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DVSA updates


The DVSA has updated its agreement to use their practical test business service and are asking you all to login to your account to sign the new agreement.

You’ll need to log in and re-sign the agreement to continue using the service to:

  • book practical driving tests
  • book other driving assessments provided by DVSA
  • make cancellations and amendments
  • manage details of your business

To find out more information and sign the new agreement just click HERE. You will need your user ID and password.

What’s happening at DVSA?

This month saw the launch of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) which is the merger of the Vehicle and Operation Services Agency (VOSA) and the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and ‘aims to provide more convenient and cost effective services for motorists.

Click here to read more about the changes.

There have also been rumours about Driving Test Centre managers becoming obsolete and each test centre being managed by the Sector Manager. It’s also been confirmed that the DL25 will be changing from July 2014 to a much smaller and more concise document. For example, there will only be one mirror box. The purpose of the new look DL25 is that the examiner will be able to access it on a tablet during the test.




Support the 2young 2die campaign by Brake charity

The road safety charity Brake are currently running a campaign to help young people consider their options as drivers, passengers or non-drivers, and encourages them to campaign to end dangerous, unnecessary driving. They do this through a series of workshops led by volunteers.

You too could be trained to deliver these inspiring workshops to young people in your community by attending a one-day 2young2die course for just £45 + VAT

CLICK HERE for further details

Learner attacks examiner after failing test

A learner driver who failed his test was so angry he assaulted an examiner and threatened to kill him.

Martin Olujoson, 22, took his test in Gillingham – but took his anger out on staff when he failed his driving test. He told the senior examiner he wanted to make a complaint, but when the examiner explained that complaints have to be in writing, Olujoson started swearing, accused the examiner of racism and tried to punch him.

Other examiners tried to intervene, while learner drivers watched on while waiting for their driving tests. As the examiner tried to get up after having being shoved into some chairs, Olujoson shoved him into some tables.

When arrested, Olujoson claimed he acted in self-defence but was later charged with assault and threatening behaviour. He later pleaded guilty to the charges when his trial started at Medway Magistrates Court.

Magistrates gave Olujoson a 90-day suspended sentence for two years and ordered he carried out 150 hours of unpaid work. he was also ordered to attend six education, training and employment sessions and pay £500 court costs. Magistrates also ordered he was to pay the examiner £1,500 in compensation.

Are You Ready For The Check Test Changes?

As you’re probably aware, the current check test is to be replaced on the 7th April 2014.

The new standards check test (or the “SC1 Check Form” for short) aims to bring driving tuition in line with the National standard for driver and rider training, that the DVSA published last year.

You can view the official example SC1 form here.

At the moment there is a plethora of workshops and conferences aimed at gearing us all up for the major change.

These conferences are not cheap: some of the larger ADI organisations are charging double figures for these (and you then also need to factor in your loss of earnings, travel costs and accommodation if you do not wish to arrive tired on the day).

Not everyone has been able, or will be able, to attend these conferences, this article is to help you make sense of the key check test changes.

Specifically, the article will be focusing on what new skills you need in this brave new world of driving tuition and it’ll also explain what hasn’t changed.

Lesson Planning

The key principle that the new check test wants us all to adhere to is the idea  that as ADI’s, we operate in a service industry and we need to put the pupil’s agenda first.

The element of the National driver and rider training standards which relates to lesson planning is Unit 6.3.3. This element focuses on coaching in particular. It states:

“….listen to what the learner tells you….” 

If the learner comes out with something bizarre such as “I want to drive on the dual carriageway” and as a novice driver, they are still in the early stages of driving, then we can ask more open ended questions.

For example, you could ask “What skills do you think we need to drive on fast moving roads?”

A goal needs to be discussed and agreed in a mutual manner.

Goals need to be SMART, i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time specific/ time bound.

This is an area where the learning style if identified at an early stage, will yield significant results in the pupils development of driving.

The challenge here of course is that everyone has different learning styles; how can you discover what learning style works best for each of your pupils?

A good starting point is the VARK Questionnaire (Google it for alternatives).

Taking the time to establish your pupil’s individual learning styles will enable you as an Instructor/coach to use the different tools to make learning, and the lessons overall, more enjoyable and easier for your pupils.

The latest guidance on route planning is not new: a route needs to be planned according to the pupils skills and abilities, as was always the case.

Just remember that, as Roadcraft advises, route planning needs to be agreed so the pupil is not over burdened with traffic and with fixed and moving hazards.

And encouragement ought to be given to the pupil to add value to their already successfully built up psychomotor skills.


