Road Safety is still a major concern. The finger is being pointed unfairly at Leaners and older
drivers. Its not the Learner driver, it is training system that is at fault.
Three reasons why the present system is not safe and unfair for L. Drivers.
- More than one instruction undermines the safe mode of the brain to react instinctively to an accident.
- Difficulty acquiring Accompanying drivers and very high costs for all sections of training.
- Hidden dangers.
This is where parents or siblings drive an L. Driver to destination and get back for their destination. This is a bigger danger for return trip. This results in unnecessary double driving and dangerously driving habits can set in, taking a chance etc. This is a big problem in England, also a big risk problem here, ignored by safety experts everywhere. A solution to these problems must be found to make the roads safer for all users? The present system ensures that L. Drivers are capable of handling a vehicle on the road, but does not prepare them in the event of an accident to aid them take instinctive reactions.
There is already a successful L. driving system in operations for over fifty years in CIE with a
great safety record known as the B.U.S. or Group system. Beginners Ultimate Solution.
This system is operated by CIE Bus since the early sixties with less than ten deaths, where
the driver was deemed to be at fault, a record better than anywhere else in the world. I
went through this system and can highly recommend it to address existing problems.
This system worked as follows. Each driving school instructor took on a group of six bus
conductors, most with no driving experience of any kind on a four to six-week course. On
the last day of the final week they did a test and the following Monday they went out onto
the busy streets driving a bus full of passengers. If any of them failed the test they got an
extra weeks training and repeated the test on last day of the extra week.
This B.U.S. system would operate as follows, a Driver instructor from a reputable school of
motoring would take a group of up to three L-Drivers over a two to three-week period. Each
of them get a minimum of ten lessons and after that the Driver Instructor certifies if the
driver is competent enough to drive on their own until they do their test after a further six
months driving. If the instructor feels any one of them is not competent enough they must
take additional lessons until they reach the required standard. After sufficient training from
highly qualified instructors, L-Drivers should be competent enough to continue their training
on their own to get the necessary experience to do the test and become a safe driver.
This group training is so important as trainees learn the mental skills of defensive driving.
Professional instructors should be of a high standard to carry out this type of training. The
present instructors are at this high standard. RSA must ensure this standard is maintained.
Mental or Group training for Learner Drivers
Mental training is a very important part of learning to drive as in the event of an emergency
the brain can cope in the best possible way to avoid or reduce effects of any incidence.
Under the B.U.S. system of training the instructor takes two or three beginners over a two
to three weeks’ time frame. When one person is driving, the others observe the person who
is driving and takes in the instructions given to that driver. The same procedure applies to
the other drivers, Observation a vital part of mental training, it can’t be done while driving.
Under this system, the drivers are under the same instructor for the full course. The reason
for this, is to ensure the driver receives only one type of instructions for the brain to take in.
If an emergency happens the brain has the one trained option for quick instinct reaction. If
drivers have more than one instruction, in an emergency the brain can be confused with
two or more options reducing the instinct reaction time, vital in preventing an accident.
Therefore, mental training is so important, it simple and should be part of the training.
The main reason for mental training is that the instinct reaction is many times quicker than
thought reaction. This can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency.
Many years of driving experience can make up for the lack of mental training but for many
drivers this may be too late. So why take the chance with people’s lives by leaving mental
training to chance. Safety should be a priority for all. Therefore, the CIE method is great.
B.U.S. training system addresses many of the problems that L. Drivers face today.
- 1.Insurance. Insurance companies can be satisfied that L. Drivers are adequately prepared for the road and will be able to provide fair insurance.
- No problem waiting for test or if test delayed or failed due to mistakes or nerves.
- It addresses the hidden problems of double movement risks.
- It addresses the problems of trying to acquire an accompanying driver always.
- It creates a fairer playing pitch for young drivers. Reduces training cost and avoids them
immigrating where insurance cost can be up to ten times less expensive.
Our research shows it’s very difficult to get this extra driver for the following reasons. 1.No
one available. 2. Most people don’t want to be that second driver. 3. Siblings don’t want to
do it either. 4. Young people find it difficult with parents. 5. No continuity in driving, on and
off. 6. These have no qualifications to instruct. 7. Can be let down at any time. 8.
Undermines job prospects. 9. Employers find it unreliable as second driver may not be
available at all time. 10. Even for payment second drivers don’t want to do it. 11. Having to
wait many days or weeks for second driver to be available. 12. A newly passed out driver is
not allowed. 13. Paying tax and insurance for a car you can’t drive. 14. The worry of not
getting extra driver. 15. No suitable other transport in the area. 16. Undermines their
confidence. 16. Have not got their proper experience for test. 17. Lack of getting necessary
experience for safety and reduces chances of passing test. 18. Adds to cost. 19. Having to
entice people to come with you. 20. Causes friction in families. 21. Second driver can’t wait
all day. 22. Not in right conditions for test. 23. Getting different instructions is bad for brain
intake. 24. Hassle from other road users. 25. Second drivers find it uncomfortable to be
with learners. 26. Far more of a problem in rural areas. 27. Second driver has no authority to
give instructions. 28. More difficult to get drivers early in morning. 29. Puts undue pressure
on parents etc. 30. Creates chance factor danger.
With professional training from fully qualified driving instructors, L. Drivers can reach a high
level of driving competency to continue unaccompanied while driving to gain the necessary
experience until they to do their test. A Certificate of competency is provided by the driving
instructor certified by RSA, valid until they pass the Driving Test.
This is a new concept for discussion to make roads safer and fair for all. Tom Newton ACRA