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Offline ukmicky

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #50 on: 12/02/2006 00:40:49 »
Tony.
SORRY i hadnt seen your reply.
I've been searching for information regarding this proposed law for a couple of months now and have gone through many many EU databases all to no avail.  Like you i can't really see it becoming law as so many industries and people reley on their licences to earn a living. Thankyou for your replies.

Michael
« Last Edit: 12/02/2006 00:52:57 by ukmicky »
 

another_someone

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #51 on: 12/02/2006 00:55:04 »
Tony,

I can understand where you are coming from, but the problem is that you are a professional driver, and most of us aren't.

Should driving be constrained to those people who are professionals, who can afford to allocate the amount of time and resources that a professional would be expected to allocate to their profession?

Yes, it would certainly make driving safer, not least because it would remove 80% of the traffic off the roads.

Driving is inevitably a high risk gamble, where a lot of people gain a lot of benefit, but at a great risk to life and limb.  It is uncomfortable to think about the real risks we all take when getting behind the wheel of a car, but would we really be willing to live in a society where 80% of us were prohibited from driving.

Ofcourse, this is exactly what does happen with regard to flying.  Flying requires a very much higher level of proficiency, and most of the sloppiness that exists in driving a car would simply not be tolerated when flying a plane, but very few of us can afford to maintain a pilots licence.

Does society wish to take the level of driving skill common in car drivers to the same level as is required by pilots?  In an ideal world, from a safety perspective, the answer is clearly, yes; but there would be heavy social costs involved in making that decision.

You ask if I would have faith in a doctor that had a 15% hole in his knowledge.  I'm be very impressed with a doctor that knew 85% of all the medical knowledge available in the text books I'd be surprised if you can find such a fellow.  This is why doctors tend to either be in general practice, where their knowledge of each topic is limited, or tend to specialise, where they are expected to know their speciality well, but have huge gaps in other fields of specialisation.

What you have to recognise is that human beings have a limit to their abilities, and simply demanding a theoretical perfection in knowledge and skill does not make it happen.  Most people are not professional drivers, and you would not expect that their competence in something they are not paid to do will equate to the competence they must retain in that which they are paid to do.  There are just not enough hours in a day to be an expert in everything, and would you really want your doctor to be less good a doctor because he spent more of his time being a better driver, and had less time left to be a good doctor?  You are a professional driver, so this conflict does not apply to you, but it does apply to the rest of humanity.

I am not trying to justify bad driving, but merely suggesting that if you expect that we will all busily be spending our waking hours being up to date on the high way code, and endlessly retraining and retesting ourselves in driving skills, then it will have to be time we have to take from the other bots of our lives, and will take its toll elsewhere.  This dilemma not only applies to matters of driving, it also explains why most police officers are not experts in the law, and often get the law wrong (just look at the chaos regarding the Data Protection Act in the background to the Soham murders).
« Last Edit: 12/02/2006 07:14:45 by another_someone »
 

Offline tonycsm

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #52 on: 12/02/2006 08:08:05 »
Hi George
You raise some good points but you are using the argument that we all have a right to drive. Unfortunately this is not neccessarily conducive to safe driving on our roads and given the statistics of accidents and deaths associated with driving, some restrictions will eventually become the norm once we have diverged from this line of thinking.

If we suppose that on an average day throughout the year there are 20 million drivers on our roads then every year statistically, approximately one driver in 100 will be involved in some form of road accident. One driver or road user in less than 8000 will be killed as a result of a road accident. Not all the deaths of non drivers ( pedestrians) are attributable to driver error - pedestrians are also often at fault too, but judging by the propaganda from the government. it's always the motorists' fault.
Again, this is political. If the government of the day actually prosecuted bad " pedestrianing " ( new word huh) then many deaths could be avoided, but again it would mean a vote loser so they won't implement laws which are actually already in force. The Americans call it ' Jaywalking'.

We all have duty of care to other road users when we either drive on or cross/walk on our roads, but when was the last time you heard of a pedestrian being prosecuted for crossing a road dangerously?

As motorists, we all face new restrictions every day in the form of traffic calming, speed restrictions etc. These restrictions are a direct result of the actions of a certain relatively small proportion of ill-disciplined motorists who just can't be trusted to drive within the rules set down in the Highway Code ( and plain old common sense). We all suffer because of these morons and surely that deflates the argument for everyone in our society being entitled to drive. With driving comes responsibility!

Life is cheap on our roads...if the government applied the same criteria to driving as it does on other controlled practices, then we would see a massive fall in the number of road users and associated road accidents but with social implications which would not be acceptable.
Every day without fail, I will, while teaching, probably have to use the dual controls up to 20 times to avoid accidents. NO not because of my students' behaviour, but because of other driver error or the actions of pedestrians, surely this is not acceptable? The government leaves it to the commercial sector to penalise the bad motorist in the form of higher insurance premiums instead of rooting out bad drivers and prosecuting careless pedestrians.
Referring to an earlier posting, I estimate that if we removed the 30% of drivers who in my opinion shouldn't have a driving licence then we would see a 95% drop in road accidents attributable to motorists - surely this would be a price worth paying for road safety!

I am not trying to form a driving ' Elite ' within society, I am just advocating safer motoring for everyone. I drive every day and I suffer from road frustration equally as much as the next motorist when it comes to bad driving but, I have sufficient self discipline to restrain myself in these situations and follow the rules no matter how tempting it may be to break them! I am certainly not a slow driver butI am simply aware of speed limits in urban areas and employ common sense on open de-restricted roads.

