Newslink April

Motor Schools Association of Great Britain, driver training and testing, road safety

Motor Schools Association of Great Britain, driver training and testing, road safety


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

The Voice of MSA GB<br />

Issue 375 • <strong>April</strong> 2024<br />

MSA GB Conference:<br />

Full report inside<br />

from page 14<br />

New documentary<br />

a ‘must watch’<br />

BBC film Drive Fast Die Young described<br />

as a ‘game changer’ in helping young<br />

men kick the dangerous driving habit<br />

We work for all Driver Trainers. Want to join? SAVE £25 – see pg 41 for special offer

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

Conference proves there’s no<br />

substitute for face-to-face events<br />

Colin Lilly<br />

Editor,<br />

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

At the end of March, MSA GB held its annual<br />

conference in Telford. I say annual but the last<br />

four years were affected by Covid 19 and its<br />

after effects, so they were held via Zoom.<br />

The opportunity to meet face-to-face was<br />

taken by some members who had attended<br />

before but many were attending for the first<br />

time. Reports on the speakers are given<br />

elsewhere in this issue (from pg 14).<br />

Many trainers feel that the internet can act<br />

as a source for the information they require,<br />

but face-to-face events provide much more.<br />

Not only do the presenters share information<br />

on their field of expertise, they answer<br />

questions, not only at the time, but<br />

individually during the breaks.<br />

The fact that delegates had the<br />

opportunity to network and discuss events<br />

of the day adding to the event’s valuable<br />

Continuous Professional Development (CPD).<br />

The DVSA has stated that it sets great store<br />

on gaining CPD. Zoom events do not give you<br />

this added value.<br />

For a day delegate to participate cost less<br />

than the price of two hour-long lessons. The<br />

value to the trainer is worth much more than<br />

that. Without development there is<br />

stagnation.<br />

Conference report<br />

Members enjoyed a great weekend in Telford at the<br />

2024 MSA GB Conference. Find out what happened<br />

in our full coverage, starting on page 14<br />

If you feel that you cannot attend a national<br />

event there will more local events held<br />

throughout the year, by the MSA GB Area<br />

teams. These are scaled down versions of the<br />

main event but of equal value.<br />

Details of these events are publicised in<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong> and on the MSA GB website. Make<br />

2024 the year that you attend one of these<br />

events to see for yourself.<br />

Just after the conference the DVSA<br />

announced that its employees who are<br />

members of the Public and Commercial<br />

Services Union (PCS) had accepted the<br />

Memorandum of Understanding covering the<br />

dispute it had with DVSA. These issues<br />

involved terms and conditions and standards<br />

of safety for driving tests.<br />

Hopefully, the continuing discussions will<br />

lead to a more stable delivery of driving tests<br />

without the threat of strikes,<br />

This is unlikely to lead to an immediate<br />

reduction in driving test waiting times as it<br />

coincides with the return to normal duties for<br />

the warrant card holders who had been<br />

conducting driving tests.<br />

However, in the long term this may attract<br />

more recruits to conduct driving tests and<br />

their retention.<br />

The driving test waiting times are reducing<br />

but not by as much as the DVSA, trainers and<br />

learners would like.<br />

Let us hope this situation resolves itself;<br />

the end to the examiner dispute is an<br />

important step forward.<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 />


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 375 • <strong>April</strong> 2024<br />

