Monthly Archives: May 2014

Problems of introducing the Graduated Driving Licence

Problems of introducing the Graduated Licence

On a previous Blog the Author explained how the government is talking about introducing a Graduated Driving Licence. However he expressed an opinion that not all Driving Instructors would be trained to a sufficient level of training to be able to offer the complete level of training that this new qualification would require. Also he felt that not everyone would benefit from having a Graduated Driving Licence.

Graduated Driving Licence

Now to put his Ideas for people to discuss regarding the introduction of the Graduated Driving Licence

  • Not all Provisional Car Licence holders are novices to driving. Some will come to the provisional training having had previous experience in different for instance

a)      They might already hold a full Driving Licence in another Non European Country having had many years of driving in that country.

b)      They might have held a full Motorcycle License for a period of time.

c)       They might have spent a period of time driving illegally without a full UK License but still have experience that novices would not have

  • There are already training courses available that insurance companies are giving up to 15% discounts for which are BTEC recognised, The Instructors offering this training will have to hold at least a BTEC Level 3 qualification in Coaching and Assessing.
  • Telemetric monitoring is now being introduced by insurance companies to help reduce insurance premiums
  • Some new License holders will need to be able to drive between the hours of 11 pm – 6 pm also may need to carry passenger because of the needs of work.
  • Putting the concept of Road Safety on the National Curriculum is a good idea
  • The concept of a Zero Tolerance towards drink and drugs is a good idea
  • He disagrees with the concept of limiting the car engine size
  • He disagrees with the concept of an additional test after 2 years

Now to take the points one at a time

  • Not all Provisional Car Licence holders are novices to driving. Some will come to the provisional training having had previous experience in different for instance

Non European Driving Licence

a)      They might already hold a full Driving Licence in another Non European Country having had many years of driving in that country.

b)      They might have held a full Motorcycle Licence for a period of time.

c)       They might have spent a period of time driving illegally without a full UK License but still have experience that novices would not have

As a Driving Instructor I have been called upon to train many different types of drivers that are not novices. I feel that if the Graduated Driving Licence is introduced in the present form then they would feel that they are not being dealt with fairly. As a Qualified Assessor and Coach I need to consider what they know and use it to develop their knowledge and train them to pass the Driving Test and become “Safe Drivers for Life”

As a result I would feel the concepts of limiting what times they drive and with who they drive as being unfair. I feel that this problem could be resolved by allowing instructors who are qualified Assessors and Coaches to be able to sign a form that removes the limitation of this part of the Graduated Driving Licence.

  • There are already training courses available that insurance companies are giving up to 15% discounts for which are BTEC recognised, The Instructors offering this training will have to hold at least a BTEC Level 3 qualification in Coaching and Assessing.BTEC

As the Author has already a Qualified Assessor and Coach beyond that his also a qualified Mentor. He is well aware that many more instructors are now acquiring these qualifications and feels that these should now become standard for all instructors. He does not feel the need to train Instructors to teach in a classroom setting yet. However as part of the basic training Instructors should be given training as to how to run a business.

Those instructors with a BTEC level 3 or above in should be allowed to sign of parts of the Graduated Driving Licence to help drivers complete their training and achieve a full license. However there will need to be systems put into place to verify that these instructors who have the additional training are not abusing the system.

Companies like Anydriver and a2om offer BTEC Training

  • Telemetric monitoring is now being introduced by insurance companies to help reduce insurance premiums

Graduated Driving Licence

Here is a link to explain in detail what Telemetric monitoring is about. Basically the insurance works when your car is fitted with a small ‘black box’ device, about the size of a smart phone, which records speed, distance travelled and the time of day or night that you are on the road. The device also assesses your driving style by monitoring braking and cornering. It will also record the types of road on which you typically travel, and the times of day and night you tend to drive, to build up a comprehensive profile of you as a driver.

With a device fitted to your car you can access a secure website to find out how you are performing in each category. This will show you if you need to make any changes to your driving style, and will provide tips on how you can improve your driver score and bring down the cost of your insurance.

