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Into the Fast Lane

If, after the 4th of June, a pupil incorrectly takes a route onto a motorway, will they fail?

George, ADI

Answer: Yes. The law coming in on the 4th June states that only provisional licence holders accompanied by an ADI in a dual controlled car will be permitted on a motorway. The Driving Examiner is not in the same role as an ADI, and it would therefore be illegal. So that’s a fail.

Legal Eagles

I’m taking on a pupil who has been driving without a licence for 20 years. Would you ask her not to continue driving illegally and what would you do if she does?

Bernie, ADI

Answer: Some would say it’s none of your business, while others would say that it’s everyone’s business! As a road safety trainer I would suggest you should applaud her efforts for wanting to get her licence and strongly suggest she thinks twice before risking her future, particularly as gaining her licence is likely to happen quite soon. If it was my pupil I would be reassuring her that I will help her gain her licence as quickly and safely as I can, whilst warning her that if I saw her driving illegally between lessons then I would have little moral choice but to report her. And I certainly don’t want to have to do that!

Under Control

I’m about to get dual controls fitted in my new car. Should I have them ‘idle’ or ‘moving’?

Sue, newly qualified ADI

Answer: Firstly, you may have no choice! Depending on the make and model of your car, there may be a restriction on what can actually be fitted. However, if you do have a choice, there are a couple of things worth considering. The advantage of idle pedals is that they won’t trap your feet under them as the pupil puts their pedal down! I can assure you that’s not a pleasant experience! If it’s your family car as well as your work vehicle, you may regularly have passengers who aren’t so ‘foot savvy’, so although you’ll get used to having your feet clear, passengers can regularly be pinned under your duals! The advantage of moving pedals is that you can see/feel a pupil’s actions and know what they are doing with their feet, and when they are doing it. Some instructors like having this tool, others don’t! Personally, I don’t need to ‘see’ pedals or feet to know what they are doing; you get used to hearing and feeling the actions of the car after a while. So it’s a personal, or car choice I guess.

Have a Seat

Can I leave my child’s baby seat in the car during a driving test?

Jamie, ADI

Answer: Yes, you can Jamie. It’s better if it’s behind the passenger seat so if you’re sitting in on test you can sit behind the pupil, as recommended. Some car seats, particularly seats with large isofix structures, may prevent the examiner being able to push their seat back, so be prepared for a particularly tall examiner to ask for it to be removed! On the rare occasion when the test is being observed, and you are planning on accompanying your pupil too, you’d have to remove it. It’s certainly worth considering all car seat options when researching car seats, taking into account how easy it is to remove, as well as any restrictions it forces on movement of the front seats. A good reason to test drive some car seats!

Prepared For Anything

My first driving lesson as a PDI coming up! Any last-minute words of wisdom?

Joe, PDI

Answer: How exciting! It’s difficult to give specific lesson plan advice without knowing what stage the pupil is at on their learning journey, nor do I want to presume this is their first driving experience. So, let’s give you some general words of wisdom that should suit all scenarios.

1 Be flexible and ready to adapt. If the pupil shows they have a specific need, then focus your teaching on that particular learning opportunity. Equally, if your pupil is doing well, be prepared to offer them more challenging situations to expand their learning.

2 Think safety! Be three steps ahead in everything the pupil and other road users are going to do. And be prepared to intervene ahead of any problem.

3 If the pupil needs help, or the situation is potentially safety critical, take control with your voice and don’t be afraid to ‘instruct’.

4 Keep your Part 2 in your mind…What would you be doing? What would you be thinking? How would you be controlling the car? This is the basis for all your teaching.

5 When the opportunity arises, encourage the pupil to reflect, analyse and find solutions. These form the basis of your Part 3 criteria, and are not only a good structural basis for lessons in general, but form a great platform on which to build your teaching.


Lou Walsh – https://driving-instructor.site/

Marmalade – https://www.marmaladenetwork.co.uk/