Well done indeed to Mo Kotz from Sevenoaks who passed her practical driving test today (Sept 25th 2012) at her first attempt. Mo took her test at Sevenoaks Driving Test Centre. Mo started an Intensive Driving Course at the beginning of September and gained her pass certificate just 3 weeks later.
Most of our lessons were in good weather and we were very happy to see the sun shining again this morning. I am so very proud of her.
Intensive courses can be a very good way to learn to drive. If you are practising with a professional on a more or less daily basis there is not much time to forget things between lessons. Progress is made quickly over a matter of weeks which pupils find very encouraging.
The current pass rate at Teresa Allen School of Motoring is 75%. The pass rate at Sevenoaks is currently 54.3%.
So you have a lovely new phone and talking or texting is easier than ever. Loads of people are seen to be talking on their mobile or texting whilst driving so why not you too?
Well, Which magazine have done a study and the results are on a video, the link to which is below. When I am teaching driving lessons in Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Kemsing or……actually wherever I am because this problem is everywhere, I am constantly seeing people driving erratically because they are using a mobile phone. It’s extremely irritating to witness but, much more than that, it is life threatening. Don’t believe me? Watch the video and hear what the researchers who performed the tests felt about the results.
It’s seriously scary when you discover that you are far more likely to crash the car whilst using the phone than whilst driving at the legal alcohol limit.
I know it’s only half way through September but before we know it, winter will be upon us. For anyone who passed their practical driving test this year, the likely weather conditions (based on the last couple of years) are going to be a whole new experience.
At the moment, the changes to the weather are subtle. I have noticed the mornings in Borough Green are a little colder. If you have an early start and your car lives outside, you will probably have condensation on the windows and plastic light lenses. Make sure to leave time for these to clear using your de-mister and a cloth to wipe the light lenses before you set off.
During driving lessons in Sevenoaks I have seen that leaves are beginning to fall. These can gather at the side of the road creating a hazard with regard to stopping efficiently and effectively.This can be especially true for motorbike riders who will most likely choose to steer around such a hazard. As drivers, we must be aware that the bikers may alter their course in front of us to avoid hazards such as wet leaves. Clever is the driver who anticipates this.
I shall make regular posts as the weather changes going into winter with tips on how to take precautions to stay safe which I hope will be of help especially to those who have only recently gained their full driving licence.
I would advise everyone to be very vigilant when booking either the theory or practical test. You will have been told by your instructor to use the official DSA website. If you put DSA into Google, the first two sites are NOT anything to do with the DSA but use those letters after a forward slash in their address presumably to reach the top of the rankings.
These sites will book your test but charge a fee for doing so. Why pay a fee when you can easily do it for yourself? The links below will take you to the Direct.gov website where only the test fee itself is payable. You need to see the words ‘direct.gov’ in the address bar to be sure you are in the right place.
Practical Test Booking
Theory Test Booking
Figures revealed show that deaths and serious injuries from accidents that have involved drink driving have risen for the first time in a decade. There were 280 fatalities last year compared with 250 in 2010 while serious injuries rose to 1290 from 1250.
The rise in drink drive casualties follows a drop in 2010, when drink drive fatalities were at their lowest in thirty years. The Institute of Advanced Motorists’ chief executive Simon Best said “any rise in drink drive casualties is worrying, with 15% of all road fatalities involving a drink driver there is clearly more to be done to reduce casualties. The problem is many crashes occur the morning after, there needs to be more education on the effects of driving after drinking. A heavy night drinking could leave you over the limit the morning after. The message to all drivers is don’t drink and drive.”
The road safety charity, BRAKE, said “we are calling on the government to take decisive action on this major killer, including a zero tolerance drink drive limit, to send out a clear message that it’s none for the road, and greater priority given to traffic policing, so we have more police carrying out life-saving enforcement.” There is a concern with a zero tolerance limit as a limit of zero alcohol in the blood sounds good, but if you eat any food that ferments, small amounts of alcohol will be found in the blood, so the limit cannot be literally zero.
Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs carries an average sentence of 4.35 years. Fines for drink driving are lower in real terms than they were ten years ago. In 2001 the average fine for drink driving was £203, the average £240 fine in 2011 was equivalent to just £178 in 2001 prices which is a 12.3% decrease.
by Geraldine Ashton Green, motoring.co.uk