Alnwick, Probus

A1 south of Alnwick. Picture Jane Coltman
A1 south of Alnwick. Picture Jane Coltman

Driver training

Our speaker at the Alnwick Probus meeting in June was Roy Dalby. His presentation was “Driving on todays roads”.

Roy introduced himself by telling the members that he is a training officer for any company that require their staff to be trained on driving vehicles on today’s roads.

Roy said he was a qualified as an advanced driver achieving a gold standard qualification for his work as a training officer. His enthusiasm for his job came out immediately as he asked questions about what makes a good driver, what age group are the most vulnerable what was the perception of young drivers of those over 65 as well as the members’ views on young drivers.

Last year 1,780 people were killed on our roads costing over £2million to investigate, this covers all costs including court costs hospitals etc.

Roy explained how ABS and ESP braking systems work. These are things we use every day but do not realise how they work. Other topics were discussed.

He asked members when the driving test was introduced – one person knew it was 1935 and cost 7/6d in old money, now the test costs £85.

Of the 1.6 million driving tests taken last year only 43 per cent passed first time. Statistics show that 20 per cent of the young driving population caused 60 per cent of accidents.

One interesting point was if the police stopped you and your windscreen water bottle was empty you have committed an offence, which results in three penalty points.

He asked members to identify the top two accidents and after much discussion they said rear end shunts and right hand turns, which was correct. He said to use the two second rule (count one thousand then two thousand) then your on the right track to avoid rear end shunts.

One surprise was that the Highway Code is not law. It is a set of guidelines that has been in existence since 1931 and updated over the years.

To sum up his talk Roy gave out a sheet with 10 questions about road signs, after a while we marked our own as he gave us the correct answers. We were glad he did not ask how many we scored.

The presentation and discussion raised so many issues that we take for granted as we all drive our cars, the members questions came thick and fast and we were most grateful for the well prepared and enthusiastic talk.