I have a science honours degree in Geology/Geophysics but it doesn't mean I am any better driver than any other equally aware motorist who doesn't have one GCSE. Driving is not so much academic - it is discipline, which unfortunately is lacking in many motorists but could be had by all if only the drivers would make the effort.
Many of us treat career advancement as the norm yet once the average motorist has passed their test, very few go on to improve their driving skills. Most motorists gravitate to a very basic and often selfish level of driving skill.
There are many laws governing drinking and driving, dangerous speeding and overtaking etc, yet every day thousands of drivers break these rules because they think they know better.
By implication not everyone is suited to driving much the same as not everyone is suited to being a brain surgeon or doctor tradesman etc.
Driving is simply an interaction between often many individuals primarily following a fixed set of rules for a given situation - the majority have the neccessary skills to follow these rules while others don't, therefore for the safety of the majority, it would be better if the minority were removed from the equation!

Social costs should not be considered when deciding whether or not to remove a persons right to drive. If an individual chooses to ignore laws which are there to keep everyone safe or is incapable of being trusted on our roads, then unfortunately it's their problem and NOT societies'!  

If a driver can't drive within the rules of safety for 40 minutes on a re-test after holding a full licence for 10 years, then they should either go back to being a novice driver with appropriate re-training or even not be allowed to drive!

As a DOT ADI, I have to undergo continued ability to teach check tests. This is about every four years for me ( the longest allowed between checks), but depending on the grade of the instructor, it could be as little as every three to six months. Unlike many instructors, I welcome these as it keeps me up to date with modern training methods and thinking and I see it as a challenge. If the average motorist thought likewise about their own driving skills, we would see a much better attitude on our roads.

By introducing re-testing it will in part help to remind drivers just how important driving skills and rules are, but it will never completely eradicate lack of discipline or encourage a willingness to learn or improve. That comes from within. There will always be those drivers who once they have passed the re-test, will revert to the way they drove before, but it would generally make the vast majority of road users more aware and somewhat safer.

I certainly don't take the view that I as a professional driving instructor, preclude non professionals from ever reaching the same driving skill level as myself. On the contrary, anyone can reach it if they are willing to simply apply the same rules and techniques as I do when I am driving.

It shouldn't take any extra resouces or time spent driving to attain a higher level of driving skills - the practice is there every time one sets foot in a vehicle.

By simply applying the rules of the Highway Code each time one drives is enough to make everyone a good safe driver. Not alot to ask really!

There is nothing special about me or my driving, anyone can do it. The only thing is that maybe I have the extra ability to teach it too and hopefully pass on to my students the values I place on safe driving.

Tony
 
« Last Edit: 12/02/2006 08:53:30 by tonycsm »
 

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #53 on: 12/02/2006 09:31:31 »
Hi Tony,

Firstly, I do not use the argument that we all have the right to drive.  I don't use such an argument because I am very dubious about the notion of rights at all.  I tend to concentrate upon utility and the desired objectives.

In the modern world, we have become ever more reliant upon the notion that the vast majority of the population have easy access to personal transport.  I am not merely talking about the fact that we don't give people the time to walk everywhere, or the public transport system that would enable them to get to where they want with public transport, but simply be the ever greater centralisation of facilities, with the closure of local shops, local hospitals, or anything else that is close enough to be reached without access to private transport.  Even the notion of a working wife and mother is substantially facilitated by time savings available by the use of private transport.  Both government of commercial policies are geared towards a presumption of a driving population, and if we were to ban a significant proportion of the population from driving, we could only do this by reversing much of the trend in such policies.

We could look at disenfranchising another 30% of the population from so much of modern society as an acceptable price to pay; after all, we already have so much social exclusion of so many groups within our society, so you might argue that an extension of that social exclusion would scarcely be significant.  The question I would ask, given the thousands of people killed as a consequence of bad driving each year, how many lives would be saved by such an increase in social exclusion, and how many more lives would be lost simply because those who are socially excluded would suffer fatalities through poverty and lack of access to basic services?

Yes, life on the roads is cheap; but death through social exclusion is also cheap.

We cannot look at driver disenfranchisement in isolation, without looking at the wider role of driving in a social context.

I don't disagree with your notion of public responsibility; but merely argue that in the present social context, the notion of taking measures that will either disenfranchise large portions of the population from the right (and I use the term in a particular social context, not in an absolute sense) to drive; or that will impose an additional layer of bureaucracy  and cost upon that right (which will have the same effect), is simply not utilitarian in the current social context.

I do agree with your arguments about the responsibility of the non-driving road users (both cyclists and pedestrians), neither of which groups need any basic training before being allowed to use public roads, let alone having to be retested every 5 years, and there being no question of disenfranchising either of those groups if they fail a minimum level of proficiency.

The other factor that you have not mentioned is the responsibility of the governments of the day to facilitate safe driving.  A classic example of politicians ducking responsibility in this matter is the public information program telling drivers that they should take a rest if they feel tired, but while doing so, the government made no facilities available to allow drivers somewhere to rest.  Many years ago, while on a long journey, I realised that I was too tired to continue the journey without a rest, but I had to get off the motorway, and find a deserted trading estate (in the middle of the night) before I could find somewhere to stop and sleep a while.  It was a most intimidating environment, but luckily I knew the area a little bit, and so knew how to find my way back to the motorway.  I could well imagine a lone woman, in an unfamiliar territory, in the same situation, would be very reluctant to take that course of action.  So what should she do, stop off on the hard shoulder, and get prosecuted for that, or simply continue to drive until she fell asleep at the wheel?
The problem of an inability to stop on a journey not only is a concern on motorways, but even in urban conurbations, where most major roads now have restricted parking, and highly complex traffic systems, combined with often inadequate signposting.  It is all too easy in such situations for drivers to find the themselves in unfamiliar environments, with nowhere to stop, and getting ever more panicked as to how to get back to their desired road.

It is not enough to demand good driving from drivers, and simply pile blame upon them when they do not deliver; it is also imperative that good driving be made easy.  If what is demanded is ever less achievable, then people tend to simply give up trying to deliver.  This is human nature, and however one may wish it were otherwise, it is something one must work within.  Simply demanding that human beings behave in some idealised, but non-human, manner will not work.

