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D N E

The official magazine of Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists and Motorcyclists

Autumn 2009

STEERING A COURSE FOR SAFER DRIVING AND RIDING


JOHN F. BLACK Tel: 01387 267473

Servicing, Repairs, Welding, Recovery, MOT for cars, motor-homes & commercials

6B Catherinefield Ind Est Heathhall Dumfries DG1 3PQ

St. Michael’s Services St. Michael’s Street Dumfries DG1 2QD Tel: 01387 254304 ~ BP ultimate fuels ~ BP Autogas ~ Car wash ~ Jet wash ~ MACE convenience store ~ Special offers for Dumfries Group Members

more performance, less pollution


Group Committee Members for 2009/10 This magazine was published Group President: Tommy Jardine

by the Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists & Motorcyclists.

Chair, Graeme McColm Chief m/c Obs

01387 720425

Vice Chair

Jamie Wood

01683 300347

Secretary

Helen Cameron

07707 035518

Treasurer

Russell Wears

01387 263893

Minute Sec

Anne Lind

07877 291715

Contact the Group Secretary:

Assoc Coordntr Peter Dodds

01387 261523

dumfries@groups.iam.org.uk

M/c Coordntr Andrew Bird

01387 259500

For more details of our activities see our web site at: www.iamdumfries.org.uk

News Dist.

Christine Donaldson 01576 202805

Magazine comments and contributions to:

Events

Stewart Cameron 01387 264005

editor@iamdumfries.f9.co.uk

Committee

Andy Campbell Neil Martynink Maureen Hewitt

07717 798109 07725 941180

Disclaimer:

The views expressed in this magazine are those of the contributors and not necessarily To e-mail any member of the committee, please in those of the Editor, Group or the Institute of Advanced Motorists, the first instance, use the group contact e-mail to which the Group is affiliated. address: dumfries@groups.org.uk Reg Charity No. SC 023511

What’s on? - check for details & late changes at www.iamdumfries.org.uk 14 September - Jamie Wood talks about AUTOMOTIVE FUELS. Please note this meeting is to be held at the EDENBANK HOTEL 7:30 pm 12 October - Visit to BORDER CARS, Glasgow Road, starts 7 pm. Details have to be confirmed for this event so please check the web site. October - Annual BOWLING match against Carlisle Group check for details. l 9 November - Visit to MOFFAT MOUNTAIN RESCUE CENTRE, Selkirk Road, Moffat. Check web site for further details. 14 December - SOCIAL at Dalston house hotel. Meetings are normally held at our home venue of Dalston House Hotel, Dumfries starting at 7:30pm unless otherwise stated.

Monthly events Don’t forget that group meetings are open to all Associates, full Members and those interested in finding out more about advanced skills. They are usually held every second Monday of the month (except in June, July & August) check the group web site for the latest details of the monthly and other events. © Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists & Motorcyclists

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The Chairman’s comments - Graeme McColm Welcome to the Autumn edition of Advance Magazine. Well, we have had warm and wet weather for the last few months and the lighter nights have allowed many more people to work towards their advanced tests which has already proved successful with more tests still to come. We once again had a stand at the Dumfries Show but we were unable to use the IAM Mobile Display Unit, as it was in use elsewhere. Although the weather could have been better we still had quite a lot of interest. The Mobile Display Unit was booked for use at the Moffat Show on Saturday 29 August but the event was too late in the summer to publicise in this magazine. If you can cast your mind back as far as April I am sure you will remember the manoeuvrability night held at the old Tesco’s car park. A great night was had by all with Alan Jones taking first place in his car and John Pearson coming out on top in the motorcycle challenge. Thanks to Stewart Cameron, the chief adjudicator, for organising this event and to the many other members who helped with setting up the course. You’ll see from the previous page that some of the new syllabus has been published. Inevitably some events are provisional at the moment but you can check the web site which gets updated as soon as events get finalised. I encourage all members to come along to at least some of the events. Best wishes to all our members, lets hope for some warmer, drier weather!

