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After a series of weeks with website issues. The Dvsa web page is back up and running. 

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Cyclist Carte Blanche?

In balance to this argument, cyclists constantly run red lights. The very reason Boris Johnson’s almost identical bid failed. If cyclists obeys the Highway Code and motorised vehicle drivers have them the same respect as any other vehicle there wouldn’t be a problem. 

Cyclists should be given full priority over drivers say MPs who could force motorists to give way before EVERY turn in a shake-up of road rules 

A parliamentary report has suggested that cyclists should be given priority over drivers who could be forced to give way before every turn in a shake-up of road rules.
Among 14 recommendations from the all-party parliamentary cycling group (APPCG), it was proposed that the Highway Code should be revised and that the driving test should be changed to help improve driver behaviour towards cyclists. 

The report refers to the Turning the Corner campaign, led by British Cycling, which recommends a ‘universal’ duty to give way to cyclists and pedestrians when turning.
A parliamentary report has suggested that cyclists should be given full priority over drivers who could be forced to give way before every turn in a shake-up of road rules 

(Stock image)
The committee, headed by MPs Ruth Cadbury and Alex Chalk, said: ‘The justice system is failing to protect cyclists, both by allowing dangerous and inconsiderate driving to go unchecked, and by letting down the victims of road crashes.
’Cyclists are too often the victims, but in a few cases they are also the perpetrators of road crime.
’Stronger legal grounding for a hierarchy of road users, in which children, pedestrians and people with disabilities take the highest priority, followed by cyclists, and finally drivers of vehicles, would help make the roads safer for everyone. In this report, the APPCG sets out fourteen recommendations for how the justice system can be improved.
Among 14 recommendations from the all-party parliamentary cycling group (APPCG), it was also proposed that the Highway Code should be revised (Stock image)
’We believe that hundreds of thousands of crimes – committed by a small minority of road users – are going unrecorded by the police each year, resulting in a feeling of lawlessness and aggression that is deterring many people from cycling.
’Of our recommendations, one stands out as a priority: there has been a collapse in the number of drivers disqualified from driving. The licence to drive is a privilege, not a right.

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Drug drive

People still think it’s ok to be under the influence as “its only weed”. Just no. 

Driver sped down wrong side of the street 

and crashed in front of police 

A youngster who was three-times the cannabis-driving limit drove down the wrong side of the street past an off-duty traffic cop – before crashing his car in front of an off-duty PCSO coming the other way. 

Swansea Magistrates Court heard the off-duty policeman – an advanced police driver of some 17-years standing – was stuck in traffic on the A4240 on the afternoon of March 15. 

As he neared the Murco garage on the outskirts of the town he heard the sound of heavy revving from behind him. 

A Ford Puma then passed the line of vehicles at speed, driving down the wrong side of the road towards on-coming traffic. 

Sharon Anderson, prosecuting, said a PCSO was driving in the opposite direction at the time – heading for Morriston police station to start her shift – and saw the Puma driving directly towards her. 

The court heard the driver of the Puma, Ashley Jordan Cann, then lost control of his car outside the Riverside pub, collided with two vehicles, and span 180 degrees in the carriageway to end up facing the way he had come. 

Cann and a female passenger got out of the Puma and made-off on foot towards a nearby supermarket. 

The court heard the off-duty traffic cop gave chase, and managed to catch the passenger.
Cann was detained by another officer who arrived on the scene shortly afterwards.
A subsequent test showed 20-year-old Cann had six micrograms of THC, the active compound in cannabis, per litre of blood – the legal limit being two micrograms.
Cann, of Swansea, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving with a specified controlled drug above a specified limit, possessing cannabis, and to driving without a licence or insurance.
District judge Neale Thomas, sitting at the Magistrates court, said that given the seriousness of the incident his powers of sentencing were insufficient to deal with the case, and he committed the matters to Swansea Crown Court. 

Cann was given an interim driving ban until he is sentenced. 

Source: Wales Online

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Gender neutral or just miss/mrs?

THE DRIVING LICENCE—IS IT ‘SEXIST’ ? The DVLA insists on printing women’s titles but not men’s on licences. Why won’t it change its baffling gender rule? 

