April 30th, 2012
I would like to thank the driver of black Astra, registration Y823HYA, for the rear end smash into my car today on the A4174, Bristol ring-road, and the then chase after you as you proceeded not to stop after the accident. I would like to point out to you that my pupil was in fact on their driving test, when you decided that going through a red light was somehow now an acceptable way of driving. Have you considered the affect left in your wake, probably not, so I would like to explain.
As you are not insured, then first of all we have obvious cost of repairs to the rear of my car, then the lost lessons for me while I file the incident report with the Police, then the lost test for the next person taking their test which the examiner who had to spend time with the Police therefore didn’t make it back to the test centre in time, then the pain in my neck from being sat in the back, then the lost confidence of my pupil, who now may never take their test again, I could go on and on….
But at least we have the fond memories of chasing you up and down Blackhorse Road, while you try to escape from me, followed by the final picture of you proceeding through another red light in a desperate attempt to escape, and all because you were so desperate in your sad world to get to wherever you were going that you couldn’t stop at a red light for 1 minute.
I would love to post the in-car camera footage of your antics, but alas the Police need these.
So mister Astra, Y823HYA, thanks for ruining everyone’s day, looking forward to the court date, I can’t wait for your explanation!
July 20th, 2011
It’s a question that crops up regularly from pupils approaching their driving test, and an area that most of the general public have a view on, but where is an evidence to support such a view?
My personal view is that in this day and age, where public information is freely available and jounalists seeming to be able to infultrate even the most high powered of area of our country, I cannot believe that if the DSA were somehow able to control the number of passes or indeed the number of fails during the driving test, that we would not have heard about it with facts to back it up!
I think that it’s easier for both pupils and instructors to believe there is some conspiracy, rather than facing the fact that the pupil was just not good enough on the day.
How much easier for the pupil to go home and tell all their friends that they only failed because it was Friday afternoon when they took their test and that the examiner had to fail so many pupils that week, rather than explain, it was done to their own fault that the examiner had to fail them!
November 28th, 2009
The driving test format will be changing in 2010 to test more the way we drive, rather than just complete a series of instructions.
The good news for many learner drivers is that the current 2 manoeuvres required on your driving test will be reduced to just 1 reversing exercise.
This will allow more time to be spent on accessing the overall driving standard of the candidate, whilst not increasing the time of the driving test.
However, the major change comes in the format of a new category called ‘independant driving’.
Essentially what will now happen is that a candidate will be given a series of instructions/directions to follow and will be expected to either follow road direction signs to a local place, or be given 3 or 4 directions to follow in the format of, ‘at the end of the road turn left, then at the end of the new road turn right, then at the roundabout take he 3rd exit’.
This new exercise will last for no more than 10 minutes during the driving test and will asses a candidates ability to ‘read’ the road ahead and make correct decisions based on their understanding of road layouts and directions, which is exactly what they will need to do whilst driving on their own without supervision from a driving instructor.
November 23rd, 2009
Had a great example of the importance of looking where you are going whilst on a driving lesson last week.
My pupil pulled out left onto a main road and was immediately confronted with a pedestrian crossing that was just turning to red, we stopped safely and my attention immediately focused on the car behind, they just about stopped, much to my relief, unfortunately the next car behind them didn’t and went right into the back of them!
Getting out to see if there was an damage to my car, I could hear the conversation between the two unfortunate drivers that had collided, it was along the lines of
‘why did you stop?’
‘well the learner in front had stopped’
To which I came in with the fact that the light was on red, to be confronted with,
‘well it’s never been red before in all the years I’ve been coming out of this road’
I did explain the virtues of looking where you are going but it seemed to fall on deaf ears!
My pupil then added that perhaps he should read the highway code!
January 3rd, 2009
This question crops up quite a lot, when a new potential pupil is inquiring about driving lessons and they insist on having a female driving instructor. When I ask as to why it has to be a female the normal response is that they feel more comfortable with a female.
