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DIA makes case for change to road safety minister

Wednesday 23rd February 2011

The Driving Instructors Association (DIA) has met with Mike Penning, road safety minister, to discuss issues including integrating Pass Plus and motorway driving into the learning-to-drive syllabus.

The DIA is also recommending that driving tests should only be allowed once instructors are confident that candidates have sufficient experience to drive on all the types of road they could encounter when they have a full licence.

The DIA also pointed out that there is no formal training syllabus for potential ADIs to work to, and suggested that there should be a prescribed syllabus to prevent customers wasting their money.

Steve Garrod, DIA general manager, said: “Mike Penning seemed very open to the DIA’s suggestions and appreciative of the association’s desire to improve road safety through better driver training.

“We’re especially heartened with the minister’s belief that learner drivers need to be taught to drive rather than simply pass the test, and his concerns over the trainee licence scheme.”

Click here to read the full Newspress report.

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There are some very good ideas in what they say. We do need to look at how driving is learned and taught.
There were driving schools but we see more about driving instructors and trainers. Like accidents and collisions we should address what we mean.
If we want driver education it is accumulated knowledge skills and attitudes over a long period of time. If we only instruct or train then there is a perception that it is a short term learning only of knowledge and skills for a specific competency level ie passing the test. Get the syntax right and we can start to change minds about learning a life skill not just a milestone in a life.
Peter Wilson, Westminster

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I think it's unfair to place all the blame on ADI's. It's the whole commercial system of learning to drive that's the problem - the quicker you can get students to test the more students you can train the more money you make. An ADI has to be a profitable business as well as a trainer. Perhaps looking at including road user education in the schools syllabus and combining that later at the right age with practical skills through ADI's would be a more effective long term solution? Teaching people how to use the roads rather than just how to drive a car.
Dave, Leeds

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While I applaud any initiative that has the potential to improve driving standards, I am wary of this proposal. Allowing instructors to 'give permission' for a test to be taken seems problematical, given that they have a commercial interest in the decision. How would this idea affect those who are taught by someone who is not an ADI? As far as I can see, it is instructors who have created the problem of learners being taught how to pass a test, rather than being taught how to drive effectively. If this idea addresses that issue, then it could be made to work effectively as long as the other concerns are dealt with.
David, Suffolk

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Re: "The DIA is also recommending that driving tests should only be allowed once instructors are confident that candidates have sufficient experience to drive on all the types of road they could encounter when they have a full licence."
I wonder if there are any liability issues created if this proposed policy is implemented?
Ian Faulks, Australia

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Listening to the Driving Instructors Podcast, I understood that these issues were already under consideration. This article does make it sound like it's a DIA initiative, when actually there are many organisations looking at this issue already, and much discussion has already taken place.
Non-the-less, the more ministers are made to face these "new" ideas, the quicker and better our industry will evolve into a fairer and more open system where potential new instructors will know what they are letting themselves in for.
The podcast I mentioned can be found at www.dipod.co.uk.
Winston Lomax, Bedfordshire

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This is goood news, a Pass plus is a further step for newly qualified drivers to demonstrate that they value the privelage of being a road user. It helps to demonstrate responsibility, likewise the Young Driver Coaching scheme in our County performs a similar role. As well as making them improved drivers, they would also benefit from a reduced Insurance premium.
Stuart Cartlidge,Staffordshire Police Road Safety Officer

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Another good and very positive move. However, and please donít think that I am trying to derail this initiative, but how would this work for people learning to drive in, for example, the isles of Scotland? The licence that they acquire would still, as now, qualify them to drive on the M25 or the centre of London.
What type of arrangements do the DIA or DSA see being put in place for drivers in this sort of situation?
The initiative is great but in reality I am concerned that some people in outlying areas could be disadvantaged if this is not thought through properly.
David Clark, North Yorkshire

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