a reduced<br />

visual field and less accuracy when it comes<br />

to judging distances, which impact our ability<br />

to drive safely.<br />

“The best way to make sure your eyes are<br />

healthy is to have them examined regularly<br />

and to visit your local optometrist if you<br />

notice any problems with your eyesight.<br />

“As well as detecting changes in your<br />

eyesight, an NHS eye examination can pick up<br />

age-related eye conditions like cataracts and<br />

glaucoma, and it can identify and help prevent<br />

other health conditions like blood issues and<br />

diabetes, which can also affect driving.”<br />

The campaign reminds drivers that<br />

changes in eyesight don’t have to mean<br />

giving up driving and that a local optometrist<br />

can often correct any difficulties drivers have<br />

simply by prescribing new glasses.<br />

Janet Pooley added: “In some cases your<br />

optometrist might advise that you require<br />

surgery to improve your vision if you have a<br />

condition like cataracts. Outstanding surgical<br />

results often enable people to continue to<br />

drive safely for many years.”<br />

In addition to eyesight, other age-related<br />

factors can also affect fitness to drive, such<br />

as high blood pressure, medication and<br />

slower reaction times.<br />

Drivers are encouraged to plan ahead for<br />

when they do choose to give up driving and<br />

consider alternatives for getting around<br />

without a car, including public transport and<br />

getting help from family members and<br />

friends.<br />

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

transport, said: “Changes in our eyesight is<br />

something we’re all affected by as we get<br />

older, and with Scotland’s population<br />

continuing to age, it’s particularly important<br />

to ensure we all stay safe on the road. We’re<br />

encouraging everyone in this age group to get<br />

their eyes checked regularly to make sure<br />

they are fit to drive.”<br />

“As well as detecting changes in your eyesight, an NHS eye<br />

examination can pick up age-related eye conditions like<br />

cataracts and glaucoma, and it can identify and help prevent<br />

other health conditions like blood issues and diabetes, which<br />

can also affect driving.”<br />

Age Scotland’s Big Survey 2023 shows<br />

driving is the most common way to get<br />

around among over 60s, with 72% of<br />

respondents saying this is the mode of<br />

transportation they use most.<br />

Katherine Crawford, CEO of Age Scotland,<br />

said: “We know driving is hugely important to<br />

older people and plays a big part in their<br />

ability to stay active, mobile and independent.<br />

“This campaign is a good reminder for older<br />

drivers to get their eyes examined regularly<br />

or, if they notice a change in their eyesight, to<br />

make sure they have the best vision for<br />

driving safely.”<br />

The campaign will also address family and<br />

friends who may be initiating discussions<br />

about driving with their loved ones, which<br />

can be a sensitive subject.<br />

But the campaigners stressed that this is<br />

not a push to stop older people from driving.<br />

The Government added: “We know that<br />

having access to a car, and driving, is<br />

important for older people who wish to retain<br />

their independence.<br />

“This is particularly true for those who live<br />

in rural communities where they may not<br />

have easy access to public transport.<br />

“We know how important cars are to<br />

people – but we just want everyone to take<br />

simple steps to keep themselves safe.”<br />

NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024 11


News<br />

Soaring insurance costs risk killing<br />

young people’s driving dreams<br />

A concerned parent writes...<br />

Two stories connected to insurance caught<br />

my eye this month.<br />

The first was a report that 400,000 drivers<br />

have been caught driving without insurance<br />

over the past four years. The second was a<br />

claim that more young people were ‘fronting’<br />

after passing their driving test, to avoid<br />

sky-high insurance premiums.<br />

There was a third story... but more on that<br />

later.<br />

A little about the second one first. Fronting,<br />

for those who aren’t aware of the term, is<br />

where a parent adds their child on to their car<br />

insurance as a ‘named driver’, despite the fact<br />

that their the son or daughter will really be its<br />

main driver. In such cases the child should<br />

have insurance of their own.<br />

The Association of British Insurers (ABI)<br />

says a ‘main driver’ has to be the person who<br />

drives the car the majority of the time. A<br />

‘named driver’ can only be someone who<br />

uses the car less often than the main driver.<br />

If evidence of fronting is found – and if a<br />

big claim is being made, you can guarantee<br />

that the insurance company will be looking<br />

for clues – the policy would be invalidated,<br />

and those responsible would face criminal<br />

sanctions. They could also be added to the<br />

Insurance Fraud Register, which is shared<br />

with the industry and can impact taking out<br />

future policies.<br />

But a recent Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB)<br />

survey revealed that a quarter of 18-24<br />

-year-olds would find it acceptable to lie on<br />

an insurance application to save money -<br />

although many knew that fronting is illegal.<br />

“With prices rising, more young people will<br />

be tempted to front on their car insurance to<br />

save money, but fronting is never worth the<br />

risk,” Jon Radford at the IFB, said.<br />

The IFB said fraudulent insurance added<br />

costs to “all honest consumers’ premiums<br />

which is why we’re working closely with<br />

insurers to tackle the problem”.<br />

Fraud costs the industry around £1bn a<br />

year, according to the ABI.<br />

So who fronts up?<br />

The BBC report offered some clues as to<br />

why people would risk this. One 17-year-old<br />

from Leeds, who needed her car to get to<br />

college, was stunned when she was asked to<br />

part with thousands to insure the vehicle.<br />

Her mum Andrea told the BBC she had<br />

never heard of fronting before, but believes<br />

she and her daughter share the car equally.<br />

“We had no other option,” she said. “We<br />

did look at putting it in her name, we asked<br />

the question of the insurance company and<br />

this is what they came back with.”<br />

But while mum seemed unaware of the<br />

potential dangers of doing this, Lucy was not.<br />

“Obviously it’s a concern. Once I’ve done my<br />

A-levels my mum will be driving the car to<br />

work and I will have it on weekends, so she<br />

will be the main driver.<br />

“At the moment there’s not really anything<br />

I can do. It’s either that or I don’t drive.”<br />

She would like her own policy, but<br />

“Everyone’s in the same position. Being a<br />

named driver is the only way anyone can<br />

afford to do this.”<br />

According to the BBC, insurance for young<br />

drivers often outstrips the value of the cars<br />

typically driven by people who have just<br />

Left, a screenshot taken from<br />

a comparison site of actual<br />

quotes obtained for a<br />

newly-passed 22-year-old<br />

driver, based in north London<br />

and driving a 1.6 Honda Civic<br />

valued at £1,000.<br />

These are the CHEAPEST of<br />

16 quotes received.<br />

There was a blissful irony in<br />

that the last, and most<br />

expensive, at £10,772 was<br />

from an insurer called ‘Go<br />

Girl’.<br />

Not at that price, she won’t!<br />

passed their test. Really? More on that later...<br />

And so to the first story. While in the<br />

fronting story there is a suggestion that<br />

some people are not aware they are acting<br />

illegally, in the first story mentioned, they<br />

clearly are. iCompario submitted a Freedom<br />

of Information request to see how many<br />

motorists have been convicted of driving<br />

without insurance since 2019.<br />

It’s a lot. 400,000 in the past four years, or<br />

2,000 a week. In some areas, such as Ilford in<br />

East London, one-in-50 licence holders have<br />

been caught driving without insurance in the<br />

past four years. Bradford (one-in-57), and<br />

Romford (one-in-64) are also described as<br />

‘no insurance conviction hotspots’.<br />

And with the Financial Conduct Authority<br />

saying last week that premiums will rise by<br />

as much as 20% this year, after a rise of 21%<br />

since June 2022, the temptation for some<br />

drivers to not get insured is likely to increase.<br />

iCompario points to a survey of 1,600 UK<br />

12 NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024


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

drivers which revealed that roughly a quarter<br />

would consider driving without insurance due<br />

to financial concerns and the cost.<br />

Andrew Davies, from iCompario, said: “The<br />

fact that hundreds of thousands of drivers<br />

are risking a criminal record, penalty points,<br />

and financial strife is deeply alarming.<br />

“Rising car insurance costs coupled with<br />

rising living costs are a potential worry, as it<br />

would be very problematic if the rate of<br />

uninsured drivers on UK roads were to<br />

increase in the coming months and years.”<br />

So what about that third story we<br />

mentioned? Well, here I have some skin in the<br />

game, so to speak. This week saw my eldest<br />

daughter pass her driving test, thanks in no<br />

small part to the expertise of her instructor,<br />

Craig. With these two stories whizzing round I<br />

did a little experiment on her behalf.<br />

For reasons too hard to explain I currently<br />

have an oldish Honda Civic sat on my drive. It<br />

sits unloved, SORN’d and uninsured. How<br />

much would it cost to insure that for my<br />

daughter, I wondered.<br />

I knew it was going to be a lot but when the<br />

cheapest quote comes in at £5,866, you<br />

know you are in trouble. The most expensive?<br />

Over £10,000.<br />

I swear I could hear the meerkat laughing.<br />

Okay, so what do we do about it? Well,<br />

“I knew it was going to be a lot but<br />

when the cheapest quote comes in<br />

at £5,866, you know you are in<br />

trouble. The most expensive? Over<br />

£10,000. I swear I could hear the<br />

meerkat laughing...”<br />

no-one asked if I would add a black box to the<br />

equation, nor Pass Plus (which was an<br />

option). In addition the quote was for a base<br />

in north-west London. It’s also true that the<br />

Civic in question has a 1.6-litre engine, and<br />

has a book value of less than £1,000 (which is<br />

why I said ‘more on that later’ as a retort to<br />

the point made by the BBC, that sometimes,<br />

premiums could outstrip the value of the car.)<br />

To be honest, it was all a theoretical<br />

exercise anyway. Living in London she is well<br />

aware of the challenges of affording a car in<br />

the capital, and with a Tube station on her<br />

doorstep doesn’t see the point.<br />

But here’s the rub: if this kind of ridiculous<br />

quoting is endemic, how long will it be before<br />

young people really do say, it’s just not worth<br />

learning to drive? Bear in mind that my<br />

daughter isn’t a 17-year-old; she’s 22, a<br />

graduate with a (very) responsible job. But at<br />

these prices insurance companies are<br />

basically saying they don’t want to insure any<br />

young drivers, and that creates problems for<br />

those who do want to utilise their longed-for,<br />

and hard fought for, driving licence by running<br />

