Random Musings

Is the rest of the army out of step?
This is a problem often encountered on the road on Sunday. As a driving instructor I try to comply with the Highway Code, and this means that I use the left lane where possible. A tricky plan of action when you are the only car in the left lane and traffic in the lane on the right is stationary. Eventually one comes across an obstruction in the left lane and it is necessary to join the traffic lane on the right. Despite the recent policy proclaimed by the Highways Agency that we should ‘merge in turn’, those Sunday drivers on your right are a little put out that you appear to have ‘got one over’ on them. It is not unusual to be muscled out by these losers and be confronted by angry gesticulations as they close ranks against you. Eventually a ‘proper’ driver will hold back to let you out. This never seems to be problem midweek when professional drivers share the road with me.
Please read the Highway Code!
If you see me driving along a dual carriageway at 70mph, please do not waggle your finger and shout ‘call yourself a driving instructor?’ if you catch me up at lights. The maximum national speed limit on dual carriageways is indeed 70 mph and I am aware that few experienced drivers are aware of this. Perhaps the passing the Theory Test should be part of every driver’s regular assessment. The pass mark will need to be lowered for ‘experienced’ drivers to give them a fighting chance of keeping their license.
The sad death of Hans Monderman, January 2008
Hans was best known as a traffic engineer, rather than as a driving instructor. He believed that if you treated drivers as idiots then they would behave like idiots. He had the concept of a ‘shared space’ where pedestrians and drivers mixed freely and drivers were responsible for the safety of pedestrians. Road signs, kerbs and barriers were removed completely; pedestrians and drivers shared the entire street. When this idea was applied to suitable roads, accidents became less frequent and traffic flowed easier. May I suggest that Crowthorne High Street be given Monderman’s ‘Shared space’ treatment?
Minimum test vehicle for D1 test
Some parts of the DSA website have not been updated to include the specification for the minimum minibus test vehicle. I believe this to be –
Category D1
A Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) with 9 – 16 passenger seats with a Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) of at least four tonnes, of at least five metres in length and capable of 80 km/h (50 mph). Tachograph, ABS, seatbelts and examiner mirrors should be fitted. Note that using the Tachograph is not tested and I understand that it not essential for it to work for the driving test. Unless the school or college takes the vehicle abroad, I believe that it not, in practice, ever used.