Keeping members informed From time to time we send out news via e-mail to keep you, the members, up to date on what is happening. For instance recently we let members know of the night out at the India Palm (20 Sept 09) which because of the timing could not be included in the magazine. If you want to be kept informed please ensure we have an up to date e-mail address for you and importantly please set up your e-mail to ensure that mail from: ' arthursplace20@btinternet.com ' is not swept up by over zealous e-mail filters. If you are concerned that we may not have an up to date e-mail address for you please e-mail Christine Donaldson at the above address so she can arrange to get you on the list. By the way if you have missed the notice about the social night out at the India Palm on 20 September and want to come you may just have enough time, if you let Christine know by 14 September at the latest. © Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists & Motorcyclists

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Sorry mate I didn’t see you - driving tip from IAM Chief Examiner The joys of motorcycling - including more predictable journey times, better fuel consumption, freedom from the London congestion charge and the simple pleasure of riding in the fresh air - have encouraged a recent revival in biking, especially in urban areas. Both car drivers and motorcyclists are affected by the increase in motorcycle traffic – and the effects could spread over to those on pedal cycles as well. Bikers have to cope with a host of hazards - not least, (especially for commuters) car drivers who for various reasons fail to see the motorcycle coming towards them. In the jargon, too often car drivers look, but fail to see, motorcycles. The problem is particularly acute at junctions and has been the subject of an advertising campaign. "Sorry mate I didn't see you" is for too many bikers the last words they hear before they are put in the ambulance. Check carefully at junctions when you are emerging. An older slogan had the same affect: "Think once, think twice ... think bike". Apart from giving bikers a "second glance", there are other things that drivers can do to ease the passage of motorcycles, particularly in heavy congestion, which in turn will mean a safer journey for everybody. If you are stuck in dense traffic, keep checking your mirrors for bikes. These days they nearly all have their headlight on to make them easier to see. If bikers are trying to "filter" - make their way through the traffic by riding slowly between stationary vehicles, or riding on the white line in the middle of the road - make a point of creating space for them, if you can do so in safety. By pulling over slightly, to one side or the other, you can make the difference between letting the biker past, or adding to the congestion. Remember to check all your mirrors first: you don't want to compromise the bicycle making its way along the nearside in order to allow passage to a motorcyclist. Never be tempted to vent your frustration with the traffic by getting in the way of a motorcycle on purpose. You won't go any faster and you may just contribute to a collision which of course will add to congestion rather than alleviate it. And if you are the biker? Don’t be aggressive or too quick; the car driver you upset today won’t be inclined to help you tomorrow. © Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists & Motorcyclists

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Why do we need penalties for driving/riding offences? Anyone can make a mistake whilst out on the road, after all it is the human condition to be fallible. The reasons for transgressions of the law can be numerous, ranging from perhaps simple loss of concentration/ lack of observation through to a deliberate act to ignore the rules of the road. Some types of driver or rider are known to take greater risks than others and they can generally be divided into three basic categories: 'compliers', 'defiers' and 'manipulators'. Compliers; these are people who usually can identify risks and who also don't take risks. They generally know their capabilities and so ride or drive within their actual ability. They obey driving law most of the time. This category of road user has a low risk of accident and their use of the roads can be influenced by advice, training and assessment. Defiers; these are high risk takers who either can't identify risks related to their driving or riding behaviour, or who do not realise the consequences of their actions for themselves or other road users. It might also be that they simply don't care. This category of road user often ignore driving laws and regulations. They have a high risk of accident but importantly their behaviour is very difficult to influence except through enforcement action. Manipulators; drivers and riders in this category fall between the other two categories. They act like compliers when they perceive there is a risk of being caught but are prepared to take the risk of breaking the law in circumstances where they believe they will get away with it. If you are a full member or preparing for the advanced test you are unlikely to be a 'defier' (depending on the motivation for your interest in advanced driving or riding) and have already identified the benefits that advanced driving or riding skills can give you. Both 'compliers' and 'manipulators' can benefit from the improvement in skills advanced driving or riding will bring about. For example in the case of 'compliers' whilst they usually can identify risks and drive accordingly, advanced skills may help them identify those risks earlier and more accurately through improved observation skills. In the case of 'manipulators' improved skills may help them to identify and plan for the risks associated with the road and not planning with a view to avoiding being caught. So why do we need penalties? Well in the case of 'manipulators' it can be seen their driving or riding behaviour is influenced by the threat of being caught whilst in the case of 'defiers' there is little that can be done to influence their behaviour except through enforcement.. Š Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists & Motorcyclists