their own vehicle.<br />

It also creates potential problems for ADIs.<br />

There is no shortage of work at present but<br />

as these stories trickle down into the<br />

consciousness of today’s later teens, will the<br />

supply line of learners start to dry up?<br />

Is it happening already? The BBC found<br />

that in 2019-20, 520,505 tests were taken by<br />

17 and 18-year-olds. But in 2022-23 that<br />

figure fell to 504,718 – and that is despite<br />

practically no testing in 2020 and 2021<br />

creating a pent-up demand. Are we seeing<br />

the start of a sea-change in ambition, with<br />

young people rejecting learning to drive?<br />

Or possibly dangerously, will we see 17-19<br />

year-olds who pass their L-test simply<br />

decide not to drive again for a while –<br />

possibly not until they reach 25, when<br />

premiums traditionally fall a little? At that<br />

point they would head for the roads<br />

inexperienced and without even the recent<br />

advice and guidance of their ADI to help them.<br />

We’ll see. But for the time being there is a<br />

22-year-old geologist on a Tube train in north<br />

London with a driving licence proudly sat in<br />

her purse. Whether it will come out any time<br />

soon, is a moot point.<br />

NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024 13


News<br />

The natives are getting<br />

restless in Bromley...<br />

MSA GB stepped in to fight ADIs’ corner after<br />

their training practices were criticised in an<br />

article in the Daily Mail.<br />

The paper sounded like it was definitely on<br />

the side of residents when it talked about a<br />

“constant stream of learner drivers plaguing<br />

the streets” of the Park Langley area of<br />

Bromley, south-east London, saying learners<br />

were making the locals’ lives hell with “with<br />

terrible three point turns, parallel parking and<br />

reversing around corners.”<br />

What’s worse, these actions were taking<br />

place in an area that has “tree-lined roads<br />

where the detached houses fetch over £1<br />

million each.”<br />

Heaven forbid that mere ADIs should enter<br />

such beautiful areas...<br />

Residents also complained about increased<br />

pollution through ADIs and pupils “parking<br />

outside their detached houses with their<br />

engines idling.”<br />

The residents’ association even wrote to<br />

one driving school asking them to choose<br />

other roads to give locals a break. One<br />

resident claimed that on a recent walk they<br />

saw at least 20 learner vehicles pass by in<br />

half an hour.<br />

Thankfully, the paper had the good grace<br />

to contact MSA GB to get the ADIs’ side of<br />

the row, and Peter Harvey was happy to<br />

oblige – and fair play to the Daily Mail for<br />

publishing his defence.<br />

He pointed out that: “There are no<br />

regulations that restrict driving instructors<br />

from going where they want as long as it’s<br />

legal.<br />

“Lots of people will say that although they<br />

are a pain when they are there, they are<br />

actually quite good for looking after people’s<br />

properties, as burglars are less likely to want<br />

to get caught somewhere where there are<br />

constantly cars around, so some may<br />

actually think it’s a good thing.<br />

“If there is a test centre somewhere<br />

nearby, instructors tend to use some areas<br />

more - if instructors are using it, it’s because<br />

examiners are too.<br />

“It might be a bit annoying, but everyone<br />

has to learn to drive. And there’s so much<br />

traffic around now that these quiet roads are<br />

actually quite rare.’<br />

Bromley does have a test centre, but it is<br />

on the other side of the town.<br />

Werner Schluep, of the Park Langley<br />

Residents’ Association, which led the<br />

complaints against the ADIs, said they had<br />

tried to address the issue.<br />

“We have noticed learner drivers in Park<br />

Langley for many years now,” Mr Schluep<br />

told the Daily Mail. “I guess there is nothing<br />

wrong with it per se, but I am constantly<br />

amazed at the sheer numbers around here.<br />

“Some days I see more learner drivers<br />

Left, a screen shot from the Daily Mail<br />

website showing some images that<br />

accompanied the article.<br />

What is interesting in the three shots is<br />

that each one shows a single ADI car, with<br />

no evidence of ‘multiple driving school<br />

cars operaing in the area’.<br />

than I do normal vehicles.<br />

“They’re queuing up at junctions and you<br />

have to avoid them while they are doing their<br />

three-point turns. It can be very frustrating.”<br />

What to do if you are approached by<br />

residents<br />

Stories such as this one surface from time<br />

to time – usually in the leafy suburbs, like<br />

Bromley. As Peter Harvey correctly pointed<br />

out, there is nothing wrong with learners<br />

practising in any particular area on the road<br />

– but common sense should tell instructors<br />

not to over-use some areas.<br />

MSA GB says: …“While it is rare to see ADIs<br />

banned from particular areas – we know it<br />

does happen with private spaces, such as car<br />

parks – residents who get upset by the<br />

presence of too many driving school cars can<br />

make life uncomfortable for learners,<br />

particularly those beginning their learningto-drive<br />

journey, as many of those using the<br />

roads around Bromley may very well be.<br />

“Such roads as those in Park Langley are<br />

great for learners when they start learning<br />

the basics, so we appreciate why ADIs use<br />

them. But we always ask memebrs to use<br />

common sense when selecting a training<br />

area; if you arrive at a favourite spot to<br />

practise a right reverse or parallel park, to find<br />

a number of other instructors in the area,<br />

delay that practising regime for the time<br />

being and move on to other tasks.<br />

“It’s also good to find spots a long way<br />

from DTCs, and to have a number of spots up<br />

your sleeve you can use, if one you like looks<br />

busy.”<br />

14 NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024


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

Test centre changes<br />

The DVSA has announced a number of<br />

changes to driving test centres<br />

Crawley test centre: temporary closure<br />

While refurbishment works are being<br />

carried out at Crawley driving test centre<br />

(DTC) on Brighton Road, the DVSA will<br />

temporarily be operating out of the<br />

Broadfield Community Centre, Holyrood<br />

Place, from Monday, 4 March to 16 April.<br />

Eastbourne test centre: temporary closure<br />

While refurbishment works are being<br />

carried out at Eastbourne DTC on Wartling<br />

Road, the DVSA will temporarily be operating<br />

out of Sovereign Harbour Community Centre,<br />

Pevensey Bay Road . This will be from<br />

Monday, 14 June to Monday, 25 July.<br />

Hinkley test centre: temporary closure<br />

While refurbishment works are being<br />

carried out at Hinkley DTC on Brookside, all<br />

tests will temporarily be operating out of<br />

Automotive Transport Training on Jacknell<br />

Road, Hinkley LE10 3BS from Monday, 11<br />

March to Monday, 9 April.<br />

Mill Hill test centre: temporary closure<br />

Mill Hill driving test centre (DTC) on Granard<br />

Business Centre, Bunns Lane will be closed<br />

from Monday, 9 May to Monday, 20 June.<br />

Tests will run from Church House Service<br />

Offices at 120 Bunns Lane, Mill Hill NW7 2DZ<br />

during this period.<br />

Yeovil test centre: temporary closure<br />

Yeovil driving test centre (DTC) on Abbey<br />

Manor Business Centre, Abbots Meade will<br />

be closed from Monday, 24 march to Monday,<br />

8 May, with tests operating out of the<br />

Kensington Suite, Abbey Manor Business<br />

Centre on Preston Road, Yeovil BA20 2EN<br />

Coventry test centre: temporary closure<br />

Coventry driving test centre (DTC) on<br />

Bayton Road, Exhall will be temporarily<br />

closed from Wednesday, April 10 to<br />

Wednesday, May 22. During that period tests<br />

will be run from Nuneaton, Rugby and<br />

Warwick DTCs.<br />

Their addresses are:<br />

Nuneaton: 54 Vernons Lane, Nuneaton CV10<br />

8AA<br />

Rugby, 66b Somers Rd, Rugby CV22 7DH<br />

Warwick, Ground Floor, Wedgnock House<br />

Wedgnock Lane, Warwick CV34 5AP<br />

Nuneaton test centre temporary closure<br />

Nuneaton DTC on Vernons Lane will close<br />

temporarily from Monday, <strong>February</strong> 5 to<br />

Friday, March 1. During that period tests will<br />

be conducted from Coventry Driving Test<br />

Centre, Bayton Road industrial Estate, 42<br />

Baton Road, Coventry CV7 9EJ<br />

Middlesbrough test centre temporary<br />

relocation<br />

While refurbishment works are being<br />

carried out at Middlesbrough driving test<br />

centre on Maxwell Road the DVSA will<br />

operate out of South Tees Business Centre,<br />

Puddlers Lane, Middlesbrough TS6 6TL. This<br />

will be from Saturday, 24 <strong>February</strong> to<br />

Saturday, 7 April.<br />

Please note entrance to the building and<br />

customer parking is at the front of the Odeon<br />

Cinema, and candidates will be met in the<br />

foyer. Popcorn can be purchased while you<br />

wait.<br />

West Didsbury test centre temporary closure<br />

While refurbishment works are being<br />

carried out at West Didsbury driving test<br />

centre on Christie Way, West Didsbury M21<br />

7QY, testing will be operating out of Key<br />

House, Unit 7, Christie Fields, from Monday 19<br />

<strong>February</strong> to Monday 1 April.<br />

Bury St Edmunds test centre temporary<br />

relocation<br />

Bury St Edmunds driving test centre on St<br />

Andrew’s Street will be closed from 14 March<br />

to Friday 3 May, with tests run from DB<br />

Conference Rooms, Kempson Way, Bury St<br />

Edmunds IP3 7AR<br />

To get to the new DTC: Exit A14 Bury East<br />

at Junction 44 and follow the sign to the<br />

Moreton Hall area. Head up Bedingfield Way<br />

(past Sainsbury’s) until you reach the top of<br />

the hill. On your right you will see a John<br />

Bank’s Honda garage. Take the fourth exit<br />

(Kempson Way). The DB Conference Rooms<br />

is part of the Denny Bros Group and is the last<br />

building on left before the roundabout.<br />

Meet and greet will take place at the car<br />

park and candidates should wait at their<br />

vehicle for test start. Do not to use the car<br />

park for practice purposes. There will be no<br />

weekend testing during this period.<br />

In all cases, the DVSA has contacted<br />

candidates affected by this temporary<br />

relocation. However, if you have booked a<br />

test on behalf of your pupil, please let them<br />

know about these changes.<br />

Concern escooter<br />

injuries are being<br />

under reported<br />

PACTS has published a new report<br />

looking at the use of e-scooters, after<br />

finding that over 300 casualties reported<br />

to hospital after collisions.<br />

However, there appears to be huge<br />

discrepancies between the data on<br />

e-scooter casualties captured by<br />

hospitals and the police, amid claims that<br />

the number of injuries caused by these<br />

vehicles is widely under reported.<br />

PACTS says: “Knowing how many<br />

people are injured in road traffic collisions<br />

is important. It means that, for any form<br />

of transport, the risk of harm to the driver<br />

or rider and the risk of harm to other road<br />

users can be better understood.<br />

“Official data for all road traffic<br />

casualties are based on police records. It<br />

has long been accepted that comparing<br />

official police data on the number of<br />

