New “interim ” chief executive

A new interim chief executive has been installed at dvsa. Suggesting more changes to come and only a temporary reign.
Paul Satoor has taken up the role of Interim Chief Executive at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) as of 13th October 2015)
This follows the retirement of Alastair Peoples.
Paul had held the position of Deputy Chief Executive since March this year, and was previously Director of Organisational Development and Strategy at DVSA.
He takes up the leadership of DVSA while work is underway to recruit a permanent successor.
Putting customers at the heart of our services
Paul said:
I’m excited to be taking up the role of Interim Chief Executive at what is an important time in DVSA’s development.
I want to continue the good work that has been done to make our organisation more efficient and effective, as well as engaging with customers and businesses to make sure that we put them at the heart of our services.
Previous roles
In his previous role as Director of Organisational Development and Strategy, Paul was responsible for developing DVSA’s corporate vision and strategy.
He also oversaw the agency’s major projects, like the introduction of a more flexible service for heavy goods vehicle testing.
Paul has a background in senior HR roles across the public and private sectors.

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Motorcycle training

The industry is due a madden upheaval on motorcycle trading as part of the “European zero tolerance” policy that may or may not come into force. The idea is to eradicate all motorcycle deaths. A great idea that without removing bikes altogether (something I’m against) I don’t see how it will work.
Modernising motorcycle training
Last year, we commissioned research to look at how we can improve compulsory basic training (CBT). The main aim is to have courses that better prepare learner riders to ride safely on public roads.
The research findings helped to inform the options and proposals for change that we developed with industry stakeholders. We consulted publicly on the change proposals earlier this year and published the response to consultationin July.
We’re now looking to introduce these changes over the next few months.
The need for change
CBT was first introduced in 1990 with a 2-year validity period. This was to give learners some experience on the road and time to do further training before taking their full test.
Over time, we’ve found that young riders aren’t going on to take a full test, and many of these are especially vulnerable and disproportionately represented in the killed and seriously injured (KSI) statistics.
In 2013, motorcyclists accounted for 22% of all road user deaths despite representing only 1% of vehicle traffic. 19% of all reported motorcycle casualties involved young riders aged 19 and under.
What the research shows
CBT itself isn’t broken. When taught well it does a good job of helping new riders gain basic skills and knowledge to ride a motorcycle. While the research from 2014 showed high levels of satisfaction among learners and trainers, we think it’s the right time to update and improve it, particularly for new and younger riders.
The research found that in the short term it would be better to support a client-centred learning approach to training, and to review the syllabus content and the way it’s taught.
Since regulatory change can take at least 2 years, we’ve looked to see what we can do now without needing legislation changes, whilst also thinking about the long term.
What we’re proposing
We’re introducing a new CBT standards check from January 2016 to assess how CBT is taught. The assessment will look at 3 areas of competence:
 lesson planning
 risk management
 teaching and learning strategies
Like the standards check for approved driving instructors, this will be more closely aligned to the ‘National standard for driver and rider train- ing’.
It will also move training to a more client-centred approach, where trainers are asked to understand the individual learning needs of each learner.
The new standards check will make it clear what’s expected from trainers – highlighting areas of strength and identifying those for development.
Improving our online presence
We’re also taking this opportunity to review our online presence – to improve and update the information about CBT and make it available in one place. We’ll provide clear guidance on things like:
 how to choose a good trainer
 what to wear on your CBT course
 how to prepare
 what theoretical material learners and trainers should be using
We’re still developing our content, so if you have any suggestions, please tell us in the comments.
Other changes
There was a great deal of support from those who responded to the consultation, for unannounced quality assurance visits. From autumn 2015 until spring 2016, we’ll be running a pilot to test how we can best put this into practice.
We’re also introducing slight changes to the CBT certificate to reflect a course taken on an automatic machine and recommend that riders take further training if they want to ride a geared motorcycle.
We’re monitoring stock levels of the current certificate and we’ll only issue the new one once the stock levels of the current one have been used up.
Find out more about the changes
We’re holding a series of roadshows across the country in November to talk about these changes in more detail.
These events will be taking place throughout November at 4:30pm and 6pm from the following test centres:
Birmingham: Monday 2 November | Darlington: Tuesday 3 November | Edinburgh: Wednesday 4 November | Manchester Bredbury: Thursday 5 November | Peterborough: Monday 16 November | Mitcham: Tuesday 17 November | Exeter: Wednesday 18 November | Newport: Thursday 19 November | Enfield: Friday 20 November | Source DVSA.