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Fiona’s driving skills get recognition Advanced Driving – quite a thought ‘till you get out there and realise what it’s all about! Why do people put themselves through all this pressure again when they already hold a valid driving licence? Well in my case I had recently started a new job which involved me travelling along the A75 to Dumfries morning and night, quite a test of your driving ability, especially on a dark, wet, busy night when the lorries are in full force. I became aware that my confidence was slipping and sometimes a bit of panic was setting in, so it was time to do something about it! At my first meeting with Graham, my Observer, he carried out a systematic demonstration drive where he commentated and gave me an idea of what was expected. Far from frightening me I found myself quite reassured by this. It made me realise that driving didn’t have to be pressurised all the time and that when you took control and followed the System driving suddenly became pleasurable instead of a necessary chore. Throughout the following weeks I had to unlearn nearly thirty four years of bad driving habits and also recognise that car brakes are much more efficient now than when I learned to drive. Young drivers were right when they told me I didn’t need to go down through the gears when slowing (“Brakes are for slowing and gears are for going”). Joining motorways was also an eye opener. Learner drivers aren’t allowed on motorways, so most drivers on today’s roads haven’t had any practical instruction on motorway driving, most of us just drive on looking for traffic on the motorway to move over if possible and allow us room to enter. Advanced driving taught me that it is up to me to find my own space on entering the motorway, to get up to speed before doing so and to slot into the motorway traffic without affecting others. A safe systemic approach that takes away hesitation and indecision and therefore fear. My car has also gained a lot. Since undergoing the Advanced Driving course I have noticed a drastic improvement in the smoothness, decisiveness and confidence of my driving. I’m sure with my new approach my gear box, engine, brakes and tyres and therefore my car will last a lot longer. To sum it all up I would say that the Advanced Driving course has been one of the most worthwhile things I have ever done. When I tell my friends about it some say they would never have had the courage to do it, others that think they are expert drivers are critical (but still want to know more!) and others are asking for more details with a mind to taking up the challenge themselves. Observers should also be mentioned with many thanks for their dedication, patience and willingness to give up their own time to assist me in my quest to become a better and safer driver. The Examiner wasn’t too scary either! © Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists & Motorcyclists

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About us This magazine, distributed free to Members, is published three times a year. Our Group’s aim is to help drivers and riders improve their skills on the road and so help reduce collisions, injuries and deaths on the roads. We promote IAM ‘Skill for Life’ courses throughout the year. The purpose of this publication is to inform readers about the activities of the Group and to stimulate thought about safe driving and riding issues especially to those readers who are undergoing or have completed a ‘Skill for Life’ driving or riding course.

Group accounts 2008/2009 On the next page are the Group Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2009. They have been approved by John Love, an Independent Examiner approved by the Trustees of the Charity. During the financial year the Group’s account was moved from the Bank of Scotland to the RBS to facilitate the creation of an option to pay membership fees by standing order. This was offered to all members and around 37 of the 80 members who renewed their membership took up this option. 57 members signed up to permit their membership fees to be considered as gift aid. Membership fees amounted to £800 with Associate membership fees amounting to a further £500. The Group received two generous donations for the coaching of associates: over £1000 from Unison and £650 from CrossflagsBMW. In addition, Arla Foods generously donated £500 towards the Group activities. The Dumfries Theatre Group donated a further £75 to Group activities. The restricted fund shows a surplus of £544 due to the donations received measured against the payments made this financial year. The unrestricted fund shows a surplus of £2888. Taking into account the overall surplus of £3432 measured against received donations and outstanding funds for the coaching of associates it becomes clear that the operating surplus is some £200. It is therefore fair to say that the Group’s day to day running costs are reasonably balanced. The Independent Examiner in approving the accounts has again made several useful suggestions and recommendations about the way financial transactions are processed and recorded. These are mainly for the Treasurer to put into effect and will cover the payment of membership fees which must be accompanied by a completed membership form. Membership fee payments by cash will be confirmed by issuing a receipt. Sending cash by post is discouraged but if unavoidable, must be accompanied by a completed membership form. © Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists & Motorcyclists

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Dumfries & Galloway Grp of Adv Motorists & Motorcyclists

SC023511

Receipts and payments accounts Period start date Period end date Month Year to Day Day Month Year

For the period from

Apr 2008

1

Mar 2009

31

Section A Statement of receipts and payments Unrestricted funds

Restricted funds

Expendable endowment funds

Permanent endowment funds

Total funds Total funds current last period period

to nearest ÂŁ

A1 Receipts Donations Legacies Grants Receipts from fundraising activities Gross trading receipts Inc from investments not land & buildings

1,465

1,706

3,171 1,060 1,639 48 2,760-

3,089 265 1,927 122 1,969

-

8,678

7,372

-

1,060 1,639 48

Rents from land & buildings Gross receipts ex other charitable activities

2,760

A1 Sub total

6,972

A2 investment sales Proceeds from sale of fixed assets Proceeds from sale of investments A2 Sub total Total receipts A3 Payments Expenses for fundraising activities Gross trading payments Investment management costs Payments relating directly to charitable activities Grants and donations