people presenting at hospital with an<br />

injury from a road traffic collision, with<br />

hospital data, highlights discrepancies.”<br />

PACTs found that:<br />

n Fewer than 10% of casualties with<br />

injury from a collision involving an<br />

e-scooter presenting to emergency<br />

departments were recorded in the official<br />

data;<br />

n Only around a quarter of those most<br />

seriously injured in collisions involving<br />

e-scooters were recorded by both the<br />

police and at hospitals.<br />

PACTS says that all collisions resulting<br />

in injury should be reported to the police<br />

to allow for a clearer picture to develop<br />

over the safety impacts of their usage.<br />

PACTS has called on the DfT to:<br />

n Improve the means of recording<br />

e-scooter casualties by updating<br />

guidance to rental operators; and,<br />

n Issue clear information to the public<br />

about the obligations of reporting road<br />

traffic collisions to the police, including<br />

those involving e-scooter.<br />

Margaret Winchcomb, PACTS Deputy<br />

Executive Director, said:<br />

“It is essential that the methods for<br />

measuring e-scooters’ hazard to riders<br />

and danger to other road users are<br />

consistent and robust so that safety is<br />

adequately understood.<br />

“The Government should improve and<br />

widen the way injuries from e-scooter<br />

collisions are recorded.”<br />

NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024 15


News<br />

It’s all the best from MSA GB as DVSA’s London<br />

region ADI managers announce their retirement<br />

Members in the London & South East will<br />

know George Kountouros, ADI Manager.<br />

George has decided to retire from the DVSA.<br />

He obtained his ADI qualification in 1982 and<br />

became a part of the DSA/DVSA in 1999,<br />

initially serving as a contract examiner at<br />

Morden before assuming the role of a<br />

substantive DE.<br />

In 2003, George achieved qualification to<br />

conduct part 2s and 3s, and by 2005, he also<br />

became qualified to conduct the old-style<br />

check tests. In 2014, he attained<br />

qualifications for the new Standards Tests<br />

and ORDIT.<br />

George’s career advanced and he took on<br />

roles such as SDE at Wallington DTC, TCM at<br />

Sutton, and a deputy position as DTAM. In<br />

2017, he transitioned to enforcement, taking<br />

on the role of ADI manager (SE) for the<br />

entirety of South London and the Southeast.<br />

In this capacity, he successfully led a<br />

team of nine ADI examiners.<br />

George was a good friend to MSA GB,<br />

always happy to turn up at meetings and<br />

offer advice and counsel to members.<br />

He’s gone full circle as he has his ADI<br />

certificate back, so you may see him out and<br />

about the streets, mainly doing PDI and<br />

ORDIT training to help instructors keep up<br />

their standards.<br />

DVSA is also losing another friend of the<br />

MSA GB, in Nigel Robinson. Nigel was head of<br />

ADI and ORDIT standards, and most of us will<br />

have bumped into Nigel in the events we have<br />

organised all over the country,<br />

He was instrumental in writing the National<br />

Standards as well as being heavily involved in<br />

the content of the new Standards Check.<br />

Nigel will also stay in the industry with his<br />

ADI certificate; he is mainly going to be<br />

concentrating on a partnership with a fellow<br />

retiree from DVSA, offering their wealth of<br />

experience to ADIs through workshops and<br />

ORDIT training.<br />

MSA GB would like to wish both George<br />

and Nigel a happy retirement and look<br />

forward to seeing them both at some of our<br />

training events in the future.<br />

‘Is pushing it worth it?’,<br />

THINK! campaign asks<br />

THINK! has relaunched a campaign which<br />

urges young, male drivers to think about the<br />

dangers of driving too fast for road conditions<br />

– especially on rural roads.<br />

Data shows that speed kills and injures 58<br />

young people every week. But despite this,<br />

THINK! research highlights that only 32% of<br />

young men consider it very risky.<br />

THINK! has relaunched its ‘Is pushing it<br />

worth it?’ campaign to raise awareness of the<br />

impact that not driving at the correct speed<br />

for the conditions, or slight speeding on rural<br />

roads can have.<br />

More on the campaign, plus assets and<br />

toolkit road safety professionals can use, can<br />

be found HERE.<br />

Police pledges<br />

more random<br />

breath tests<br />

Ross takes on Brake role<br />

Road safety Brake has announced that Ross<br />

Moorlock is to be its new chief executive<br />

officer. Ross has held the position of interim<br />

CEO since April 2023, when founder and<br />

former chief executive Mary Williams OBE<br />

retired after 29 years in the role.<br />

Ross joined the charity back in 2017 as<br />

chief operating officer. He has overseen a<br />

period of significant expansion, with growth<br />

across all teams including campaigns,<br />

fundraising and operations, but most<br />

significantly within the National Road Victim<br />

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

reached 18 million people through<br />

participation at its various events.<br />

Police have vowed to step up roadside breath<br />

tests following an increase in deaths caused<br />

by drunk drivers.<br />

Police data shows that in England and<br />

Wales, 249,542 motorists were breathalysed<br />

in 2022 – up 8% compared on 2021.<br />

Shockingly, nearly 17% were over the limit<br />

– similar to the previous two years.<br />

In 2021 there were 260 deaths on Britain’s<br />

roads where a motorist was over the drink<br />

drive limit – the highest since 2009.<br />

Department for Transport figures estimate<br />

a total of 6,740 people were killed or injured in<br />

drink-drive accidents, with drunk drivers<br />

accounting for 17% of road deaths – the same<br />

percentage as tested positive.<br />

“We’re pleased to see an increase in the<br />

number of dedicated road policing officers,<br />

which has resulted in stricter enforcement,”<br />

comments Hunter Abbott, managing director<br />

of personal breathalyser firm AlcoSense.<br />

“Home Office figures show there were<br />

3,960 traffic officers by March 2023 – up 2%<br />

on the previous year.<br />

“However our testing levels still lag way<br />

behind other European countries. In England<br />

& Wales just five tests per 1,000 inhabitants<br />

are carried out.<br />

“In Ireland the figure is 18 per 1,000<br />

population, while in France it’s 109”.<br />

Other reasons for the increase in<br />

breathalyser tests in 2022 include traffic<br />

returning to normal levels following the Covid<br />

restrictions and the football World Cup.<br />

16 NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024


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

Learner bike<br />

riders to get<br />

new hazard test<br />

An exciting new project has been launched<br />

that could take the training of new bike riders<br />

to the next level.<br />

The National Young Rider Forum is working<br />

on the development of a new motorcycle<br />

specific hazard perception test, to be tailored<br />

specifically to the needs of young riders.<br />

Currently, all riders looking to gain their full<br />

bike licence take a theory test which includes<br />

a hazard perception test. However, it is felt<br />

that the test for bikers has fallen behind that<br />

of young learner car drivers, whose test<br />

using realistic CGI is regarded as a world leader.<br />

The new project would look to improve this<br />

test by making it more realistic for young bike<br />

riders. It has been funded by The Road Safety<br />

Trust and will be carried out by Esitu<br />

Solutions, a spin out company from<br />

Nottingham Trent University.<br />

Dr Victoria Kroll said: “Esitu Solutions is<br />

really excited to be collaborating with the<br />

National Young Rider Forum on this pivotal<br />

project. We know that young motorcyclists<br />

are overrepresented in crash statistics. The<br />

data show many of the crashes they are<br />

involved in are the fault of other vehicles,<br />

particularly those with four wheels.<br />

“This project seeks to improve the hazard<br />

perception, and hazard prediction skills of<br />

young riders, by showing those hazards from<br />

the perspective of a motorcyclist riding in a<br />

mainly urban road environment. This will<br />

ensure the test will reflect the real dangers<br />

faced by riders.”<br />

Heidi Duffy MBE, National Young Rider<br />

Forum, said: “Sadly, over the last three years,<br />

nearly 12,000 young motorcyclists have been<br />

injured in road crashes, and of those, nearly<br />

4,000 have been killed or seriously injured.<br />

That’s why projects like this are vital.”<br />

The new test will be available in 2025.<br />

Despite increased awareness among<br />

motorists of how to behave around horses<br />

on the road, the British Horse Society (BHS)<br />

reports that 66 horses and three equestrians<br />

were killed on our roads in 2023.<br />

In total, 3,383 road incidents involving<br />

horses were recorded via the equine<br />

charity’s Horse i app last year.<br />

This sad news comes after new Highway<br />

Code guidance for equestrians was<br />

strengthened in 2022, giving car, lorry, truck<br />

and motorbikes more responsibility around<br />

horse riders, on account of their increased<br />

Richard Allsop dies, aged 84<br />

The road safety sector has lost one of its<br />

foremost pioneers with the sad news that<br />

Professor Richard Allsop has died after a<br />

short illness.<br />

Richard was one of the pioneers on the<br />

effects of alcohol on driving, an advisor to the<br />

British Government and a key figure in both<br />

the UK’s Parliamentary Advisory Council on<br />

Transport Safety (PACTS) and ETSC.<br />

Throughout his career he built a formidable<br />

reputation in the transport safety field<br />

through timely and meticulous research in<br />

areas such as drink-driving, seatbelts, signal<br />

controlled junctions, risk and choice on roads,<br />

the safe system and the impact of the<br />

Three riders, 66<br />

horses killed on<br />

the roads in 2023<br />

vulnerability.<br />

BHS says: “As part of our Dead Slow road<br />

safety campaign, we are encouraging road<br />

users to evaluate how they pass horses as<br />

well as how impactful passing them too<br />

closely and too quickly can be.<br />

“Road incidents involving equestrians<br />

continue to persist across the UK. Critically,<br />

people and horses are still being killed. We<br />

can do more to change this narrative.”<br />

As part of its plans BHS is rolling out<br />

guidance to motorists and equestrians<br />

throughout <strong>February</strong>.<br />

economic recession on traffic deaths. He was<br />

a committed researcher who wanted to see<br />

his research leading to policy change, not<br />

sitting on the shelf.<br />

As an academic he was highly regarded:<br />

“outstanding” was the view of many. He was<br />

a powerful influence on policy development<br />

and the understanding of road safety.<br />

His work was recognised by an OBE but his<br />

colleagues gave him a greater accolade: a<br />

true gentleman who went out of his way to<br />

help others. It is no exaggeration to say that<br />

many people today owe their lives to his<br />

persistence and rigorous determination in the<br />

cause of road safety.<br />

17


Spotlight: Compulsory CPD<br />

For many years the DVSA has been skirting around the issue of CPD for ADIs,<br />