A screengrab from<br />

the new BBC film<br />

Drive Fast Die Young,<br />

which has been hailed<br />

by road safety<br />

professionals<br />

and the DVSA as a<br />

game-changer in<br />

highlighting the<br />

problems the UK has with young male<br />

drivers addicted to dangerous driving and<br />

speeding. See pg 8<br />

New documentary<br />

a ‘must watch’<br />

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

msagb.com<br />

MSA GB Conference:<br />

Full report inside<br />

from page 14<br />

BBC film Drive Fast, Die Young described<br />

as a ‘game changer’ in helping young<br />

men kick the dangerous driving habit<br />


Contents<br />


Young riders targeted<br />

in Spring campaign<br />

The National Young Rider Forum has<br />

launched a new social media campaign to<br />

support young motorbikers this Spring – 6<br />

Spotting the<br />

danger zones on a<br />

commentary<br />

drive: pg 30<br />

30<br />

Heartbreaking film gets to truth<br />

of young driver casualties<br />

A new film by the BBC has been hailed a<br />

game-changer in the way it confronts the<br />

consequences of dangerous driving – 8<br />

Taking a test in a non-ADI car:<br />

does it make a difference?<br />

Finally, MSA GB gets to the truth of whether<br />

having dual controls on a driving test makes<br />

any difference to pass rates – 10<br />

Learner harrassment is getting<br />

worse, new poll finds<br />

81% of learners have faced aggression from<br />

other road users while on a lesson – and their<br />

ADIs say it’s getting worse – 12<br />

Enhanced CPD: why it matters and<br />

how it helps<br />

Neil Wightman continues his series of<br />

articles on the advantages ADIs can gain<br />

from taking CPD – 29<br />

The NHS needs your help –<br />

in learning to park<br />

An enforced hospital stay has John Lomas<br />

asking, who teaches doctors and nurses to<br />

park like that...! – 34<br />

An ADI on holiday... is still an ADI,<br />

says Brian Thomson<br />

Even during a spot of RnR in Gran Canaria,<br />

Brian Thomson can’t stop thinking about<br />

driver training –36<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 />

©2024 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 />


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 />


News<br />

Young bikers targeted as forum pushes<br />

its ‘Ready to Ride’ campaign for spring<br />

The National Young Rider Forum has launched<br />

a new social media campaign to support<br />

young motorbikers this Spring.<br />

The campaign includes its ‘Ready to Ride?’<br />

educational film, which details the steps that<br />

a young person needs to take if they are<br />

considering becoming a motorcyclist.<br />

Funded by The Road Safety Trust and Kent<br />

County Council, it covers vital topics such as<br />

licensing, safety equipment, maintaining a<br />

motorcycle and riding safely in sections<br />

presented by young people themselves.<br />

The campaign was launched ahead of<br />

Easter, to coincide with a return to the roads<br />

for many motorcyclists, pedal cyclists, horse<br />

riders and pedestrians.<br />

It encourages young riders to watch out for<br />

hazards on the roads and to make the right<br />

choices about what to wear – to give them<br />

the best possible protection in the event of a<br />

collision.<br />

Heidi Duffy MBE, facilitator of the National<br />

Young Rider Forum, said: “This campaign aims<br />

to raise awareness to new and young riders<br />

that the warmer, drier weather will make the<br />

roads much busier.<br />

“Therefore, it is vitally important they are<br />

watching out for hazards on the roads, as well<br />

as making the right choices about what to<br />

wear – just in case they come a cropper!”<br />

Ruth Purdie OBE, chief executive of The<br />

Road Safety Trust, said: “It is well known that<br />

motorcyclists are over-represented in crash<br />

statistics.<br />

“This timely campaign makes use of a<br />

great resource, which covers a series of<br />

important topics for young riders to<br />

consider.”<br />

‘Ready to Ride?’ is designed to fit into<br />

school, college and university timetables, or<br />

any other classroom opportunity, and can be<br />

delivered by road safety professionals,<br />

emergency service personnel or teaching<br />

staff.<br />

The interactive film is 40 mins in length and<br />

features young actors who take the audience<br />

through five sections of information which<br />

potential young motorcyclists will find useful<br />

as they set out on the journey to be a new<br />

rider.<br />

The film comes in two versions, one with<br />

subtitles. It also includes lesson plans and<br />

additional presenter information as well as<br />

evaluation sheets.<br />

You can watch the film at https://<br />

newriderhub.net/ready-to-ride/<br />

THINK! again<br />

on seat belts<br />

The Department for Transport’s road<br />

safety team at THINK! is launching a<br />

new seat belts campaign to encourage<br />

young men to wear their seat belts,<br />

“whatever the journey, whether<br />

they’re a driver or passenger”.<br />

The campaign speaks to male drivers<br />

aged 17-24 years as they are overrepresented<br />

in car fatalities and<br />

casualties where a seat belt is not<br />

worn. The creative focuses on the<br />

‘CLICK’ sound of a seat belt fastening,<br />

which serves as an audible and visual<br />

reminder that something as simple as<br />

clicking your seat belt could save your<br />

life, and the lives of your friends.<br />

CLICK HERE to read more about the<br />

campaign.<br />

New police operation to put the<br />

spotlight on driving’s ‘Fatal Four’<br />

Police forces across the country are<br />

supporting a four-week operation to<br />

highlight the ‘fatal four’ offences in a bid to<br />

improve road safety and reduce KSI incidents.<br />

The operation, which got underway at the<br />

start of <strong>April</strong>, is being co-ordinated by the<br />

National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).<br />

The operation will focus on all vehicle types<br />

and road users, with forces conducting joint<br />

partnership and cross border operations.<br />

The aim is to educate road users on the<br />

perils of the fatal four – not wearing a<br />

seatbelt, drink and drug driving, speeding and<br />

using a handheld mobile phone.<br />

The Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership<br />

will be sharing information on social media to<br />

encourage seatbelt use, demonstrate the<br />

risks posed by the fatal four and the penalties<br />

drivers and passengers will face when they<br />

are caught. Officers will be increasing their<br />

presence on the county’s roads to look for<br />

drivers who choose to offend.<br />

Sgt Chris McSharry, who is involved in the<br />

operation in the Midlands, said:<br />

“Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership has a<br />

target to reduce the number of people killed<br />

or seriously injured on our roads by 50% by<br />

2030.<br />

“We are asking drivers and passengers to<br />

please make it a habit to check everyone is<br />

wearing a seatbelt before travelling because<br />

a seatbelt is one of the simplest and most<br />

effective things you can do to reduce the risk<br />

of injury in a collision.<br />

“If you are on a night out, don’t forget it’s<br />

your car so your rules – please make sure all<br />

your passengers wear a seatbelt. There’s no<br />

excuses for not doing so.”<br />


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

Nick Bitel re-appointed as DVSA executive chair<br />

Nick Bitel has been reappointed as Non-<br />

Executive Chair of DVSA, and Helen Aston<br />

has been appointed as its non-executive<br />

director, replacing Emir Feisal..<br />

Nick was originally appointed for a<br />

three-year term in July 2021. He has been<br />

reappointed for a further three-year term<br />

and will continue to play a vital role in the<br />

effective strategic and operational leadership<br />

of the DVSA.<br />

In addition to acting as a non-executive<br />

director, Helen Aston will chair the DVSA’s<br />

audit and risk committee.<br />

Helen is a Chartered Accountant and brings<br />

a wealth of leadership experience, with 10<br />

years as the executive director of finance and<br />

corporate services at The Pensions<br />

Regulator. She also holds non-executive<br />

roles at Defence Business Services and the<br />

Valuation Office Agency.<br />

Guy Opperman, the Roads Minister, said: ” I<br />

would like to congratulate Nick and<br />

Helen on their appointments, and<br />

would also like to thank Emir Feisal<br />

for his dedication and work with<br />

the DVSA as Helen’s predecessor.<br />

“Nick and Helen are clear in their<br />

commitment to back drivers and<br />

keep the country moving and I look<br />

forward to working closely with them to<br />

ensure the DVSA continues its great work in<br />

backing drivers and keeping Britain’s roads<br />

safe.<br />

Nick Bitel said: “I’m delighted to be<br />

re-appointed. Over the last three years,<br />

we have faced significant challenges<br />

in the aftermath of the pandemic,<br />

and I am proud of the hard work,<br />

drive and commitment shown by<br />

colleagues and senior leaders<br />

across DVSA.<br />

“I look forward to working with<br />

Nick Bitel<br />

Helen to help achieve DVSA’s vision<br />

to keep Britain moving, safely and<br />

sustainably. I also want to express<br />

my gratitude to Emir Feisal for his<br />

sterling work with our audit and risk<br />

committee.”<br />

Loveday Ryder, DVSA Chief Executive,<br />

said: “Nick has played a pivotal role in DVSA’s<br />

work to recover our services following the<br />

pandemic and develop a vision and strategic<br />

plan for the future, and I am delighted he has<br />

been re-appointed. I’m also really<br />

pleased to welcome Helen as our new<br />

Non-Executive Director, and thank<br />

Emir Feisal for his contribution to<br />

the DVSA over the past three<br />

years.”<br />

Loveday Ryder<br />


News<br />

ADIs urged to make heartbreaking BBC<br />

documentary key part of their lesson plans<br />

A devastating new film produced by the BBC<br />

has been described as “a must watch for all<br />

learner drivers, and those who have just<br />

passed their test.”<br />

Drive Fast Die Young tells the heartbreaking<br />

story of Sammy Phillips, who was<br />

killed in 2023 at the age of 19 after a car he<br />

was travelling in left the road at high speed<br />

and smashed into a tree.<br />

The driver, his friend Lewis, was three<br />

times over the drink-drive limit, and was<br />

travelling at an “insane speed”, according to<br />

an eye witness.<br />

The film is narrated by Sammy’s older<br />

brother Jamie, and details how he and his<br />

family came to terms with Sammy’s death.<br />

Jamie interviewed the two Thames Vally<br />

Police officers tasked with attending the<br />

crash scene, as well as the paramedic who<br />

was the first health responder.<br />

The officers admit that having to tell the<br />

family about a bereavement was the<br />

“toughest part of the job. You know that you<br />

are about to ruin someone’s life, telling them<br />

that their son or daughter is dead.”<br />

The paramedic reflected that his first<br />

thought, on realising the two occupants had<br />

died, was “what a waste, and how stupid.”<br />

Police investigators found that the car had<br />

clipped the kerb while travelling at high speed<br />

and had flipped in the air, before crashing into<br />

trees by the side of the road.<br />

It hit a tree eight feet up, roof first,<br />

delivering sickening and unsurvivable head<br />

injuries to the two young men.<br />

The only consolation for the families was<br />

that death would have been instantaneous;<br />

“they will have felt nothing,” said the coroner.<br />

Jamie is filmed visiting the scene where he<br />

sees the scars on the tree where it was<br />

struck by the car. “I stand here and know,<br />

this is exactly where Sammy died. It’s<br />

horrible,” Jamie says.<br />

He also talked to Dr Elizabeth Box, research<br />

director for the RAC Foundation, and Dr<br />

Shaun Helam, chief scientist at the TRL Ltd,<br />

who highlight the problems new drivers have<br />

with being attracted to dangerous behaviour.<br />

Dr Box points out that the male brain<br />

develops differently from the female, and it is<br />

hard-wired to seek “thrills and risk-taking”,<br />

something that fades away in their middle<br />

20s. “But at 17-18, young men have a<br />

sensation-seeking craving, just at the point<br />

when we give them driving licences.”<br />

Dr Helam says “we have a societal<br />

blindspot” over the consequences of<br />

dangerous driving, and that fatal incidents<br />

such as Sammy’s make graduated licences<br />

something that must be introduced.<br />

“Policymakers go on about them being<br />

difficult to enforce, but that’s not a reason for<br />

doing nothing.”<br />

Jamie expresses his anger that England no<br />

longer has a road safety strategy, and hasn’t<br />

had one since the Conservative Party came<br />

to power in 2010.<br />

There is also a fascinating interview with a<br />

young rapper called Ned Price. Ned describes<br />

how he was deligted to pass his driving test<br />

when 17 - but the day was ruined when he<br />

crashed his car the very same day.<br />

Did he learn anything from the lesson? “No,<br />

I got straight into a borrowed car and within<br />

two weeks had crashed that as well!”<br />

Unsurprisingly the two crashes were<br />

enough for him to receive a ban, and he lost<br />

his licence. “That’s what hurt. I never thought<br />

‘I was lucky to survive those crashes’”, he<br />

tells Jamie. “I thought I was invincible. The<br />

Screengrabs from the programme. Right,<br />

floral tributes left at the scene of the fatal<br />

crash, and above the car crash of the year<br />

before, which amazingly he walked away<br />

from unscathed. The car was being driven far<br />

above the speed limit, but “I was too scared<br />

to tell him to slow down,” Sammy later said<br />

only thing that really made me stop and think<br />

was when I realised I had to re-take my<br />

theory and L-test again. That changed me.”<br />

The last word goes to Jamie and his mum.<br />

They recall that a year before his death,<br />

Sammy was in another crash, which left the<br />

car a write-off but which, amazingly, both he<br />

and the driver walked away from unscathed.<br />

When asked what the driver was doing<br />

Sammy admitted he was driving very fast<br />

and, heartbreakingly, had left him scared –<br />

but “I wasn’t brave enough to tell him to slow<br />

down.” It’s hard not to think, if only you had.<br />

If you get your pupils to do one thing in the<br />

next week or two, get them to watch the film<br />

and then base your next lesson around it. It<br />

could be the most important hour’s tuition<br />

you ever give them.<br />

Click here to<br />

watch the film<br />


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

DVSA low carbon plans focus on flexible delivery<br />

The DVSA has set out its commitment to a<br />

sustainable and Net Zero strategy in a new<br />

policy paper.<br />

It highlights previous successes on the low<br />

carbon agenda, including converting 25% of<br />

its fleet to ultra low emission vehicles,<br />

reducing carbon travel emissions by 27% and<br />

installing solar panels at three DVSA sites.<br />

But it aims to go further. As the paper<br />

points out, “Road use is changing to a more<br />

automated and digitised way of travelling. We<br />

want to be at the forefront of this transition.”<br />

As a result, moving towards 2030, it will<br />

Residents’ voice their<br />

anger over ADIs’<br />

actions near DTC<br />

Complaints have been raised by local<br />

residents regarding ADIs’ cars obstructing<br />

driveways and junctions unnecessarily in the<br />

area around the Birmingham Kingstanding<br />

driving test centre.<br />

The DVSA is asking ADIs to remember they<br />

must be considerate to local neighbours<br />

when attending/leaving that driving test<br />

centre (DTC), and to be particularly careful on<br />

on Birdbrook Road and Rodlington Avenue.<br />

Using Birmingham Kingstanding DTC<br />

ADIs are reminded that they should only<br />

use the car park if they are attending a<br />

driving test, and only come into the test<br />

centre 10 minutes prior to your candidates’<br />

test. If you are hoping to familiarise yourself<br />

with the area, you can view the car park and<br />

its layout by using an online street view.<br />

“By being considerate to neighbours we<br />

reduce the chance of disruption to testing in<br />

the future”, the DVSA said.<br />

Record high licence holders -<br />

but fewer young people<br />

The number of driving licence holders has hit<br />

a record milestone with more than 42 million<br />

people now holding a full licence.<br />

42,120,966 people now have a full UK<br />

driving licence, compared to 41,570,822 this<br />

time last year.<br />

But the number of younger licence holders<br />

is down: there are 3.05 million licensed<br />

drivers aged 16 to 25 in the UK, 8% fewer than<br />

held a licence in March 2020, when 3.32<br />

million 16 to 25-year-olds had a full driving<br />

licence.<br />

invest further in decarbonising its car and van<br />

fleet by replacing existing hybrid and diesel<br />

vehicles with battery electric vehicles (BEVs)<br />

to achieve near to zero tailpipe emissions by<br />

the end of 2027.<br />

In addition it will reduce overall greenhouse<br />

gas emissions and direct emissions from a<br />

2017 to 2018 baseline – this is a total scope<br />

reduction of 33%, including fleet emissions<br />

reduced by 35%<br />

Of interest to ADIs will be an aim to “be<br />

proactive in identifying new ways to deliver<br />

our services. Projects are underway to<br />

further explore the alternatives to our<br />

current fixed driving test centre estate: the<br />

flexible test delivery service (FTDS) and<br />

automated route generation initiatives.<br />

“These, supported by the new driver<br />

services platform project, will help us to<br />

reduce our future reliance on the use of fixed<br />

driving test centres, while improving our<br />

service offering to our customers.”<br />

Overall its goal is to reduce greenhouse gas<br />

emissions linked to DVSA activity from<br />

electricity by 79% and fossil fuels by 6% from<br />

a 2017 to 2018 baseline.<br />


News<br />

Big fall in pass rates when no duals involved<br />

During Conference a delegate put the<br />

following question to the DVSA: ‘Do<br />

candidates fare better or worse on their<br />

L-test if they take it in their own car, without<br />

dual controls being present?’<br />

The suggestion back was to “put an FOI in,<br />

and find out.”<br />

So <strong>Newslink</strong> did... read on for the answer!<br />

In recent months there has been a lot of<br />

debate around candidates taking their L-test<br />

in their own cars, and as a consequence,<br />

taking it without dual controls being present.<br />

In particular ADIs have wondered whether<br />

taking a test in a non-ADI car impacts on the<br />

pass rate. Are examiners less inclined to pass<br />

a candidate without duals being present, or is<br />

the act of taking a test without your<br />

instructor being involved likely to lend itself<br />

to a greater chance of a fail – or a pass?<br />

This has become an increasingly important<br />

question as more and more learners,<br />

desperate to obtain an L-test slot, have<br />

booked tests without first checking with<br />

their ADI that they are available on the day<br />

and at the time in question – or whether they<br />

are ready to take their test.<br />

In addition, some ADIs have refused to<br />

accompany their pupils on tests when they<br />

think they are clearly not ready, particularly if<br />

they feel a bad fail could impact on their TIP<br />

score.<br />

So, do candidates fare better in their own<br />

cars, without duals, or does it make no<br />

difference to overall pass rates?<br />

We asked the DVSA, and the answer is,<br />

yes, it does make a difference – and a quite<br />

sizeable one at that.<br />

We asked the DVSA ‘How many candidates<br />

took their driving test (L-test) in a car which<br />

did not have dual controls fitted, from<br />

September 2023-February 2024.’<br />

The answer may surprise you, as it is a lot;<br />

in fact during that period 165,403 people<br />

took tests in cars without dual controls.<br />

We estimate that that period saw around<br />

900,000 L-tests being conducted, so ‘own<br />

car tests’ amounted to just under 20 per cent<br />

of the vehicles used. That is a far higher<br />

proportion than previously; in many years<br />

‘own car’ tests made up far fewer than 10 per<br />

cent of the whole.<br />

And now the $64m question: how did they<br />

do? The answer is... pretty badly!<br />

At present the pass rate for the L-test as a<br />

whole is reasonably high, at around 48.6%.<br />

But for those taking a test in a vehicle<br />

without dual controls, the pass rate is 42.6%<br />

– that’s a drop of just over 12 per cent.<br />

Impact on L-test waiting times<br />

To put that in context, if candidates could<br />

take their test only in an ADI’s car with duals<br />

fitted, and the pass rates stayed the same,<br />

based on 1.8 million tests a year, 10,000 more<br />

people would pass the L-test every six<br />

months. That would reduce the number of<br />

candidates on the L-test waiting list by a<br />

minimum of 20,000 a year.<br />

Why a minimum? Because we are<br />

assuming that every failure only takes one<br />

more test; but as we all know, some<br />

candidates will take multiple goes before<br />

leaving the L-test scene with a pass.<br />

So there we have it: if the DVSA stopped all<br />

tests without dual controls, logic tells us we<br />

would immediately reduce the waiting list by<br />

at least 20,000 in a year. Over to you, DVSA.<br />

For more on the DVSA at the MSA GB<br />

Conference, see page 14<br />