Maybe one day we will have cars which drive themselves, where the human element is removed, and we may make as complex and arbitrary a set of demands upon them as we wish; but that day is not here yet.

You suggest that, as a DOT ADI you are happy to undergo regular retesting, but as I said, that is your profession, so one would expect that you would make that investment in your profession, as I would in mine.  My profession is in computers, and I have shelves full of books on the subject, and seek out information to maintain my skills in that area wherever I can.  I do not have shelves full of books on driving.  Even other areas of my life that may be equally as critical as driving knowledge, such as the law or my health, I do not make the same level of investment in that I would in my career although failure to stay up to date in either of those can carry severe costs.

One area where I have often argued against others, and yourself included, is your condemnation of slow drivers.  I do not disagree with your comment that there is no such thing as 'one speed fits all circumstances', but if someone feels comfortable driving at 40 mph in a 60 mph limit, then I would rather they do that then be forced to drive 60 mph because that is what the limit says is the right speed.  There is a problem that there are inadequate places to overtake slow vehicles, and ever fewer opportunities to do so (again, another attempt to blame drivers while reducing their choices), but that is not the fault of the slow driver.  I think it is more important that a driver understands their own personal limitations in a particular situation, and drive accordingly, than that drivers be regarded in some idealised form, as if anything that was outside of that ideal is somehow faulty.  As I said above, the day may well come where all cars are driven by computer, and we can then expect total standardisation in behaviour, but that day is not here yet.

What does annoy me is people who drive at the legal limit, and then make it difficult for others to pass them (they hog the outside of the road, etc.) in the belief that they should be enforcing the speed limit.  It is their responsibility to drive to the best of their ability, within their own constraints, and within the prevailing conditions; and let other drivers get on with driving as best they can.  If someone wishes to drive 40 mph on the slow lane of a motorway, I do not begrudge them that (although I can imagine some HGV drivers might feel differently), but equally if someone wishes to drive 100 mph on a clear motorway, so long as they do not drive with undue aggression, I would not condemn that the right to do so if the police stop them, that is between them and the police, not between me and them.
« Last Edit: 12/02/2006 10:26:22 by another_someone »
 

Offline Ray hinton

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #54 on: 12/02/2006 22:15:59 »
YOU ARE NOT TAUGHT TO DRIVE,YOU ARE TAUGHT TO PASS THE TEST, DRIVING ,AND DRIVING WELL COMES AFTER WITH PRACTICE AND EXPERIENCE.
 

Offline upton

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #55 on: 12/02/2006 22:52:20 »
Tony,

Is there a shortage of driving instructors ?

In my local paper you can't help but see so many adverts for people to take a course and become a driving instructor.

Thanks

Upton


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Offline tonycsm

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #56 on: 13/02/2006 00:18:17 »
To Ray...
I certainly don't teach people to just pass their driving test and as for learning to drive AFTER they pass is a sure sign they weren't taught correctly in the first place. Driving well should be taught before passing, not left to an individual to work it out for themselves! If they can't drive well before their test, then they have taken it TOO early!

HI Upton..
Unfortunately there are numerous driving schools which are now cashing in on the latest craze, churning out more and more instuctors and flooding the market with what can be described as the "out of work...think it's easy brigade".
Most the these new instructors fail to make a go of it simply because their heart is not in it and they find they can't stand the stress!
To have a lasting instuction business, one needs to enjoy driving and teaching even more so. Being unemployed is not a good enough reason to start teaching people to drive. You have to have the apptitude and patience coupled with lots of changes of underwear!

Tony
 

Offline adi1

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #57 on: 19/02/2006 00:07:05 »
Well now. I just don't really have the time to reply concisely enough to all the issues raised but I couldn't resist saying something.
A whole bunch of people just not living in the real world here I think. Even the driving instructor who has replied - well bully for you mate, so you have fabulously hi standards and get more work than you can cope with???
Were your standards so high when you started out? Do you have any idea of how hard it is to get started now? Really???
If I were you, I would watch out for your business because some shark is going to take it away from you. Sure, one should try to have high standards but one also has to make a living. Why do driving instructors get such a hard time for simply trying to do that.
The intelligence of the parents who say, "In my day, it only cost/it only took...", drives me nuts. And it is likely those parents whose children will pass their tests first time then promptly go out and crash their cars in their first week of owning a full licence.

Here are some truths for you...

A market is all about supply and demand
At some time or other in the recent past, the demand for instructors has rocketed to the extent that the market could not keep up.
At that point, big businessmen see the potential and almost any tom, dick or harry can qualify to become and instructor, or, a bus driver is another similar example - as will be evident to some of you from the quality of bus driving that one sees. In fairness to some, how the hell are they supposed to realistically get around London's crazy tight and busy roads in a vehicle that long (refering to those ridiculously long new buses) whilst keeping everyone happy and safe and keep their jobs at the same time.

Oh dear. Too much to say and not enough time.

Simple numbers for the originator of this topic.

If I work no, do 30 1 hour lessons, per week (which equates to around 40 working hours for me and sometimes more) then at my rate 20 per hour,(less with discounts but lets leave it at 20 for now given that you don't seem to understand how a business works)
my "turnover" is 600.
After I have paid my fuel, and accounted for the other costs of running my car, I'm lucky to be left with 400 per week.
Do you think that is a reasonable salary for a man of 38?????
Sure some people have to get by on that much but what do you think. Perhaps you would have me teach your child for half that?
The competition is now fierce. I thought I would make a fine instructor and I believe that some of my pupils think I do, but if I am short of work and I need income and a customer presents themselves to me because they have a test tomorrow that the DSA allowed them to book regardless of their ability, should I turn them down, when I know that they will find another instructor who won't.
The real world and a driving test world are not one in the same thing. The vast majority of drivers no longer follow the highway code to the degree that new drivers are expected to. Do you not think that it might take just a little longer to teach your child that if they DON'T drive in the bus lane at certain times, they WILL fail their test but if they dare to drive in it at the wrong time, they will incur a heavy fine. How long do you think it takes a young person to get their head around that whilst still getting to grips with controlling a dangerous new machine that might kill someone or them if they make a mistake.