recommending it strongly but stopping short of making it compulsory. Here<br />

NEIL WIGHTMAN looks at the issue and makes the case for the DVSA getting<br />

off the fence, and making it mandatory for ADIs to upgrade their skills<br />

Let’s get serious and make CPD<br />

mandatory and accountable<br />

I know the idea of CPD is like Marmite: you<br />

either love it or hate it. But I think it’s time to<br />

raise it again, after the DVSA sent an email to<br />

ADIs with an attachment to its CPD template.<br />

It is scary that instructors don’t engage in<br />

training until the ‘official’ email drops into<br />

their inbox. This is one of the biggest<br />

problems I have encountered as an instructor<br />

trainer. Then, panic takes over and they<br />

search for training and an activity that is<br />

enough to get them through the Standards<br />

Check with minimal time spent.<br />

Questions I think need to be asked include,<br />

is introducing a standards check, if targets<br />

are not met, a scare tactic or a way of<br />

improving the pass rates?<br />

I don’t believe it is a way forward as new<br />

pressure builds on the instructor and the<br />

student. Controlling someone’s decision<br />

when you are not there is impossible.<br />

Would it therefore be more beneficial to<br />

make CPD mandatory for instructors and<br />

the industry?<br />

My experience tells me that CPD needs to<br />

be mandatory. For me, CPD has only helped<br />

me move my career forward, opening new<br />

doors, increasing my reputation, and<br />

improving my self-confidence.<br />

My story only profited from my desire not<br />

to become stagnant. From all these benefits,<br />

my company grew, and became an awardwinning<br />

one.<br />

It is time for mandatory CPD and why<br />

continuing professional development should<br />

not be underestimated; it is a career-long<br />

obligation for practising professionals.<br />

Suppose it was mandatory, like in other<br />

professional organisations. Still, mainly at its<br />

core, it is driven by the personal responsibility<br />

of the professionals to keep their knowledge<br />

and skills current to deliver high-quality<br />

service that safeguards the public and meets<br />

the expectations of the customers and the<br />

requirements of their profession.<br />

The outcome of well-planned and<br />

well-crafted, continuing professional<br />

development is important because it benefits<br />

the individual’s career, and public through the<br />

following points.<br />

n CPD ensures your capabilities keep pace<br />

with the standards of others in the same field.<br />

n CPD ensures you maintain and enhance<br />

the knowledge and skills you need to deliver<br />

a professional service to your customers,<br />

clients and the community.<br />

n CPD ensures that you and your<br />

knowledge stay relevant and up to date. You<br />

are more aware of the changing trends and<br />

18 NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024


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

directions in your profession. Change is<br />

probably faster than ever – and this is a<br />

feature of the new normal in which we live and<br />

work. If you stand still you will get left behind,<br />

as the currency of your knowledge and skills<br />

becomes outdated.<br />

n CPD helps you continue to make a<br />

meaningful contribution to your team. You<br />

become more effective in the workplace. It<br />

assists you in advancing your career and<br />

moving into new positions where you can<br />

lead, manage, influence, coach and mentor<br />

others.<br />

n CPD helps you stay interested.<br />

Experience is a great teacher.<br />

n Focused CPD opens you to new<br />

possibilities, knowledge, and skill areas.<br />

n CPD can deliver a deeper understanding<br />

of what it means to be a professional and a<br />

greater appreciation of the implications and<br />

impacts of your work.<br />

n CPD helps advance the body of<br />

knowledge and technology within your<br />

profession.<br />

n CPD can lead to increased public<br />

confidence in individual professionals and<br />

their profession.<br />

n Depending on the profession, CPD<br />

contributes to improved protection and<br />

quality of life, the environment, sustainability,<br />

property and the economy. This particularly<br />

applies to high-risk areas or specialised<br />

sectors – such as driving instruction.<br />

These can all be used as evidence of<br />

continuing professional development for your<br />

revalidation.<br />

n Mandatory training that is not directly<br />

related to your practice.<br />

n Certificates from officially verified CPD<br />

courses. These are more credible to regulators<br />

and businesses as the learning value has been<br />

scrutinised to ensure integrity and quality.<br />

CPD can be split into three types of<br />

learning.<br />

1. Structured CPD / Active Learning<br />

Structured CPD / active learning involves<br />

interactive and participation-based study. It is<br />

typically proactive and can include attending<br />

training courses, workshops, seminars,<br />

conferences, e-learning courses or CPDcertified<br />

events.<br />

CPD active learning can also apply to<br />

professionals taking career-orientated<br />

exams; the study and revision would be<br />

considered self-directed learning.<br />

2. Reflective CPD / Passive Learning<br />

Reflective learning involves no participantbased<br />

interaction, so this form of CPD is much<br />

more passive and one-directional.<br />

Examples include reading relevant news<br />

articles, podcasts and case studies and<br />

industry updates. Some informal meetings<br />

can apply to CPD reflective learning, but the<br />

learning must be clear in an individual’s overall<br />

CPD plan.<br />

3. Self-Directed CPD / Unstructured Learning<br />

Self-directed learning involves all<br />

unaccompanied CPD activities. It covers<br />

reading documents, articles and publications<br />

in print or online. Reading relevant<br />

publications, books by leading experts,<br />

industry journals and trade magazines is<br />

self-directed CPD. You could also include<br />

industry-specific news feeds or research into<br />

appropriate fields.<br />

Adapting positively<br />

Continuing Professional Development<br />

enables individuals to adapt positively to<br />

changes in work and industry requirements.<br />

Planning CPD helps an individual be more<br />

efficient with their time, and recording your<br />

CPD provides the evidence that can be helpful<br />

for meeting professional body obligations and<br />

employer supervision and appraisals.<br />

CPD shows a clear commitment to<br />

self-development and professionalism. It<br />

allows an individual to identify knowledge<br />

gaps and resolve these in a recognisable<br />

approach to improvement.<br />

Accredited CPD providers should make a<br />

Certificate of Attendance available to<br />

individuals to attach to their CPD log as<br />

evidence of development once a training<br />

course is complete or within the desired<br />

learning standards.<br />

I believe in continuous learning and see this<br />

as only a benefit for all instructors. The<br />

biggest challenge to the DVSA and instructors<br />

is increasing the pass rate, but I also believe<br />

we must be recognised as a profession.<br />

What is a professional?<br />

The term ‘professional’ refers to anyone<br />

who earns a living from performing an<br />

activity that requires a certain level of<br />

education, skill, or training.<br />

Let’s be clear. I’m not saying we should<br />

dispose of the Standards Check, because our<br />

teaching abilities must be monitored. Plus, all<br />

this may create better instructor standards<br />

by raising grades.<br />

So, how would a mandatory system work? I<br />

envisaged a file held by the DVSA. Instructors<br />

would upload details and certificates of their<br />

CPD, courses and training to this, which keeps<br />

it relevant and consistent. Instructors could<br />

have a personal development plan (PDP)<br />

where they record the CPD done over the<br />

years in between Standard Checks.<br />

These are my reasons for making CPD<br />

mandatory, and I believe that every person<br />

doing CPD grows their knowledge and<br />

becomes better at “being the best they can<br />

be”.<br />

Continuing professional development<br />

ensures that you continue to be proficient and<br />

competent in your profession while furnishing<br />

you with essential skills to help you progress<br />

with your career.<br />

It’s not just a one-stop shop; it continues<br />

and develops throughout your career.<br />

This is just my opinion.<br />

Neil Wightman M.Inst.MTD is member of MSA<br />

GB as well as a member of the Institute of<br />

Master Tutors of Driving.<br />

NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024 19


Members’ section<br />

MSA GB Annual Conference 2024<br />

It’s a case of all roads lead to Telford as we head to Shropshire<br />

for the MSA GB Annual Conference 2024.<br />

To be held from March 22-23 at the stunning Telford Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort<br />

in Shropshire, our Conference promises to be the ideal mix of information,<br />

debate, advice, education, networking and fun, as the MSA GB membership<br />

comes together to learn more about, and discuss, the big issues of the day.<br />

We are in the middle of confirming all 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 />

Book now!<br />

Early Bird<br />

Prices<br />

EXTENDED<br />

until FEB 23<br />

Telford Hotel,<br />

Spa & Golf<br />

Resort<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 FEBRUARY<br />

23. 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 />

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 />

* Non delegates receive lunch<br />

on the Saturday<br />

Conference<br />

debates,<br />

workshops and<br />

trade stands<br />

Conference day delegate<br />

Conference delegate ticket for Saturday<br />

If booked before<br />

£49<br />

FEBRUARY 23 ...<br />

Ticket price includes coffee on arrival,<br />

morning coffee, lunch and tea in the<br />

afternoon as well as all paperwork and<br />

CPD acknowledgement<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 NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024


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 Dr Julia Malkin MBE<br />

n Representatives from FBTC<br />

PLUS representatives from the DVSA and MSA GB,<br />

with a comprehensive update on the latest news<br />

from across 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 affect<br />

driver trainers<br />

BOOK NOW:<br />

Early Bird discount<br />

ends on <strong>February</strong> 23<br />

NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024 21


Members’ section<br />

MSA GB<br />

membership<br />

offer<br />

MSA GB has arranged a new<br />

membership special offer – a<br />

new breakdown insurance<br />

partnership with trusted<br />

partners Telematicus Services<br />

Limited (t/a Smart Green<br />

Drivers).<br />

Don’t be left in the lurch if<br />

your car breaks down<br />

MSA GB has arranged a great new<br />

membership offer – comprehensive but<br />

cost-effective breakdown insurance cover<br />

from Telematicus Services Limited.<br />

There are two simple and cost-effective<br />

levels of cover for you to choose from.<br />

Telematicus Services Limited (t/a Smart<br />

Green Drivers) provides breakdown cover for<br />

cars, vans and motorcycles at pocketpleasing<br />

prices. However, just because it<br />

costs less than you think, doesn’t mean they<br />

cut any corners and still offer quality, reliable<br />

and trustworthy breakdown cover for all.<br />

Full UK cover<br />

Telematicus Services Limited’s highquality,<br />

low-cost breakdown solution covers<br />

the whole of the UK, and is specifically<br />

designed for the motorist who wishes to be<br />

covered in every eventuality.<br />

What’s included<br />

n No excesses or call out charges.<br />

n For vehicles up to 9 years old<br />

n Home Start.<br />

n Cover for punctures and flat tyres.<br />

n Cover anywhere throughout the UK<br />

n Includes hire car, overnight accommodation<br />

and onward travel options.<br />

n Unlimited callouts during the year of policy.<br />

n Over 3,000 recovery agents nationally.<br />

Telematicus Services Limited policies cover<br />

the vehicle, not the individual, meaning<br />

whoever is driving the vehicle at the time of a<br />

breakdown is eligible to call for assistance.<br />

Cover on holiday, too<br />

For ultimate cover, Telematicus Services<br />

Limited’s Full UK & EU policy has it all.<br />

Providing the same great benefits and<br />

coverage as that of its full UK Cover, but with<br />

the added surety of European travel, it makes<br />

for a complete policy.<br />

What’s included (in addition to the above)<br />

n Cover in any EU member state country<br />

plus Switzerland and Norway.<br />

n Includes extended hire car, overnight<br />

accommodation and onward travel options.<br />

n Unlimited callouts during the term of the<br />

policy<br />

Again, the full UK & EU policies cover the<br />

vehicle, not the individual, meaning whoever<br />

is driving the vehicle at the time of a<br />

breakdown is eligible to call for assistance.<br />

MSA GB vice-chairman Peter Harvey<br />

commented: “We like to think that MSA GB is<br />

the association that never sleeps, as we<br />

continually work to enhance our membership<br />

package, so you always feel supported and<br />

prepared for the wins and challenges that the<br />

life of a driving instructor brings.<br />

“We think this breakdown cover from<br />

Telematicus Services Limited t/a Smart<br />

Green Drivers will give you peace of mind<br />

without the cost usually associated with<br />

cover of this kind, and at a special discount<br />

price for members.”<br />

HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE?<br />

A full set of frequently asked questions can<br />

be found at their website, accessed by<br />

clicking the panel below.<br />

Click here for the full<br />

list of new numbers<br />

To access your breakdown offer please follow<br />

this link.<br />

Click here for the full<br />

list of new numbers<br />

22 NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024


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 />

MEMBER OFFER<br />

What are the latest UK fuel prices?<br />

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

across supermarket, motorway and independent forecourts in the UK, according<br />

to data compiled by the RAC. Prices correct at the end of January. Continuing<br />

instability in the Middle East, affecting both fuel output and transport through the<br />