Peggy Hutchins: A titan of the Taunton ADI scene<br />

Colin Lilly<br />

Editor,<br />

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

As this issue of <strong>Newslink</strong> was being prepared<br />

for publication, I heard the sad news of the<br />

passing of a former MSA GB Member of the<br />

Year, Peggy Hutchins.<br />

Peggy was a formidable character who<br />

was Chairman of the local Taunton<br />

Association of Driving Instructors. She was<br />

respected by her fellow instructors, the then<br />

Driving Standards Agency and local authority<br />

road safety officers.<br />

She set up many young driver courses in<br />

local schools supporting local trainers. One of<br />

her proteges was Arthur Mynott, himself a<br />

past MSA GB Member of the Year and<br />

currently West Coast and Wales Chairman.<br />

She always promoted the MSA GB to every<br />

instructor she met, and highlighted the value<br />

of being a member. It was in recognition of<br />

her work for the association and driver<br />

training in Somerset that she was named as<br />

our Member of the Year in 2000.<br />

In recent years she had been affected by<br />

the conditions of old age and had been living<br />

quietly in a nursing home where she passed<br />

away on 30th March.<br />

I am sure that many established driver<br />

trainers in the Taunton area, her countless<br />

former pupils and past and present members<br />

of the MSA GB regional committee, of which<br />

she was once the Deputy Chairman, will have<br />

many fond memories of Peggy.<br />

A celebration of her life will be held at<br />

Taunton Deane Crematorium on Friday, 19th<br />

<strong>April</strong> at 11.20am.<br />

A true stalwart of the profession and of<br />

this association: thank you, Peggy.<br />

Rest in peace<br />


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

New report lifts lid on impact of driver fatigue<br />

MSA GB was recently made aware of a report<br />

on driver fatigue which is a worthwhile<br />

training aid and discussion document.<br />

One of the principle factors behind traffic<br />

collisions is driver fatigue. Research by<br />

ROSPA has found that 20% of crashes have<br />

driver fatigue as a factor, as do a quarter of<br />

killed and seriously injured collisions.<br />

A report summarising the information<br />

available on the topic has been published by<br />

Hendy Car Store (Driver Fatigue: An Essential<br />

Guide to Road Safety (hendycarstore.co.uk).<br />

The report has sections outlining the factors<br />

involved.<br />

n Driver fatigue statistics<br />

n Causes of driver fatigue<br />

n Advice on staying awake while driving<br />

n Driving fatigue and the law<br />

n Secondary sources of information<br />

The statistics highlight some interesting<br />

details. The counties where fatigue-related<br />

crashes are more prevalent are Kent and<br />

Devon, and perhaps unsurprisingly, young<br />

drivers are more likely to continue to drive<br />

when tired, and do not accept that it affects<br />

their driving. This is seen to be due to<br />

over-confidence in their abilities. Again no<br />

surprise but this is more likely to be seen in<br />

males rather than females.<br />

Reviewing the causes of driver fatigue it<br />

deals with medical conditions and<br />

psychological conditions. It also deals with<br />

lifestyle choices such as sleep patterns, diet<br />

and exercise.<br />

Looking at the work and other<br />

commitments drivers have, many may be<br />

unavoidable, but drivers need to be aware of<br />

the effects on their performance. The effects<br />

of shift patterns, workload and driving hours<br />

are discussed, alongside family commitments.<br />

The advice on staying awake does not deal<br />

with battling against fatigue after its onset<br />

but rather preparation for a long trip; foods to<br />

assist and those to avoid, getting enough<br />

rest, managing long journeys to avoid fatigue<br />

and knowing when not to drive.<br />

The legal aspects of driving fatigued are<br />

outlined, included the penalties for falling<br />

asleep at the wheel, which could be<br />

considered as dangerous driving and can lead<br />

to 14 years imprisonment, through to lesser<br />

offences which still have legal repercussions.<br />

It also covers the legal aspects of sleeping<br />

in cars and driving hours.<br />

There are links to other sources of<br />

information on the subject.<br />

Overall, it is a valuable teaching aid on the<br />

subject of driver fatigue, which all our clients<br />

will be affected by this at some time.<br />

Click here for the<br />

full report<br />


News<br />

Learner harrassment getting worse - and<br />

now P-plates are in the firing line, too<br />

New research by Marmalade Insurance has<br />

revealed that hassling and intimidating<br />

learner drivers and new drivers displaying<br />

P-plates is becoming worse.<br />

Indeed, according to 59% of driving<br />

instructors, the problem has worsened since<br />

the pandemic.<br />

Marmalade found that 81% of learner<br />

drivers have been on the receiving end of<br />

abuse or intimidation. 44% said the worst<br />

place for this was at roundabouts, with 29%<br />

saying it occured at traffic lights.<br />

In total, 99% of instructors said they had<br />

witnessed other drivers being abusive or<br />

intimidating towards learners during lessons.<br />

As one ADI put it, “I was a driving instructor<br />

for several years and encountered this<br />

[intimidation] daily. I also got verbal abuse<br />

and rude hand gestures when my pupils<br />

stalled the car, especially at a roundabout or<br />

traffic lights.”<br />

The impact of on-road intimidation<br />

and abuse<br />

Unsurprisingly, learners said this all made<br />

them feel more anxious when driving, with<br />

9% taking a break from driving as a result.<br />

91% of instructors say behaviour from other<br />

drivers has impacted learners negatively. 72%<br />

of learners made more mistakes as a direct<br />

result of the aggressive driving of others.<br />

Incidents usually involved shouting,<br />

gesticulating and driving too close, as well as<br />

aggressive overtaking, but some young<br />

drivers reported having their car purposely<br />

bumped.<br />

As one of the learners pointed out,<br />

however: “Beeping at me isn’t going to make<br />

me recover from stalling any quicker!”.<br />

Tackling the problem<br />

The majority of learners and instructors<br />

surveyed suggested that they would support<br />

on-the-spot fines for aggressive drivingt<br />

towards ADIs and learners, 54% and 67%<br />

respectively, with 72% of instructors calling<br />

for three penalty points on culprit’s licences.<br />

Perhaps more fittingly for society,<br />

however, 46% of learners and 69% of<br />

instructors felt anger management courses<br />

for offenders would be beneficial.<br />

At the very least, both parties called for<br />

greater public awareness of the problem,<br />

with a publicity campaign ran by the DVSA<br />

informing the rest of the motoring public that<br />

such behaviour just wasn’t fair, wasn’t<br />

helping and needed to stop.<br />

72% of instructors supported learners<br />

having their own category or special mention<br />

in the Highway Code hierarchy of road users.<br />

Worst offenders<br />

Results suggest that males aged 30-39<br />

rank as the biggest culprits for bullying<br />

behaviour, with 64% of learners identifying<br />

this age group, while 70% said men in general<br />

were most abusive. In terms of vehicles,<br />

behind cars, 57% said abuse came from those<br />

Get out of our boot!<br />

ADIs may recall that Marmalade ran a<br />

petition in 2022, asking for the<br />

Government to make harrassing learners a<br />

specific offence. The petition called on the<br />

Government to make disregard for the<br />

safety of drivers displaying an L-plate an<br />

aggravating factor in dangerous driving and<br />

careless driving offences. This would allow<br />

courts to impose stronger sentences on<br />

drivers who do not take sufficient<br />

precautions when driving near learners.<br />

It gained 10,705 signatures, which<br />

merited a Government response. It read:<br />

“The Government is committed to road<br />

safety, by identifying and prosecuting the<br />

few who make our roads less safe.<br />

Aggravating factors are set out in the<br />

in vans, while 18% said taxis.<br />

What about P plates?<br />

Only 30% of newly qualified drivers said<br />

that they used P plates when they first<br />

passed. Nearly half (47%) said one of the<br />

main reasons for not using them was so as<br />

not to be victimised by other drivers. In fact,<br />

nearly half of instructors (46%) advise their<br />

students NOT to use P-plates! Of those new<br />

drivers that used P plates, 50% said they did<br />

receive abuse on the roads.<br />

One parent said: “The worst tailgating my<br />

daughter experienced was after she passed<br />

her test and used P plates. It was so bad that I<br />

told her to remove them, as it was almost like<br />

a challenge for other drivers to harass.”<br />

P-plate wearers in London suffer the most<br />

frequent abuse. Indeed, London was the<br />

most hostile place in Britain to learn how to<br />

drive, with almost one in 10 (9%)<br />

experiencing abuse every time they drive.<br />

Learning to drive in Northern Ireland is a far<br />

more pleasant experience with almost a third<br />

(28%) of learners never experiencing abuse.<br />

In Great Britain, the North of England was<br />

also found to be a more welcoming place.<br />

When it comers to makes of cars, you’ll<br />

never guess which brand of car was<br />

mentioned more often than others, without<br />

prompting: BMW.<br />

What a surprise!<br />

sentencing guidelines.”<br />

It added: “The law is clear in the Road<br />

Traffic Act 1988 and set out in the Highway<br />

Code that drivers must not drive<br />

dangerously, without due care and<br />

attention or without reasonable<br />

consideration for other road users.<br />

“The Government keeps the road traffic<br />

offences under review, and the DfT plans to<br />

publish a call for evidence on motoring<br />

offences. Its scope and timings are still<br />

being worked on, but it is expected to<br />

include aspects of drink and drug driving<br />

and failure to stop and report. There will be<br />

an opportunity to raise other matters.”<br />

MSA GB notes that this has not<br />

happened.<br />


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

Private healthcare<br />

is peace of mind<br />

No matter how fit and healthy we are, it is<br />

inevitable that at some point in our lives we<br />

will fall ill and need medical care. And when<br />

illness does strike it is to the NHS that most<br />

people will turn in seeking a diagnosis,<br />

treatment and recovery.<br />

The NHS has for some years been showing<br />

signs that it, too, is not in the best of health. A<br />

growing and ageing population is putting an<br />

ever-increasing strain on staff and services.<br />

This is a problem exacerbated by the<br />

coronavirus pandemic.<br />

Reports of underfunding, a shortage of<br />

medical staff, noisy and overcrowded wards,<br />

cancelled operations and long waiting times<br />

will be familiar to everyone.<br />

In England, hospital waiting lists are longer<br />

than ever before, with a total waiting list of<br />

7.75 million people.* This is the highest<br />

number since records began and illustrates<br />

the severe pressure that the NHS is under.<br />

Quick, private and convenient<br />

Understandably, these lengthy delays are<br />

causing additional stress for patients,<br />

undermining their health and quality of life<br />

even further. How many people do you know<br />

whose physical health and mental well-being<br />

has deteriorated from the anxiety of having<br />

to wait months for a hospital appointment?<br />

All this can be avoided by taking out private<br />

health insurance. Seeing a doctor in private<br />

practice used to be only for the wealthy, but<br />

not anymore as the cost of private medical<br />

cover is becoming more affordable.<br />

A private medical plan delivers prompt<br />

access to hospital consultants, thus avoiding<br />

lengthy waiting lists. Patients can choose<br />

from an extensive list of hospitals throughout<br />

the UK; if they need to be admitted, they will<br />

have their own private room equipped with<br />

TV and telephone, and visiting is arranged to<br />

suit patient and family.<br />

A quick, private and convenient service<br />

that removes many of the anxieties<br />

associated with NHS hospital stays.<br />

Taking control of your healthcare<br />

However, those interested in taking out<br />

health insurance should not leave it too late.<br />

As we get older our healthcare needs<br />

increase. Therefore, as only some of the best<br />

health insurance companies provide cover for<br />

pre-existing conditions, the best time to<br />

invest in getting private treatment for<br />

illnesses you may suffer tomorrow – is today.<br />

By acting now you can ensure your future<br />

healthcare will not be dictated by NHS<br />

bureaucracy and, just as importantly, you will<br />

be able to benefit from the widest possible<br />

cover.<br />

Private health insurance cannot guarantee<br />

good health, but it can ensure that when you<br />

are feeling unwell you will quickly receive the<br />

best possible care, when and where you want<br />

it. The peace of mind that comes with that<br />

knowledge cannot be underestimated and is<br />

often the most important factor for people<br />

deciding to take control of their healthcare<br />

provision and “go private”.<br />

For further information and a no obligation<br />

quotation contact HMCA by telephone on<br />

01423 799949 or visit the exclusive HMCA<br />

Motor Schools Association of GB website<br />

here: https://www.hmca.co.uk/msa<br />

© HMCA/S PLC (trading as Hospital and Medical<br />

Care Association, HMCA and HMCA Members) is<br />

authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct<br />

Authority (FRN:307587). HMCA/s PLC is a<br />

company registered in England, company number:<br />

01362094, registered office: Beech Hall,<br />

Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, HG5 0EA.<br />

*The Telegraph 16th October 2023<br />

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/<br />

body/nhs-wait-list-private-treatment-backlogsurgery/<br />

NEWSLINK n APRIL 2024<br />


Conference 2024 Telford: Full report<br />

The MSA GB Conference was back with a bang as members met up in Telford for a weekend of<br />

high-quality presentations on driver training and networking, as well as some well-deserved relaxation<br />

and fun. Over the next few pages we’ll try to capture the weekend’s key moments and offer a flavour<br />

of what was learned, what’s new, and what the future holds for ADIs<br />

Session 1: G Sabini-Roberts<br />

LGBT awareness<br />

and allyship<br />

Conference opened with a thoughtprovoking<br />

and informative presentation by<br />

G Sabini-Roberts on LGBT awareness and<br />

how ADIs can become effective allies to a<br />

community that still sees barriers and<br />

obstacles in its path, as well as criticism.<br />

Around 10-20 per cent of the UK<br />

population identifies as members of the<br />

LGBTQIA+ community - which means up to<br />

a fifth of your pupils could well place that<br />

description on themselves.<br />

How to address them, be aware of their<br />

needs and offer allyship were all covered in<br />

the session.<br />

G – who identifies as queer and nonbinary,<br />

and uses the pronouns they/them<br />

– offered a wealth of information and<br />

insights on the subject, with the key<br />

message being that everyone has a right to<br />

identify as they wish and have that view<br />

respected.<br />

At the heart of the presentation were<br />

details of the gay and trans communities, as<br />

well as information on intersex pupils.<br />

In working with learners who identify as<br />

LGBTQIA+ ADIs may make mistakes, and<br />

LGBTQIA+<br />

L: Lesbian<br />

G: Gay<br />

B: Bisexual<br />

T: Trans<br />

I: Intersex<br />

A: Asexual<br />

+: + to represent those communities<br />

not represented above<br />

getting the language right is an<br />

important part of acceptance.<br />

G started by pointing out that<br />

views on gender were being<br />

challenged. Gender “is in the brain,<br />

not between the legs”. The sex<br />

you were designated at birth<br />

defines you in our society, but<br />

your sex is actually a<br />

combination of anatomy,<br />

chromosome and hormones.<br />

“People who believe they are wholly male<br />

or female could actually be less so, if they<br />

were to have a full chromosome or<br />

hormone test.”<br />

“It’s up to you how you live your life”<br />

G acknowledged that it is a complex<br />

issue, and that “you will make mistakes<br />

from time to time; the secret is to accept<br />

them, apologise and move on with the<br />

correct terms and language.” However, a<br />

bigger error was making a fuss over a<br />

mistake - “don’t start off by saying, ‘I’m<br />

going to get this wrong…’ as if it is a big deal<br />

for you in the first place, they stressed.<br />

Graphics and<br />

information sheets<br />

courtesy of QueerBox<br />

Avoid assumptions. Many people express<br />

their gender through clothing, but not<br />

everyone. Some female pupils may dress in<br />

an androgynous style, but be heterosexual.<br />

“You don’t have to present as a woman to<br />

be one,” G pointed out.<br />

The language we use is vital. “Pronouns<br />

are critical,” G said. “Ask the pupil first<br />

which pronoun they prefer, and keep<br />

conversations gender neutral until you are<br />

certain of how they present.”<br />

There were some words and phrases that<br />

should be avoided. Never use ‘transsexual’;<br />

it is outdated and considered offensive.<br />

Rather, if your pupil is trans, simply say<br />

trans woman or trans man.<br />

Similarly, never call anyone a<br />

haemaphrodite; they are intersex.<br />

When discussing the issue comments<br />

like ‘You don’t look gay/non-binary’<br />

suggest there is a linear look to all people<br />

which they must comply with. That’s<br />

wrong; people don’t have to follow a set<br />

appearance to be that gender.<br />

Interestingly, one of the biggest<br />

challenges was around a word G used to<br />

describe themselves: Queer. G is happy to<br />

us that phrase but many in the LGBTQIA+<br />

community dislike it and see it as a<br />


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

7 tips for allyship<br />

1. Make it a habit to ask for pronouns<br />

and introduce yours.<br />

2. Be careful not to assume the gender<br />

or pronouns of someone you don’t<br />

know. Use they/them pronouns until<br />

you do.<br />

3. As soon as the opportunity arises,<br />

clarify pronouns.<br />

4. Always use gender-neutral language<br />

for groups of people, and for individuals<br />

until you know they wish to be<br />

identified.<br />

5. Avoid using microaggressions and<br />

challenge them when you encounter<br />

them.<br />

6. Before asking about someone’s past,<br />

ask if it’s OK to ask and use affirming<br />

language when you do.<br />

7. If you mess up, don’t panic. Don’t<br />

make a big deal about it, but do<br />

acknowledge it and move on.<br />

Exhibitors<br />

MSA GB was delighted to welcome a number of businesses<br />

and road safety groups to our Conference Exhibition area. It<br />

was great to have them with us, and even better to see how<br />

well they interacted with delegates. We hope they enjoyed<br />

being with us as much as we enjoyed hosting them<br />

It was good<br />

to meet<br />

representatives<br />

from MSA GB<br />

authorised<br />

supplier<br />

Telematicus<br />

Services Ltd<br />

(t/a Smart<br />

Green Drivers)<br />

pejorative phrase. “I am queer but don’t<br />

assume you can use the phrase to describe<br />

everyone from the community in the same<br />

way,” was the advice. “Only use it if your pupil<br />

does in relationship to themselves.”<br />

So how can ADIs be allies to the LGBTQIA+<br />

community? “First, you will make mistakes<br />

- using the wrong pronoun, etc. Accept that,<br />

don’t make a fuss and apologise, but get it<br />

right next time.<br />

“Two, make it clear that your tuition car is<br />

an inclusive safe space. You don’t have to go<br />

full Pride flag everywhere but just having a<br />

rainbow flag on Facebook page or a sticker in<br />

your car is a subtle way of telling pupils they<br />

will be respected when they are with you.<br />

“Third, put your own preferred pronouns on<br />

your website/emails/correspondence. This<br />

might seem a small gesture but it signals an<br />

understanding of the issues, and that<br />

someone who identifies by a gender different<br />

to the one assigned at birth will be<br />

understood and welcomed.”<br />

Ultimately, remember that “the driving<br />

lesson could be one of the few occasions<br />

when a pupil escapes from pressures and<br />

tensions at home around their gender or<br />

sexuality. Be a safe space so they can open<br />

and comfortable. ”<br />

G added: “Make it clear that you accept<br />

that they may be in a different form of<br />

relationship to the one you are in. Not<br />

everyone wants to follow the ‘nuclear’ family<br />

path.”<br />

“Conference is an ideal opportunity to get<br />

away from the coalface for a time, to refresh<br />

my thinking and get some new ideas and<br />

inspiration. I always return a better ADI”<br />

One delegate in conversation with <strong>Newslink</strong><br />

Charles Morton<br />

manned the<br />

IMTD stand<br />


Conference 2024 Telford: Full report<br />

Session 2: Graham Feest<br />

Conference finds no clear road ahead<br />

for graduated driving licences<br />

The questions asked:<br />

How many members of your group would support the introduction of Graduated<br />

Driving Licences (GDL), which would mean placing restrictions on newly qualified<br />