As a rule of thumb it is assumed that driving fewer miles on less dangerous roads, while also limiting your night time driving, will result in lower premiums. Policies linked to black box recorders charge premiums on a monthly basis, which means the insurer can adjust them swiftly to reward better driving (and punish those who show themselves to be a risky proposition).

However, although your driving can have a direct impact in the cost of your car insurance, it still makes sense to shop around and compare black box insurance quotes – prices will vary from insurer to insurer as each will have different per-mile and peak-time driving charges.

  • Some new Licence holders will need to be able to drive between the hours of 11 pm – 6 pm also may need to carry passenger because of the needs of work.

Night Driving

The Author of this blog is well aware that in different parts of the country, people are passing the driving test to be able to find better work opportunities or find work. Some of this work will require them to work unsocial hours, starting or finishing late at night or early morning. They might also be required to take passengers with them to work so that others can also find work. The driver should be aware of the additional risks of tired driving but the necessary Driving Instructor should be allowed to sign the Graduated Driving Licence off so they can continue to work.

  • Putting the concept of Road Safety on the National Curriculum is a good idea

Graduated Driving License

The Author feels that this is a necessary addition to the National Curriculum however it will need to be adapted to meet the student’s needs. In Primary Schools the information would be presented in a concrete form where in the Secondary Stage it would need to be presented in a more abstract form to be able to give the students a chance to understand the need to develop the concept of Road Safety. The Idea of a Graduated Driving Licence being introduced at school could then lead drivers to consider the need for continued driver developmental learning and not just finish your driver training when you have passed your driving test.

  • The concept of a Zero Tolerance towards drink and drugs is a good idea

drink driving

In some places in the world this idea is already being used because of the number of accidents related to this problem. The author feels that this would be a good idea but would not be an easy law to enforce because of some drivers could be tested positive for alcohol or drugs because of the medication they have been prescribed or bought. A for being part of a Graduated Driving License requirement this needs to be talked about but left to an individual drivers needs and the interpretation of the law through the courts.

  • He disagrees with the concept of limiting the car engine size

The Author disagrees with the concept of limiting the car engine size because he is aware that in Italy they tried to enforce this regulation limiting new drivers to a 1600 cc car but Fiat came out with a car that had extra gears t give it the same performance as a 2000 cc car there by still creating a problem of drivers driving cars to fast or at speed that were not safe for the conditions

  • He disagrees with the concept of an additional test after 2 years

The Author would question the extra need for and additional test after 2 years before allowing a full License how would a test of say 45 – 60 minutes prove that a driver is going to be a safe driver? He agrees with the idea of continued personal development and that this development is not limited to driving instructors to be able to give. The Graduated Driving Licence has many good ideas but needs to be looked at in a bigger framework. And will involve many different agencies the DVSA being only one RoSPA and IAM being other training agencies that could be involved so long as the trainers have the necessary qualifications and experience.

Introducing a Graduated Driving Licence

Graduated Driving Licence

There has been a lot of talk about developing a Graduated Driving Licence (GRADUATED DRIVING LICENCE) for young drivers. By taking the Latest Data the blog author has available which is from 2012. Taken from the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) report.

Graduated Driving License

  1. Nearly a quarter of all car drivers (133 out of 542 drivers) who died in 2012 were young drivers themselves.
  2. Insurance premiums for young drivers have increased dramatically due to the high levels of catastrophic claims (claims costing over £500,000) involving inexperienced drivers. As a result the GB has seen an 18% reduction in the number of young people taking a practical driving test since 2007, which has had implications for their education and employment opportunities.
  3. The Graduated Driving Licence has proven effective in reducing collisions and casualties in the countries in which it has been implemented, such as New Zealand, Australia and Canada.
  4. Numerous insurers (through the ABI) have supported the idea of Graduated Driving License, claiming that it would allow for more affordable insurance premiums with possible reductions of 10-15%.
  5. Improved training, testing and wider use of telematics (black boxes) could supplement Graduated Driving Licence but are not adequate alternatives.
  6. The introduction of the Graduated Driving License would provide casualty reductions within the UK, allowing for young drivers to obtain their initial experience of driving in lower risk scenarios, which would benefit younger drivers, their passengers and all other drivers within GB