Small, rectangular, green or pink, usually found in a pocket, wallet or occasionally down the side of the sofa – a driving licence is something millions of us possess, male and female, young and old. It’s strange, then, that the DVLA should process the licences of men and women differently. This is despite the issue being raised with the agency seven years ago by Zoe O’Connell, now a Lib Dem councillor for Cambridge. 

Driving licences automatically include the titles of women – mostly in the Mrs, Miss or Ms format – while men do not have their titles printed unless honorific (doctor, reverend, etc). The agency has repeatedly refused to change this practice, which appears to place importance on women’s marital status but not on men’s, and arguably contravenes section 19 of the Equalities Act 2010. 

It was brought to the attention of the DVLA in 2010 in a Freedom of Information request by O’Connell. “There is no reason for any form of gender identification on official documentation,” she says. “When it comes to titles on driving licences, why should someone need to know if I’m married?” She points out that despite the need for exceptionally high security levels within their profession, the armed forces removed all gender identifiers from their military IDs about 10 years ago. 

In March 2017, Emma James of Guildford wrote to the DVLA, once again querying the practice. In its response, it stated: “The DVLA does not print Mr on licences but does print Miss, Mrs, Ms or other … If you do not wish your licence to display a title, send your current licence with a covering letter requesting it be removed.” 

The DVLA and the Department for Transport both refused to answer why the licences of men and women are printed differently. Instead, the DVLA simply said that anyone could choose the “No Title” option, which is seventh on a list of eight options in the online application form. 

The Guardian tried to approach the DVLA for further comment on several occasions, as well as the DfT. Both refused, with the DfT saying it was entirely a matter for the DVLA, before admitting that the DVLA does indeed report to them, so ultimately the responsibility would lie with them. Still, no comment was provided.
In the meantime, if you would like your title removed from your licence, you can write to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BN. Perhaps the additional workload will spur its bosses into joining the 21st century. 

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Ofstex for instructors

I got one am 100% behind this. It will remove poor quality instructors therefore improving the standard out OUR children’s driving skills and making the roads safer. Driving instructors told they must publish ratings According to an article in the Times… 

Figures show that less than half of driving tests are passed, with learners taking up to 39 attempts to gain their licence 

Ofsted-style ratings for driving instructors will be published amid concerns that too many learners are being forced to sit their test repeatedly because of substandard tuition.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is threatening to release rankings for Britain’s 40,000 driving instructors for the first time to steer novices away from poor-quality lessons. 

It follows the publication of figures showing that less than half of tests are passed, with learner drivers taking up to 39 attempts to gain their licence – leading to long waiting lists in some areas.
However the agency revealed that alternative plans mooted by the government over a year ago to introduce financial penalties to prevent badly prepared drivers from taking their test too soon had been scrapped. Source: The Times 

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Insurance guide for candidates and instructors. 