drivers after they had passed their test?<br />

Irrespective of your position on the matter:<br />

1. If we were to place restrictions on new drivers once they had passed their test, for<br />

what period of time should they be in place?<br />

2. How are we going to monitor and police such restrictions?<br />

3. What do you consider we would gain by introducing such restrictions?<br />

Road safety consultant Graham Feest<br />

chaired a fast-paced session focused on<br />

post-test restrictions for new drivers – or<br />

graduated driving licences, as they are<br />

often known.<br />

Delegates around each table were tasked<br />

with finding answers to questions on<br />

whether more post-test restrictions were<br />

needed (a sample of which is posted above),<br />

what was needed for a more formal<br />

graduated licence, and whether any<br />

measures stood the chance of being both<br />

accepted by the public and being effective in<br />

reducing new driver crash statistics.<br />

The issue of 17-25-year-olds being<br />

involved in crashes within 12 months of<br />

passing their L-test is of great concern to<br />

many, but despite a number of heartbreaking<br />

stories over the years, the<br />

toughest sanction the UK has come up with<br />

thus far is to reduce the number of penalty<br />

points a new driver can accrue before a ban<br />

kicks in.<br />

So the question posed was, should the<br />

New Drivers’ Act be made stronger?<br />

Some ideas<br />

Popular ideas included reducing the size<br />

of engines on new drivers’ cars, curbs on<br />

night-time driving and carrying passengers,<br />

and post-test assessments by ADIs.<br />

But while most delegates agreed<br />

something should be done, there was little<br />

consensus around what. Stopping nighttime<br />

driving seemed an obvious way to<br />

tackle anti-social driving and problems<br />

around alcohol and drug use, but it would<br />

curb young peoples’ abilities to work in the<br />

night-time economy. Carrying passengers<br />

would be difficult to enforce and the slow<br />

switch to electric vehicles made reducing<br />

engine size on new drivers’ cars feel like an<br />

outdated idea.<br />

While the idea of post-test assessments<br />

were popular, it was pointed out that few<br />

ADIs had the capacity to train all local<br />

learners at the moment, let alone take on a<br />

new type of clients.<br />

Perhaps a better idea was a more<br />

structured training programme to begin<br />

with, combined with the compulsory use of<br />

telematics post-test to capture data and<br />

“Most delegates agreed something should be done but there was<br />

little consensus around what.... stopping night-time driving<br />

seemed an obvious way to tackle anti-social driving and<br />

problems around alcohol and drug use, but it would curb<br />

young peoples’ abilities to work in the night-time economy.<br />

Carrying passengers would be difficult to enforce...”<br />

identify problems.<br />

This latter idea, when linked to insurance<br />

policies, has generated positive outcomes<br />

for some new drivers; why not roll it out<br />

across the whole of the new driver<br />

community?<br />

Other ideas floated included a second<br />

test a set time after the first – though with<br />

DVSA currently struggling to fulfil ‘first test’<br />

demands, it was hard to see how it could<br />

accommodate a second.<br />

Stopping parents from teaching driving<br />

was another option - though with the DVSA<br />

being big supporters of private practice, and<br />

this having been linked to L-test success,<br />

again, it was hard to see it gaining traction.<br />

Many ADIs expressed the view that Pass<br />

Plus needed more support and a marketing<br />

campaign could encourage more new<br />

drivers to not think their learning journey<br />

had ended at the L-test.<br />

But as Tom Kwok pointed out, while<br />


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

“Restricting drivers without<br />

intervening and helping them<br />

understand why their right to<br />

drive was being controlled,<br />

with no path to improve as<br />

drivers, seemed counter<br />

productive.”<br />

Exhibitors<br />

Kevin and<br />

Tracey Field of<br />

Confident<br />

Drivers chat to<br />

delegates<br />

others had called for restrictions, the police<br />

could not enforce the existing rules of the<br />

road now; could they do so in a future where<br />

there were more things to control?<br />

Other alternatives: linking a grade on<br />

L-test to future insurance premiums, to<br />

encourage learners to take more lessons and<br />

really aim high on the test.<br />

Another idea was for a 10-year licence to<br />

be renewed only after an assessment, with<br />

drivers being informed six months before the<br />

expiry to give them time to book in for an<br />

assessment drive with an instructor.<br />

Finally, one suggestion was for the New<br />

Drivers’ Act to be made tougher, and the<br />

number of penalty points required before a<br />

ban reduced to three – or even zero.<br />

With new drivers having recent experience<br />

of the challenges of obtaining, and passing,<br />

an L-test, perhaps that threat would be<br />

sufficient to make them more considerate<br />

and safer drivers.<br />

Graham Feest said the debate highlighted a<br />

lack of consensus on the issue: it’s clear that<br />

something needs doing, but what?<br />

He admitted that he had always been<br />

against graduated licences, for many of the<br />

reasons outlined above, but now he was<br />

sitting on the fence. He saw too many new<br />

drivers struggling with distractions, and with<br />

night-time driving, and was coming round to<br />

the belief that perhaps, something did need<br />

to be done along the lines suggested.<br />

But as he pointed out, restricting drivers<br />

without intervening and helping them<br />

understand why their right to drive was being<br />

controlled, and without offering them a path<br />

to improve as drivers, seemed counterproductive<br />

and unlikely to be popular.<br />

Above, the Disability Driving<br />

Instructors were on hand to run<br />

delegates through the support<br />

available for those looking to teach<br />

pupils with additional needs<br />

We were joined by the team from<br />

Driving Instructor Services who<br />

were delighted to chat to members<br />

about their call handling and diary<br />

management services, as well as<br />

pupil booking support services and<br />

intensive courses<br />


Conference 2024 Telford: Full report<br />

Session 3: Q&A with the DVSA<br />

Nick Taylor and John Sheridan<br />

take questions from the floor<br />

Conference delegates put the<br />

questions to Nick Taylor, ADI<br />

Registrar, and John Sheridan,<br />

DVSA roads policy adviser<br />

For many delegates, the high point of every<br />

MSA GB Conference is always the chance to<br />

hear from DVSA officials – and put them<br />

under the spotlight with some searching<br />

questions on the day’s hot topics.<br />

With many senior managers at the agency<br />

currently tasked with taking L-tests it was<br />

feared conference would not get the chance<br />

this year, but thankfully Nick Taylor and John<br />

Sheridan agreed to come to Telford to talk to<br />

members. We’re grateful to both of them,<br />

and to DVSA chief executive Loveday Ryder<br />

for agreeing to their attendance.<br />

Nick Taylor opened with a swift look at what<br />

is still the hot topic of the day: L-test waiting<br />

times.<br />

Those DVSA managers holding L-test<br />

warrant cards who had been seconded on to<br />

examiner duties would be returning to their<br />

usual roles in <strong>April</strong>, having made a positive<br />

impact on waiting times.<br />

The DVSA was concerned that other areas<br />

of the agency’s work were being impacted by<br />

their absence, in particular Parts 2 and 3 and<br />

Standards Checks, and both would be<br />

returning to normal service as soon as<br />

possible.<br />

Waiting times remained higher than the<br />

DVSA would like, and the agency was looking<br />

to add a further 160 new examiners to the<br />

roster. Testing windows were being extended<br />

to include weekends and Bank Holidays, and<br />

examiners were volunteering for<br />

redeployment from quieter areas with<br />

shorter waiting times to those with bigger<br />

waits, such as London.<br />

It was particularly important the DVSA<br />

restarted Part 2 & 3 tests, as there was a<br />

large pent-up demand among people keen to<br />

train to become an ADI. There were 40,000<br />

instructors on the ADI Register at present,<br />

and it would soon top 41,000, Nick said.<br />

Future plans<br />

ADIs who had recently failed a Standards<br />

Check would be SEs’ main focus for the time<br />

being, with TIP data used to target those<br />

instructors whose pupils’ performance on<br />

test was giving concern.<br />

Looking forward, Nick said it was accepted<br />

that the qualification process needed<br />

reviewing; an assessment would consider<br />

whether it was aligned with more needs.<br />

The DVSA was also keen to extend<br />

awareness of Ready to Pass, and funding had<br />

been secured to target more young people<br />

through social media.<br />

The DVSA was also keen to look at certain<br />

factors around the L-test. Test nerves was<br />

clearly a big factor in failures: indeed, John<br />

Sheridan said he had seen the impact of<br />

nerves for himself while conducting L-tests<br />

from Lichfield DTC in recent months.<br />

Both DVSA officials were keen to stress<br />

how much emphasis was placed on<br />

examiners helping the candidate relax, with<br />

the examiner introducing him or herself to<br />

make them feel at ease.<br />

Driving test centre open days were<br />

another way of removing the fear from the<br />

test.<br />

Other key points to consider: data showed<br />

that the private practice was hugely<br />

beneficial to learners; they were 50 per cent<br />

more likely to pass if they had continued to<br />

practice with family members.<br />

Those who had taken a realistic Mock Test<br />

were 40 per cent more likely to pass.<br />

ADI CPD<br />

The DVSA was looking at ADI Continuing<br />

Professional Development again. It was a<br />

shame that comprehensive plans laid down<br />

by Rosemary Thew when she was DVSA chief<br />

executive had been rejected by the then<br />

Transport Minister, but its importance had<br />

never been undervalued by the DVSA.<br />

CPD training does not have to be too<br />

formal: attending events like the MSA GB<br />

Conference and reading professional<br />

literature on driver training was as acceptable<br />

as standardised training.<br />

Just record it on .gov.uk, and discuss it<br />

before your Standards Check if you have an<br />

engagement call with your SE.<br />


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

Questions from the floor<br />

Nick and John were more than<br />

happy to answer questions from<br />

the floor. Below are just some<br />

of the many topics covered<br />

Q: ADIs were concerned that the TIP<br />

programme was not acknowledging the<br />

candidate’s ADI if the test took place in the<br />

pupil’s own car.<br />

A: This is easily rectified. If your car isn’t<br />

available, tell the examiner beforehand the<br />

ADI number, or get your pupil to do so if you<br />

are not attending. Before the test!<br />

learners fail a test and be back three weeks<br />

later for another go. And as he said, “there are<br />

fails… and there are fails…”<br />

Q: Is there anything we can do about L-test<br />

‘no show’ candidates?<br />

A: This is very frustrating; there is nothing<br />

worse than knowing you have a big waiting<br />

list and examiners sat around doing nothing<br />

as their candidate has failed to show. The<br />

DVSA text reminder service has proved<br />

useful in reducing no shows, or to convince<br />

people to cancel and swap their test if they<br />

realise they aren’t ready near the date.<br />

Q: Does the DVSA record car registration<br />

numbers for TIP scores?<br />

A: They don’t usually but the DVSA does<br />

have the facility to do so. Usually it occurs<br />

only if there are concerns over candidate<br />

standards.<br />

Q: Can we link CPD taken to our TIP data, if<br />

that is going to set when Standards Checks<br />

take place?<br />

A: At the moment this doesn’t happen, but<br />

a wider point is that Nick and John would like<br />

to see the narrative change around Standards<br />

Checks. “We don’t see the Check as a<br />

negative. It is an opportunity to showcase<br />

how you are fairing as an ADI and your skills.<br />

Think of it as a positive.”<br />

On CPD: “use the engagement call to talk<br />

about your CPD”.<br />

On Standards Checks: “the DVSA has a<br />

regulatory function that is important, but<br />

sees it as opportunity to keep an eye on<br />

overall standards.”<br />

Q: If a pupil complains to the DVSA about an<br />

ADI not allowing them to take their driving<br />

test because they are not ready, what would<br />

the DVSA say? Whose side would you be on?<br />

A: We are very much on the ADI’s side in<br />

such a case. We would ignore such complaints.<br />

It is your job to know when a pupil is ready.<br />

Q: Could the DVSA run more road safety<br />

campaigns? They were always very<br />

successful in the past<br />

A: The DfT runs road safety campaigns,<br />

and at the moment the focus is on the Think<br />

campaign. We are running the Ready To Pass<br />

campaign.<br />

DVSA is always keen to promote new<br />

John Sheridan: After being<br />

an examiner in Lichfield<br />

for the past few months, I<br />

can tell you, there are<br />

fails... and there are fails...<br />

educational campaigns, particularly targeted<br />

ones. For instance, data had showed that a<br />

growing number of drivers from the West<br />

Midlands’ Asian community were reluctant to<br />

wear a seatbelt. A campaign fronted by local<br />

voices had helped highlight this.<br />

John Sheridan brought the conference’s<br />

attention to Drive fast, Die Young (see pg 8).<br />

This is a film that should be viewed by all<br />

learners, he said. It is an excellent account of<br />

the consequences of a high-speed crash, and<br />

how easy it is for young and novice drivers to<br />

be drawn into bad habits and reckless<br />

behaviour by peer pressure.<br />

Q: Why didn’t the DVSA predict that there<br />

would be a rise in L-test demand post-Covid?<br />

A: We know the demand is still too high and<br />

it is still our priority. We have added 150,000<br />

tests - a huge number - and would continue<br />

to do all we could. Post Covid it was difficult to<br />

respond any quicker than we did. It takes a<br />

long time to train a new examiner.<br />

John Sheridan pointed out that if there<br />

were no fails there would be no waiting lists.<br />

As an examiner he had witnessed several<br />

Q: Are you going to do anything for PDIs who<br />

fear they will run out of time to take their<br />

Part 2/3 (as a reminder, PDIs have only two<br />

years to have booked their Part 3 from the<br />

moment they pass their Part 1)<br />

A: Our hands are tied; the need to pass the<br />

Part 3 within two years is in the regulations,<br />

so changing it would require parliamentary<br />

approval, and it is unlikely time would be<br />

allocated for it. We would stress that you<br />

don’t need to have passed your Part 3 within<br />

two years, just have a Part 3 test booked<br />

before the two years is up. The test itself can<br />

be months later.<br />

Q: What is the DVSA’s view on graduated<br />

driving licences?<br />

In many respects this is not our sector, but<br />

we know from talking to colleagues in<br />

Northern Ireland, where graduated licences<br />

do exist, that they can be burdensome and<br />

restrictive.<br />

However, we’re happy to keep an open<br />

mind, and anything that can be proven to<br />

improve road safety would be supported. It<br />

does need to be balanced and thought<br />

through, to avoid unintended consequences.<br />

Q: Can we sanction candidates who don’t<br />

show up, perhaps by charging them more?<br />

Great idea but we can’t as the test fee is laid<br />

down in parliamentary regulations.<br />

Q: Why allow L-tests in DTCs that are clearly<br />

miles away from their home?<br />

It’s about personal choice; candidates can<br />

book a test wherever they like. Ironically, it is<br />

good to encourage a test in an area that they<br />

don’t know, to avoid learning the test route<br />

by rote.<br />


Conference 2024 Telford: Full report<br />

Session 4: Julia Malkin MBE<br />

ADHD and the L-test:<br />

Understanding neurodiversity<br />

Julia Malkin MBE is a long-time supporter<br />

of MSA GB events and a well-known face<br />

within the driving instruction community.<br />

She is best known for teaching, and<br />

helping others to teach, learners with<br />

autism, ADHD and other neurodivergent<br />

conditions.<br />

Julia used her slot at Conference to<br />

explain the different ways ADHD can impact<br />

on a pupil, from the need to take things<br />

slowly to breaking all tasks down into small<br />

manageable chunks that could be more<br />

easily processed.<br />

There were some interesting takeaways<br />

from her presentation. It is believed that<br />

around three per cent of the population<br />

have ADHD to some degree, and 65 per<br />

cent of sufferers are undiagnosed.<br />

They are, as a group, a throwback to our<br />

ancestors’ most successful hunters: as Julia<br />

put it, “when we were hunter-gathers<br />

10,000 years ago, those with ADHD traits<br />

– always on the go, always analysing,<br />

scanning the horizon for prey, never<br />

stopping processing data from around them<br />

– were the tribe’s best hunters.”<br />

That agile, ‘constantly on’ brain remains<br />

with us today, but in our modern world of<br />

‘sit down and stay quiet’ behavioural<br />

norms, those with ADHD struggle to<br />

conform.<br />

But while the condition can be<br />

challenging to manage it does not prevent<br />

those with ADHD from learning to drive.<br />

Types of ADHD<br />

So what is ADHD? The best known<br />

version is Impulsive ADHD. In the past it<br />

was known simply as ‘hyperactivity’ and<br />

was characterised by restlessness,<br />

fidgeting, a lack of focus, quick to become<br />

bored, short attention spans and a trend<br />

towards recklessness.<br />

In short, Julia says, “we were the naughty<br />

kids at school, the ones always getting told<br />

to sit down, to shut up, and ultimately to<br />

stand outside in the corridor.”<br />

Those with the condition “interrupt,<br />

wander off and just can’t stand waiting.”<br />

Sound like a description of any of your<br />

pupils, or family members? Imagine<br />

someone with those personality traits<br />

sitting patiently in a car, awaiting<br />

instruction... it’s not going to happen.<br />

People with ADHD have other<br />

characteristics. First, they are “into<br />

everything”, as Julia put it; they will be<br />

“constantly fiddling with the equipment,<br />

controls and dials, or looking out at the<br />

street scene and spotting the yellow car,<br />

the man with a ball, the children playing,<br />

that big house”; their mind is on the go<br />

permanently.<br />

That’s why it is exhausting being<br />

someone with ADHD.<br />

But this is only one form of ADHD. There<br />

is another, called Inattention.<br />

While Impulsive ADHD tends to be a male<br />

condition, Inattention is more commonly<br />

found in girls. They struggle to keep<br />

engaged in a task and appear to have zoned<br />

out from their surroundings. They have<br />