WAKE UP!

AND - MR driving instructor whoever you are; you Sir are irresponsible for declaring how many lessons it takes for someone to pass their test with you. Are you trying to get business from this forum???
I note that you say "usually". Indeed! All people learn at the same rate do they?
 

Offline tonycsm

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #58 on: 20/02/2006 00:38:05 »
To adi1,

Normally, I am not adversarial on this type of forum no matter what the provocation, however, in your case I will make an exception!

Quite frankly, from your attitude, I am not surprised you are short of work! The world does NOT owe you a living! When you work for yourself, you get the rewards you deserve!
Just how long have you been instructing? More to the point, how long do you expect to be an instructor?

When I started out instructing, I was already seriously interested in driving to a very high standard even immediately after I passed my test, which was easily transferred to my instructional ability and has served me well throughout my career! Can you say the same?

It's perhaps less difficult to start out now than it was when I started out!
When I took my ADI exams, there were only two exams, instead of the three we see now! However, the difference was that the first part also included a written section plus the multiple-choice, so that was more difficult than it is now!
The driving ability and instructional ability sections were not separated as they are now, so one had to pass both at the same time unlike now where you take each one serarately. If a trainee failed one of these when I started, he failed both, so don't give me the story that it is any harder to start now than when I started! I think it's now much easier, which is why there is such a high failure rate among new instructors!

As for maintaining my high standards, yes I do and nothing will make me change that! I am not affraid of sharks as you put it...my standards and reputation will see me through!

As for driving instructors getting a hard time - a few ( thankfully not all I may add) deserve it! It's their bad practices that get the majority a bad name.

As for competition, I live in a rural area where the proportion of instructors to local population is currently very high, so don't give me the competition argument! I have had fierce competition since the day I started 25 years ago and was up against well established instructors from the outset! I've seen loads of wannabe instructors come and go - the ones who retain a professional attitude to both business and their instructional ability, survive, the others soon perish.

I don't know which area you live and work, but I am confident now that if I moved to your area without any contacts, within six months I'd have a full book solely on the strength of my ability to teach! Perhaps I'd be considered a "shark" in your book!

Competition and success is about proving you are better than your rivals in business by offering a quality service, not bringing down your standards! That's the truth about understanding business - not just turnover.

As for taking someone for test because you don't want the potential customer to go to another instructor, that is the first big mistake!!!

I wouldn't let anyone I haven't taught, go for a driving test in my car. I don't know how they behave after perhaps only a couple of lessons and I have more respect for my business. Should the candidate crash during the test, it would grossly affect my business to the extent I am just not prepared to risk it, no matter what!

I have turned down literally hundreds of these type of customers over the years and it's not affected me!

Also, taking ill prepared or sub-standard candidates for driving tests gets the instructor a bad name with the examiners. I am on first name terms with all the local examiners - they simply respect me because I have high standards, so that is another benefit of maintaining high standards!

How can indicating approximately how many lessons to get an average driver to a decent test standard be irresponsible??? The customer needs to have an idea of just how much it's going to cost them, just as in any service they seek!!!!

I have sufficient experience to qualify my judgements in this and also the ability to to quantify too!
I don't know whether you have bothered to read my earlier posts on driving tuition, but I have never said that all students learn at the same rate! All students learn at differing rates but like all statistics, there are averages where the majority will fit, which is what I was indicating. I have students with quite severe learning difficulties or elderly trainee drivers, which other instructors have given up on, yet they are responding very well to me and will eventually pass a test I can guarantee! Yes they will take much longer to teach than the average student but I make sure they understand this, as again they have a right to know if the costs are justifiable.

As well as offering a a good quality service I also maintain an informative web site to help anyone who seeks advice, irrespective of whether they are customers or not! Do you?

Instruction is not just about earning a living and grabbing every penny you can from the customer; it's also about maintaining your integrity and professionalism and giving something to society through your work!

I have a well proven method of teaching which must work as I always have a customer waiting list and work a full six days a week, so please don't question my ability and integrity in this matter! I have had to work hard to achieve this and still work equally as hard to maintain it!

As for trying to get business from this forum...not a chance, I don't need it! The forum is for discussion and edification, nothing else.

As for lesson costs, I live in an area where the average lesson costs much less than 20.00 per hour and I still make a decent living and I cover up to 1000 miles per week because of the rural location! I could have made much more through other occupations but I chose this because I enjoy my work!
 
Maybe you are one of those people who came into instructing thinking it was easy money! Well perhaps you have realised it's not that easy!

This is not the place to take out your frustrations on others! If you teat people with respect they will listen!
 

Offline The Chief

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #59 on: 21/02/2006 20:08:06 »
Tony,

I have taken the liberty of having a look at your website and comparing some valuable information from the driving standards agency and the information you offer. Now can you tell me why the DSA recommend 45 hours of training as an average with a driving instructor and as an average around 22 hours of additional private practice before passing a driving test for a learner driver and your advice states only 16 - 32 hours on average? There is a massive discrepancy in these hours, with the greatest of respect I would be more likely to listen to those that set the standards that we all have to adhere to than the questionable opinion of someone who is in it "just to make a buck".

That brings me to another point, through some brief research it appears that your profession is in a bit of a shambles at present with driving instructors who claim to be professional offering services that are far from that maxim. How can any true professional offer a service with prices as low as yours without becoming bankrupt. I can only think you work very long hours in the car with clients or you keep them stationary so that you don't use much fuel. If you do work long hours then the quality of your teaching standards must suffer and that surely means the quality of learning suffers too - which I may add means that on average your learner drivers take longer than you suggest they may take on your website which is indeed tantamount to miss selling.