Red Sea, risks causing price rises in the coming weeks.<br />

UNLEADED<br />

DIESEL<br />

UK average 140.44p 148.42p<br />

Motorway 163.88p 172.49p<br />

Supermarkets 138p 146.2p<br />

MEMBER OFFER<br />

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

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

breathalyser kits AlcoSense to bring our members a<br />

very special offer.<br />

The AlcoSense kits give an instant and accurate<br />

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

your/their system, and are particularly useful ‘the<br />

morning after.’<br />

Peter Harvey, MSA GB national vice chairman,<br />

commented: “These are a quality product. They arrive<br />

well packaged, with the required batteries, five<br />

mouthpieces and full instructions. They are very easy to<br />

use, with a simple menu, and can be adjusted to suit the<br />

country you are in depending on the legal limit there.<br />

Once set up, the breathalyser gives a very clear reading<br />

in traffic light colours, making it easy to follow.<br />

“Green, as you would expect, tells you you are okay to<br />

drive. Amber advises you that alcohol is present but you<br />

are below the limit you entered at set up – though it is so<br />

important to check what the limit is in the country you<br />

use it. Red is pretty self-explanatory – Don’t drive.<br />

“The set is very compact, about the same size as a<br />

mobile phone but a little deeper. It is ideal for eliminating<br />

any concerns you may have the morning after – or for<br />

your pupils.”<br />

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

https://alcosense.co.uk/alcosense.html.<br />

But we’ve negotiated a special discount on the entire<br />

AlcoSense range (except single-use disposables) of 10<br />

per cent for members IF BOUGHT THROUGH THE MSA<br />

GB WEBSITE – from the entry-level Lite 2 (£44.99) to<br />

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

options available. Go to<br />

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

to secure your member discount.<br />

NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024 23


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 />

24 NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024


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

FAQs on the new membership service<br />

Q: How do I use the service?<br />

A: You just call AIIS’s emergency<br />

assistance number on 01945 425211.<br />

Q: What will the service cost me?<br />

A: Just the cost of a call.<br />

Q: Should I notify my insurance company?<br />

A: Absolutely, although AIIS will also talk to<br />

them to confirm hire provision and, where<br />

appropriate, details of the repairer.<br />

Q: What if my vehicle is not drivable?<br />

A: AIIS will recover the vehicle to safe<br />

storage and get you home or to a<br />

nominated location.<br />

Q: Is this an insurance product that I need<br />

to purchase?<br />

A: No, the service is provided to you on a<br />

no-cost basis.<br />

Q: What if my vehicle is drivable?<br />

A: AIIS can arrange for an estimate to<br />

completed and deliver the car to the<br />

repairer to ensure that you are mobile<br />

throughout the process and that there is<br />

no loss of income.<br />

Emergency crash protocol: What to do if you are involved in a crash<br />

In the event of a crash, call 01945 425211 to use the AIIS offer<br />

More MSA GB membership offers<br />

and discounts - see pg 38-39<br />

NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024 25


Members’ section<br />

New membership service: Find My Local<br />

MSA GB Instructor directory launched<br />

Cut through the competition<br />

by advertising your skills on<br />

MSA GB’s own ADI directory<br />

With the DVSA (https://tinyurl.com/<br />

4b3t9a9e) reporting a 24 per cent increase in<br />

the number of new driving instructor<br />

registrations in 2022/2023, compared to<br />

2020/2021, our industry is set to become<br />

even more competitive as driving instructors<br />

do battle to gain the attention of those<br />

wanting to learn to drive.<br />

To help MSA GB members cut through the<br />

industry noise and raise their profile, we’re<br />

delighted to announce the launch of our<br />

online ‘Find My Local MSA GB Instructor’<br />

directory, which will be proudly displayed on<br />

the MSA GB home page and on the MSA GB<br />

App.<br />

Once live, this new directory will be easily<br />

accessible by the public, who can use our<br />

simple search engine to source a driving<br />

instructor in their local area, who suits their<br />

learning needs.<br />

For MSA GB members it couldn’t be simpler<br />

to input your details and make sure you stand<br />

out from the crowd. We’ve included several<br />

opportunities for you to highlight any special<br />

skills or teaching experience that you may<br />

have, for example teaching pupils with<br />

disabilities or those who are particularly<br />

anxious drivers.<br />

To upload your profile onto the MSA GB<br />

directory, all you need to do is:<br />

n Log into the Member Area<br />

n Look to the left of the page and scroll<br />

down until you see three blue arrow tabs.<br />

n Click on the tab - ‘Add Directory listing’<br />

n You will then be taken to the following<br />

page:<br />

n Input your details and upload your photo<br />

(adding your photo is optional)<br />

n Once you’ve inputted all your details,<br />

check that all your information is correct<br />

n Tick the box if you agree to share your<br />

details on the website. Please note if you do<br />

not tick the box your details will not appear<br />

on the on the Find My Local MSA GB<br />

Instructor directory.<br />

n Click submit – and your done!<br />

This is just one of the many fantastic<br />

benefits that MSA GB members get to enjoy<br />

with their membership, which also includes:<br />

n PI & PL Insurance cover totalling £10<br />

million.<br />

n Legal & Technical Advice<br />

n Member Representation<br />

n Access to a wealth of exclusive<br />

information and downloadable resources<br />

n Member Discounts<br />

n Our monthly digital industry magazine<br />

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

n Comprehensive driving school cover.<br />

We hope registering is a straightforward<br />

process, but if you need any assistance, or<br />

have any queries, don’t hesitate to contact<br />

our membership team on info@msagb.com<br />

or 01787 221 020<br />

26 NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024


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 <strong>Newslink</strong> 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 <strong>February</strong> (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 January and August)<br />

