Driving examiner strike: December 2017

Some driving examiners are planning to take strike action on 4 December and 5 December 2017, and action short of a strike from 23 November 2017.

Some driving examiners who are members of the Public and Commercial Service (PCS) union are planning to take strike action on Monday 4 December and Tuesday 5 December 2017.

You can either:

  • change your test appointment to a later date
  • turn up for your test as planned, but your examiner might be unavailable

Starting from Thursday 23 November 2017, some driving tests could be affected by driving examiners taking action short of a strike, for example, not working overtime. The PCS union hasn’t given an end date for this action.

Not all driving examiners are union members, and even if they are, they might choose not to take industrial action.

The way the car driving test works is changing on Monday 4 December 2017. These changes will still go ahead as planned.

New qualification helps to further professionalise the MOT industry

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is introducing:

  • an industry-recognised qualification for new MOT testers and managers
  • annual training and assessments for the existing 58,000 MOT testers

Carrying out MOTs to the right standard

Around 27 million car MOTs are carried out in Great Britain each year.

The vast majority are done to the right standard, but DVSA data shows that some errors are made. The new qualification and training process should help to reduce them.

MOT qualification

From September 2016, new MOT testers will need a nationally-recognised qualification.

To be eligible for the qualification, they’ll already need to have:

  • a technical qualification, eg a Vehicle Technician, Vehicle Maintenance and Repair NVQ
  • at least 4 years of experience in the motor trade

They’ll then need to:

  • successfully complete an MOT tester qualification course
  • pass an MOT demonstration test with a DVSA examiner

.Annual training and assessments

MOT testers will also have to take training and pass an assessment every year to continue carrying out MOTs.

The training will focus on topics which DVSA data shows testers are most likely to get wrong.

It means that consumers can be more confident that their MOT result is right, and that any vehicle faults are correctly identified. This helps protect everyone from unsafe vehicles.

We want all workers to be proud of their profession and drivers to be sure they are getting the right test result. We are introducing this new qualification and training and assessment regime to further boost the reputation of the profession.

Worrying rise in used car finance problems

A new survey has shown that more cars are showing outstanding finance after they are sold, which a buyer can be held responsible for.

48% of all checks in January 2016 flagged up at least one issue, up by 6% on the same month in 2015. This could be anything from a perfectly legal registration plate transfer to a major issue such as a previous write off.

What’s putting the brakes on driverless cars?

Ethical dilemmas

Our driverless cars will be programmed to avoid collisions, especially with people. But suppose a mother pushing a buggy steps out into the road suddenly and the car does not have enough time to stop.

Who’s to blame?

While law-abiding driverless cars, with all their cameras, sensors, radars and faster-than-human reaction times, could undoubtedly help reduce accidents (90% of which currently caused by driver error), no-one is foolish enough to believe that they will be flawless.

The technology isn’t good enough yet

Many semi-autonomous technologies are already available in today’s cars, from emergency braking to cruise control, self parking to lane keeping. This year, Ford is also planning to introduce automatic speed limit recognition tech andDaimler is hoping to test self-driving lorries on German motorways.

Do we even want them?

The global success of BBC’s Top Gear is just one indication of just how much we love cars and driving. Rightly or wrongly, many of us love the thrill of speed and the sense of freedom cars give us. Being in control is an important aspect of that.

But in the driverless world we become passive and disengaged; the car is reduced to a commodity, a mere tool for mobility. Where’s the fun in that? Driver surveys suggest we are at least ambivalent about the technology.

Proposed new driving test

Follow a sat nav instead of the examiner

For around 20 minutes of the driving test you will be asked to follow directions given to you from a sat nav. This is being done to make the test more realistic. The sat nav will be provided and the examiner will always be ready to step in and direct should the sat nav have any problems.

 

Two new manoeuvres

Instead of doing a turn in the road (three point turn) or reversing around a corner you will be asked to complete one of two new manoeuvres or parallel parking.

– Driving forwards into a parking bay and then reversing out

– Pull up on the right hand side of the road, reversing a short distance and then rejoin traffic

 

Show me question on the move

You’ll be asked do the show me part of show me/tell me on the move. For example you could be asked to demonstrate how to wash the windscreen or operate the heater while you are driving. This is currently done at the start of the test when you are sitting still.

 

Graduated Driver Licensing Survey

68% of adults polled by Ipsos MORI for the RAC foundation support the idea of a graduated driver licensing system for drivers aged 24 and under.

 

A graduated driving licence would impose restrictions on newly qualified drivers for a limited period (commonly 12 months).  Many countries already use this system and it could include restricting:

 

  • the number of passengers
  • the time of day you drive
  • the maximum speed you can travel

 

The idea behind the restricted licence would be to give you time to gain valuable experience before doing the activities that could put you at a higher risk.

 

The government have previously said that they would look into producing draft legislation for newly qualified drivers but they have recently been accused of dragging their heels.

Bus Lanes Suspended

Bus lanes in Liverpool were suspended by Liverpool City Council in October 2013.  The bus lanes were suspended until 28th July 2014 to allow the council to monitor the changes in traffic and allow them to make a decision on their long term future.

 

To date, there has been no announcement from Liverpool City Council about what happens post 28th July.

 

Many of you will have had driving lessons in Liverpool with us and have never had to worry about the bus lanes.  You will need to keep a close eye on the local press and road signs over the next month.

 

If the council re-introduce the bus lanes, then you need to know when you are allowed in the bus lanes.  If there are no times below the bus lane sign then you must never enter the bus lane.  If there are times on the bus lane sign, these are the times you must not enter the bus lanes but all other times you can.

 

Don’t get caught out.  Liverpool City Council do have an excellent CCTV system covering the majority of the bus routes so if you do go in a bus lane when you are not supposed to you are very likely to receive a fine through the post

Do you know the speed limit?

Research conducted by insurance company More Than shows that more than a third of drivers can’t recognise the national speed limit sign in a survey of 2000 drivers despite it being one of the most common road signs on British roads.

 

Last year a staggering 818,000 speeding tickets (2,243 per day) were issued to drivers which resulted in fines, penalty points and an increase in their insurance premiums as well.  The average insurance premium increase for a driver with penalty points for speeding is 13% and the minimum fine is now £100 with 3 penalty points.

 

For new drivers the news is even worse, because if they pick up 6 points within their first two years of driving then their driving licence is revoked and they are back to learner status.  That is just 2 speeding tickets in 2 years.
But the consequences of speeding are not just financial – 24% of people surveyed admitted to crashing or having a near miss as a result of speeding.
Make sure that you know your road signs by taking advantage of Free Online Theory Tests – just click www.FreeOnlineTheoryTests.co.uk

 

Insurance fronting

Call me naive, but I don’t believe most people set out to break the law. So I believe new research revealing that more than 2.5 million UK drivers could be committing fraud by “fronting” is down more to ignorance than villainous intent.

Fronting is getting cheaper insurance by one person taking out the policy while the actual driver is just named on the cover. The practice is financially advantageous when the main driver is experienced, with many years of no-claims discount, while the named driver is the opposite.

It’s undoubtedly done by parents trying to help their children out with the exorbitant insurance youngsters have to pay. The report by Privilege carinsurance adds that 1.5 million drivers are named on the policies of cars they’ve never driven.

I’m sure many people view it as a victimless crime. However, insurers can refuse to pay out on claims if it’s detected, which effectively renders the youngster uninsured. And that can lead to a fine plus six penalty points and an automatic ban for new drivers.

All of a sudden, fronting doesn’t look like such a money saver.

 

 

www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/10858868/The-risk-of-insurance-fronting.html