Taking some of these facts from the PACTS Report. There has not been any discernible change in the number of accidents over the last 10 years no matter what the Government has tried to do to improve road safety. Maybe this is because the majority of young people passing the test are only concerned in passing the test at the cheapest cost to them and most of the instructors have been forced to comply with this market demand to make a living

Secondly because of the increase in the numbers of drivers having accidents and other financial considerations Insurance Companies are increasing the cost of Insurance a result. As a result there has been a reduction of the number of students taking the test up to 18% drop since 2007.

The Concept of Graduated Driving License has been seen to work in such as New Zealand, Australia and Canada and the Insurance companies in this county have said by introducing this scheme they feel they could reduce insurance costs by 10 – 15%. They are now also advocating the use of telematics (black boxes) to also reduce the insurance costs

The blog author feels it would be fair by taking this information about the Graduated Driving Licence. To consider extra training during the initial training for the driving test and after the driving test is needed to improve student’s safety record. Also he considers that the current qualification that the Standard Driving Instructor has is insufficient to be able to deliver this level of training.

Now to look at what Brake the road safety charity has to say about this topic.

Graduated Driving License

The reasons younger drivers are such a high risk on our roads include:

Lack of experience

Over-confident and risky driving

Hazard perception – young drivers tend to over-estimate their ability to avoid hazards.

Peer pressure – the crash rate among young drivers is greatly increased when passengers are in the car. US research has shown that, among 16-19 year-olds, the crash rate is five times higher when there are two or more passengers in the car than a driver alone.

Novice drivers: 

1)      Drivers should hold a ‘novice’ licence for a recommended two years after passing a practical driving test.

2)      Novice drivers should be allowed to drive unsupervised, but there should be certain restrictions on their driving, including:

a)      Novice drivers should only carry passengers who are younger than 25 under supervision. Parents who are novice drivers and need to carry their own children should be exempted.

b)      Novice drivers should not be permitted to drive at night, for the recommended period of 11pm-6am, unless supervised or travelling directly from home to work or school.

c)       Novice drivers should have a zero tolerance drink drive limit of 20mg of alcohol per 100ml blood.

d)      Novice drivers should not drive on motorways.

3)      Novice drivers should be restricted in the size of engine they can drive.

4)      Any driving offences, or failure to comply with the restrictions on ‘novice’ drivers during this period, should result in automatic disqualification.

5)      Novice drivers should be required to take a further 10 hours of professional tuition, during which they must drive on motorways and at night.

6)      Novice drivers should be required to pass a second driving test at the end of the two year period to help ensure safe driving on all types of roads.

Education and awareness:

Road safety should be a compulsory part of the national curriculum in schools and should teach young people about the risks they face as a novice driver or young passenger, and how to minimise these risks.

The government should conduct widespread information campaigns to support the introduction of a new regime of driver licensing and to promote safer driving among young people.

Night time driving

Young drivers are at greater risk of crashing at night. This is primarily due to the additional risks that young drivers take at this time of the day when driving for recreational purposes. Research by University College London found that in the UK, young male drivers aged 17-20 are seven times more at risk than all male drivers, but between the hours of 2am and 5am their risk is 17 times higher. This is why restrictions on night-time driving are vital to tackling young driver crashes. However, as research shows that recreational driving is the problem, journeys to and from home and work or school could be treated as exceptions, which would prevent unfair restrictions on young people who live in rural areas and therefore have less access to public transport.

Passengers

Young drivers are more likely to crash if they have their peers in the car with them. Research shows that peer pressure can encourage bad driving and result in drivers ‘showing off’ to their passengers, as well as causing distraction. With two or more passengers, the fatal crash risk for 16-19 year-old drivers is more than five times what it is when driving alone. This is why restrictions on passengers for novice drivers would help to keep young drivers and passengers safe on the roads.