trouble following instructions and drift off<br />

into their own world.<br />

At school “they were the daydreamers,<br />

the girls looking out of the window and<br />

watching the leaves blow about, forgetting<br />

about the teacher and the class.”<br />

Other traits include being stubborn,<br />

having low self-esteem and being terrified<br />

of getting things wrong.<br />

The third type is Combined, which draws<br />

elements of the other two into one<br />

package. It was, Julia said, the type of ADHD<br />

she had. Combined ADHD brings in many of<br />

the above traits but can add in anxiety and<br />

depression, with mood swings.<br />

Tiredness and energy loss are other<br />

common traits, as are issues around<br />

sleeping.<br />


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

“That agile, constantly on<br />

brain remains with us today,<br />

but in our modern world of ‘sit<br />

down and stay quiet’<br />

behavioural norms, those with<br />

ADHD struggle to conform...”<br />

Teaching learners with ADHD<br />

So how do ADIs help such pupils? By<br />

tailoring the lesson plan carefully to suit their<br />

needs. “Treat lessons as if you are laying a<br />

cake, one layer at a time. Small goals, plenty<br />

of breaks in between, lots of praise for<br />

succeeding with the smaller goals as part of a<br />

bigger learning outcome.”<br />

Don’t focus on only one thing: “A change of<br />

tasks during a lesson helps focus. A lesson<br />

dominated by one topic is not ideal.”<br />

As they are easily distracted, be prepared<br />

to learn what’s grabbing their focus in<br />

addition to the driving task – it could be a<br />

noises, colour or an object.<br />

“Don’t talk to them while they are driving;<br />

it will strip away their focus from the driving<br />

task and leave them focused on your<br />

conversation.”<br />

One potentially challenging problem for<br />

ADIs is that pupils with ADHD don’t take<br />

failure well. Many have ‘Rejection Sensitive<br />

Dyspraxia’ which heightens their response to<br />

making mistakes or failing at anything, but<br />

particularly a test. It can make them push<br />

back against critics – so an ADI spotting<br />

mistakes during a lesson “has to find new<br />

ways of saying ‘you’ve got that wrong’.”<br />

They will also always run themselves<br />

down: ‘Am I the worst learner you’ve ever<br />

had?’, or the ‘most stupid pupil’ will be<br />

common refrains.<br />

Many will be terrified of the L-test and the<br />

formal setting of the driving test centre. It’s a<br />

good idea if you can arrange for a pre-test<br />

visit to meet the examiner, to put their minds<br />

at ease.<br />

Q: Which is best? Manual or automatic?<br />

The different types of ADHD, and severity of<br />

the condition, means this depends entirely on<br />

the pupil. Some pupils with ADHD need fewer<br />

things to focus on in the car, so an automatic<br />

would be a better option. However, others<br />

need lots of small things to be focused on<br />

during the drive, so the act of changing gears<br />

can be beneficial to their concentration.<br />

Exhibitors<br />

Former MSA GB general<br />

manager John Lepine chats<br />

to He-Man Dual Controls<br />

Road safety consultant<br />

Graham Feest in<br />

conversation with<br />

representatives from the<br />

British Horse Society<br />

Naresh and<br />

Trupti Chauhan<br />

from Driving<br />

School Supplies<br />

brought along a<br />

great selection<br />

of goodies for<br />

delegates to<br />

peruse and<br />

purchase<br />


Conference 2024 Telford: Full report<br />

Session 5: John Lepine MBE<br />

European matters, and<br />

road safety’s future<br />

MSA GB’s former general manager John<br />

Lepine MBE gave delegates a look at some<br />

of initiatives emerging from Europe in the<br />

driver testing and training profession, from<br />

his vantage point of working with the<br />

European Driving Schools Association,<br />

EFA.<br />

He started by comparing the learningto-drive<br />

journeys pupils take in Ireland,<br />

France, Belgium and Holland, finding many<br />

similarities with Britain’s - but many<br />

glaring differences too.<br />

In Ireland, a theory test pass is needed<br />

before practical tuition can start, with<br />

lessons opening with 12 hours of<br />

mandatory tuition. The test itself can be as<br />

long as 100 minutes, and costs €85<br />

In France, two systems exist. The<br />

Apprentissage Anticipé de la Conduite<br />

(AAC) can begin at 15 if certain criteria are<br />

met. First the pupil must sign up with a<br />

registered driving school for an “evaluation<br />

of knowledge”. If successful, they then<br />

follow a minimum of 20 hours driving<br />

practice with a school before taking a<br />

general theory test. If successful, a<br />

certificate is issued that is valid for five<br />

years to drive accompanied by an adult,<br />

with three obligatory teaching follow-ups<br />

by the driving school.<br />

This is an expensive course, requires a<br />

lot of parental involvement and is regarded<br />

as a very middle class programme, but is<br />

effective, with a 70 per cent L-test pass<br />

rate.<br />

For those reluctant to go down this path,<br />

a cheaper option has a theory test followed<br />

by a practical exam from the age of 18.<br />

Interestingly the theory test pass entitles<br />

the holder to five goes at the L-test, rather<br />

than the two-year deadline in Great Britain.<br />

The Netherlands’ system is perhaps the<br />

closest to ours. Some differences remain<br />

- lessons can be only with an ADI, refresher<br />

training is required for ADIs, but the<br />

outcomes are similar, with around 42 hours<br />

of training taken on average for a pass.<br />

Belgium’s system is befitting a nation<br />

with such a complicated linguistic, political<br />

and civic structure: chaotic. There are eight<br />

paths to a licence, depending on which part<br />

of nation you live in.<br />

John provided a flowchart which<br />

highlighted the old adage that if Belgium<br />

didn’t exist, no one would be daft enough<br />

to invent it.<br />

Simusafe/FitDrive<br />

Two projects EFA had been involved in<br />

were Simusafe and Fit Drive. The first<br />

looked at the benefits of using simulators<br />

for teaching driving. A research programme<br />

had found benefits, particularly in areas<br />

that were difficult to teach in real life such<br />

as bad weather driving, night-time driving<br />

and how to safely use advanced driver<br />

assistance systems.<br />

FitDrive was focused on looking at a<br />

driver’s medical profile and trying to<br />

protect everyone from unexpected<br />

medical emergencies that were a danger to<br />

other road users. It monitors a driver’s<br />

health over a long period and creates an<br />

identikit of your health, with warnings if<br />

changes in health occur.<br />

The question of dual controls<br />

A third project of interest had links with<br />

conference supporter and exhibitor<br />

He-Man, the manufacture of dual controls.<br />

EFA has asked, what happens to dual<br />

controls when they are no longer needed?<br />

The research considered the fate of old<br />

duals across Europe, with some interesting<br />

differences in what happens to them.<br />

Some countries insist they are disposed<br />

of and cannot be re-used, but others,<br />

including Great Britain, have no regulations<br />

covering their subsequent use. He-Man’s<br />

concern is that second hand duals could<br />

end up being re-used, with incorrect fitting<br />

and be a danger to the public.<br />

It was noted that all countries require<br />

dual controls, though in some they have a<br />

third pedal to act as the accelerator.<br />

In France a buzzer fitted to the duals tells<br />

the learner when the ADI has intervened<br />

on their behalf.<br />

First aid lessons<br />

Many nations in Europe have a First Aid<br />

component in their driver training<br />

curriculum. As part of this, EFA had led on<br />

the Basic Life Support Project with a<br />

campaign called ‘Learn To Drive. Learn<br />

CPR’, produced in collaboration with the<br />

European Resuscitation Council (ERC). This<br />

encouraged a greater awareness of how<br />

CPR can save a life in the event of a cardiac<br />

arrest, and combined learning it with<br />

learning to drive.<br />

EFA had commissioned a catchy upbeat<br />

dance track with lyrics in English telling<br />

young people how to administer CPR - and<br />

was thrilled to win the Best Road Safety<br />

Project Award at the CIECA 2024<br />

Conference in Dubai.<br />

Conference enjoyed watching the video,<br />

which you can see for yourself by clicking<br />

HERE.<br />


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

“Belgium’s system is<br />

befitting a nation with such<br />

a complicated linguistic,<br />

political and civic<br />

structure: chaotic. There<br />

are eight paths to a driving<br />

licence, depending on which<br />

part of nation you live in.”<br />

It’s good to talk...<br />

Best bit of Conference?<br />

The chance to catch up with<br />

other ADIs and just have a<br />

chat...<br />

Brexit and divergence<br />

Brexit has divorced the UK from EU<br />

legislation on road safety and driver<br />

training, and it will be interesting to see<br />

how far our paths diverge in the years to<br />

come.<br />

At present much of the UK’s legislation<br />

is still based on the Third Driving Licence<br />

Directive 2006/126/EC, which introduced<br />

a single driving licence across the EU two<br />

decades ago.<br />

The current focus in Brussels was on<br />

better preparing novice drivers for the<br />

roads, protecting vulnerable road users,<br />

and the use of advanced driving<br />

assistance systems. EU politicians were<br />

also concerned that in-car driver<br />

distractions were becoming a factor in<br />

more crashes.<br />

Early reforms could see minimum<br />

eyesight checks being brought in, as well<br />

as other health assessments for drivers.<br />

Discussions were also looking at<br />

standardised restrictions on new driving,<br />

including nil alcohol levels and stricter<br />

penalties for speeding, etc.<br />

As reported in <strong>Newslink</strong>, one huge area<br />

of concern has been plans to allow<br />

17-year- olds to drive LGVs, something<br />

road safety professionals have strongly<br />

criticised as dangerous and ill advised.<br />

Looking further afield, EFA believes the<br />

greater use of electric vehicles poses<br />

some challenges for the driver training and<br />

testing sector, including manual/<br />

automatic testing.<br />

Further development and production of<br />

driverless cars will also demand politicians<br />

create adequate safeguards over their<br />

use.<br />


Conference 2024 Telford: Full report<br />

MSA GB Awards<br />

Each year MSA GB presents its awards to those areas and individuals who have<br />

contributed most to the association during the past year. Here we salue this year’s<br />

winners, and thanks to MSA GB Chairman Mike Yeomans for presenting the awards<br />


This year we had joint winners of our<br />

Member of the Year Award, which<br />

goes to an individual who has worked<br />

tirelessly on behalf of the MSA GB in the<br />

past year. The duo were: (far left), Geoff<br />

Capes (West Coast) and (near photo),<br />

Bob Page (London & South East)<br />


Colin Lilly received the Jon Gross<br />

Memorial Trophy for his sterling efforts<br />

on ensuring <strong>Newslink</strong> is published every<br />

month (middle row, far left)<br />


AWARDS:<br />

Left, Paul Harmes<br />

receives the Ron Feltham<br />

Memorial Cup on behalf<br />

of the East Coast, after<br />

it had recorded the<br />

best net percentage<br />

membership growth/<br />

retention over the year<br />

Bottom row, far left,<br />

Bryan Phillips receives<br />

the John William Parker<br />

Memorial Cup on behalf<br />

of Scotland & NI, after<br />

the area came second<br />

in the membership<br />

growth/retention<br />

There were joint winners<br />

of the Ian Scoular<br />

Memorial Shield for most<br />

new members recruited:<br />

Scotland & NI, and East<br />

Coast. Bryan Phillips and<br />

Karl Satloka collected<br />

the awards on behalf of<br />

their respective areas<br />


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

MSA GB Annual General Meeting<br />

Minutes of 89th Annual General<br />

Meeting held on<br />

23rd March 2024<br />

MSA GB Annual General Meeting was held in<br />

the Telford Hotel & Golf Resort, Telford.<br />

1. Chairman’s Welcome<br />

The Chairman, Mike Yeomans, opened the<br />

89th AGM at 12.35pm, introduced the agenda<br />

and welcomed attendees. There were 62<br />

people present. He reminded them that only<br />

members should vote.<br />

2. Convening Notice<br />

The Chairman read out the Formal Notice<br />

of meeting.<br />

3. Apologies<br />

Apologies were received from Mr. Rod<br />

Came. London & South East.<br />

4. Adoption of Previous Minutes<br />

Minutes of 88th AGM held virtually on 11th<br />

March 2023, were proposed by Mr. Alex<br />

Brownlee, London & South East and<br />

Seconded by Mr. Bryan Phillips, Scotland & NI.<br />

Carried unanimously.<br />

5. Matters Arising<br />

There were no matters arising.<br />

6. Adoption of Financial Statement<br />

The Chairman invited Mr. Peter Harvey, the<br />

vice chairman, to introduce the financial<br />

report for the year ending 30th November<br />

2023. This had been sent to members in<br />

advance of the meeting and was available to<br />

view on the website or in <strong>Newslink</strong>.<br />

There were no questions and the vice<br />

chairman asked for a proposer to accept the<br />

financial statement. Mr. Karl Satloka East<br />

Coast proposed, and was seconded by Mr.<br />

Neil Whiteman, East Coast.<br />

Carried unanimously.<br />

7. Adoption of the Annual Report<br />

The board continually strives to make<br />

further improvements to membership<br />

throughout the year and in many cases are<br />

the first to offer updates and changes to the<br />

profession.<br />

The Annual Report was proposed by Mr.<br />

Alex Brownlee, London & South East and<br />

MSA GB Board, 2024-25. From left, Peter Harvey MBE, Steven Porter, Mike Yeomans,<br />

Tom Kwok and Arthur Mynott<br />

seconded by Mr. Karl Satloka East Coast.<br />

Carried unanimously.<br />

8. Board Chairman<br />

Mr. Peter Harvey MBE announced that the<br />

board had nominated Mr. Mike Yeomans to<br />

continue as chairman for the ensuing year.<br />

Received with acclamation.<br />

9. Board Vice National Chairman<br />

The Chairman installed Mr. Peter Harvey<br />

MBE, Scotland & NI as vice chairman.<br />

Received with acclamation.<br />

10. Board of Management<br />

The Chairman introduced the Board of<br />

Management for 2024/25.<br />

Area 1: Scotland & Northern Ireland<br />

Mr. Steven Porter.<br />

Area 2: East Coast<br />

Mr. Mike Yeomans<br />

Area 3: London & South East<br />

Mr. Tom Kwok<br />

Area 4: West Coast<br />

Mr. Arthur Mynott<br />

The Chairman thanked the new Board for<br />

their continued commitment to the<br />

Association.<br />

11. Motion – from the Board of Management<br />

The Board proposes Saffron Accountancy<br />

Services Limited (Registration No:07941205,<br />

Registered Office: 27 Chaucer Road, London,<br />

E7 9LZ) be elected as MSA GB accountants<br />

and auditors for the year 2023/24.<br />

Proposed – The Chairman.<br />

Carried unanimously.<br />

12. Motion – from the Board of Management<br />

The Board proposes that the annual<br />

membership fee of the association should be<br />

increased by £5 per annum and should be<br />

implemented, from 1st May 2024.<br />

Proposed – The Chairman.<br />

Carried unanimously.<br />

13. Meeting Close<br />

The Chairman formally closed the meeting<br />

and thanked everyone for attending his first<br />

face to face AGM.<br />

The chairman closed the 89th AGM at<br />

12.50pm.Awards<br />


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 />


A full set of frequently asked questions can<br />

be found at their website, accessed by<br />

clicking the panel below.<br />

Click here<br />

for details<br />

To access your breakdown offer please follow<br />

this link.<br />

Click here<br />

for details<br />


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 February (AGM), May,<br />

August and November.<br />

Cost £35 per annum<br />

Angus Driving Instructors Association<br />

Secretary: Frances Matthew<br />

T: 07703 664522<br />

E; francesmatthew@hotmail.co.uk<br />

This group holds six meeting per year<br />

(usually one week after the Scottish<br />

committee meeting)<br />

Cost £20 per year.<br />

Aylesbury Vale Driving Instructors<br />

Association<br />

Chairman: Sue Pusey<br />

T: 07780 606868<br />

E: AVDIA@btinternet.com<br />

Meetings are first Wednesday of every<br />

month at Church of the Holy Spirit,<br />

Camborne Avenue, Aylesbury, HP21 7UE.<br />

7.30pm start.<br />

Guest speaker every other month,<br />

refreshments provided.<br />

Annual fee £30. First meeting free as try<br />

before you buy.<br />

Birmingham Approved Driving Instructors<br />

Contact: Dave Allen<br />

T: 07939 627493<br />

E: Daveallen1999@googlemail.com<br />

Cornwall Association of Approved Driving<br />

Instructors (CAADI)<br />

Secretary: Rachael Lloyd-Phillips<br />

E: rachael@oneandallsom.co.uk<br />

This group meets via Zoom on the 3rd<br />

Monday every other month at 7.30pm.<br />

City of Dunfermline and District ADIs<br />

Secretary: Gail Pilch<br />

T: 07817 661450<br />

E: dunfermlineadisecretary@outlook.com<br />

Meetings are bi-monthly, at<br />

Dunfermline Northern Bowling Club, Dewar<br />

Street,<br />

Dunfermline KY12 8AD<br />

Glasgow & District Driving Instructors<br />

Association<br />

Contact: Bryan Phillips<br />

T: 07989 339 646<br />

E: bryan.phillips@hotmail.co.uk<br />

Meet on the last Sunday of the month,<br />

once every quarter, at<br />

The Fort Theatre, Kenmuir Ave,<br />

Bishopbriggs, Glasgow, G64 2DW.<br />

Joining fee: £15 per year<br />

Hinckley & District Driver Trainers<br />

Association (HDDTA)<br />

Chairman: Barrie Pates<br />

T: 07914 408 739<br />

E: haddta@yahoo.com<br />

Hull and East Riding Driving Instructors<br />

(HERDI)<br />

Contact: Andrew<br />

T: 07754542993<br />

E: herdi.rsa@gmail.com<br />

Lanark Driving Instructors<br />

Secretary: Sandra Smillie<br />

T: 07975 147150<br />

Meet quarterly from March which is our<br />

AGM<br />

South Warwickshire Association<br />

of ADIs (SWAADI)<br />

Contact: Andy Thomas<br />

T: 01926 717230 / 07900 673634<br />

E: artommo@hotmail.com<br />

We meet at 8.30pm every third Monday of<br />

the month except August and December<br />

(no meetings) at The Windmill Inn,<br />

Tachbrook Rd, Leamington Spa CV31 3DD,<br />

Rolls and snacks are available for a small<br />

charge and membership is £25 a year and<br />

includes a monthly newsletter and addition<br />

to a WhatsApp group for local issues/<br />

traffic updates, etc.<br />

Swindon Driving Instructors Association<br />

(Swindon DIA)<br />

Contact: Sandra Jill Richens<br />

T: 07795 006015<br />

E: SJRichens@btinternet.com<br />

Taunton Association Driving Instructors<br />

See Facebook page – search ‘Taunton ADI<br />

& PDI Forum’<br />

Wirral Association of Professional Driving<br />

Instructors (APDI)<br />

Chairman: Brian Murray<br />

T: 07810 094332<br />

Secretary: Richard Gillmore<br />

T: 07790 193138<br />

E: wirral-apdi@hotmail.co.uk<br />

W: wirralinstructors.co.uk<br />

Meet monthly on the first Thursday of the<br />

month (except 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 peter.harveymbe@msagb.com<br />