at Heswall FC, Brimstage Road, Heswall,<br />

Wirral CH60 1XG<br />

Further information and to join, please visit<br />

the website.<br />

Why join a local association?<br />

Local news, local input – a local voice...<br />

If you want to see your local ADI group listed in this index,<br />

contact Peter Harvey on peterharveymbe@msagb.com<br />

NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024 27


Towards your CPD<br />

Changing driver behaviour<br />

needs us to introduce them<br />

to the ‘wheel of change’<br />

Steve Garrod considers how<br />

the ‘Wheel of Change’, invented<br />

by psychologists in the 1980s,<br />

can be used to influence driver<br />

behaviour for the better<br />

I have been fortunate to be involved in<br />

working on drink driving rehabilitation<br />

courses for the last year or so, and one of the<br />

elements that we discuss is the Wheel of<br />

Change.<br />

Developed in 1982 by psychologists James<br />

Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente, the Wheel<br />

of Change describes the stages how and why<br />

people change, either on their own or with<br />

the help of a professional. The model has<br />

been used to helping people to change their<br />

addictive behaviour, such as alcohol and drug<br />

dependency, losing weight and adopting a<br />

healthy diet, or to improve someone’s current<br />

situation.<br />

There is a reason it’s called a wheel and<br />

that is that people can spin through the<br />

process several times before finding a stable<br />

kind of change.<br />

Step by step<br />

The stages apply with any kind of change<br />

you try to make on your own, such as a New<br />

Year’s resolution, but it is often more helpful<br />

for the person’s mentor, or coach to<br />

understand these stages as well. (How many<br />

New Year resolutions work?) Regardless or<br />

not of if you try something on your own or<br />

with help, the stages remain the same. The<br />

most important thing is to have motivation,<br />

even when things go wrong.<br />

What I find interesting is how it can be used<br />

in training qualified drivers, whether it is as<br />

part of a fleet training day, someone looking<br />

to take an advanced test (part 2 ADI, for<br />

example) or someone undergoing remedial<br />

training after a ban or a road traffic incident.<br />

Prochaska & DiClemente’s<br />

Wheel of Change, 1982<br />

When trying any new skill there will always<br />

be a time when we revert to old habits, in this<br />

case it is called ‘relapse’. Without sufficient<br />

motivation it is easy to admit defeat, such as<br />

someone trying not to break the speed limit<br />

gets a ‘toot’ from a following motorist, which<br />

they perceive as them now driving too slowly<br />

and justifying whey they feel they need to<br />

speed.<br />

As you can see from the diagram above,<br />

there are various stages of the model (and<br />

the behaviour expected of the person<br />

experiencing change) and it may be useful to<br />

discus these to show you how we can use<br />

this for many of our own clients.<br />

Pre-contemplation: A logical starting point<br />

for the model. This is where a person may be<br />

unaware that there’s a problem and sees no<br />

intention to change behaviour, for example a<br />

driver who consistently breaks the speed<br />

limit and sees no reason to change their<br />

ways, because ‘everyone speeds’. This is<br />

known as ‘downward comparison’. It is when<br />

someone looks for an easy way out in an<br />

attempt to justify why they speed.<br />

Think of a delivery driver who says he<br />

must park on the pavement to do his<br />

deliveries or has to speed to get his deliveries<br />

completed on time. Dare I say this can also be<br />

the same with someone failing a Standards<br />

Check. I know many who have been<br />

unsuccessful and have not taken any training<br />

prior to the Standards Check, which then<br />

28 NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024


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

The wheel of change can be used<br />

to challenge those who<br />

persistently speed and are happy<br />

to justify their actions<br />

places them on this part of the wheel.<br />

Contemplation: This is where the person<br />

becomes aware that there is a problem, but<br />

has made no commitment to change. This<br />

could be when they receive a speeding fine or<br />

following a near miss.<br />

In the first chapter of Roadcraft, it explains<br />

the importance of reflecting on any near<br />

misses and taking responsibility for our own<br />

actions and admitting we could do something<br />

to reduce the risk of such an incident being<br />

repeated.<br />

Following a training session the driver may<br />

be aware of the problems that cause them to<br />

drive too fast, such as not being able to<br />

recognise changing speed limits, so they now<br />

have the knowledge to put what they have<br />

learnt into practice when driving alone. It is<br />

the time when someone thinks about<br />

additional training.<br />

Preparation: The person is intent on taking<br />

action to correct the problem.<br />

This usually requires buy-in from the client<br />

(ie, the client is convinced that the change is<br />

good) and increased self-efficacy (ie, the<br />

client believes they can make change). This<br />

can follow a training session, for instance,<br />

someone can identify ways to drive within<br />

the speed limit.<br />

This is where a driver-trainer can play an<br />

essential role with careful coaching<br />

techniques. When we think of training<br />

qualified drivers we have to sell road safety to<br />

them, because it is unlikely they will be taking<br />

another driving test, therefore they need to<br />

see the benefits of driving in a way that<br />

saves them fuel, stress and points on their<br />

licence.<br />

Action: The person is in active modification of<br />

behaviour. This means they can drive in the<br />

same way when they are not on a training<br />

session. Something I often hear is when I<br />

train someone for the Part two test of driving<br />

ability is that they don’t get enough time to<br />

practice their driving in between training<br />

sessions, even though they drive to and from<br />

work each day, or they actually drive for<br />

work.<br />

The Action stage means that they are<br />

willing and understand the need to drive in<br />

“A person may be unaware that there’s a problem and sees no<br />

intention to change behaviour, for example a driver who<br />

consistently breaks the speed limit and sees no reason to change<br />

their ways, because ‘everyone speeds’. This is known as ‘downward<br />

comparison’. It is when someone looks for an easy way out in an<br />

attempt to justify why they break the law...”<br />

the new way at all times so that it becomes<br />

natural and not that they can ‘pull-it-out-ofthe-hat’<br />

on their Part 2 Driving test.<br />

Maintenance: Sustained change occurs and<br />

new behaviour replaces old ones. This can<br />

take more time than expected, but the<br />

person is now driving in the new way most, if<br />

not all of the time. This can be likened to a<br />

golfer learning how to restructure their<br />

swing, the new swing has become natural,<br />

even under pressure. This is the challenging<br />

phase and it means there has been no relapse<br />

into old ways.<br />

Relapse: The person falls back into old<br />

patterns of behaviour. This is quite common<br />

and many people find excuses for their<br />

relapse rather than accepting that things take<br />

time to change.<br />

An example could be that a company driver<br />

has attended a course following them gaining<br />

speeding points and has been doing well until<br />

he is under pressure and feels the need to<br />

resort to his old habits of speeding to make<br />

an appointment on time. The important thing<br />

is to get back onto the wheel before getting<br />

stuck at this stage.<br />

When we coach qualified drivers we need<br />

to explain that it is only natural to feel that<br />

they may be holding up other drivers, if they<br />

have been used to driving too fast in the past,<br />

and that the feeling will go away with enough<br />

practice.<br />

It’s important that whatever new skill is<br />

being learnt, we should not be too hard on<br />

ourselves for a relapse.<br />

If you have a few minutes, perhaps reflect<br />

on something you would like to change and<br />

see how this Wheel of Change could help you.<br />

NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024 29


Road safety news<br />

Euro road safety chief slams<br />

plans for young HGV riders<br />

The chief of the European Transport Safety<br />

Council (ETSC) has slammed EU politicians<br />

for planning to lower the age at which drivers<br />

can become HGV drivers to 18.<br />

It’s a proposal we reported on in the<br />

January issue of <strong>Newslink</strong>, but since then<br />

anger at the plan has grown among European<br />

road safety organisations.<br />

Encouraging teenagers to drive lorries<br />

would be a “dangerous experiment”, Antonio<br />

Avenoso said.<br />

He points out in a widely circulated article<br />

that since 2006, “the European Union has<br />

sensibly recommended a minimum age of 21<br />

for lorry drivers, and 24 for bus drivers.<br />

“But in recent years, the road transport<br />

industry has been pushing to lower these<br />

minimums as a cheap way of solving the<br />

recruitment crisis in the sector.”<br />

Avenoso says that “offering better<br />

conditions, more reasonable driving and rest<br />

times and less time away from home” would<br />

be better ways to cure any recruitment<br />

difficulties the road industry sector has.<br />

But “the road industry lobbying has<br />

worked. With the EU’s blessing, a number of<br />

member states have lowered the minimum<br />

age — usually to 18 for lorry drivers — as long<br />

as the youngsters have completed additional<br />

professional training in addition to the<br />

required practical and theory tests.<br />

“But the icing on the cake for the transport<br />

sector would be if all member states were<br />

required to do this, and teenagers could drive<br />

lorries across the continent.”<br />

But that won’t be enough, as the industry<br />

wants to go further still, “and allow 16 and<br />

17-year-olds to begin accompanied driving of<br />

lorries, to begin driving solo as soon as they<br />

hit 18.”<br />

Avenoso says he was disappointed that<br />

last month, the European Commission gave in<br />

to the pressure and published a proposed<br />

revision of rules on driving licences that<br />

would require member states to offer an<br />

accompanied driving scheme enabling<br />

17-year-olds to drive a lorry. The idea was<br />

backed by the European Parliament’s<br />

transport committee.<br />

“The industry declares that it would have<br />

no impact on road safety,” he says, “but it has<br />

provided no evidence to support its claim.”<br />

Indeed, the statistics on young lorry<br />

drivers are extremely worrying. Research by<br />

the German Insurance Association (GDV)<br />

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

much higher number of collisions resulting in<br />

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

registered for that age group when compared<br />

to all other HGV driver age groups. ETSC has<br />

also analysed data from Finland and Poland<br />

— other countries that allow younger lorry<br />

drivers, and it shows the same thing.<br />

The idea must be stopped in its tracks<br />

“The science shows that inexperience is<br />

only one of multiple factors affecting young<br />

drivers,” Avenoso said. “Young people<br />

undergo significant biological and social<br />

changes between the ages of 15 and 25. Brain<br />

development is ongoing throughout this<br />

period and is not complete until well into the<br />

“Offering better conditions, more<br />

reasonable driving and rest<br />

times and less time away from<br />

home would be better ways to<br />

cure any recruitment difficulties<br />

the road industry sector has,<br />

rather than just hiring cheaper<br />

younger drivers”<br />

twenties. Consequently, when young people<br />

are learning to drive, their cognitive abilities<br />

are still not completely developed.<br />

“This affects their perception of, and<br />

attitude towards, risk. Cognitive development<br />

during puberty can lead to greater emotional<br />

instability and behaviour that is more<br />

assertive.<br />

“Thus, as road users, young people tend to<br />

display risky behaviours and have a<br />

diminished appreciation of the hazards they<br />

face.<br />

“Biological research shows that, at the age<br />

of 18, areas of the human brain responsible<br />

for the integration of information and impulse<br />

control are still developing.<br />

“Encouraging an estimated additional<br />

13,500 teenagers to start driving lorries<br />

would be a vast and dangerous experiment,<br />

leading to many more of the highest-risk<br />

group of drivers behind the wheel of vehicles<br />

that cause the most devastation when<br />

crashed.”<br />

He ended with an appeal to the European<br />

Parliament “to reflect on the implications of<br />

what would be a serious step backwards for<br />

road safety in Europe. Teenagers driving<br />

lorries is an idea that must be stopped in its<br />

tracks. ”<br />

• Antonio Avenoso in the Executive Director<br />

of the ETSC<br />

30 NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024


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

Ireland considering<br />

alcolocks for offenders<br />

Ireland is looking at introducing alcohol<br />

interlocks in a bid to curb drink-driving.<br />

A key action of Ireland’s Government<br />

Road Safety Strategy is for tougher<br />

drink-driving penalties, with an alcohol<br />

interlock programme, supported by a<br />

drink-drive rehabilitation course for<br />

high-risk drink-drive offenders, one<br />

option being considered.<br />

The announcement came as new<br />

research from the Road Safety<br />

Authority (RSA) found that one in 10<br />

Irish motorists have driven after<br />

consuming alcohol in the last 12<br />

months.<br />

Of those who admitted to consuming<br />

alcohol, the incidence was higher<br />

among male drivers (14%), those who<br />

drive for work (14%), and those with a<br />

history of collision involvement (24%).<br />

Almost one in three (28%) of this<br />

group admitted to consuming two or<br />

more drinks on the last occasion they<br />

drove after consuming alcohol, in the<br />

last 12 months.<br />

Nearly three-quarters of motorists<br />

agreed that ‘most of my friends think<br />

driving under the influence of alcohol is<br />

unacceptable’. But in 2019 this figure<br />

was 85%, suggesting a concerning<br />

decline.<br />

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director<br />

of ETSC said: “To reach the EU target to<br />

cut road deaths by 50% by 2030, it’s<br />

essential to tackle drink-driving.<br />

“Several EU countries are looking at<br />

alcohol ignition interlock devices for<br />

those prosecuted for drink-driving,<br />

including France and Poland. It is a trend<br />

in the right direction.”<br />

Public health body leads calls for<br />

tougher rules on new drivers<br />

Arthur Mynott<br />

MSA GB<br />

West Coast & Wales<br />

I must admit I was at a loss as to what to<br />

write about this month when, all of a sudden,<br />

I came across an article of great interest to<br />

me and I think will be to you also.<br />

It appeared on dailypost.co.uk which<br />

covers news from North Wales and was<br />

headlined Night-time curfews and passenger<br />

plan for young drivers in Wales.<br />

On reading this article it states that the<br />

National Health Institute for Wales wants a<br />

progressive licensing system for newly<br />

qualified drivers, basically a form of<br />

Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL).<br />

Public Health Wales (PHW) is<br />

recommending the introduction of GDL in the<br />

hope that it would save lives by imposing<br />

restrictions on newly qualified drivers under<br />

the age of 25 for the first six to 12 months.<br />

They have submitted their recommendations<br />

to a 12-week Welsh Government<br />

consultation on its new road safety strategy.<br />

The Association of British Insurers<br />

supports GDL, claiming that young drivers<br />

are a “major danger on the road” and the<br />

current licensing system is flawed as it allows<br />

young people to drive unaccompanied as<br />

soon as they pass their test.<br />

PHW said that younger drivers should be<br />

eased behind the wheel via progressive<br />

licensing while they gain experience and skills<br />

gradually over time.<br />

Extra restrictions on newly qualified<br />

drivers including night curfews and<br />

passenger limits were rejected by the UK<br />

Government in January 2022 because young<br />

drivers need to use their cars for work.<br />

I know there is more on this in this issue of<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong> (see page 8).<br />

Whatever your views, the outcome of the<br />

Welsh Government consultation will make<br />

interesting reading!<br />

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults<br />

The MSA GB Safeguarding of Vulnerable<br />

Adults Webinar is booked for Sunday, 25th<br />

<strong>February</strong>, starting at 9.30am. There are still a<br />

couple of spaces available.<br />

See the panel below for more details, but<br />

the key point is that it will last about three<br />

hours and will be a really useful course that<br />

will give us really important information on<br />

how to handle societal issues affecting our<br />

young pupils, and how we can help them<br />

overcome them.<br />

To book for this event please contact me<br />

via my details below.<br />

Contact:<br />

Arthur Mynott,<br />

MSA GB West Coast & Wales Chairman<br />

arthur.mynott@yahoo.com<br />

Tel 07989 852274.<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, <strong>February</strong> 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 />

CONTACT<br />

Arthur Mynott, Chairman West Coast &<br />

Wales MSA GB<br />

Tel 07989852274<br />

arthur.mynott@msagb.com<br />

NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024 31


Area News<br />

The idea of young LGV drivers leaves<br />

me cold... as does trusting ‘perfect’ AI<br />

John Lomas<br />

MSA GB<br />

West Coast<br />

& Wales<br />

I read the article in January’s <strong>Newslink</strong>,<br />

which outlined how the EU was looking at<br />

allowing 17-year-olds to learn to drive<br />

LGVs, with interest.<br />

I understand that in the UK you can start<br />

to learn on Cat C and Cat D vehicles at 18<br />

though there are restrictions, such as<br />

having your Cat B licence for two years<br />

prior to starting on Cat C. I remember doing<br />

a piece a few years back about an 18-yearold<br />

who drove his, and his friends, own<br />

school bus because he was allowed to do<br />

certain types of short journey.<br />

If the EU does change its qualifying ages<br />

are we spared having those younger LGV<br />

drivers, or even the 16-year-old car drivers<br />

on our roads by virtue of our having left<br />

the EU?<br />

I hope so because that gives me another<br />

reason to cheer.<br />

There are some youngsters in rural areas<br />

of the ‘U S of A’ who can acquire a driver<br />

permit at 14 or so, but I am assured that<br />

they cannot come here on holiday and<br />

drive on our roads, because they have not<br />

reached our normal minimum driving age<br />

of 17 years. Hopefully that same regulation<br />

would apply to continental drivers who<br />

don’t fit with our age profiles.<br />

BMW or Thunderbirds<br />

Nice one Janet! In the last issue of<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong> she posed a picture question. If<br />

