true blue wrote:
This is why I don't like the proposal for only ADIs to be allowed to take learners on motorways - aside from my concerns for the long-term future of non-ADI teaching, there's no evident logic to this decision.
I'm not for one minute saying all ADI's are brilliant but they have taken extra tests, are used to assessing and coping with novice drivers
, most have dual-controlled fully marked-up cars and a professional reputation to maintain. If the worst were to happen, I believe a judge would take a different view to an ADI wrongly taking an underprepared learner on an m-way against an amateur. Just to be clear, I think the ADI would be punished more severely due to incompetence and quite rightly so.
Looking at the bigger picture, what's the logic in allowing untrained 'amateurs' to pass on their bad-habits to novice drivers anyway? There are some countries that only allow ADI's to supervise. How would you feel if a private pilot was taught to fly by his mate and then 'squeaked through' the flying test?
Currently only 1:4 leaners pass first time - that could be for all sorts of reasons but one of which is definitely the 'Dad' who thinks their off-spring is ready when they are clearly not. This shows a dangerous understanding of driving and I wouldn't want them to be allowed to take them out on a motorway.
A parents perception of their offsprings ability is often restricted to the fact that they can control the car with reasonable smoothness, and after all, you only learn to drive after passing your test don't you.
Probably the main reason for failure is lack of experience, after all dad passed his test after 10 lessons didn't he, so why can't I? I
There is also the fact that many young people are not exposed to dangers in the same way that we were, with many only having pedestrian experience, never riding a bicycle on the road.
I would expand the primary causes of failure: overall lack of experience, lack of specific experience and poor quality experience.
All new drivers hit a point where their car control becomes natural - they are doing the basics largely subconsciously, which means they can manage to deal reasonably well with most road situations. In my experience this point usually comes anywhere between 20 and 100 hours of driving. If you haven't got to this stage, the chances of fluking a pass are remote - at some point in your 40 minutes the unexpected will happen and the car control if nothing else will let you down. As most people expect to take a test after 30-40 hours of lessons or equivalent, it is easy to see why failure is common.
I have taught a few who expected to be almost test ready because of their private practice. Turns out they have driven the same route to and from work or school with a parent for a few months. They have fairly good car control, can deal with some specific situations (those encountered on their daily drive) and probably can't reverse worth toffee. With these, in most cases they will need 10+ hours of lessons just to get manoeuvring sorted out (a minority just 'get' reversing, but if they don't, and that is the majority, it can take a long time to sort out).
And as for poor quality experience... Like most ADIs I see generally good students doing all kinds of things automatically because they have been advised to by a parent, or seen others do it, so monkey see monkey do, off the top of my head some common examples:
Emerging too far to gain vision and reversing back into a road mouth
Going offside to pass obstructions without taking the opportunity to look first (usually as they enter a side road),
Accelerating well before and slowing after relevant speed limit changes
Driving too close (even though they do a theory test, most learners will happily and confidently tell you that a safe gap is two car lengths)
Failing to signal correctly where it is required - especially breakaway signals on roundabouts
Late braking on approach to hazards
Excessive coasting (my favourite is the knock it into neutral half a mile before the traffic lights brigade)
Attempting to go through any amber lights regardless of whether stopping was possible and safe
Emerging where it will clearly cause a vehicle to slow significantly
All of those habits will have a high likelihood of making an appearance on a driving test and have a high likelihood of causing a serious fault.
I can understand why the denizens of a forum like this feel more than skilled enough to teach their children, friends, relatives privately and don't doubt they will do a good job. But just as the quality of their driving will be the exception in the morass of the barely adequate to the downright dangerous out there on the roads, so is their ability to pass it on to others.
Trying to take a outside view (hard for me as an ADI), given the safety ramifications of poor driving, it seems madness to allow anyone to teach people to drive.
We don't allow anyone to claim to be a doctor, a lawyer, an architect, a school teacher etc., even though it would be perfectly possible to become very good without the normal training routes (and just look at the occasional examples of hospital doctors who work for years before someone discovers they only ever did the first two years of med school etc.)
It simply doesn't make sense within that sort of society framework that teaching someone to use a weapon up to 3.5 tonnes at 70mph should be left to chance. A big chunk of the quality issue in the ADI world is that it attracts many of the wrong kind of people and fails to retain many of the good ones. It is long hours and low pay for what you should be doing - and it is no surprise that many up and leave and others survive doing the bare minimum on a daily basis and putting in a performance every 4 years with their standards check.
If you want quality and safety in driving tuition, make ADI qualification more rigorous and relevant, make standards checking more frequent, restrict initial basic training to ADIs, and watch a market develop where quality and professionalism are rewarded. Combined with multilevel driving tests, where private practice is allowed once a basic level is attained, and you may have the makings of a great training system.