Confident Driving by Roger Hicks & Ashley Behan representing Lincoln IAM RoadSmart
Roger began his presentation by telling us that since passing his driving test in 1963, he has never had to officially demonstrate his driving aptitude. He then produced an old type driving licence and a very old copy of The Highway Code and asked when was the last time any of us had consulted this bible of legal requirements, laws and legislation. The show of hands was barely visible and prompted a nervous titter from the audience however, Roger told us that he is on a mission to help everyone to become better drivers. As a member of an independent road safety charity affiliated to RoadSmart, he and his fellow volunteers aim to prepare drivers to eventually reach the standard which will enable them to become an ‘advanced driver’.
He went on to explain that since the day most of us took our driving test, not only has the number of vehicles on the road increased considerably but, the laws have changed dramatically and cars have been revolutionised. Whilst most of us think we have taken this in our stride, it is fair to say that as we age, we might not acknowledge that our reactions inevitably become slower and health issues may affect our driving competencies. The driver retraining team intend to teach us ways in which we can develop our skills so we use the road and our vehicles more safely, effectively and economically. Based on the police driving system, the course helps drivers cultivate a positive but courteous attitude and boosts their confidence, driving competence, concentration and effective all-round observation and anticipation. Self-analysis is encouraged and drivers are asked to evaluate their performance.
Ashley’s presentation was accompanied by photographs of everyday situations which drivers might encounter; he then invited the audience to identify the hazards presented. Although the audience seemed to excel at this, it nevertheless highlighted the fact that we are a more vulnerable age group and should be aspiring to improve our road safety skills and thereby lower the risk of accidents. Participation in the scheme ensures the driver receives an objective appraisal of his or her driving standards, irons out bad habits and possibly gains a better insurance deal. What’s not to like? There was quite a crowd of interested parties around the speakers at the end of their talk, so a good number were maybe inspired enough to sign up.
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