In The Post
Diversifying and offering post-test driver training is a way of generating extra income and safer drivers
he core business for most ADIs is teaching learner drivers, but there is more to extract from your professional skills and customers, and post-test training can prove a great way forward for both. Supporting this idea, way back on 6 February 1995, the government introduced a voluntary scheme for newly qualified drivers to take further training. The aim was to improve road safety and help reduce the risk of costly collisions through the ‘Pass Plus’ scheme. To bring ourselves up to date with post-test training, we need to fully utilise the ‘National standard for driving cars and light vans (category B)’. This syllabus is intended to establish good practice for all driver training, and to ensure you use client centred learning techniques. New drivers need to reflect accurately on their own driving performance and to recognise areas for improvement for effective and efficient learning to take place.
With the driving test out of the way, ADIs can adapt coaching techniques to the development sessions. Utilising the DVSA’s ‘Pass Plus’ syllabus, we can work toward overcoming negative emotions such as anxiety, stress, fear, guilt, embarrassment, intimidation and frustration that often remain, particularly in the immediate post-test period. Teaching new drivers to balance making progress on the road with being cautious, and ignoring passenger-peer taunts, is important to building confidence, esteem, self-belief and keeping the car under control and totally safe. Although the government initially intended the insurance industry to incentivise the taking up of Pass Plus with reduced premiums, and despite the fact that the learning benefits cannot be questioned, the few insurance reductions that exist are minimal, so the course no longer obviously pays for itself as far as your potential customers are concerned. Therefore, the initiative has to be with the ADI to sell the ‘post-test’ product around the time their pupil takes their driving test. This also means the ADI can design bespoke training to each pupil, adapting the Pass Plus elements to suit the learner’s individual needs.
Although ‘town driving’ content will have been covered pre-test, this is an opportunity to consolidate previous learning. As we all know, there is always something new to learn.
Stage of ability
● Newly Qualified Driver
● Pre-test training and Driving Test
● Review / Introduction to Pass Plus
Are there any known issues around ‘Town Driving’ skills that still present risk of collision or incident?
Core of the lesson
What needs to be reviewed and prioritised?
● Driving licence checks (if necessary)
● Familiarity with vehicle controls (might be customer’s vehicle)
● Commitment to Post-Test training – attitude and accepting responsibility
● Defensive driving – reducing blameworthy risk on the road
● Positive driving – driver performance, not vehicle performance
The town driving topics include:
● Observation, judgement and awareness
● Anticipation of buses, lorries and motorcyclists
● The importance of eye-contact
● Dealing with vulnerable road users – pedestrians, especially children and pedal cyclists
● Balancing good progress with being cautious
● Good driving habits – consider using the ‘Smith System’
● The consequences of getting it wrong
Observation, judgement and awareness
Observation is the main component of anticipation. Anticipation is the ability to identify, particularly developing, hazards at the earliest opportunity.
There are three main types of hazard:
1 Physical features such as road junctions, corners, bends and pedestrian crossings
2 The movement of other road users such as other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists
3 The weather conditions and how these can affect visibility and grip on the road surface
Typical physical features of urban roads include:
● multi-lane junctions
● unusual roundabouts
● bus and cycle lanes
● under and over passes.
Urban roads – Physical hazards
Urban roads have many different types of permanent features. When a driver approaches these ‘fixed’ hazards, there’s often a traffic sign that ‘warns’ or ‘informs’ of what the hazard is. Signs that give ‘orders’ can also determine who has the priority.
Topic details include developing hazards such as:
● buses pulling out
● lorries and the road space they need
● vehicles emerging
● riders coming up on the left
Reading the road – Developing hazards
Things do not just happen randomly, situations normally ‘develop’. As with the DVSA’s hazard perception test, all road users are ‘developing hazards’. The anticipated movement of other drivers, including buses, lorries and riders, is an important ‘experience’ element for this topic.
Training Route Planning:
● to ensure that your new driver has the maximum opportunity to learn and apply these skills.
Coaching Driver Development
Using the Q&A technique, along with prompts or commands where required, develop the student’s good driving habits using the ‘Smith System’:
1 Looking well ahead and planning
2 Move your eyes – make eye contact, also check what’s following behind and to the sides
3 Keeping space around the vehicle – safe following distances
4 Spot the problems – take up the correct road position and adjust speed, in plenty of time
5 Be seen – when to use the headlights or signal, including using the horn
Below are a few suggestions for coaching exercises. These can be adapted to suit your own preferences and your new drivers’ needs:
Coaching Exercise 1
Ask student to ‘look well ahead’ and identify each traffic sign or road marking, prioritising if necessary, then:
1 Comment how the information will affect their driving
2 ‘Move the eyes’ and say what is following behind
3 Say what they are going to do next, if anything (remaining three good driving habits)
Coaching Exercise 2
Observation – line of parked cars
Look out for: Doors opening; vehicles moving off; pedestrians, including children stepping out
There are many other examples. For example, how should drivers respond when they see:
1 an ice cream van?
2 a pedestrian hailing a taxi cab?
3 a traffic sign warning of a school?
Coaching Exercise 3
Ask student to choose a hazard, then:
1 Ask – What can you see?
2 Ask – What can’t be seen?
3 Ask – What can reasonably be expected to happen?