This document is merely a guide intended to challenge some of the misconceptions which many ADIs and candidates have on the complex subject of insurance which could have a profound effect upon their business practices and test day for the pupil. It is not intended to be a comprehensive or detailed text on driving tuition insurance and the ADINJC strongly recommends that all ADIs should contact their insurance provider if any of the topics below are relevant to their business.
Tuition in Students own Vehicle
It is a common misconception that, just because your own fully comprehensive insurance policy allows you to drive any car not belonging to you or under a hire arrangement under third party only cover, you are also entitled to provide lessons in the student’s car using your car insurance policy.
Most insurers only provide this cover in an emergency to allow you to briefly drive a car away from a dangerous situation to a place of safety, i.e. the student stalls the engine at a busy junction and is incapable of moving away. Very few, if any, insurers are going to provide you with indefinite cover in an undefined vehicle.
It may be the case that the student has their own insurance policy in their own name for that vehicle. Even in this situation it is not safe to assume that you can legally provide driving lessons to that student. It is most probable that the student’s insurance policy is to provide Social, Domestic and Pleasure cover and is potentially insured in the name of a parent, not the pupil. As soon as an ADI sits in the car it will be regarded as being used for business purposes and the insurance cover will become invalid. Even if the student has business cover included on their policy it will be for use within their own business and not for your business as an ADI.
In the happy event that the student passes their driving test it is important to advise them that they must inform their insurance provider before they drive again because, as they are no longer a provisional licence holder, it may affect their insurance status.
Driving Tests in Students own Vehicle
At the beginning of every driving test the candidate signs a declaration that the vehicle to be used is adequately insured for the purposes of the test. This disclaimer passes the responsibility of car insurance to the candidate enabling the DVSA to walk away from an incident should things go wrong.
Driving School vehicles with the proper insurance in place obviously do not have a problem but private vehicles with standard domestic insurance cover are at risk. Even if the candidate is a named person on the policy they can only drive as a provisional licence holder whilst under the supervision of a qualified driver. The problem is that whilst on test the DVSA examiner is regarded as an observer andnotasupervisor,renderingtheinsurancevoid.
In addition, many provisional driver polices which are quite fashionable these days will become void as soon as the pupil passes their test. Therefore, the pupil has no insurance to drive the vehicle home and if stopped both the pupil and the instructor could be given a no insurance conviction.
Public Liability Insurance
Public Liability Insurance is included to a compulsory limit of £20 Million within a vehicle’s motor insurance policy. It pays out for damages caused to an innocent third party for damage to property or injury to persons whilst an incident occurs involving the vehicle. All providers of car insurance for driving instructors include Public Liability Insurance as standard as per the compulsory limit but it must be understood that this benefit is only applicable to incidentswhicharedirectlyrelatedtothetuitionvehicle.Incidentsnotassociatedwiththevehicle,e.g. classroom training, visits to schools or pupils home are not covered. The exception to this is the Show/Tell part of the driving test which occurs outside the vehicle. Most policies will be amended to say incidents occurring in on or around the vehicle for the purpose of the driving test. You should check to see if you have this cover provided.
Most Local Authority and other third party organizations normally require their sub-contracted trainers to have their own personal Public Liability insurance to conduct training on their behalf and of course it is essential if the training occurs in customer’s own vehicle, Fleet or Blue Light Training for instance.
Many industry regulators insist upon having Public Liability Insurance as a condition of registration although at this time the DVSA does not.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
No one is perfect and everyone occasionally makes the odd mistake!
Most mistakes however are trivial and can be brushed aside and forgotten but in business even a simple mistake could prove costly both in financial terms and business reputation.
Professional Indemnity Insurance pays out for errors or omissions in the training which an ADI or PDI might provide to a student and which could cause the student financial or other non-material losses. This could be something which was overlooked or not dealt with fully in a student’s training resulting in a test failure. The student could take legal action against the ADI / PDI on the grounds of inadequate or incomplete training, e.g. if that student then lost a job opportunity because of the test failure the ADI could be sued for loss of potential earnings and court costs. These costs could be substantial and the additional bad media coverage could be damaging to the ADI’s reputation and future earning potential.
This type of insurance cover is NOTincluded in standard car insurance policies, not even for tuition insurance. Insurance ‘Fronting’
A popular method used by some new, young drivers to reduce the cost of their otherwise expensive car insurance premiums by persuading parents to insure a second vehicle in their name. The parent then adds their son/daughter as a named driver to the policy and allows them to use the car as if it were their own, i.e. the principle driver.
Insurance companies take a dim view of fronting and should a claim occur the insurer will check to see if there are other vehicles in the home, if the vehicle was used to go to a place of study or if it was kept at a different address. The outcome of this is the policy could be voided leaving you to pay the claim and the parent becoming uninsurable due to having a policy voided and committing insurance fraud.

Food for thought indeed. 

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Test centre closure 

Kendal test centre due to close. 

The last day of testing at the current site at Castle Street Community Centre will be Saturday 20 May. Testing will start at the new site on Saturday 3 June and bookings can now be made at the new site. This site will provide candidates with a permanent test centre and also gives us scope to increase the number of testing workstations.
The address of the new theory test site is :
Office Suites 2 & 3

Kentgate Place


Candidates will be informed of the new address in their email confirmation of their test booking.

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