81% of New Drivers better prepared for real life driving.

Today (4 December 2018) marks 1 year since the driving test changed, to be more like real-life driving.

The changes included:

using a sat nav while driving
driving on a wider variety of roads.
New research into driving test changes

Research published today shows over 80% of newly qualified drivers said the test better prepared them for driving on Great Britain’s roads.

86% of candidates also said they used a sat nav at least some of the time after passing their test, saying practising with it was “more realistic and was a more likely scenario to encounter in the future”. See DVSA website to look uo the Full Survey information.

Engine Idling is it Lagal?

Did you know that leaving your engine running for more than a very short time while you are stationery is not only ruining everyones health, especially children, burning a whole in your pocket and polluting the enviroment for all. Not just that but it’s now illegal. Please refer to your Highway Code for verification. Every home should have one.

This week is Speed Awarness week Sartin23rd August 2015. Are you ready to stick to the speed Limit? Check out

THE HONEST TRUTH Website it you’re a young Or newly Qualifired Driver. See our Links Page for more Details.

Dyspraxia & driving.

Do you have some learning difficulties?

Today we a attended a very good presentation by Jill Dixon of the Dyspraxia association in Tamworth. Go to www.dyspraxiainfo.co.uk  There is a vast amount of help on this site. However if you need assistance learning to drive with these condition and other learning difficulties which often come bundled together or very mildly do search for a fabulous site run by Julia Malkin who herself is Autistic but a driving instructor and trainer herself and was recently awarded the MBE for her services to Driving Tuition in these and other areas of learning disabilities. Just because you or your teenager has these difficulties does not mean they will be unable to obtain a licence. Please see http://exceldia.com & http://www.freshstart2013.com/juliamalkin.html  both of which are helpful and excellent. Also watch the excellent You Tube clip about Julia & her driving Tuition. At Abacus we have help a number of people with various learning difficulties. Early last year a young man in Lichfield who had been with us for about 18 months passed on just his second attempt, which is and achievement for any learner let alone one with Dyspraxia. Many do change and learn in an Automatic but this young man was in to cars and really want to learn the manual way, it will make it cheaper and give him more flexibility in the future. He had lots of good support from his family and we gave regular updates and kept them involved which all helped the learning process. As parents you should always have a good relationship with your young persons driving instructor as there are many constructive things you can do to help your youngster through to being a safe responsible driver.

Drug Offence Proposals

Illegal drugs and limits consultation.

Plans to make it easier to prosecute those who drive under the influence of illegal drugs have been published today (9 July 2013) by Roads Minister Stephen Hammond.

In January 2012 the government announced that it would be introducing a new offence of driving with a specific controlled drug in the body above the specified limit for that drug. The consultation published today (9 July 2013) puts forward proposals on the drugs to be included in the legislation and the limits to be specified. The proposals follow a report published in March this year by a panel of medical and scientific experts which provided advice to the government on drug driving.

The new offence will reduce the wasted time, expense and effort involved for the police and the courts when prosecutions fail because of the difficulty of proving that a driver is impaired by a particular drug.

Stephen Hammond said:

Drug driving is a menace which devastates families and ruins lives. That is why we are proposing to take a zero tolerance approach with those who drive under the influence of illegal drugs and sending a clear message that this behaviour will not be tolerated.

We have also put forward our proposals for dealing with drivers who use specific prescribed drugs. We know that the vast majority of people who use these drugs are doing so responsibly and safely and that is why our approach does not unduly penalise drivers who have taken properly prescribed medicines.

Together, these proposals will make our roads safer for everyone by making it easier for the police to tackle those who drive after taking illegal drugs and clarifying the position for those who take medication.

RAC technical director David Bizley said:

We welcome the government’s move to bring increasing levels of clarity to driving on illegal drugs and prescription medication, something that is very much needed.

We all know that driving under the influence of drugs is extremely dangerous and wrecks lives – but it is also a growing problem, particularly among young motorists.

Therefore, it is more important than ever to inform and educate, otherwise we are allowing people to drive without regular reminders about the dangers of drug driving and how impaired senses can lead to serious injuries and fatalities.

Motorists will be happy to see the government taking a lead on this and ensuring people understand their position – and what happens if they step over the line.

In taking a zero tolerance approach to these drugs, the government proposes to set the limits at a level that does not catch someone who has consumed a very small amount of an illegal drug inadvertently. In considering what approach to propose for each illegal drug and what limit to set, the government has weighed up a number of factors including the evidence about the use of the drug when driving, wider drugs policy, and the findings and recommendations from the Expert Panel.

After considering all of the above the government proposes a zero tolerance approach to the following 8 controlled drugs which are known to impair driving:

  • Cannabis
  • MDMA (Ecstasy)
  • Cocaine
  • Ketamine
  • Benzoylecgonine (primary metabolite of cocaine)
  • Methamphetamine
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)
  • 6-monoacetylmorphine (6-MAM – heroin and diamorphine)

In addition to the eight illegal drugs listed above, the government proposes to set limits for eight controlled drugs that have recognised and widespread medical uses but which can also affect a patient’s ability to drive. The limits proposed follow the recommendations of the Expert Panel, which in the vast majority of cases, will avoid the new offence catching out drivers who have taken properly prescribed or supplied drugs in accordance with the directions of a healthcare professional or the drug manufacturer. This will avoid inconveniencing the public and taking up police time.

There is one further controlled drug, amphetamine, which has some medical use in specific circumstances but is also often taken illegally and which the government proposes to include in the regulations. The consultation seeks views on what a suitable limit might be for amphetamine.

While the draft regulations proposed are in relation to England and Wales, the consultation on the approach to the different policy options has been extended to Scotland.

The consultation starts today (9 July 2013) and closes on 17 September 2013.


DSA Test booking changes to weblinks

Important if booking a Test! 

Old DSA links from 17 October

You’ll be redirected to the right page on GOV.UK if you try to use any old links from 17 October, so there’s no need to worry about updating your bookmarks or websites straight away.

The same thing will happen if you click on a link to Directgov or Business Link in a search engine result.

Only official driving test booking website

From 17 October, GOV.UK will be the only official website to book your driving test through. So from then, please remind your pupils to book at www.gov.uk.

GOV.UK will continue to link to existing services with the Directgov and Business Link colour schemes for a while. In time, these will be updated to be made simpler, clearer and faster too.

Road junctions & Olympics

Latest Info from the Driving Standards agency, reminding you about how to deal with junctions in case you need a refresher. Check your friends and family are up to date with their highway code. Good topic of conversation if you’re feeling bored or at a loose end after the Olympics. Worth remembering some of the Para- Olympic athletes may be as they are because of a lack of road safety. If you’re near the National Arboreatum check out the wood dedicated to Road traffic Accident victims. It’s well worth a visit.

Road junctions
The Highway Code applies to England, Scotland and Wales. It’s essential reading for everyone. Here’s a reminder about road junctions.
Rule 170Take extra care at junctions. You should

  • watch out for cyclists, motorcyclists, powered wheelchairs/mobility scooters and pedestrians as they are not always easy to see. Be aware that they may not have seen or heard you if you are approaching from behind
  • watch out for pedestrians crossing a road into which you are turning. If they have started to cross they have priority, so give way
  • watch out for long vehicles which may be turning at a junction ahead; they may have to use the whole width of the road to make the turn
  • watch out for horse riders who may take a different line on the road from that which you would expect
  • not assume, when waiting at a junction, that a vehicle coming from the right and signalling left will actually turn. Wait and make sure
  • look all around before emerging. Do not cross or join a road until there is a gap large enough for you to do so safely.