I can understand this point to a certain respect but these days all driving instructors are CRB checked to make sure they are not a complete weirdo, so is it that the reputation of driving instructors in the old days is so bad – that people still think driving instructors are ‘strange’.
What do you think? I’m interested!
November 15th, 2008
I’m sure we have all seen them out there, getting in the wrong lane, not signalling when they are leaving the roundabout, but why?
I’m convinced it’s because people have either forgotten how to drive correctly or more probably, it’s because the rules of the road have changed over the years but drivers are not up-to date with them.
I know that when I was a driver out on the road before I became a driving instructor, I was very good, at least that was my own opinion of myself. When I started to train to become a driving instructor a number of years ago now, I realised how much had changed since I learnt to drive and how bad I was.
Yes I admit I was not a good driver but at the time I believed I was. I’m convinced that this statement must be true for many, many thousands of drivers out there on the roads right now!
So what’s the answer to this dilemma - well what about compulsory retesting of drivers every 10 years!
Probably won’t happen but why not, would it not ultimately make our roads safer, cut down the number of deaths on the roads – and drivers might actually signal correctly on roundabouts!!
August 16th, 2008
The debate about what type of car in learn to drive in came round again this week.
I took a pupil for PassPlus who had learnt to drive and passed their test with a different school and had learnt in a diesel car. Problem was she couldn’t drive my petrol car! and took about 2 hours to get used to it in a way that we could then carry on with the passplus modules.
The problem is that in a diesel car, you don’t need any gas on to be able to move the car off in most situations. In a petrol car you need to apply gas before bringing up the clutch to the biting point, before being able to move off.
Not too much difference but one that caused alot of pain for the young driver trying to get to grips with it.
Maybe only driving tests should be done in petrol cars.
If you learn to drive in a petrol car, it’s easy to pick up the technic for a diesel – but very difficult the other way round!
May 17th, 2008
When choosing a driving school, look beyond the initial sales pitch.
Basically don’t get suckered in by a free DVD or a free Highway Code, both of which cost a few pounds from any where – don’t pay for a block of lessons up front before you know what your instructor is like.
What if you pay for say 10 lessons to get a cheap rate and on the first lesson you decide you don’t like the driving instructor, basically you’ve already paid so you will probably continue. What then happens is that you begin to hate your lessons and in many cases this leads to giving up driving altogether – what a disaster!
In stead just go for a few lessons paying the normal hourly rate, this will give you the opportunity to decide if you want to continue to learn with that instructor but without the burden of knowing you have to stay with them. During this time, it will give you chance to see what they are like, do they turn on on time for the lesson, do they answer your questions, are they teaching you anything, and probably most importantly – do you get on with them!
Try before you buy!!
May 9th, 2008
Seems a simply question – but one that continues to baffle at times!
Many young people are pushed into having lessons by their parents, they don’t want to drive, have no desire to drive – so why waste your money, or in most cases their parents money.
There is only a small majority that fall into this category, most people need to learn to drive – want to learn to drive and put 100% into their lessons. That’s great and always ends up with a safe competent driver at the end of their training and go on to be safe drivers for life.
The small majority where their parents pay for their lessons and they don’t want to drive – are in truth extremely difficult to teach – take 2 or 3 times longer than someone who wants to learn, but most importantly are very often not safe because they don’t want to drive!
With anything that we do – if you want to do it – you will – if you don’t – you won’t.
So before booking driving lessons or blaming the driving instructor for not getting on with your driving – think about wether or not you want to learn first!
May 1st, 2008
So we have all learnt to drive at some point -
so we all know how nerve racking it can be out there when you are not confident about your driving skills -
so why do so many drivers forget this fact and see you with that L plate on and just have get past you?
Often driving in such a way that scares the poor learner that’s trying their best to concentrate. Is it not them that needs driving lessons?
I think it just comes down to one thing, life is lived in the fast lane these days and people cannot be held up by anyone else. OK but don’t do it and put yourself at risk or others, otherwise that fast life will be over, for good!