you recall it it had a red car on which<br />

appeared to be an Austin 7 which was<br />

licence built in Germany. The original<br />

licencee was Dixi later bought by BMW. I<br />

believe Nissan also built some but there is<br />

an argument as to whether they were<br />

licence built or reverse engineered copies.<br />

The pink Thunderbirds car – Lady<br />

Penelope’s FAB 1 – is of the type used in<br />

the later TV series. Rolls Royce/BMW<br />

refused to have anything to do with it so<br />

Ford was involved in making the full<br />

six-wheeled one, and there are design<br />

elements of the previous Thunderbird<br />

model in it. Back in the early 70s there was<br />

a full size model of the early FAB1 doing the<br />

rounds of Vauxhall garages so I assume<br />

they built that one.<br />

Artificial Intelligence<br />

Some mentioned Artifical Intelligence<br />

(AI) to me the other day, and it got me<br />

thinking about what it meant. Many people<br />

would like you to ONLY think of these<br />

definitions:<br />

Made by people, often as a copy of<br />

something natural: ie, Artificial Heart,<br />

artificial lake, artificial fur/sweetners/<br />

flowers.<br />

They would rather you didn’t think about<br />

this one:<br />

Not Sincere: i.e. Their cheerfulness seemed<br />

rather strained and artificial.<br />

However, as driving instructors you are<br />

working in a hazardous environment and we<br />

have seen far too many examples over the<br />

years of computer systems being thrust<br />

upon us by supposedly knowledgable<br />

authorities/agencies. There are many in our<br />

number who will remember the Capita fiasco<br />

when DSA (might have been DVSA) used that<br />

company for a new ‘more efficient’ booking<br />

system.<br />

Even now, with the Post Office computer<br />

fiasco ongoing, people are still asking us to<br />

trust computer algorithms and the<br />

‘intelligentsia’ who write them. Also never<br />

believe anyone who tells you that systems<br />

cannot be accessed remotely; any computer<br />

programmer who hasn’t built a backdoor into<br />

a system has failed to do his/her job properly.<br />

I have no doubt that you will have had<br />

pupils conned by fake DVSA websites when<br />

looking to book their tests. That is just<br />

another example of how unreliable the<br />

internet is and so called Artificial Intelligence<br />

will only make it less reliable.<br />

At the moment DVSA is giving successful<br />

test candidates a paper certificate, although<br />

the DVSA to DVLA admin is being done by<br />

electronic means for the issuing of the new<br />

full driving licences. BUT at some time in the<br />

future they will stop doing that. If you doubt<br />

me, think about how many organisations<br />

including government bodies are clamouring<br />

for you to go paperless.<br />

When they do go paperless what is going<br />

32 NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024


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

<strong>February</strong>’s strange sign<br />

Left, yet another strange sign. Do you have<br />

any ideas of what could possibly be the<br />

purpose of a road sign which says ‘Sign Not In<br />

Use?’ I have seen signs which are used<br />

occasionally but they are normally hinged<br />

across the middle so are blank usually, and<br />

only visible when required; this does not<br />

appear to be such a sign.<br />

to happen when the inevitable happens and<br />

someone’s pass record doesn’t get<br />

transferred correctly to the DVLA,<br />

particularly if DVSA can’t find the record in its<br />

database either?<br />

Couldn’t happen, I hear you say. Really?<br />

Back in the late 1980s/early ’90s I knew<br />

an instructor who, after moving home,<br />

couldn’t find his driving licence. No problem,<br />

just pay the fee and get a new one, except<br />

that when he contacted Swansea they<br />

couldn’t find his records (and this was in the<br />

days of hard copies, not electronic bits).<br />

The DSA, as it was then, knew he must<br />

have a licence, after all they had inspected it<br />

at the time he took his ADI tests. But none of<br />

that mattered. After a lot of heartache he<br />

actually had to get a new provisional and take<br />

an L-test to get his full licence back.<br />

Amazingly the DSA actually permitted him<br />

to carry on instructing all the while.<br />

Hastings and Bexhill<br />

But would everything be handled so<br />

smoothly if it is a computer glitch in the<br />

future? I suggest that past experiences with<br />

CAPITA, Fujitsu and the Post Office, say it<br />

wouldn’t.<br />

See-through truck (photo on facing page)<br />

Have you ever thought, when following a<br />

large vehicle, “I wonder what is in front of it?”<br />

Well, in Moscow, someone has turned the<br />

back of a truck into an LCD screen with a feed<br />

from a CCTV camera at the front of the truck.<br />

I saw it on a FaceBook reels thread and took a<br />

screen grab of it.<br />

But having seen a picture of it I have<br />

started to wonder whether a following driver<br />

might get so enthralled watching the screen<br />

that he might fail to notice if the truck<br />

suddenly stopped.<br />

What do you think?<br />

CCTV<br />

There have been a number of vandalism<br />

attacks, painting keying and tyre piercing, on<br />

4x4s and SUVs which are being targeted by<br />

people claiming to be environmentalists.<br />

The police have been quite forthright in<br />

asking for CCTV footage from whatever<br />

sources are available, including doorbell cams.<br />

These requests have got me quite puzzled<br />

as the residents in the housing scheme<br />

where I am now living have been told in no<br />

uncertain terms that any CCTV is only<br />

permitted to show activity within the<br />

curtilage of our properties, and that includes<br />

doorbell cameras which cannot be used<br />

because our doors are our boundaries.<br />

Would the police be able to use evidence<br />

from the CCTVs that they are seeking? After<br />

all it would surely be tainted evidence having<br />

come from an illegal source. Is anybody<br />

providing such footage to the police laying<br />

themselves open to prosecution for improper<br />

use of CCTV?<br />

This might seem a trivial matter, but many<br />

of you have dashcams in your tuition cars, the<br />

footage from which can be vital in case of a<br />

crash involving your vehicle. What is the legal<br />

position if your footage shows a third party’s<br />

crash. Does it have the same protection that<br />

you have as a witness in person?<br />

Neil Palmer writes... On Monday, January 22, driving instructors from across Hastings and Bexhill enjoyed an<br />

evening out at a local Indian restaurant. It was a great night, with wonderful food and some lively conversation.<br />

There were plenty of great anecdotes shared alongside the normal chatter you’d expect from a group of ADIs<br />

– L-test waiting times and potholes!<br />

NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024 33


Area News<br />

Too fast, or not fast enough?<br />

Janet<br />

Stewart<br />

London & the<br />

South East<br />

“Driving on an empty<br />

motorway, sticking to<br />

70mph, can seem absurd...”<br />

Driving too fast remains the biggest cause of<br />

crashes and the major contributor to fatalities<br />

on our roads.<br />

Many people, particularly driving<br />

instructors, would say that there are times<br />

when 20mph is too fast, but equally that<br />

70mph is sometimes too slow. So what, if<br />

anything, do we need to do?<br />

I am reminded of Cato who began every<br />

speech in the forum with Carthago delenda<br />

est – forever calling for the destruction of<br />

Carthage. I am forever saying it will all be<br />

alright once everyone is in a self-driving<br />

vehicle. I do, however, realise that I am being<br />

as tedious as Cato, despite the fact that<br />

Carthage was eventually destroyed by the<br />

Romans.<br />

According to RoSPA, crashes with<br />

pedestrians resulting in a fatality drop from<br />

20 per cent at 30mph to 2.5 per cent at<br />

20mph. For 2021/22 there were 2.3 million<br />

fixed penalty notices issued for speeding.<br />

This is the highest on record but may be<br />

skewed by Covid and lockdown. Roads were<br />

far less busy and, therefore, the ‘speeders’<br />

felt safer and may well have thought they<br />

were less likely to be caught. Nonetheless, it<br />

is a staggeringly high figure.<br />

Has the 20mph limit in Wales been a<br />

success? Is it too early to tell? (see page 8 for<br />

more on this). What seems clear is that<br />

drivers struggle to stick to a speed limit that<br />

they think is inappropriate or just plain silly.<br />

Is it possible to individually monitor and<br />

assess every road in the country and then<br />

give it a suitable limit? Well, hardly! Lee<br />

Puffett of Which? says “Lower speed limits<br />

should be considered when the road narrows<br />

and twists. There is no point introducing a<br />

20mph limit on a wide open country road, so<br />

a sensible evidence-based approach is<br />

required”.<br />

Unfortunately, yes, until such time as<br />

drivers assess every road, driving condition,<br />

weather and their own ability and make<br />

appropriate judgements, Carthago dele ... or,<br />

as my mother would have said, “When<br />

Nelson gets his eye back”.<br />

Dual carriageway<br />

While driving back from Suffolk a few<br />

weeks ago there was a stretch of dual<br />

carriageway temporarily marked with a<br />

50mph speed limit. There were no road works<br />

going on. I was overtaken by everyone – and I<br />

do mean everyone – while my husband<br />

squirmed next to me, but he agreed that I<br />

was doing the right thing. Clearly, the locals<br />

knew that there was nothing happening and,<br />

in fact, I was causing a danger by obeying the<br />

law. So, what to do?<br />

Driving back from Scotland on the M6 on a<br />

beautiful moonlit night on an empty road,<br />

sticking to 70mph, does seem absurd, but I do<br />

(mostly). In various places I have travelled to<br />

in the past year or so, two limits are shown<br />

– one for dry weather and another for wet or<br />

icy. No chance of we Brits complying with<br />

“In various places I have<br />

driven, two limits are shown<br />

– one for dry weather and<br />

another for wet or icy. No<br />

chance of we Brits complying<br />

with that sort of faff – trying to<br />

decide whether drizzle is or is<br />

not rain...”<br />

that sort of faff – trying to decide whether<br />

drizzle is or is not rain.<br />

Worrying trend<br />

A survey undertaken some months ago of<br />

young men aged 17-24 found that only 43%<br />

thought speeding was unacceptable. Dr<br />

Gemma Briggs, Professor of Applied<br />

Cognitive Psychology, said “Most drivers<br />

consider themselves to be ‘better than<br />

average’. They feel that while other drivers<br />

should not speed, their own increased skill<br />

means that they can handle a bit of extra<br />

speed”.<br />

Consequently, every journey completed<br />

without incident reinforces and confirms that<br />

their speeding is acceptable.<br />

I end where I began. We know that<br />

increased technology in cars is having a<br />

positive effect on road safety simply because<br />

some cars will themselves avoid crashing into<br />

each other. However, this may lead some<br />

drivers to rely too heavily on the tech their<br />

vehicle has.<br />

There are, too, many people who think that<br />

their own skill exceeds anything that the car<br />

can do for them and will not want to trust the<br />

car’s capabilities.<br />

For all our sakes, and that of the planet, we<br />

need to move to self-driving all electric<br />

vehicles just as quickly as we can.<br />

34 NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024


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

Experienced professional to<br />

lead safeguarding course<br />

Paul Harmes<br />

MSA GB Area 2 Deputy Chairman<br />

MSA GB Area 2 (East Coast) is hosting a<br />

safeguarding training event on April 4.<br />

To be run online, it will start at 10am and<br />

run until 3pm, with a break in the middle at a<br />

suitable time for lunch.<br />

The discounted cost to MSA members is<br />

£45 and to non-members £70.<br />

All participants will receive a safeguarding<br />

certificate for completing Level 1 and a work<br />

booklet. The course counts as CPD, too.<br />

Safeguarding is how we can protect<br />

children, young people and vulnerable adults<br />

from abuse or neglect by the actions, or lack<br />

of actions, of another person. In order to<br />

safeguard and protect persons from abuse or<br />

neglect, we need to learn how to identify<br />

vulnerable individuals and take necessary<br />

steps to stop abuse and neglect.<br />

This qualification is suitable for all persons<br />

and will provide an understanding of<br />

safeguarding which can be used in a<br />

workplace, activity group or any instance<br />

where a person comes into contact with<br />

children or adults at risk.<br />

The qualification provides learners with the<br />

knowledge to identify a safeguarding<br />

concern, record a disclosure and report to the<br />

appropriate person.<br />

TO ENROL<br />

Click here to enrol<br />

on the course<br />

When you enrol we will need your full name<br />

and email address to send you the joining link,<br />

which will be sent nearer the event.<br />

About our course leader<br />

The course will be lead by Neil Wightma.<br />

Neil is a driving mentor who is dedicated to<br />

helping individuals achieve their full potential.<br />

As an ORDIT (Official Register of Driving<br />

Instructor Training) registered instructor<br />

trainer, Neil is recognised for his expertise<br />

and qualifications in training driving<br />

instructors.<br />

Furthermore, Neil is a safeguarding<br />

instructor, which indicates his commitment<br />

to ensuring the safety and well-being of his<br />

students.<br />

Safeguarding instructors play a crucial role<br />

in educating driving instructors about child<br />

protection, vulnerable adult safeguarding, and<br />

other related topics.<br />

Neil takes pride in his work and is<br />

passionate about assisting others in reaching<br />

their highest potential.<br />

Hope to see you there.<br />

ADI training to teach pupils with Special Needs<br />

6 Hour Courses, Online One-To-One Training for Driving Instructors<br />

From communication problems to behavioural difficulties, these courses are designed to help you as<br />

a driving instructor. Learn to support all your pupils, in your car, all the way to test!<br />