A Backbend Sequence For Anyone Who Sits All Day

Many of us spend the majority of our days sitting at a desk, hunched over a computer, rounding our spines, closing off our chests and hearts and focusing our energy in a downward direction.

Jennifer Jarrett explains HERE how to alleviate back pain with some simple exercises.


Motorwat Speed Cameras

Motorway speed cameras to be rolled out to stop those driving faster than 70mph

This week The Telegraph newspaper reported the following information: Speed cameras designed to catch motorists driving in excess of 70mph are to be   installed along hundreds of miles of motorway for the first time.

New so-called ‘stealth cameras’, which will be grey rather than bright yellow,   are to be deployed on busy stretches of some of the most important motorways   including the M1, M6 and M25.
Previously, motorway speed cameras have mainly been situated on stretches   undergoing roadworks, in order to enforce variable speed limits. But now for the first time the Highways Agency is looking at the widespread   introduction of cameras to target drivers exceeding the maximum allowed  speed of 70mph.
The cameras will be deployed on sections of so-called smart motorway, where   the flow of traffic is carefully controlled using a variety of techniques.

According to the Highways Agency, smart-motorways will prevent jams and allow   the better flow of traffic by carefully controlling speed limits and opening   hard shoulders to traffic where necessary. But critics claim the introduction of cameras aimed at enforcing the 70mph   limit, is not about road safety but about generating income through fines.

One recent survey in Autocar magazine, found that almost 95 per cent of   motorists admitted driving in excess of 70mph while on the motorway. The authorities are also allowed a certain amount of discretion when   prosecuting speeding motorists, with drivers travelling as fast as 86mph in   a 70mph zone allowed to avoid points if they pay to attend a speed awareness   course .

With the cameras likely to be less visible than those currently in use,  critics also point out that they will have no impact on actually slowing   drivers down. Roger Lawson, a spokesman for the Alliance of British Drivers (ABD), said: “We   are opposed to speed cameras in general. The evidence of their success in   promoting safety is not good and in reality what is happening now is that  the police are using speed cameras to fund their other activities through  speed awareness courses.” He added: “If these cameras are grey rather than yellow they are going to be  harder to spot and so will have no impact in slowing traffic down. If there   is a good reason for the traffic to be slowed down then the cameras need to  be as visible as possible.”

The ABD has called for an increase in the upper speed limit on motorways to  80mph. It is thought that the new cameras, dubbed Hadsec3 (Highways Agency digital   enforcement camera system) will be running along more than 100 miles of   motorway within two years, with the further roll-out eventually covering at   least 400 miles of road.

Speed cameras have been a politically sensitive topic with the Coalition  scrapping the capital grant for local authorities to pay for cameras in the   2010-2011 budget. The police have also been reluctant to employ speed cameras on motorways  because of the cost implications. But digital technology has made it cheaper and easier to install, monitor and   collect information from cameras.

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said: “These are not stealth cameras they   are more visible that they were before. These motorways are not about speed   limits. They are about smoothing the traffic flows and increasing capacity.” The spokesman said the new cameras would be signposted and added: “The onus is   on the driver to abide by the speed limit.”

The Worst Cars In Britain

The humble and much-loved Volkswagen Beetle is the crappest car in Britain according to Crap Cars, a new book published tomorrow.

From the aesthetically pathetic to the mechanically misguided, Crap Cars (£9.99, BBC Books) lists the 50 worst cars ever to grace the roads of Britain, including tales of the most appalling cock-ups in motoring history.

Author Richard Porter, who compiled the list, says: “The Volkswagen Beetle hit the number one spot because it’s slow, it’s noisy, it’s uncomfortable and it has such a completely pathetic heater than on cold days you’d be better off setting fire to your hair. The Beetle marks you out as a mush-brained git who knows nothing about cars. It’s a dismal car with its engine in the wrong place. The only good thing about it is that after 57 years of continual production – about 55 years too long – Volkswagen finally killed it off.”

Crap Cars is a celebration of the shoddy, the inept and the downright ugly, featuring 50 wince-inducing photos to illustrate each entry. According to Richard, the following cars cruise into the Top 10 Crappest Cars in Britain:


“For some reason, beardy peaceniks and straggly-haired surfer dudes love the Beetle, thinking it is alternative and cool. Which is fine, although it does overlook the fact that it’s also clearly bollocks.”


“The Godfather of the crap car. The people who translated the original designs into metal got their maths wrong and made the sides all bulbous and fat. Then some clot from marketing insisted it would be a corking idea to have a square steering wheel.”


“A pretend 4×4 that would get stuck in a puddle. It doesn’t even have the saving grace of looking rugged.”