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Car park practice times.

Due to an ongoing dispute with g4s (olympics security disaster) the driving test car park is still closed for “out of business hours” practice. This means should you and your instructor/accompanying driver wish to practice bay park in one of the few car parks where the owners will not remove you, you have very limited slots.
You may enter the car park 10 mins after the beginning of test and MUST vacate within 10 mins of the end of tests.
You MUST NOT enter the car park on the left hand side of the road and MUST NIT wait on the yellow lines.

Tests are 38 mins long.
9:07 9:45
12-1225 lunch

15:30 CLOSE

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Another test pass

Congratulations William Knight on passing today with just 6 minor faults. One of my proudest moments as we had to undo everything your last guy taught you. 👍

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Vw scam

We were told in the news this wouldn’t affect uk drivers.

Volkswagen emissions scandal
Millions of Britons could be driving illegal cars
Millions of diesel cars could be recalled if
manufacturers are found to have rigged emissions tests
like Volkswagen
Millions of British motorists could be driving illegal cars which
have been doctored to mask dangerous levels of emissions after Volkswagen admitted to rigging pollution tests.
The German manufacturer is facing fines of $18 billion after accepting it had systematically installed software in VW and Audi diesels since 2009 to deceive regulators who were measuring exhaust fumes.
On Monday night the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) widened its investigation to other car manufacturers as campaigners warned that the practice was likely to be widespread across the industry, affecting motorists worldwide.
Air pollution is thought to account for 30,000 deaths each year in Britain. But health experts have long argued that there is far too much nitrogen oxide (NOx) in the air for car industry emissions figures to be accurate. They claim levels should have halved in recent years and yet they have remained stubbornly high.
In Britain and the rest of Europe, all new diesels should have met the Euro 6 emissions standard from September 1 but a recent report by campaigners Transport & Environment (T&E) found just one in 10 complied.
One BMW was pumping out more than 10 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide.
If more manufactures are drawn into the scandal it could lead to millions of cars, which have been bought in Britain over the last six years, being recalled.
Greg Archer, T&E’s clean vehicles manager said: “The Volkswagen example is clearly just the tip of the iceberg and there will be a lot more companies dragged into this.
“Exactly the same technology is used in Europe as it is the US, and tens of millions of cars have been sold since 2009.
“That means that there are potentially millions of cars that are being driven illegally. Obviously it is not the drivers’ fault, but it is likely we will see huge numbers of recalls.”
On Monday night German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt ordered an examination of all Volkswagen diesel cars. The company also makes Seats, Skodas, Bentleys, Lamborghinis, Bugattis and Porsches. Motoring experts said it was a ‘disaster beyond all expectations’. Shares in the company plunged by 20 per cent on the back of the admission by Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn (pictured) who resigned his position this week, that the company had used ‘defeat’ technology to evade emissions test.