Members’ section<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 />


A fuel card from MSA GB partner, Fuel<br />

Card Services can provide huge benefits to<br />

businesses that use vehicles on a daily<br />

basis:<br />

n Cutting fuel costs - save up to 10p per<br />

litre and get a consistent price.<br />

n Increased security - fuel cards are a<br />

safer alternative to carrying cash and<br />

eliminate fraud.<br />

n Streamline admin - HMRC compliant<br />

invoices, no receipts, one neat invoice and<br />

a dedicated account manager.<br />

n Tighter control of business expenses<br />

- view transactions and reports online 24/7.<br />

n Increased flexibility for refuelling<br />

across a huge network.<br />

n Fleet convenience - a quick and<br />

convenient way for fleets to refuel.<br />

There are a range of fuel cards available<br />

on the market and for your business to<br />

truly benefit from investing in fuel cards,<br />

you need to choose the right one for your<br />

businesses’ requirements.<br />

FUEL CARD SERVICES offers a large<br />

choice of networks from leading brands,<br />

such as BP, Shell, Esso and UK Fuels, so<br />

you can decide which networks you wish<br />

to include on your business account.<br />

Fuel Card Services and MSA GB are<br />

helping to deliver cost savings to<br />

members throughout the country.<br />

For more details and to obtain a fuel<br />

card through MSA GB, go to our website at<br />

https://msagb.com/members/<br />

member-discounts/<br />

What are the latest UK 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 />



DIESEL<br />

UK average 144p 152p<br />

Motorway 157p 176p<br />

Supermarkets 142p 152p<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 />


Towards your CPD<br />

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

Enhanced CPD can open up<br />

a host of new opportunities<br />

This is the second in Neil<br />

Wightman’s articles looking<br />

at the benefits of taking CPD.<br />

This issue he looks at enhanced<br />

competence, and what it does.<br />

What does enhanced competence mean?<br />

Developing competence is identifying the<br />

skills, talents, characteristics and knowledge<br />

you require to perform your job effectively,<br />

and training or practising to improve them.<br />

Taking time to enhance competence helps<br />

you improve your job performance, allowing<br />

you to advance your career.<br />

Enhanced competence: CPD enables<br />

professionals to acquire new skills, refine<br />

existing ones, and broaden their expertise.<br />

This continuous learning process enhances<br />

their competence and capabilities, enabling<br />

them to deliver higher quality services. Public<br />

confidence is bolstered when professionals<br />

demonstrate competence and expertise in<br />

their field.<br />

I have recently just proved that by taking<br />

my practitioner level of mentoring to the next<br />

level, which now stands me at Accredited<br />

Senior Mentor.<br />

Enhanced competence can make you<br />

better in several ways:<br />

1. Improved performance: When you<br />

develop and refine your skills and knowledge<br />

through enhanced competence, you become<br />

better equipped to perform your professional<br />

tasks and responsibilities effectively. You<br />

gain a deeper understanding of your field,<br />

enabling you to make informed decisions,<br />

solve problems more efficiently, and deliver<br />

higher quality outcomes.<br />

2. Increased confidence: Enhanced<br />

competence leads to increased confidence in<br />

your abilities. As you acquire new skills and<br />

broaden your expertise, you become more<br />

self-assured in your professional capabilities.<br />

This confidence positively impacts your<br />

performance, as you approach tasks with a<br />

greater sense of assurance, assertiveness,<br />

and poise.<br />

3. Expanded opportunities: Developing<br />

enhanced competence opens up new<br />

opportunities for personal and professional<br />

growth. With a broader skill set and deeper<br />

knowledge, you become eligible for more<br />

challenging projects, promotions, leadership<br />

roles, and career advancement. Enhanced<br />

competence can expand your professional<br />

horizons and provide you with a competitive<br />

edge in the job market.<br />

For example, with me altering the levels of<br />

my mentoring qualification it stands me out<br />

from the crowd. Advertising the fact that I’ve<br />

stepped up will enable people to have full<br />

confidence in employing me to do what I do.<br />

4. Adaptability: In today’s rapidly evolving<br />

world, adaptability is crucial. Enhanced<br />

competence enables you to stay ahead of<br />

changes and adapt to new circumstances<br />

more effectively.<br />

By continuously learning and developing<br />

your skills, you become more adaptable to<br />

emerging trends, technologies, and industry<br />

shifts. This adaptability allows you to<br />

navigate uncertainties, embrace innovation,<br />

and thrive in dynamic environments.<br />

“Enhanced competence<br />

contributes to building a<br />

strong professional reputation.<br />

When you consistently<br />

demonstrate expertise and<br />

high-quality performance,<br />

your reputation as a competent<br />

professional grows...”<br />

5. Professional reputation: Enhanced<br />

competence contributes to building a strong<br />

professional reputation. When you<br />

consistently demonstrate expertise and<br />

high-quality performance, your reputation as<br />

a competent professional grows. A positive<br />

reputation can lead to increased trust,<br />

credibility, and respect from colleagues,<br />

clients, and employers.<br />

6. Continuous learning: Developing<br />

enhanced competence is a lifelong process<br />

that fosters a mindset of continuous learning<br />

and improvement. When you embrace a<br />

growth-oriented mindset, you become open<br />

to acquiring new knowledge and skills beyond<br />

your current expertise. This commitment to<br />

continuous learning keeps you engaged,<br />

intellectually stimulated, and motivated to<br />

stay at the forefront of your profession.<br />

In summary, enhanced competence<br />

through continuous learning and skill<br />

development empowers you to perform at a<br />

higher level, increases your confidence,<br />

opens up new opportunities, enhances your<br />

adaptability, strengthens your professional<br />

reputation, and nurtures a mindset of lifelong<br />

learning.<br />

These factors collectively contribute to<br />

making you a better professional and position<br />

you for long-term success in your career.<br />

“Developing enhanced competence is a lifelong process<br />

that fosters a mindset of continuous learning and<br />

improvement. When you embrace a growth-oriented<br />

mindset, you become open to acquiring new knowledge<br />

and skills beyond your current expertise...”<br />


Towards your CPD<br />

Talking of driving safely...<br />

Steve Garrod offers some advice on how to conduct a commentary<br />

drive, and how it can help enhance your harzard perception skills<br />

Over the last month I have been asked to help<br />

some ADIs looking to improve their<br />

commentary driving, so I thought it might be<br />

an opportunity to share some thoughts on<br />

this topic, which is also one of the lesson<br />

themes in the Standards Check.<br />

A good commentary drive promotes<br />

forward planning and is an essential part of an<br />

advanced driver’s, or trainer’s, toolbox. In<br />

general terms, a commentary is used to<br />

inform a student, trainer or assessor of the<br />

thought processes of the driver or to help<br />

enhance and develop hazard perception skills.<br />

Developing good commentary skill is about<br />

practice so that the quality of the drive will be<br />

enhanced rather than degraded. In the early<br />

stages of learning commentary driving the<br />

driving performance often dips. The<br />

commentary should emphasise the action<br />

that is to be taken in order to deal with each<br />

potential hazard.<br />

The contents of the commentary should<br />

be current and future and not historical. I<br />

always think of it in terms of casting out a<br />

fishing line; you start from behind your head<br />

(mirrors) then cast it to the furthest point<br />

before reeling it back in and casting it out<br />

once more from behind your head. As you reel<br />

it in you scan from side to side from the far<br />

ground, middle ground and near and rear<br />

ground.<br />

Throughout the drive it is important to use<br />

a clear, distinct voice and avoid talking too<br />

quickly. A good tip to remember is ABC -<br />

Accurate, Brief and Concise. Also, imagine<br />

you are taking to somebody sitting in the<br />

back of the car to ensure your voice is loud<br />

enough to be heard.<br />

It may be appropriate at some stage to<br />

define a hazard that contains an element of<br />

actual or potential danger and anything which<br />

may cause a driver to change course or<br />

speed. Actual danger is where the law or the<br />

rule of the road places the responsibility on<br />

the driver to ensure that it is safe before<br />

continuing. Such circumstances may require<br />

a delayed gear change such as at give way or<br />

coming to rest at a stop sign or obstructions<br />

on the nearside.<br />

Potential danger is where common sense<br />

or road sense suggests that safety<br />

precautions should be taken before entering<br />

the danger area.<br />

Such action as an early gear change for<br />

example on the approach to a bend, a narrow<br />

section, a hump backed bridge or<br />

obstructions on the offside causing<br />

oncoming drivers to cross the centre of the<br />

carriageway or when pedestrians are<br />

approaching a crossing or a junction<br />

(remember the ‘hierarchy’ laws that were<br />

introduced a couple of years ago).<br />

Roadcraft view<br />

Roadcraft explains there are three main<br />

types of hazard:<br />

a) Fixed physical features such as road<br />

junctions, bends or crests of hills<br />

b) Risks arising from the position or<br />

movement of other road users<br />

c) Problems arising from variations in road<br />

surface, weather conditions or visibility<br />

A driver is constantly making driving plans<br />

to deal with immediate circumstances and is<br />

designed to ensure that the vehicle is always:<br />

n At the correct speed<br />

n In the correct position<br />

n In the correct gear<br />

The driving plan will take into account:<br />

n What can be seen<br />

n What cannot be seen<br />

n What a driver may reasonably expect to<br />

see<br />

n Which hazards present the greatest<br />

threat<br />

n What to do if a situation develops<br />

differently from expected<br />

It is often the hazards that can’t be seen<br />

catch drivers out. Many will pride themselves<br />

on being observant, but few think of the<br />

‘what if’ scenario. This is an area that should<br />

be emphasised during all driver training<br />

sessions, regardless of the driver’s<br />

experience.<br />

Such examples include a second car<br />

emerging from a side road, a hidden car<br />

behind an approaching van in a meeting<br />

situation or the second emergency vehicle at<br />

a set of traffic lights.<br />

Observation<br />

Means using sight, hearing, feel and even<br />

smell (think of cut grass or diesel/petrol) to<br />

gain as much information as possible about<br />

what lies ahead. It is the result of this<br />


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

“Roadcraft lists three types of hazards...<br />

including fixed physical features such as<br />

road junctions, bends or crests of hills...”<br />

observation which principally dictates the<br />

content of the commentary. A driver should<br />

also refer to the more obvious features that<br />

can be seen such as:<br />

n road signs<br />

n obstructions<br />

n road markings.<br />

Weather conditions and visibility<br />

You need a reasonable prediction of how<br />

weather and visibility will affect the driving<br />

plan. What actions will the driver need to take<br />

to be able to deal with the situation and what<br />

alternative courses of action may be required<br />

if the situation develops. A big omission in<br />

many a commentary is that of the road<br />

surface, eg, leaves, rain, pot holed, mud on<br />

the road, animal droppings or loose gravel.<br />

Anticipation<br />

Observation links are also useful as a<br />

commentary device and therefore support or<br />

dictate the driving plan. We can comment on<br />

the lampposts; for example, are they on the<br />

right or left-hand side of the road? If they are<br />

on the left, then the chances are the road will<br />

bend to the right and if they are on the right<br />

then the road often bends to the left. This can<br />

be backed up with direction of hedgerows<br />

when driving more rural areas.<br />

Black and marker posts (red reflectors on<br />

top) which are on the left and posts with<br />

white tops on the right are used to show the<br />

outside of a bend.<br />

It is based on the rear of vehicles having<br />

red reflectors and lights and white at the<br />

front, which is why reversing lights are white<br />

to warn other drivers that the car is coming<br />

towards them.<br />

What do you think it could mean if you saw<br />

a Royal Mail van slowing down, brake lights on<br />

cars, out-turned front wheels, or exhaust<br />

fumes?<br />

The following distance calculation and<br />

application can effectively be included as part<br />

of a commentary. Employing a two or more<br />

second time gap behind the vehicle in front,<br />

depending on conditions, will ensure that the<br />

driver:<br />

n Has a good view and can increase it<br />

along both sides by slight changes of position<br />

n Can stop the vehicle safely in the event<br />

that the driver in front brakes sharply<br />

without warning.<br />

n Can extend the braking distance so that<br />

the driver behind has more time to react.<br />

n Can see when it is safe to move up into<br />

the overtaking position<br />

Planning<br />

On your commentary include a brief<br />

explanation of what is intended to be carried<br />

out, eg, restricted view, intending to slow and<br />

looking to go. Church spire ahead, anticipating<br />

reduction in speed, therefore I will need to<br />

slow before the bend<br />

It must be emphasised that good<br />

commentary is about good observation,<br />

planning and implementation. Responding to<br />

what can be seen or in some cases not seen.<br />

In certain circumstances there may be<br />

several simultaneous occurrences and it is up<br />

to the driver to prioritise accordingly.<br />

Effective commentary is about current and<br />

future events. History has no value.<br />

To sum up it should Observe, Anticipate &<br />

Planning ….OAP!<br />

A good way to start is by watching a hazard<br />

perception DVD. Try to say aloud what you<br />

are observing, then anticipating and finally<br />

planning to do. Once you feel comfortable<br />

with this, try including all three elements<br />

(OAP) before you arrive at each hazard, then<br />

take those skills into the car.<br />

Once you feel confident why not teach<br />

your learners how to do it. It does make the<br />

lesson interesting and will really bring home<br />

then need for full concentration while driving.<br />


Towards your CPD<br />

Evaluating road safety interventions:<br />

when to step in, and how to gauge success<br />

Janet<br />

Stewart<br />

London & the<br />

South East<br />

I had the chance to listen to a webinar hosted<br />

by Tanya Fosdick at Agilysis recently, on how<br />

and why we should evaluate road safety<br />

interventions.<br />

Among the speakers were Fay Cannon and<br />

Dr Elizabeth Box; Elizabeth has been<br />

instrumental in forming the Drive Fit<br />

campaign, which was designed to address<br />

the needs of 16-18 year-old pre-drivers.<br />

The first question to address is why we<br />

should evaluate interventions. The point, as<br />

James Harrington said, is “What if we are<br />

investing in solutions that don’t work?” What<br />

we are doing must be effective, be value for<br />

money and facilitate further improvement.<br />

As driving instructors, we know this. One<br />

size does not fit all. When it comes to<br />

educational bodies, university research and<br />

bodies such as the RAC and IAM, the<br />

evaluation aims and objectives must meet<br />

the further criteria of carrying stakeholder<br />

confidence and being scalable.<br />

There is no point in change that does not<br />

lead to improvement. The aims and objectives<br />

need to be clear. People can get so carried<br />

away with detailed analysis and complex data<br />

that the results almost get lost.<br />

A couple of reports were mentioned during<br />

this webinar – notably the 2004 Guidelines<br />

for Evaluating Road Safety Education<br />

Interventions and Dr Fiona Filan’s report of<br />

2017 on Behavioural Change. There is also<br />

Elizabeth Box’s paper on Empowering Young<br />

Drivers with Road Safety Education. All of<br />

