The industry is changing, and it’s about time! Out with the old-fashioned and largely ineffective teaching methods, and in with the successful new coaching style. Some may argue that their current instructional style is proving very effective, but they largely base this claim on their pass rates.
But pass rates mean nothing when young drivers pass their tests and go on to have crashes. The facts:
An 18-year-old driver is more than three times as likely to be involved in a crash as a 48 year-old.
One in five new drivers has a crash within six months of passing their test.
So at long last, it appears that the DSA are supporting the approaches that many driver trainers like myself have been pushing for for years – progressing from short-term instructional methods which tend to help learners pass the driving test, towards more active-learning methods which prepare learners for solo driving and to foster ongoing learning after passing their driving test.
Following the recent publication of the results of the DSA’s Learning to Drive Consultation comes the Government’s latest document seeking views on the vision, targets and measures for improving road safety in Great Britain beyond 2010.
“Making Britain’s Roads Safer” is the title of the consultation document, and we would urge you all to get involved and make your opinions known. The full document and related research articles can be found here. The closing date for this consultation is 14th July 2009.
The key challenges for the new strategy are as follows:
reducing the number of road deaths, which have fallen at a slower rate than serious injuries;
pedestrian and cyclist casualties in our towns and cities – particularly in deprived communities;
On 7th May 2008, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) issued a Consultation Paper setting out wide-ranged proposals intended to make Britain’s roads safer by getting newly qualified drivers to cope with the challenges of driving unsupervised in today’s modern driving conditions.The Government’s preferred approach to achieving this is through education and incentives, encouraging young people to participate in more effective and efficient learning.
The four key elements of the proposed programme were:
An improved learning process
Improved driving tests
Better information about driving instructors and improved driving instructor training
Further options for qualifications and learning
Today (21st April 2009), the DSA published its report on this consultation.Having read the document this evening, I have listed the main changes that will happen, changes that may happen and proposals that have been rejected or indefinitely postponed.
On 7 May, Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly announced the publication of the Government consultation paper, Learning to Drive. The document ignores calls for a minimum learner period and mandatory lessons with an ADI in favour of a radical overhaul of the driving test and tighter regulations for instructors, including the introduction of a star rating system based on pass rates.