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Road safety - driver training
Each year thousands of people are killed or seriously injured on the roads in the UK. Many of these deaths and injuries are caused by drivers who have lapsed into a poor standard of driving for whatever reason. It is vital therefore that every driver realises the responsibility that driving a vehicle brings and makes safety the number one priority on every journey.
Safe driving is all about developing the right attitudes and beliefs to cope with life behind the wheel. At a very young age children start to be influenced by those adults around them. As passengers in cars they can begin to see ways of behaving and believe that these are appropriate. Their attitudes develop from these beliefs, not always in a positive way.
Learning to Drive
The best way to learn to drive is to take professional lessons with an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI). Driving instructors have to be registered with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). The teaching standard or a driving instructor is regularly assessed by the DSA. Grades are issued after these assessments, Grade 6 being the highest standard, anything below a Grade 4 is considered sub-standard and the instructor will need to retrain to remain on the register. Try to choose an instructor on recommendations, don't just go for the cheapest.
The driving test consists of theory and practical tests. You have to pass the theory test before you can apply for the practical test. The theory test includes multiple choice questions and hazard perception testing. You have to pass both parts of the theory test and the practical test to obtain a full licence.
Newly qualified drivers have a probationary period of two years which starts from the day they pass their practical test. If in that period they commit offences which incur a total of 6 penalty points or more the courts will revoke their licence. This includes offences such as driving while using a mobile phone, speeding, having bald tyres on their car as well as other offences. They will then have to apply and pay for another provisional licence and then go on to retake both the theory and practical tests.
A newly qualified driver should be encouraged to take a Pass Plus course, North Yorkshire County Council run an Enhanced Pass Plus course. This involves extra practice and experience with a specifically training ADI in various different conditions including driving on a motorway, at night and in bad weather etc. There are six modules to work through, plus a New Driver Discussion Group to help new drivers to come to terms with the potential problems they will encounter when first driving unsupervised. There is no test at the end of the course. Drivers can obtain insurance discounts from some insurance companies after taking Enhanced Pass Plus and new drivers will receive a subsidy from North Yorkshire County Council when successfully completing the full course.