these are well worth close reading.<br />

There are three main problems with<br />

research into what interventions work in the<br />

area of road safety. Cost is the most obvious.<br />

Then there is the time it takes to get projects<br />

set up. Finally, there is human nature –<br />

people start with enthusiasm, the process is<br />

slow and people drop out of the research.<br />

One of the questions asked was how to<br />

decide when the drop out level is such that<br />

the data won’t make sense. When do you<br />

abandon it? How do you explain to the<br />

stakeholders?<br />

It is essential that there is a point to the<br />

evaluation that is being undertaken. There<br />

may be an area that a researcher is very<br />

interested in but if it is only of very limited use<br />

then maybe it should not be followed up.<br />

Having planned an intervention, carried it<br />

through and got the evaluation you may not<br />

get the result that you were expecting; then<br />

something needs to be changed.<br />

The example given was skid-pan training<br />

for young drivers. The premise was that they<br />

would be safer if taught how to deal with<br />

skidding. The outcome was that “skill fade”<br />

set in quite quickly but the drivers were more<br />

likely to speed having done the course.<br />

On a non-driving subject, some juvenile<br />

delinquents spent some time in an adult<br />

prison to find out how harsh the environment<br />

was. This was counter-intuitive – they came<br />

out with the feeling that their risk-taking<br />

behaviour was “normalised”.<br />

I found it interesting that all three speakers<br />

said that there is a real stigma attached to<br />

publishing the results of interventions that<br />

did not work, despite the fact that this would<br />

be so useful to other research teams who<br />

might have been planning something similar.<br />

It was suggested that it would be helpful if<br />

there was some standardisation of<br />

evaluation and delivery methods. It was also<br />

suggested that there should be a catalogue<br />

of who was doing what research so that<br />

there could be a pooling of ideas and an<br />

avoidance of unnecessary duplication.<br />

As to what we driving instructors do, of<br />

course we evaluate all the time and put in<br />

what we hope is the correct intervention. We<br />

know that if something is not working then<br />

we need to try a different approach rather<br />

than just saying the same thing again but<br />

louder.<br />

I know I am not alone in having a tendency<br />

to assume I understand why the learner has<br />

done what they have done. I know, too, that I<br />

can be very wide of the mark.<br />

I was teaching bay parking at the local<br />

leisure centre. My pupil’s eyes glazed over so<br />

I tried to use a different form of words. She<br />

then apologised and said she had been<br />

looking at the legs of the firemen playing<br />

football on the pitch the other side of the car,<br />

out of my view!<br />

There is so much information available, so<br />

many papers, so much research and advice<br />

out there for us, it is difficult to know where<br />

to start.<br />

However, each seminar, conference or<br />

online event that I attend gives me some<br />

nugget to take away and there is always<br />

something more to think about and<br />

incorporate into my teaching/tutoring/<br />

coaching.<br />

Janet Stewart is an Executive Member of the<br />

IMTD.<br />

Contact:<br />

Janet Stewart,<br />

MSA GB London & the South<br />

janetslittlecar@btinternet.com<br />

Tel 07989 852274.<br />


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

EU progress on safety ‘barely moving’<br />

The European Court of Auditors has warned<br />

that EU member states will need to ‘move<br />

their efforts up a gear’ if they are to reach<br />

targets of halving road deaths and serious<br />

injuries by 2030.<br />

EU auditors analysed the bloc’s current<br />

road safety efforts and while commending<br />

the overall strategy, they warn that<br />

implementation is lacking or non-existent in<br />

several key areas. Eva Lindström, the ECA<br />

member who led the audit, said progress was<br />

“barely moving”, and that the situation in<br />

some countries “remains rather alarming”.<br />

Commenting on the report’s findings,<br />

Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the<br />

European Transport Safety Council said: “This<br />

report shows the scale of the challenge<br />

ahead if the EU is serious about halving the<br />

20,000 tragic deaths on our roads every<br />

year. The current approach is just not going<br />

to do the job as long as legislation is not<br />

ambitious enough, and proper<br />

implementation is lacking in many areas.<br />

“We hope this report will be a wake-up call<br />

for the EU that efforts will need to increase in<br />

the second half of the decade.<br />

“We also think that the European<br />

Commission does not have enough resources<br />

to tackle major emerging issues such as the<br />

roll-out of vehicle automation, and that an EU<br />

road safety agency should be established to<br />

take on some of this work.<br />

“It is hard to understand why maritime, air<br />

and rail all have dedicated agencies, but there<br />

is no EU agency for road safety issues.”<br />

In terms of the overarching goals, the<br />

auditors suggest that the strategy for<br />

reducing serious road injuries is being<br />

hampered by a lack of harmonisation on how<br />

member states classify data. This leaves the<br />

Commission “unable to obtain an accurate<br />

overview of serious injuries at EU level.”<br />

In vehicle safety, the auditors noted that<br />

the flagship EU General Safety Regulation<br />

which applies to all new vehicles sold from<br />

July this year, will not lead to the expected<br />

reductions in deaths because Europeans are<br />

replacing their vehicles less often.<br />

Separately ETSC has pointed out that the<br />

regulation has been weakened in the<br />

implementation phase, as carmakers put<br />

policymakers under huge pressure to lower<br />

the bar for minimum requirements on<br />

technologies including Intelligent Speed<br />

Assistance (ISA), Electronic Data Recorders<br />

(EDR) and distraction warning systems.<br />

The auditors reiterated ETSC’s warning<br />

that thousands of new vehicles are able to<br />

circumvent EU vehicle safety requirements<br />

each year, including dangerous American<br />

pickup trucks, because they are imported<br />

and approved under the EU’s Individual<br />

Vehicle Approval Scheme which has very low<br />

safety requirements.<br />

On speed, responsible for a third of deaths,<br />

the report notes that the Commission has<br />

not yet issued a formal recommendation to<br />

member states on safe speed limits, “even<br />

though the European Parliament had called<br />

upon the Commission to do so in 2021.”<br />

Rural roads account for half of Europe’s motoring deaths<br />

A new report by the European Transport<br />

Safety Council (ETSC) has revealed that<br />

around 10,000 people died on rural, nonmotorway<br />

roads in the EU in 2022 –<br />

accounting for around half of all road deaths.<br />

Rural roads can be dangerous, compared to<br />

other road types. They often lack central and<br />

side barriers and allow for large speed and<br />

weight differences between the vehicles that<br />

use them, from lorries to vulnerable cyclists<br />

as well as pedestrians and horses.<br />

Single-vehicle crashes, where a fatigued<br />

driver misjudges a turn and runs off the road,<br />

are common. Head-on collisions frequently<br />

occur, and are often lethal.<br />

The report urges national governments to<br />

invest significantly to improve the safety of<br />

rural roads.<br />

The call comes as EU rules on road<br />

infrastructure safety management (RISM)<br />

have changed dramatically. Previously EU<br />

safety rules applied on the main roads and<br />

motorways that form the EU’s Trans-<br />

European Network, but new rules agreed in<br />

2019, but only just implemented, now extend<br />

that coverage to national ‘primary’ roads and<br />

any roads that benefited from EU-funds.<br />

Installation of side and central barriers,<br />

removing roadside obstacles and<br />

construction of separated paths for cyclists<br />

and pavements for pedestrians are among<br />

the recommendations for safer rural roads.<br />

Although often seen as an urban road<br />

safety issue, around half of cyclist deaths<br />

occur on rural roads.<br />

The report contains many examples of<br />

remarkable interventions that are saving<br />

lives across Europe. France, Spain and the<br />

Belgian region of Flanders have reduced the<br />

speed limits across their entire rural road<br />

networks. Scotland’s initiative with road<br />

markings to help motorcyclists navigate<br />

sharp bends safely was also praised.<br />

Speed remains a major risk factor, with<br />

large numbers of drivers still driving above<br />

the posted limit on rural roads despite the<br />

availability and proven reliability of<br />

automated enforcement technology such as<br />

speed cameras and time-over-distance, or<br />

‘average speed’ cameras. The authors note<br />

that the safest countries of those studied<br />

usually have lower standard rural road speed<br />

limits, set at 70 or 80 km/h.<br />

ETSC also wants to see the EU’s automated<br />

‘eCall’ emergency call system, which is<br />

required on all new cars, extended to other<br />

vehicle types – notably motorcycles. In rural<br />

areas, an incapacitated driver or rider who<br />

cannot call for help, could have their life saved<br />

by an eCall system which can send location<br />

information directly to emergency services.<br />


Area News<br />

The NHS desperately needs your help...<br />

with its bay parking<br />

John Lomas<br />

MSA GB<br />

West Coast<br />

& Wales<br />

Following a bit of a health scare I recently<br />

spent another overnight in our local<br />

hospital.<br />

The window by my third floor ward bed<br />

gave me a lovely view of one of the staff<br />

car parks during the early morning shift<br />

influx, and if I had had a decent video<br />

camera with me I could have made a<br />

terrific hour-long training video showing<br />

bad bay parking, both forwards and<br />

backwards. It would have included a<br />

range of angles, from 90 degrees to<br />

straight access, and a selection of shunt<br />

numbers ranging from NONE (straight in,<br />

well done) to around five or six goes,<br />

regardless of the direction of parking.<br />

I even watched two to four shunts<br />

when there were no other vehicles within<br />

three bays either side.<br />

The red lines show aproximately the<br />

scope of my view.<br />

(Just in case you’re thinking ‘shunt’ in<br />

this case means a crash, I’m referring to<br />

parking by moving forwards then back<br />

again).<br />

Motor vehicle versus wild animal<br />

To illustrate this point, I’ve used two<br />

photographs (both right).<br />

The photo (see top right) I have used<br />

for this happens to be on the A4 in<br />

Savernake Forest, Wiltshire; but it could<br />

be any national speed limit road with<br />

restricted sideways visibility.<br />

The night driving picture (below right)<br />

is actually from America but it illustrates<br />

the restricted scope of your lights in such<br />

an area.<br />

The point I want to make is how driving<br />

on rural roads can be dangerous because<br />

of the presence of large wild animals. It<br />

doesn’t have to be a forested area either<br />

because some deer can easily come over<br />

a field hedge onto the road; this is why in<br />

some deer areas they actually erect high<br />

deer fence. Large wild animals such as<br />

Red, Roe, Fallow and Sika deer can<br />

nowadays be found virtually anywhere in<br />

the country.<br />

So the question is: although this is a<br />

national speed limit and even if it didn’t<br />

have a Wild Animals warning sign, which<br />

are found in a relatively few areas, just<br />

what speed would you consider doing on<br />

a dark night even if you can use main<br />

beam because there is nothing coming<br />

the other way?<br />

You might think that traffic on the road<br />

might deter the animals from crossing,<br />

but I have actually experienced a large<br />

deer crossing between my car and the<br />

one in front at about 25 yards. In that<br />

case we were actually doing about<br />

30mph through the Forest of Dean.<br />

I wonder how often fatal single vehicle<br />

crashes involving vehicles leaving the<br />

road have actually been caused by a<br />

driver, using an inappropriate speed,<br />

swerving to avoid a deer, or other,<br />

smaller, wild animal which has suddenly<br />

emerged into their path from the<br />

darkness.<br />

Do you raise this sort of scenario with<br />

your pupils when doing or discussing<br />

night driving – particularly (though not<br />

exclusively) if you are an ADI in a rural<br />

area, or whose pupils are more likely to<br />

drive on coutnry roads?<br />

“How fast would you<br />

fancy driving down the<br />

dark road right, in the<br />

event of a large wild<br />

animal coming out of the<br />

forest into your path?”<br />

My line of vision<br />

over the car park.<br />

It offered a<br />

grandstand view<br />

of some dubious<br />

parking<br />

techniques<br />


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

Julia’s message rang home<br />

and would have been great<br />

to hear many years ago<br />

Arthur Mynott<br />

MSA GB<br />

West Coast<br />

& Wales<br />

Hopefully, you’ve had chance to read<br />

elsewhere in this issue of <strong>Newslink</strong> all about<br />

our recent Conference and Training Day. I<br />

thought it was a great success.<br />

It was our first face-to-face conference for<br />

five years, the last four being conducted via<br />

Zoom, and it was so nice to meet other<br />

instructors in person.<br />

I met old acquaintances and made new<br />

ones, and everyone I spoke to agreed that it<br />

had been a great occasion, one which had<br />

them already looking forward to next year’s<br />

event. Marie and I went up on the Thursday<br />

with the intention of me playing golf with the<br />

Driving Instructors Golf Association (DIGA)<br />

on the Friday but, because of the continuous<br />

wet weather, the course was closed so Marie<br />

and I went sightseeing instead.<br />

Conference highlight<br />

As I said earlier, the conference itself is<br />

covered elsewhere in this publication but I<br />

would just like to mention one speaker who<br />

stood out for me, and that was Dr Julia Malkin<br />

MBE.<br />

Julia, who is also a driving instructor, spoke<br />

about teaching learners with ADHD, a<br />

condition from which she also suffers. She<br />

went through the thought processes<br />

learners with this condition go through.<br />

Her presentation struck me on a personal<br />

level as my older brother, born in 1954, was<br />

diagnosed with learning difficulties, a severe<br />

form of ADHD. He was non-verbal until the<br />

age of five and attended a Special Needs<br />

secondary school. He also worked all his life<br />

until redundancy, living with our parents the<br />

whole time until their passing.<br />

My wife, eldest son and myself then took<br />

over looking after his welfare and finances<br />

until he passed away suddenly two years ago<br />

of a heart attack at the age of 67.<br />

If I knew years ago what I now know,<br />

thanks to Julia, it would have made a big<br />

difference in being able to understand his<br />

thought processes, and it would have made<br />

looking after him much easier for us and also<br />

better for him.<br />

One thing that he did manage to do, at the<br />

age of 50, was to pass his driving test at the<br />

second attempt, thanks to yours truly. It took<br />

a while but was very rewarding for him when<br />

he received his pass certificate, just as it was<br />

for me.<br />

West Coast Conference<br />

From one conference to another. It’s now<br />

time to book another important date into<br />

your diary, and that is the West Coast &<br />

Wales Area Conference. It will be held on<br />

Monday, 11th November, and this year will be<br />

held at the Mercure Bristol North Hotel, The<br />

Grange. It is just off the M5/M4 interchange<br />

near Bristol, so hopefully is easy for people in<br />

this far-flung region to get to.<br />

Speakers booked so far include John<br />

Sheridan, DVSA Driver Training Policy<br />

Adviser. John has promised to be there “by<br />

hook or by crook” this year after having to let<br />

us down last year because he was conducting<br />

driving tests.<br />

He will be joined by Daniel Cox, Road Safety<br />

Officer for Avon and Somerset Police.<br />

I am in the process of booking more<br />

speakers for the day.<br />

The cost per delegate has yet to be<br />

confirmed but will be in comparison with<br />

other years, and I have managed to negotiate<br />

a discounted room rate for anyone who<br />

wishes to stay over for the conference.<br />