Courses available:<br />

n Introduction to Neurodiversity in Your Car<br />

n Introduction to the Autistic Spectrum<br />

n Introduction to ADHD<br />

n Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia<br />

and Irlen’s Syndrome<br />

n Anxiety and Confidence Building<br />

in Lessons<br />

n Anxiety and the Driving Test<br />

n Communication and Special Needs<br />

n Setting and Achieving Goals with<br />

Neurodiverse People<br />

n Sensory Sensitivity and Related Issues<br />

n Neurodiversity and the Driving Test<br />

n Improving Low Self-Esteem<br />

n Challenging Situations and Special Needs<br />

Learn all about a subject in SIX hours! No matter where you are, you can learn<br />

online, with live one-to-one training delivered by Julia Malkin through Messenger<br />

or WhatsApp, with hours to suit you.<br />

£200 for 6 hours of live, one-to-one training in your chosen subject – a small<br />

deposit secures your place.<br />

Delivered by Dr Julia S. A. Malkin, MBE<br />

MA, BA (Hons), FdA (MVCO), Dip. DI, LCGI, MInstMTD, FARRM<br />

What Julia’s<br />

clients said:<br />

‘Absolutely amazing<br />

trainer for driving<br />

instructors with SEN<br />

pupils’ - H.S.M.<br />

‘I cannot recommend<br />

Julia highly enough.<br />

What an experience’ –<br />

K.G.<br />

Winner of the Prince<br />

Michael International<br />

Road Safety Award for<br />

Innovation 2012 and<br />

Intelligent Instructor<br />

Special Needs Provider<br />

Award 2019<br />

Contact Julia for further details and to book via 07761 064 694 or julia.mbe2011@gmail.com<br />

NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024 35


Special feature<br />

The Community Off-road<br />

Transport Action Group was<br />

formed in 2004, using owners’<br />

4x4s to create an impromptu<br />

rescue service in rural areas.<br />

ALAN GRAY of the Inverurie<br />

branch of MSA GB, reports<br />

When the going gets tough...<br />

COTAG gets going<br />

The Community Off-road Transport Action<br />

Group 4x4 Response team – more<br />

commonly known as COTAG – is a citizen<br />

emergency service, offering help to the<br />

public and supporting the official emergency<br />

services and the public sector.<br />

It is the brainchild of a group of like-minded<br />

4x4 owners from the Aberdeenshire &<br />

Morayshire region of Scotland who got<br />

together in 2004 with the aim of providing<br />

4x4 logistical assistance to Category One<br />

responders and members of the local<br />

community within the north-east of Scotland.<br />

COTAG volunteers combine their love of<br />

their 4x4s and the desire to help the<br />

community at large wherever there is a need<br />

for a sturdy off-roader, eg, in adverse<br />

weather, floods, or anywhere where an<br />

off-road capability is required.<br />

COTAG currently has 34 volunteers, most<br />

with their own 4x4 vehicles, but not all, as the<br />

ever-expanding team includes a number of<br />

administration and control staff, who do not<br />

necessarily own a suitable vehicle but have a<br />

desire to assist in any way they can.<br />

A typical COTAG deployment will be at<br />

times of adverse weather such as heavy<br />

snow or flooding.<br />

Duties can include the movement of NHS<br />

staff for both care in the community and<br />

critical care services, to and from the two<br />

major hospitals in the region. Members also<br />

get involved with the transportation of vital<br />

blood samples for analysis during critical<br />

periods, and have transported dialysis and<br />

other critical treatment patients from rural<br />

areas to their treatment centres.<br />

As you would possibly expect, one of their<br />

tasks is helping motorists stranded by<br />

adverse weather. COTAG can be requested by<br />

Police Scotland to provide vehicles/drivers to<br />

transport police officers, when conditions<br />

dictate that only properly equipped 4x4<br />

vehicles are capable of making progress.<br />

Teams can be called to deliver vital<br />

supplies, such as deploying sandbags or<br />

transporting supplies such as bottled water<br />

to remote rural communities when normal<br />

utilities have been interrupted.<br />

How it’s organised<br />

COTAG 4X4 Response is a registered<br />

Scottish charity and relies on charitable<br />

donations for the bulk of its funding. While<br />

volunteers will be recompensed for their fuel<br />

if called out by any of our other services,<br />

COTAG will quite often be ahead of the game,<br />

proactively deploying in potential trouble<br />

spots to provide support within the<br />

community. Volunteers are unpaid and the<br />

bulk of their equipment has to be funded by<br />

themselves.<br />

COTAG has Memorandums of Understanding<br />

with a number of public agencies,<br />

including Police Scotland, Aberdeenshire &<br />

Moray Councils including Health and Social<br />

Care, NHS Grampian and NHS24. The team is<br />

also registered in the Scottish Fire & Rescue<br />

Service Community Asset Register, and<br />

senior COTAG managers represent 4x4<br />

Response support at the North East Scotland<br />

Local Resilience Partnership (LRP) meetings<br />

during times of local and national emergency.<br />

The group also assists at many community<br />

events where there is a need for 4x4<br />

36 NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024


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

Some of the COTAG team with their 4x4s<br />

Out in all weathers...<br />

support, such as off-road marathons and ultra<br />

marathons and a number of mountain bike<br />

events. These events often take place on land<br />

owned by some of the major Highlands<br />

landowners.<br />

All COTAG members are volunteers who<br />

own and maintain their vehicles at their own<br />

cost. While COTAG provide most of the PPE<br />

and other items such as radios, beacons and<br />

first aid equipment, other additional items are<br />

purchased, fitted and paid for by the volunteers<br />

themselves which can, in some cases, amount<br />

to over £1,000 of personal expenditure.<br />

In order to become a fully operational team<br />

member, an extensive training programme<br />

needs to be undertaken which can take up to<br />

a year to complete. COTAG is very fortunate to<br />

have its own dedicated 360-acre training<br />

ground near Alford, and members train every<br />

month throughout the year.<br />

To become a fully trained operational<br />

member the volunteers have to prove that<br />

their vehicles are legal and safe to drive, and<br />

they have to pass an initial assessment in<br />

offroad driving. All aspects of off-road driving<br />

are developed over time during monthly<br />

training and they then have to pass a final<br />

off- road driving assessment.<br />

All volunteers must also have - or take –<br />

further qualifications such as IAM Advanced<br />

Driving; First Aid at Work including using a<br />

Defib and Epi pen; using a VHF radio,<br />

navigation and advanced off-road driving<br />

skills, including deep water training.<br />

Some of the above is assessed by the<br />

resident experts within the membership. A<br />

number of the team has recently attained<br />

British Off-road Driving Association Higher<br />

Off-road Driving qualification. The intention is<br />

to train all members to this level over the<br />

coming year.<br />

Helping the emergency<br />

services<br />

COTAG 4X4 Response is fortunate that<br />

Forestry and Land Scotland allows the team<br />

to train within some of their forests, utilising<br />

the demanding terrain to hone their off-road<br />

driving skills and in specialist areas such as<br />

navigation, deep water and steep ascent/<br />

descent driving.<br />

Initially, the main form of inter-team<br />

communication was by VHF radio. However,<br />

COTAG is always keen to embrace new<br />

technology and has recently introduced<br />

‘Broadnet’, a modern digital radio comms<br />

system that utilises mobile phone networks.<br />

This system is much more efficient and allows<br />

for a greater range without reliance on signal<br />

repeaters. Broadnet also supports a digital<br />

dashboard allowing COTAG dispatchers to<br />

manage each response request, including the<br />

ability to track each volunteer’s progress<br />

during their mission.<br />

In support of their operations COTAG has<br />

two specialised trailers. One is a box van type<br />

which has been converted to a<br />

communications hub and is fitted with VHF,<br />

Broadnet and broadband communications<br />

equipment with its own standalone power<br />

source. The equipment is extensively used in<br />

support of the previously mentioned off-road<br />

events and ensures event organisers can<br />

provide the required safety cover reassurance<br />

for all involved.<br />

The second trailer has purpose-built<br />

off-road capability and is designed to carry<br />

goods such as sandbags, palleted bottled<br />

water or water-filled IBC for use by Scotland<br />

Fire and Rescue Service wildfire activities.<br />

Funding has recently been secured to allow<br />

the team to further improve their capabilities<br />

by introducing Starlink, a broadband satellite<br />

internet system. This further enhances the<br />

team’s communications capability and can be<br />

utilised by community hubs, utility companies<br />

and other resilience partners during power<br />

outages, etc. The system is completely mobile<br />

and COTAG can deploy up to six units to<br />

whichever area is in need and during times of<br />

harsh conditions.<br />

It is worth noting that none of the support<br />

provided by COTAG volunteers would be<br />

possible without the support of the<br />

volunteer’s families, who can often not see<br />

their loved one for some lengthy periods.<br />

NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024 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 />

EXCLUSIVE DEAL FOR MSA GB MEMBERS<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 />

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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 />

ACCOUNTANCY<br />

MSA GB’s Recommended<br />

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AND RIDING<br />

As the UK’s largest road safety<br />

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Protect yourself and your pupils with a<br />

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MSA GB OFFER:: 10% off any AlcoSense product<br />

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CARD PAYMENTS<br />

MSA GB and SumUp believe<br />

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DISABILITY AIDS<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 />

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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 />

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FUEL CARDS<br />

Save up to 10p per litre of fuel with Fuel Card<br />

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MSA GB OFFER:: An MSA GB fuel card will save<br />

you up to 10p per litre.<br />

HEALTH / FINANCE COVER<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 NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024


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

PUPIL INSURANCE<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 />

PSYCHOLOGY TRAINING<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 />

PUPIL SOURCING<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 />

QUICKBOOKS<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 />

SPECIAL OFFER<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 />

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

NEWSLINK n FEBRUARY 2024 39

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