Now please do not think of me as antagonistic, I am only looking at the options that you offer and compare them to others. I looked at one website in Essex http://www.johnfoote.co.uk [nofollow] After going through this very informative website I spoke with the gentleman conserned who owns the site and driving school and he was very honest about learning to drive. I would suggest all forum members following this thread to do the same before forming any opinions.
 

Offline ukmicky

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #60 on: 21/02/2006 21:45:33 »
quote:
Now can you tell me why the DSA recommend 45 hours of training as an average with a driving instructor and as an average around 22 hours of additional private practice before passing a driving test for a learner driver and your advice states only 16 - 32 hours on average?


 Just out of interest who's opinions were sort before  determining that the average driver requires 45 hours of tuition, did any of the big motoring organisations like the AA or RAC who happen to operate two of the biggest drivings schools have any input.

Maybe the DSA is wrong and its figures are an inaccurate assessment of what is required in the real world,its possible and cant be discounted just because their the DSA. Also do those figures take into account the experience and ability of the driving instructor, which must be the biggest factor in determining how much tuition is required for the average pupil.

Michael
« Last Edit: 21/02/2006 22:01:43 by ukmicky »
 

Offline neilep

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #61 on: 21/02/2006 22:14:09 »
Personally I think an hours tuition on a scalextric is enough !

Men are the same as women.... just inside out !!
 

Offline tonycsm

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #62 on: 22/02/2006 02:06:36 »
To The Chief

First of all, I spend very little time stationary! So please don't give me that rubbish!

Secondly, it all depends on the style of teaching too! Why does a student need to spend 10 hours on a section of training when they can learn it in 5 ! It all depends if you cut out the crap and teach them correctly to drive and not just waste time which unfortunately is a common practice among some instructors. At least a third of tuition time could easily be wasted if one allows the student to do so, therefore it is essential that the student knows from the outset that they are there to learn and not waste time!
 
A decent average student will learn quickly if the right approach is taken from the outset and if correctly and positively instructed they will not waste a third of their lessons time.

I have my own methods of teaching and I never teach them to reverse etc until they can go forward reasonably well without help from me...that can save at least 8 hours of tuition alone as, it's pointless trying to teach them to go backwards until they can go forward proficiently. Also, by the student being able to control the vehicle proficiently during reversing etc, they can understand where if at all,  they are going wrong and soon correct the problem. This can reduce their learning time by half for that section of training, hence freeing up training time for dealing with more advanced problems on the roads. This is my own technique and works well, particularly, during intensive training! It's called time management!!! If you teach them what NOT to do before teaching them what to do, one will save considerable training time!

There are basically three groups of learners. Those that find it very easy and will repond to instructions instantly...they represent about 10% - also they may have some previous road experience or live on a farm in the area where I work etc! These may only need perhaps 10 hours tuition to reach the driving test standard, but they represent only a small proportion of the overall students!
 
The second group are the average group ( about 70% ) who respond reasonably and will certainly learn in the time frame I suggest and there are the remainder...that 20% can take double or more lessons than average! Some students will have a little prior experience, others will not. So about 70-80% at any one time will take UP TO about 32 hours of tuition or less, to pass, while the others, will learn at their own individiual rates! If that is mis-selling then I am guilty as charged!

I know of quite a number of good instructors locally who will verify that they have similar figures, so I am not unique or are they telling porkies too?

Having just looked at the site you suggested, I invite you to look at the ' Signature  Course' section they advertise! Are they too guilty of mis-selling?

Incidentally, I actually get students thinking I am trying to get money out of them uneccessarily by suggesting that it will take them up to 32 hours to reach a decent standard! I know where to send them for advice now!

The last national published figures from the DSA average of minor faults per driving test was about 8 rounded off....my student's average 5 which is about 40% below national average figures. Also, from published DSA figures, my students are about 100 times less likely to commit a dangerous fault during a driving test than the average student so I am quite happy with my training!
 
Perhaps you should ask the nice gentleman you spoke to, to divulge his figures!

As for additional practice...yes I would advise that as long as the practice is correct! I have seen plenty of students go out with parents etc;  for practice and they came back to me with horrendous faults imparted upon them from the accompanying driver in a very short time...so while private practice is fine, it has to be correct, or best avoided!
I estimate that the average student would need about 4 or 5 hours of private practice to match one hour of good professional tuition from a decent instructor!

Ideally, the figures suggested by the DSA would be followed by everyone and that I would agree with, but as has been mentioned by others, we live in the real world and many students and parents just can't afford it so, unless it is made compulsory, we have to do the very best with the time available and financial constraints!

Thirty hours of good positive instruction will easily match 45 hours from a mediocre instuctor! So, it's not neccessarily quantity, but rather quantity that is the main factor! I personally would consider a driver who took 45 hours to train as being a slightly difficult to teach - not average!!!

Would you rather I charged for lessons that the student didn't need?

Maybe some instructors are hiding behind the 45 hour cushion. I think that if an instructor takes an average of 45 hours per student of average ability to teach, then I am affraid they may just be guilty of a little procrastination!

I also offer the pass Plus service which is an excellent tool for the new driver and makes a considerable difference to their driving ability! Many students take this as a follow-up so, they are very well palced to drive in most conditions and retain their safety!

If bad weather threatens, I don't just hang up my car keys and wait till it clears - I often for instance, take students to an empty car park and teach them about skids and how to recover from them etc. Sometimes, when snow has fallen, I will spend a whole day doing that with different students booked for that day, so that they will be prepared for such conditions later in their driving career! That is teaching them to drive and not part of the driving test!

Does your nice gentleman teach that way?

It's also about the type of student one attracts and teaches - as most of my work is from recommendation, many of these students are often similar in abilities to to the former student, so it usually follows that if the former student passed quickly, then their friends follow likewise. Obviously this is not in every case. By the same token, if you get an unusually difficult group they will also learn at similar rates.
Groups of friends usually compete to match each others' ability which encourages them to knuckle down and learn, making my work much easier.