Make sure you put this date in your diary in<br />

readiness for this event and also drop me a<br />

message if you are thinking of coming.<br />


Arthur Mynott, Chairman West Coast &<br />

Wales MSA GB<br />

Tel 07989852274<br />

arthur.mynott@msagb.com<br />

Big rise in theory<br />

test cheating<br />

Reports of cheating in driving theory tests<br />

have tripled amid low pass rates and long<br />

waits for a practical test booking.<br />

According to data accessed by AA<br />

Driving Schoo via a Freedom of<br />

Information request, 1,652 incidents of<br />

cheating were reported from theory test<br />

centres in 2022/23, up from 568 in 20/21.<br />

In 2022 and 2023, 625 people were<br />

investigated, resulting in 46 prosecutions<br />

for theory test fraud. The current pass rate<br />

for the theory test is just 45.4%.<br />

Recent analysis by the AA Driving<br />

School showed waiting times to book a<br />

practical test were still higher than the<br />

pre-pandemic average of 6 weeks at 75%<br />

of test centres. Many test centres still<br />

show average waiting times in excess of<br />

five months.<br />

Camilla Benitz, AA Driving School<br />

managing director, said: “The jump in<br />

reports of theory test fraud is alarming,<br />

but indicates the lengths people will go to<br />

secure that all important pass.<br />

“The increase in cheating coincides with<br />

the waiting times for booking a driving<br />

test shooting up massively as well as the<br />

pass rate for the theory test remaining<br />

stubbornly low at just 45.5%.<br />

“While passing the theory test does<br />

require revision and time spent practising,<br />

it shouldn’t have learners turning to illegal<br />

fraudsters to pass. There is lots of help out<br />

there, including our theory test app, which<br />

can help you prepare and take the next<br />

step in your driving journey.”<br />

Rise of the theory test cheats<br />

2015-16 467<br />

2016-17 414<br />

2017-18 537<br />

2018-19 653<br />

2019-20 848<br />

2020-21 568<br />

2021-22 1,151<br />

2022-23 1,652<br />


Area News<br />

An ADI on holiday...<br />

is still an ADI<br />

Brian<br />

Thomson<br />

MSA GB Scotland<br />

It’s been 20 years this year since I became an<br />

ADI, and with that became self-employed.<br />

Working for yourself has it’s ups and downs,<br />

as we all know. There’s the chance to work<br />

your own hours, a plus; doing all your own<br />

admin, a minus; not getting paid for downtime<br />

or illness, a minus; taking your unpaid holidays<br />

when you like, a plus.<br />

That takes me seamlessly onto my topic for<br />

this issue of <strong>Newslink</strong>– I managed to do that<br />

thing we all say we’ll do, but rarely get round<br />

to, which is take a quick break for some much<br />

needed R and R. At the end of January I took in<br />

a bit of sun, sea and strolling about in Gran<br />

Canaria. Temperatures at that time of year are<br />

a nice 25-27’C during the day.<br />

But as well as know, a driving instructor on<br />

holiday is still a driving instructor, so after a<br />

quick word with some of the hotel reception<br />

staff, I found myself outside a local driving<br />

school office. However, what the receptionist<br />

omitted to tell me was that in Gran Canaria,<br />

unlike the UK, they shut between 1pm and<br />

4pm!<br />

So it was a return trip the following day to<br />

meet Selvia, who arranged lesson bookings<br />

and theory classroom sessions. The school<br />

had its own classroom equipped with various<br />

models of working parts of a car that, in olden<br />

days, had been used as hands-on training<br />

material. I also met one of the instructors who<br />

was coming in to pick up two students at the<br />

same time. They go out for a lesson together,<br />

one driving and the other taking notes or at<br />

least paying attention, before they swap over<br />

and the second lesson commences.<br />

They sometime have three students in the<br />

car at once.<br />

The lessons at that school were 31 euros<br />

for a 45-minute lesson, roughly equivalent to<br />

£37.50 for a one hour lesson here. Fuel was<br />

slightly cheaper, around £1.20 for petrol and<br />

£1.31 for diesel. So with the ‘busman’s holiday’<br />

information gathered, off I set to see what<br />

other subtle differences I would come across.<br />

Electric scooters are really common on the<br />

island and look as though they are used by all<br />

walks of life. Indeed they seem to be<br />

considered a main form of transport around<br />

town, and even used on urban dual<br />

carriageways (didn’t personally see any on the<br />

main motorways!). The ones I saw were<br />

always ridden on the road and not the<br />

pavements.<br />

Another ‘anomaly’ was some parking; there<br />


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

Park anywhere? How do those in the bay get out? What the blazes is that ...<br />

‘The school had its own<br />

classroom equipped with<br />

various models of working<br />

parts of a car that, in olden<br />

days, had been used as<br />

hands-on training material.’<br />

were cars parked in bays but other cars just<br />

parked on the road directly behind them, fully<br />

blocking the bay parkers. I never found out<br />

why this is accepted; my ‘Gran Canarian’ is<br />

sketchy so I couldn’t ask.<br />

I don’t have a photo to show this, but while<br />

on a local bus I noticed that they have<br />

designated bus stops on roundabouts, so<br />

when the bus enters the roundabout it may<br />

stop on the right side.<br />

This didn’t seem to cause a lot of<br />

frustration from other drivers, but I wonder<br />

how that would bode here ?.<br />

Then I saw what has to be described as a<br />

‘something at the side of the road’.<br />

This ‘car’ has to take the title of the car<br />

with the least number of features in one<br />

place. I think the doors are spare<br />

supermarket exit/entry gates and a list of<br />

interior extras as long as your eyelashes, but,<br />

hey ho, no doubt it’s somebody’s pride and<br />

joy (see photo top of the page).<br />

That’s my Gran Canaria report complete,<br />

where to next?<br />

“Electric scooters are really<br />

common and look as though<br />

they are used by all walks of<br />

life. Indeed, they seem to be<br />

considered a main form of<br />

transport around town...”<br />


Life as an ADI<br />

A cautionary tale of the toll work can have, by Bryan Phillips<br />

A pain in the chest – and you’re<br />

glad you’ve got health insurance!<br />

Sunday 19th May 2019: for me a typical<br />

Sunday. Day off work, cleaning the car for the<br />

week ahead and the standard personal trainer<br />

session at the gym. However, this gym<br />

session was to change my life forever!<br />

I was doing some bench presses, which was<br />

nothing unusual for me, with weights that<br />

were comfortable for me to use. However, the<br />

personal trainer kept telling me I was doing<br />

things wrong and that my right arm was doing<br />

all the work, and the left arm was being lazy.<br />

After this gym session I returned home, and<br />

soon the top of my left arm was agony. My<br />

immediate thougt was I had pulled a muscle,<br />

so I took the standard paracetamols and got<br />

on with things.<br />

Monday 20th May, I left for work. This day<br />

was different as I had Pass Plus course<br />

booked with a recently passed pupil. All is well,<br />

but later that night I was in pain again with the<br />

top of my left arm, cold sweats and I felt like<br />

death. Again I took the standard paracetamols<br />

and went to bed. However, the pain came and<br />

went though the night and I can’t get to sleep.<br />

Something was not right so I decide to go<br />

to the hospital to get checked over. Off I drive<br />

to Glasgow Royal Infirmary. The receptionist<br />

takes my details and asks what my<br />

symptoms are, then asks me to take a seat.<br />

Abdominal<br />

injections<br />

for blood<br />

thinners...<br />

ouch!<br />

Within seconds my name gets called and I<br />

was taken into the casualty department and<br />

put on to an ECG machine. I had a series of<br />

needles into my arm and blood tests<br />

conducted. Half an hour passes and I’m then<br />

moved to another section of the hospital and<br />

told the doctor is on their way to speak to me.<br />

Mr Phillips, says the Doctor, it appears you<br />

have had a myocardial infarction. Me being<br />

from the east end of Glasgow and not being<br />

the sharpest tool in the box says to the<br />

doctor, ‘oh ok and what exactly is that’, and<br />

the doctor replies, you are currently having a<br />

heart attack.<br />

My instant thought was, oh no, I have not<br />

got time for a heart attack, I have a pile of<br />

driving tests this week! I say to the doctor ‘oh<br />

what happens next because I have got work<br />

to go to tomorrow and driving tests to do’. The<br />

doctor looked at me and said “Bryan you will<br />

not be working for some time.”<br />

Everything happened so fast it was a total<br />

blur; I remember getting an injection of<br />

Looking<br />

groggy after<br />

a little bout of<br />

heart<br />

surgery...<br />

at least the<br />

morphine<br />

was good!<br />

anti-sickness medicine and an injection of<br />

morphine (that stuff was great) the pain went<br />

away within seconds!<br />

An echocardiogram scan was done and I<br />

was put into an ambulance and transferred to<br />

the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Glasgow for an<br />

immediate operation. This is when it hit home<br />

to me how serious things were. I felt<br />

overwhelmed and embarrassed at the<br />

ambulance sirens going and seeing all the<br />

vehicles moving out the way to allow the<br />

ambulance a path through the traffic.<br />

Arriving at the Golden Jubilee Hospital I was<br />

taken to the ward where the heart surgeon<br />

came to see me prior to the operation. I had to<br />

sign a consent form, so jokingly I said to the<br />

surgeon “is this my death certificate I’m<br />

signing”, to which he said if I didn’t sign it, then<br />

it would be!<br />

Form signed and I asked for a few moments<br />

to speak with my dad before going to theatre.<br />

It’s a conversation I’ll never forget, telling him<br />

where all my important documents were in<br />


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

“Here I am now, almost five<br />

years on, 42 years old, I’ve lost<br />

around three stone in weight<br />

and I’m living a perfectly<br />

normal and healthy life.<br />

The moral of this story is look<br />

after yourself, you only get one<br />

shot at life, do not make<br />

yourself sick for a job where the<br />

clients will drop you at the first<br />

chance.”<br />

case the worst was to happen, but most<br />

importantly, to make sure it was steak pie<br />

that was on the menu at the wake, (there’s<br />

nothing worse than soup and a sandwich<br />

after a funeral!)<br />

The next thing I was being wheeled round<br />

to the operating theatre. The two girls<br />

pushing me asked what I did for a living.<br />

Predictably, just as I tell them I’m a driving<br />

instructor, they crash the bed against the<br />

wall. “You’ve got a serious driving fault there,”<br />

I say. We all laugh!<br />

Into the operating theatre I go. The place is<br />

full of students watching in the gallery which<br />

the surgeon asked me if it was ok for the<br />

students to watch before I went in. My<br />

thoughts are, we all need to learn so why not.<br />

The surgeon preformed an angiogram and an<br />

angioplasty and fitted a stent to the lower left<br />

artery on my heart.<br />

The entire process took less than 20 mins,<br />

and I was then taken back to the ward for<br />

recovery. By the time I got back to the ward<br />

the whole family was there to welcome me<br />

back.<br />

I was in hospital for three days, every<br />

morning started with an injection in the<br />

abdomen with blood thinners – wow that<br />

was sore! I was anxious to get released from<br />

hospital as there was an election on the day I<br />

got released and I wanted to go and vote!<br />

Phone call to the DVLA to inform them and<br />

I told my driving licence was revoked for one<br />

month; this was the longest month of my life!<br />

Colleagues all came and visited and helped<br />

out, covering driving tests for those pupils<br />

who had a test booked. It shows how great a<br />

community driving instructors are, helping<br />

out in our hour of need: Tom McDermid,<br />

Michael Toal, John Archer, Alan Henderson,<br />

Cheryl Lynch and Len Ratcliffe, I can’t thank<br />

you enough.<br />

Recovery was well underway. I could get<br />

used to this relaxing malarky, I even went to<br />

sunny Spain for two weeks after the doctors<br />

said I was okay to travel!<br />

I was fortunate enough to have taken out a<br />

sickness insurance policy which safeguarded<br />

my wages while I was off work for three<br />

months and it also covered critical illness,<br />

which I received a large pay out for!<br />

Here I am now, almost five years on, 42<br />

years old, I’ve lost around three stone in<br />

weight and I’m living a perfectly normal and<br />

healthy life.<br />

The moral of this story is look after<br />

yourself, you only get one shot at life, do not<br />

make yourself sick for a job where the clients<br />

will drop you at the first chance.<br />

Having a heart attack at 37 certainly never<br />

crossed my mind. Listen to your body and if<br />

any of you ever experience chest pain, cold<br />

sweats, or pains at the top half of your left<br />

arm, go to the hospital straight away and get<br />

checked out. Don’t do what I did and leave it<br />

24 hours!<br />

PACTS savages<br />

Government over<br />

failure to legislate<br />

over e-scooters<br />

The Parliamentary Advisory Council for<br />

Transport Safety (PACTS) has criticised the<br />

Government after it ruled out legislating on<br />

e-scooters.<br />

In a statement issued last month PACTS<br />

said: “We have been informed that there is<br />

insufficient Parliamentary time to consult<br />

on e-scooters. It means that the likelihood<br />

of legislating for private e-scooters with<br />

regulations that set safety as the main<br />

priority in 2024 is zero. This is a setback.”<br />

PACTS accepted that the extension of<br />

rental trials to May 2026 will enable the<br />

Government to continue evaluating the<br />

usage and safety impacts of e-scooters,<br />

but “that will go no way towards dealing<br />

with the over one million privately owned<br />

e-scooters which are evidently being used<br />

illegally on public roads.”<br />

PACTS said that these vehicles “do not<br />

pass testing, standard setting, or type<br />

approval because they are not regulated for<br />

use a motor vehicles. As such they bring<br />

unnecessary hazards to riders and danger<br />

to other road users.”<br />

PACTS stands by its recommendations<br />

made in March 2022, that the DfT needs to<br />

take urgent action to address dangerous<br />

and illegal private e-scooter use by:<br />

n issuing clear information to the public<br />

that it is illegal to use a private e-scooter<br />

on public roads and in almost all public<br />

places in the UK, and that they could incur<br />

substantial fines and penalties if caught;<br />

n taking action against retailers which<br />

fail to properly inform customers of the<br />

risks and illegality involved in the use of<br />

private e-scooters, and<br />

n supporting the police in taking<br />

enforcement action against illegal and<br />

unsafe use.<br />

PACTS ended with a barbed criticism of<br />

the Government’s grasp of road safety: “If,<br />

as the then Minister Baroness Vere<br />

announced in May 2022, ‘Safety is also at<br />

the heart of our plans’, then a new Bill is<br />

needed specifically to create a regulatory<br />

framework for smaller, lighter, zeroemission<br />

vehicles, as part of a new<br />

low-speed, zero-emission vehicle<br />

category.<br />


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 />

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

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MSA GB has partnered with AI Insurance Solutions Limited to provide members with a<br />

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


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To get the full story of the<br />

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Membership offer<br />

Welcome, new ADIs<br />

We’ve a special introductory offer for you!<br />

Congratulations on passing your<br />

Part 3 and becoming an ADI.<br />

There’s an exciting career<br />

open to you from today,<br />

one that’s alive with<br />

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 />

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We represent your interests and your<br />

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We’d like you to<br />

join us<br />

We’re there to support you<br />

every step of the way.<br />

Our office-based staff are<br />

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 />


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