Completed Driver Improvement

I’ve completed a Driver Improvement course today (which was mandated because of a prang last year). I was part of a group of about a dozen other trainees, undertaking the course at the behest of the Surrey Police – the option being possible prosecution for careless driving. On balance it was, I thought, worth the cost involved and the time out to see what it would entail – and how much I had forgotton, perhaps, the the thirty one years since I passed my driving test.

On balance it was actually rather informative – and the day of practical driving with an advanced instructor highlighted a few areas which need further work. The classroom session was a bit dreary – but there was a nice bunch of people to work through the exercises analysing situations and there were a few short but informative video snippets. I’m not convinced about the way the issues of speeding are presented – I think it’s just the wild over simplification and mixing up the physics of speed that annoy me. Have no doubt – the film of a car trying to stop in front of a dummy at various speeds was salutory nevertheless.

I enjoyed the practical sessions in the car – although trying to think what you did wrong yourself was pretty difficult – but the lack of attention to the speedo and occasional lapses of mirror work were pretty obvious. I really liked trying to do the commentary of what was going on ahead of you – although remembering the correct words to describe some of the signs (even though I knew what they meant) was jolly hard work. That’s something I can practice more in the future. The key is really to look even further ahead than you might ever do otherwise.

Overall I think the idea of “Training, not punishment” is pretty sound. Everyone of us came away feeling that they’d learnt something, and we all came away with more to aim for in the future to be a better driver.

Oh yes – Six Pounds for a pathetic ham sandwich was appalling. Zero marks to DeVere for that rip-off. White sliced bread (not that day’s delivery, I’m sure), pre-packed thin sliced ham, a bit of chutney and a pile of dorritos was not worth it.

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