Drink driving

Alcohol is a prevalent risk factor for young drivers. Young drivers are twice as likely to be recorded as impaired by alcohol after crashing than older drivers and they have more drink drive crashes per licence holder or per mile travelled than any other age group. Taking a zero tolerance stance on drink driving means there are no excuses and no confusion; it’s none for the road.

Other data from the UK shows that:

  • An 18-year-old driver is more than three times as likely to be involved in a crash as a 48 year-old
  • One in five new drivers has a crash within six months of passing their test
  • Young male drivers have much higher crash rates than young female drivers.
  • Young male drivers aged 17-20 are seven times more at risk than all male drivers – but between the hours of 2am and 5am their risk is 17 times higher.

Risk taking

Young drivers are more likely to take a number of the deadliest risks on our roads, including speeding, overtaking blind, driving on drugs, and not belting up. Young drivers, and especially young men, are more likely to seek thrills from driving fast and cornering at high speed than older drivers.

Drivers under 25 have the highest incidence of failing a breath test after a crash and in roadside checks. In a 2012 month-long enforcement campaign, 5.27% of under-25s stopped by police failed or refused a breath test compared to 3.39% of driver’s age 25+. Any amount of alcohol can affect a person’s ability to drive safely as alcohol impairs reaction times and affects the ability to judge speed and distances accurately. Alcohol or drugs combined with a lack of experience on roads is a particularly dangerous combination.

Young drivers and passengers are less likely to always belt up, and may feel under peer pressure to not belt up when in a car with friends. US research showed seatbelt use decreases among young drivers when increasing numbers of passengers are present and is lowest with passengers aged 20-29. Of young people killed on roads, only one-third of young drivers and one-fifth of young passengers were belted up.

Post copied from http://12drive.co.uk/introducing-graduated-driving-license/

These are the facts taken from two of the leading Government Agencies. A comment on this Blog has been made by the Author that the Driving Instructor training system is not good enough to provide this extra training for the Graduated Driving License. On the next blog he will explain why he feels that this is the case.

Vehicle tax changes

Updates and advice on abolition of the vehicle tax disc.

From 1 October 2014, the paper tax disc will no longer need to be displayed on a vehicle windscreen.

You can apply online to tax or SORN your vehicle using your 16 digit reference number from your vehicle tax renewal reminder (V11) or 11 digit reference number from your log book (V5C)

What this means to you

To drive or keep a vehicle on the road you will still need to get vehicle tax and DVLA will still send you a renewal reminder when your vehicle tax is due to expire. This applies to all types of vehicles including those that are exempt from payment of vehicle tax.

BUYING A VEHICLE

From 1 October, when you buy a vehicle, the vehicle tax will no longer be transferred with the vehicle. You will need to get new vehicle tax before you can use the vehicle.

You can tax the vehicle using the New Keeper Supplement (V5C/2) part of the vehicle registration certificate (V5C) online or by phone – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Alternatively, you may wish to visit a Post Office® branch.

SELLING A VEHICLE

If you sell a vehicle after 1 October and you have notified DVLA, you will automatically get a refund for any full calendar months left on the vehicle tax.

VEHICLE TAX REFUNDS

You will no longer need to make a separate application for a refund of vehicle tax. DVLA will automatically issue a refund when a notification is received from the person named on DVLA vehicle register that the:

  • vehicle has been sold or transferred
  • vehicle has been scrapped at an Automated Treatment Facility
  • vehicle has been exported
  • vehicle has been stolen
  • vehicle has been removed from the road and the person on the vehicle register has made a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN)
  • person on the vehicle register has changed the tax class on the vehicle to an exempt duty tax class
  • person on the vehicle register has taken out new vehicle tax as part of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) scheme (Standard Rate Mobility Element)

CHECKING THE TAX STATUS OF A VEHICLE

You can check the tax status of any vehicle online. This can also be used for rental vehicles.

Information taken from https://www.gov.uk/government/news/vehicle-tax-changes