“This car corners with all the sure-footed competence of a child on roller skates. There’s low-tech, and then there’s the Morris Marina, which is based on something Noah found in his shed.”


“This is the real reason the Russians had it tough under Communist rule. A cheap and incompetent remix of a sixties Fiat, offering grimness of a miserable depth.”


“Amazingly, the name wasn’t the worst thing about this car. No, that would be the almost complete lack of anything resembling performance. Its acceleration time from 0-60 was measurable in months.”


“Cheese. Nice enough on toast, a stupid thing to use as an inspiration for a car design. Especially since they only sold it in orange. Frankly, you’d be better off trying to drive around in an actual piece of cheese. At least fewer people would have laughed at you.”


“Holds the lap record at the famous Le Mans circuit in France. Hang on, I was thinking of something else. The Robin is an unloved pile of s***. Sorry.”


“Had an engine so lame even the people who made electric carving knives deemed it feeble. When the Berlin Wall came down, news reports claimed that East Germans ‘flooded’ over the former border. Not if they were driving Trabants they didn’t. ‘Farted’ would have been more appropriate.”

10. MGB

“The MGB is the darling of the classic car scene. Which is odd because it is spectacularly rubbish. The only thing worse than driving one would be having your face pushing into a lawnmower. And come to think of it, that sounds quite nice.”

Notes to Editors:

Crap Cars, by Richard Porter, is published by BBC Books on Thursday October 14, £9.99.

Richard Porter is the creator of the acclaimed website

The cars featured in Crap Cars solely reflect the author’s opinion.

The full list of 50 cars that made it into the book:

50. Lancia Monte Carlo

49. Porche 924

48. Ford Scorpio

47. Cadillac STS

46. Renault Safrane

45. Jaguar XJ40

44. Ford Escort MK1V

43. Yugo Sana

42. Mitsubishi 3000GT

41. Rover 800

40. Volvo 340

39. Delorean DMC-12

38. Vauxhall Belmont

37. Triumph TR7

36. Rolls-Royce Carmargue

35. Talbot Tagora

34. Suzuki Wagon R

33. Volvo 262C

32. Subaru XT

31. Nissan Sunny Coupe

30. Skoda Estelle

29. Renault 9

28. Maserati Biturbo

27. Daihatsu Move

26. Alfa Romeo Arna

25. Hyundai Pony

24. Fiat Strada

23. Subaru Justy

22. Austin Maestro

21. Toyota Space Cruiser

20. Fiat 126

19. Daihatsu Applause

18. Ferrari 400

17. Austin Ambassador

16. Yugo 45

15. Datsun Sunny 120Y

14. Aston Martin Lagonda

13. Susuki SJ

12. FSO Polonez

11. Seat Marbella

10. MGB

9. Trabant

8. Reliant Robin

7. Bond Bug

6. Nissan Serena

5. Lada Riva

4. Morris Marina

3. Suzuki X90

2. Austin Allegro

1. Volkswagen Beetle

Is it ever ok to drink before driving?

UK drivers can legally have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%, the highest in Europe. But new evidence suggests drivers should think again before having even one glass of wine. Even after a small amount of wine, there is some loss of judgment in being able to track a moving target.



Do you say no to any alcohol if you’re driving home, or do you limit yourself to two glasses of wine, knowing you’ll feel fine by the time you get behind the wheel? Surely it is safe to drive if you’re under the legal limit? Last month a study from the University of California, San Diego, published in Injury Prevention, found that any alcohol in your bloodstream increases your risk of an accident. There is, concluded the authors, no safe level of alcohol in the bloodstream when you’re driving, and reducing the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.05% would save lives. In the UK, the legal BAC is 0.08%, the highest in Europe – most countries have levels of 0.05%.

Read the full article here by The Guardians Dr Luisa Dillner.


What will happen if you’re stopped

The police are allowed to stop any vehicle at their discretion.

If the police want to investigate whether you are over the legal blood alcohol level, they will carry out a screening breath test at the roadside using a breathalyser test. The police can carry out a breathalyser test if you have committed a moving traffic offence (such as an illegal turn) been involved in an accident, or have given the police grounds to believe you are over the limit.

If you fail this test, or if they have other grounds to believe that your driving was somehow impaired through drink, you will be arrested and taken to a police station.

At the station you will need to provide two more breath specimens, using a more complex breathalyser, called an evidential breath-testing instrument. The lower of the two readings is sued to decide whether you are above the drink-driving limit.

If the evidential breath sample is up to 40% over the limit, you have the right to replace your evidential breath specimen with a blood or urine (the police officer dealing with you will decide which test you will have). If your evidential samples show that you are over the limit, you will be charged.