Another point you conveniently omitted was that I teach about 40% of my lessons through semi intensive courses - these students are selected for their ability by myself - I NEVER take on a student for this type of course, (unlike alot of companies offering intensive training) until I have assessed them and their suitability first! So that means they have better than average ability!

I mention all the above details on my website and it is clear and transparent! NOWHERE on my website do I mislead anyone. I NEVER make false promises or give silly guarantees of passing first time. I simply give the prospective student an outline of what is required and expected!

I know for a fact that several examiners have visited my website and if anything had been found to be incorrect, then I'm quite sure I would have heard about it!

As for working long hours, why should that affect instruction??? It also depends upon what you call long hours! My instruction certainly does not suffer at the end of the day! Not everyone has a nice easy job with safety nets of a large organisation when they feel like time off!
I also take exception to your inference of how much I can earn! I have a very nice 4 bed det home in a des area...no mortgage, I live quite comfortably and very satisfied with what I earn thankyou! I like to work a six day week for a month and half  to two months or so and then take a week's holiday, often  abroad to unwind and refresh.

Another point worthy of note! The local wages are quite low compared to other parts of the country with many adults on minimum wage only, therefore lesson prices are relatively low compared to other parts of the county. Take any of the national driving instruction companies - they have a hard time filling one car in 4 times the area I cover in East Yorkshire.

I owe no one a single penny for anything, be it mortgage or any other finance and could never go bankrupt in 100 years, so your theory is out the window immediately! Or is that another myth too?

The main point is that I don't do my work just for money, I do it because I enjoy it! If I worked just for financial reward and a fat pension at an early age, then the last career I would choose is that of an instructor!
Or maybe you can't get your head round someone actually enjoying their work who is skillful without wanting to make a financial killing. Or are you just naturally cynical?

I believe you are a serving police officer in traffic!
Can you tell me why I have had to take evasive action on several occasions while instructing in the past three years to avoid serious and possibly fatal accidents due to downright rubbish driving by serving police officers supposedly aswering triple nine calls. On at least two occasions if I hadn't taken the action of taking over control of the student and driving onto the grass verge, we would have head on accidents by the idiots behind the wheel of the white car with the blue lights! On another recent occasion, a cruiser driver decided to take the wrong route off a roundabout and overtake alongside the splitter island only wide enough for one vehicle while I was driving, resulting in him losing control and nearly taking me out with him! I must say the signs I was giving him weren't in the Highway Code, but he wouldn't pull me over! I wonder why? This guy didn't have blues or anything...he was just arrogant and incompetent, yet the same guy would probably be pulling over motorists later in the day for much less that he had committed! These are just a few instances I could mention!

Yesterday, we were forced off the road by an ambulance showing blues overtaking several vehicles on a sharp curve with a crest on an A class road with 40mph restriction where we couldn't see him coming and he couldn't see us. I know that it may have been an emergency and it may have been for good cause but that is no excuse for dangerous driving!

As far as I am concerned, I don't need anyone from the police service questioning my integrity or teaching ability/business practices and certainly not my honesty! Indeed, as far as I am concerned, based on the standards to which I teach and from my observations, some police drivers and their driving standards and practices certainly leave a lot to be desired in lots of instances!
I reckon if I'd been clocked at 115mph in the car I've just recently bought for instruction, they wouldn't have accepted that I was just testing it out and getting used to how it handles!!!
That is why many of the general public have lost respect for the police because they know there is one law for the public and another for the police!
I think before you criticise the driving instruction industry, you should take a long look at your own. Even many middle aged and elderly members of the public have little faith in the police...exactly the group you'd expect to give support!

There are lots of other issues regarding the police and public perception such as witholding evidence in trials where people spend many years in prison for something they didn't commit, yet I have yet to hear of one single officer charged! They always retire and plead that they aren't well enough to stand trial.
It's the bad minority  which get the majority a bad name!

Please don't throw the answer back to me that I should have reported the mentioned incidents to their commanding officer...it would just be denied or covered up!
I have sufficient close knowledge of the police to know how it works! Some are friends, surprisingly!

Incidentally, I have taught several police officers' family members and other driving instructors' family too, so they must think my instuction is ok or have I mis-sold them too?

So, as far as I am concerned, when I start losing work because of not doing my work correctly or go bankrupt, then I'll worry, but until then I'll stick to my teaching methods and work within my average hours of training 25 years on from when I first started!

I have never claimed to speak for all driving instructors and each instructor has their own methods of training practices - some good, some bad.
 
Tony


« Last Edit: 24/02/2006 08:31:19 by tonycsm »
 

Offline Wanadrive

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #63 on: 27/02/2006 21:33:51 »
Came across this thread, while searching for something else and can't resist contributing! This thread has raised some very varied views, some of which I have to say lack any real substance. I should say I've been an Instructor for 13 years - so I have my own perspective. However, to make some random points on all that has gone before.

1. It is harder to pass the test now than say twenty years ago. The basic reasons are: change to the marking system including failure for nore than 15 driving errors; the test was lengthened a few years ago by approximately seven minutes to allow opportunity for test routes to cover more difficult and faster roads; busier roads today requiring greater awareness. In addition, there is an expectation from pupils and the DSA that Instructors include information in their lessons that will help with the Theory Test and Hazard Perception Test.

2. If the DSA say that their statistics show it takes ON AVERAGE 45 lessons, I have to say they are best placed to quote such statistics. If you ring AA or BSM, they will recommend on average two lessons per year of your life. (It is true that the older you are the more lessons it takes)

3. Personal aptitude will make an emormous difference to the number of lessons required. But remember what is required is not just skill but knowledge how to put those skills into practice in different situations. There actually is a large amount of info that needs to be imparted. I know of people who have failed their test for driving in the wrong position on a dual carriageway where the left lane is partly blocked by parked vehicles and others for failing to drive in a bus lane when it is not in operation. A novice driver would only know these things if they have been specifically taught them.