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Self drive cars flawed

I hate to say I told you so but…
Laser can ‘disable self-drive car’
A homemade gadget can dis- able the systems that allow self-driving cars to see where they are going, a security researcher has said.
Jonathan Petit demonstrated how a modified, low-cost laser could create ghostlike objects in the path of autonomous cars.
The cars slowed down to avoid hitting them.
If enough phantom objects were created, the car would stop completely, Mr Petit told
tech magazine IEEE Spectrum.
Mr Petit, principal scientist at software company Security Innovation, used a laser, similar to a mass-market laser pen and added a pulse generator – something that can be created using a low-cost computer such as the Raspberry Pi.
The set-up cost was just $60 (£40), he said: “This device created phantom objects – cars, walls and pedestrians – that fool the “eyes” of self-drive cars – known as lidars. I can spoof thousands of objects and basically carry out a denial of service attack on the tracking system so it’s not able to track real objects,” Mr Petit told IEEE Spectrum.
“I can take echoes of a fake car and put them at any location I want,” he added.
Lidars – a combination of light and radar – work by illuminating a target with a laser and analysing the reflected light, to measure distance and map out where objects are.
Thousands of these expensive sensors are used on self- driving cars.
Mr Petit targeted the lidars produced by IBEO Lux but was keen to point out that it is not a problem just for them. “I don’t think any of the lidar manufacturers have
thought about this or tried this,” he told IEEE Spectrum.
His paper, written while he was a research fellow at the University of Cork’s computer security group, will be presented at the Black Hat Europe conference in November.
Of course, for mischief-makers intent on causing chaos, there are already plenty of ways to disrupt traditional driving.
Standard laser pens have proved to be a dangerous toy in the wrong hands.
Reports of people pointing laser pens at drivers and pedestrians regularly hit the headlines, while several people have been sent to prison for shining the devices at police helicopters and other aircraft.

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Illegal instruction

From dvsa. Illegal instructors cost lives. Read on.
Help us to stamp out illegal driving instruction
Andy Rice, 10 September 2015 — Features


Firstly, I want to thank those of you who have reported an illegal driving instructor to DVSA. These reports are vital and help us to bring the criminals who abuse the driving test system to justice.

As an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI), you’re in the perfect position to know what to look out for and how to spot an illegal driving instructor. If you suspect someone is charging for lessons when not qualified and registered then please let us know. You can contact us on 0191 201 8120 or

The danger illegal driving instructors pose
As the Head of DVSA’s Fraud and Integrity team – and as a parent – illegal driving instructors are a real concern to me. These people pose a danger to the pupils they teach and to road safety as a whole. They haven’t proven their ability to teach and haven’t had the necessary criminal record checks. They also threaten the livelihoods of genuine instructors.

Investigating the problem
From 2006 to March 2015, we received 3,260 reports of illegal driving instruction. We investigate all cases reported to us and try to gather all the evidence needed before we take action.

If there’s enough evidence we’ll work with the police to take the case to the Crown Prosecution Service. I’m happy to say that over half of the people arrested so far have been convicted or have received a police caution.

Information we need from you
There are a small number of cases reported to us which can’t be investigated, as we don’t have enough information to identify the individual. So it’s important that you give us as much information as possible when reporting a case to give us the best chance of a successful investigation.

When making a report, it’s always helpful if you could tell us the following:

type and colour of car
registration number
description of the individual giving instruction
date and time seen
street name where seen (if known)
We may not be able to tell you the results of our investigations as they often take time and involve personal data. However, we do try to publicise cases when our investigations result in convictions.

If we don’t take action it could be because it has been difficult to prove that money has changed hands. Proving instruction has taken place can be easy, but proving that payment has been taken can be harder. There are many ways that illegal instructors can be paid that are undetectable to our investigators.

We can prove that payment has been made by asking the pupil to provide a statement and to give evidence in court. But this can sometimes be problematic as young people can be reluctant to give evidence in court. They can understandably find the prospect of it quite daunting.

Roadside checks
Our investigations can also include targeted operations with the police. We target areas where we’ve received a number of reports of suspected illegal instruction. We also occasionally carry out covert surveillance on an individual suspect.

During road side checks, the police stop ‘L’ plated cars and DVSA investigators talk to instructors and confirm whether they are an ADI. For this reason it’s essential that you display your ADI badge on your windscreen.

If an instructor turns out to be illegal, it’s likely that the police officer will arrest them. They could also face losing their car if they are found to be teaching illegally as their car insurance can be null and void.

Illegal instructors can have cars sign written and have top-boxes. The only way we can be certain to catch them is to stop all ‘L’ plated cars.

The DVSA investigator can find out whether the instructor is illegal by doing a few simple checks. There may be times when you yourself get stopped which may be inconvenient. But I’d ask you for your patience and understanding. These checks help us to get illegal instructors off the road.

The results
From 2006 to 31 March 2015, DVSA investigations into illegal driving instructors resulted in:

136 arrests
39 convictions
36 police cautions

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