4. The pass rate is about 43%. Why so low? Either the test is unfair, Instructors universally give poor instruction or too many people take the test before they are ready. My view (obviously!) is the latter. Only about 1 in 10 people who start training successfully qualify and Instructors are regularly check-tested by the DSA, who will remove Instructors from the Register if their standards are not good enough.

5. I think I'm a good Instructor, I try not to slag off other Instructors, I have an above average pass rate. I charge 20 an hour which I think is cheap. To earn the average UK wage the DIA compute that I would need to charge 26 per hour. A guy repaired my washing machine three weeks ago. He charged 40 an hour. I would guess that my average is well under 45 lessons to pass. An honest guess would be around 30 - 35.

6. Big money is earned by businesses (including BSM) in training Instructors. It's not that there is a shortage of Instructors - contrary to what the ads may imply, there is no gaurantee of work at the end.

7. There is a residency requirement to take the test, so you can't just slip off overseas! There was a loophole where German nationals were coming over here as it was easier here than in their on country.

8. Almost everyone under-exaggerates the number of lessons they took. I've had it where a younger sibling tells me how many lessons their older bro/sis (who learned with me) says they took!

9. Most people want to pass their test, being a good or safe driver is secondary. I have to balance that. Help them to pass their test as quick as they can and help them to be a safe driver.

I could go on but have probably said enough. I too have a website with loads of info at newbielink:http://www.wanadrive.co.uk [nonactive]
 

Offline Benquasha Fraser

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #64 on: 24/03/2006 23:11:25 »
I did my driving test just less than a year ago, 6 months after I turned 17. I had already been riding a motorbike for a year and had a motorbike lisence - it took me three attempts to pass my motorbike test. So before I started learning to drive I already had a reasonably good knowledge of the roads. I passed my car test first time, after 20 hours of tuition with a qualified instructor. However I also had about 200 hours of driving experience with my dad, who was a driving instructor in the army in the 80s (I'm not exaggerating, he was determined that I wouldn't just pass my test, I would be able to cope in any situation I might find myself when I was driving on my own. He took me down roads that I would never need to drive on during my test because he figured if I could handle driving on them then I wouldn't panic if I found myself on one in the future).

I don't think a single one of those hours was a waste of time because now I have my license and I drive over 200 miles a week to and from school and work. I can drive in all weathers and I know how to react when faced with just about any type of road or driving condition. Passing the test isn't what's important, being able to drive safely when you start driving on your own is.
 

Offline Ophiolite

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #65 on: 25/03/2006 02:32:31 »
The Chief made some valid points in his earlier tirade against UKMickey's thoughts on the driving test. (You might have toned the aggression down a little Chief: I think it caused UKMick to shut down his objectivity module.)

I know of no one in the 60s who passed their test after ten lessons only. Ten formal lessons, yes. Coupled with lots of drives (legal and legal) in friend's and family's cars. Your experieces UKM are atypical.

Driving standards have improved significantly over the last three decades, but they have a long way to go. I welcome the plans to have everyone resit a their tests periodically. We have too many poor drivers, unskilled drivers, and mad drivers, on our roads. I think Chief reacted to your position so strongly, because he feels, as do I, that that position will act against the effort to improve our driving standards.

Observe; collate; conjecture; analyse; hypothesise; test; validate; theorise. Repeat until complete.
 

Offline ukmicky

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #66 on: 25/03/2006 02:57:24 »
Hi ophiolite
I very much doubt a re-evaluation of our driving skills will remove the mad drivers from our streets as even a mad driver will know that during the test it would be unaceptable to go through red traffic lights and to travel at 60 mph down a 30 mph street.

Michael
 

pasbasher

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #67 on: 13/05/2006 18:36:53 »
unsuprisingly  full of conspiracy theories  and contradictions, but having looked around the forum  that's unsuprising ...

odd isn't it that  the ADIs  have painted a pretty similar picture throughout, yet the wonderful polymath denizens of the forum  have of course got a differing picture, backed up with the usual conspiracy theories and serving of chips (shoulder, for  the use of) -

 some of the comments about  minor faults and hazard  perception are very valid, as one only needs to conside the historic practice, the practice of the more modern tests , pre theory test and the current tregime, plus the hazard perception , anticipation and  risk assessment  skills required of vocational, 'advanced' and emergency service drivers ...
« Last Edit: 13/05/2006 18:38:21 by pasbasher »
 

Offline jam

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #68 on: 10/06/2006 08:12:54 »
I dread the day my child begins to drive.  We must spend around 150 hours on the road before sitting our test (and this will one day be properly governed).  The majority of our paid instructors for learning in Aus, are sad to say the least, as bad as the learner.  I have many a time followed a Learner who has done several things wrong and the teacher appeared to be unaware of these mistakes.

With the demand for young adults looking good in society, fast cars, mobile phones and the "not enough time" attitude, this will be the downfall of safer driving.

Our highest percentage of fatalities in Australia are young drivers.  And sadly, lately it is showing that if they are not the fatality they are at least a part of the accident in some way.

In my learning days we had hard fast cars but nothing like today.  Being "cool" was about how hot the car looked. Only in recent years the cars speed has been the major factor of this.

Who do we blame driving instructors for not teaching properly, car manufactures for making these cars or advertising companies for pushing it all?  

We are all responsible for our own childs attitudes towards safer roads and if an instructor is paid to instruct and the Learner has not learnt than YES he is "making money out of these tests"

I believe, I, even though I have made a few mistakes, are still better to teach my child than those driving companies I have seen out there.  

It is becomming extremely expensive to go for your test here.  And until the goverment / police inforce tuffer rules on instructors themselves than the money is not well spent at all, and yes a ripp off.  

Road conditions (busier) have completely changed worldwide.  I don't for one minute think that 10 hours of driving makes you experienced enough to handle all the conditions thrown at you.  The weather being the biggest factor.

And I don't believe for one minute that when someone says they are a perfect driver it is true, they just haven't been caught with that mistake.

I am overly precautious on the road with my children in the car and only lately without my children as well.  I do want to make it home to them.  I only hope that the dofuss who did not want to pay and get great teaching or that has only driven for 10 hours does not slide into me in the cold misty wet weather they have not yet experienced.

So, in my opinion ukmicky, No, driving lessons are not a big con and Yes they are a ripp off if you are not getting what you paid for regardless of price.

In Victoria, Australia to get a drivers licence (cost wise)-
First your learners application $17.80
Then your computer test $28.10
To get your full licence $142.40 covers you for 10 years
The "appointment" cost to get this $10.40
Practical Test $32.40 and written $56.30
The handbook to know all this $6.00
Don't forget cost in between learners and full licence for that excellent driving instructor.  the average cost being $42.50 for 45 minutes!
$261++++++++++!!
LIFE EXPERIENCE - PRICELESS (had to throw that one in, Mastercards in our face everywhere we look)

Are you able to teach your children yourself to make this count to 35 hours?  But don't forget that your experience and mistakes are handed down to your own children as they have seen you do this all there lives!

Happy and Safe Driving on your way home tonight!


:D:):D

Jam
 

Offline Hadrian

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #69 on: 10/06/2006 11:55:35 »
Driving lesions if they are any good are all about passing a test. A friend on mine who let his licences laps over ten years had to sit his test again. He not a bat driver in fact he does a lot of driving for a living. He not had a crash or accident in over twenty years. But he failed his test twice before he went and got lesions. He finally passed last month    

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
« Last Edit: 10/06/2006 11:57:25 by Hadrian »
 

Offline specialmee

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Re: driving lessons /survey
« Reply #70 on: 20/06/2006 10:50:49 »
Attending a defensive driving school offers a lot of benefits. It does not only improve your driving skills and helps you become a safe driver; you also get practical benefits such as obtaining discount on your insurance premium.
Search for more here:
newbielink:http://www.schoolofdefensivedriving.com/Defensive_Driving_School.html [nonactive]
 

Offline The Undercover ADI

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driving lessons /survey
« Reply #71 on: 10/05/2007 23:57:26 »
Oh the joy!

Apologies for dragging this one up, but I like this subject.

Are driving lessons a con? Possibly - are you being trained by a fully qualified instructor or a trainee who has had little more than basic training in what they do.

Are driving instructors trying to get more lessons out of customers? Some do, but they're the ones who lose customers to those of us who don't.

Are there too many driving instructors around? Yep, because companies have realised that they can earn 30 an hour for training instructors rather than 20 an hour training learners! (hence the lovely tv ads promising 30k and a shiny new car and the ability to work whenever you like! Believe them at your peril)

Are driving instructors charging too much for their services? Not the good ones, but the good ones are the ones who don't have much space in their diaries. The ones who're offering lessons at a fiver a pop are losing money, so they'll try to get it back by getting you to take more lessons.

Are driving lessons all about passing a test? - don't be silly - if you read the examiner's guidelines EVERYTHING they can fail you on has safety implications, they cannot fail you for silly technicalities. If you cannot pass the driving test then you are NOT a safe driver.

Does any of this matter to you? It might do in a few years time when insurance companies start to expect people to take driver training in order to keep their insurance premiums affordable!

Have fun, but just ask yourself one question - could you reverse park into a bay to modern test standards?

Oh, and the test is longer, stricter, includes more manoeuvres and allows far fewer faults than when we all passed with 10 lessons or so, so I'd guess the answer to the above question would be no. And if the answer to the above question is no - then that explains why new drivers have to be so good - it's to cope with all of your bad driving.
 

Offline kis

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driving lessons /survey
« Reply #72 on: 11/05/2007 11:17:50 »
Whats the problem here?

If you dont want lessons dont have them. You teach your kids to drive by all means after all its so easy isnt it.

Why should an instructor take your kids out without making a living you dont drive lorries for free.

Funny how you cry on here about how hard done by you are yet your kids still ignor you and are sensible enough to take proper lessons. Shows how the world is changing.

If you guys think your driving is that good, go out and become a money grabbing instructor, after all it money for old rope isnt it.

Did you know that the pass rate for an ADI to teach is as low as 25%. The standards are set VERY high by the DSA NOT the ADI.

If your kids who you value, love, raised from little babys, want to go out on the ever changing and getting more dangerouse roads, dont you think it is best to let them have the BEST teaching they can have rather than a 8 lesson course with mum or dad.

Reguardless of anything you say on here an ADI will always teach better than any unproffesional and that is a fact.

Did you know that there is a rediculouse scheme that allows an unqualifiesd instructor to teach your loved ones for full money?

If your instructor has a pink badge in the window, he is NOT a qualified ADI and with a pass rate of 25% to become an ADI, what quality can he/ she be offering. They are allowed to take the ADI test 3 times then its on hold for 2 years. How many times has your 30.00 ph pink holder failed at yet you still send your loved ones out with them?

However they are allowed to charge you as much as a qualified green badge ADI and not tell you that they are only learners themselves. It makes the franchise holders rich as they charge 100.00 per week upwards to have a pinkie on the books and you pay full ADI money.

Now thats a reason to make a fuss from where I sit.
 

Offline kis

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driving lessons /survey
« Reply #73 on: 11/05/2007 11:51:30 »
Hi undercover adi, I am also an adi, bet I know why you came here.....
 

Offline ukmicky

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driving lessons /survey
« Reply #74 on: 11/05/2007 17:40:32 »
Hi undercover adi, I am also an adi, bet I know why you came here.....
Please tell.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

driving lessons /survey
« Reply #74 on: 11/05/2007 17:40:32 »

 

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