Governance costs: Audit / independent examination Preparation of annual accounts Legal costs Other

6,972

1,706

-

-

-

-

-

1,706

-

-

8,678

7,372

727 1,328 3,027 76 53 -

1,002 1,618

727 1,328

1,865 76 53

1,162

6,253 80

53 -

A3 Sub total

4,049

A4 Payments relating to asset and investment movements Purchases of fixed assets Purchase of investments A4 Sub total

34 34

-

-

Total payments

4,083

1,162

-

Net receipts / (payments)

2,888

2,888

1,162

-

error5,211

9,005

34 -

792

-

34

792

-

5,245

9,797

544

3,432

(2,425)

544

3,432

(2,425)

A5 Transfer to/ from funds Surplus / (deficit) for year


Motorcycle Chief Observer’s Diary - Graeme McColm Well the good weather has been here and hopefully still more to come. Lately the sun has disappeared and the rain has returned with vengeance but we still have September to go before our summer is really over so fingers crossed. We have had our usual monthly runs, the latest one being over to Peebles. These have all been well attended with, on average around a dozen bikers joining us for the day. Many thanks to all Observers for their help and support in running these events. We have had a great many bikers undertaking their training with a steady flow of people achieving their Advanced certificates. We have had around 15 people putting their names down for the September weekend; this will be based around Braemar. There are just a few places left on a first come first served basis so be quick. Contact Phil Sayers on: ‘philsayers1@aol.com’ for further details. As previously mentioned in our Spring edition we have been looking for new Observers to join our happy team, I am pleased to report that at least half a dozen people have volunteered to undertake the training and the successful volunteers will be joining us soon. Best wishes for what’s left of our summer and make the most of the good weather as often as you can. Safe and Happy biking.

Group Members and Associates can get a free basic car wash, or two jet wash tokens when you fill up. Just show your membership card, or for Associates your IAM confirmation letter. Let the staff know you would like the free bike/car wash before you pay for your fuel. This offer may be withdrawn at any time.

John Black helps launch log book scheme Since our last edition, member and Car Observer John Black helped with the local launch of the national logbook scheme aimed at small businesses in Scotland. The Dumfries and Galloway Safety Camera Partnership is offering free vehicle logbooks to any small firm in the area. The log books enable business owners to keep a track of vehicle use and stay within the law. Dumfries and Galloway Safety Camera Partnership Manager, Sergeant Lee Black, said: “Under the terms of the Road Traffic Act 1988 business owners have a responsibility to know who is driving their vehicles at any time. 8


Apart from this legal requirement it is good Health and Safety practice for both business owners and drivers to log details of all journeys. We offer this free tool for small businesses to use in their company vehicles. Drivers will also benefit from this initiative in that it ensures that they will not be blamed for any irresponsible driving by others.“ Copies of the logbooks can be obtained by going to www.transportlog.co.uk and completing the online form.

John Black receiving logbooks from Sergeant Lee Black

Monthly ride-outs On the first Sunday of the month, the Motorcycle Section arrange a run of about 150 to 180 miles so Members and Associates can meet up and get to know each other. It also means we can keep an eye on Member’s riding skills ensuring they are still up to pass standard! The July run was organised by Jim Hunter and a total of 12 riders met up at St, Michael's filling station before heading for Moffat, along the Grey Mare’s Tail road to Selkirk, St Boswells, Kelso then back down to Jedburgh for lunch. After this we cut across to Bonchester Bridge and over the hill to Hawick, before heading down the A7 to Canonbie. We stopped off at the 'Steve Hislop Memorial Cairn' at Teviothead. The cairn was built near the site where the Border racer’s helicopter crashed in July 2003. From Canonbie we headed across to Annan and then up the low road finishing at Drummuir Farm Ice Cream Parlour for a well deserved Ice Cream.

The riders at Hizzy’s memorial

The weather was excellent especially since the timing of our route meant that we missed some very heavy showers in the Kelso area. 9


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S O L I C I T O R S, E S T A T E A G E N T S & INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ADVISERS

Property and Estate Agency Wills and Estates Independent Financial Advice

Commercial Practice Family Law www.braidwoods.com 1 Charlotte Street, Dumfries DG1 2AG Telephone: (01387) 257272 E-mail: info@braidwoods.com


It’s a bleeding sign of the times A bleeding sign at the roadside is being used to remind motorists to drive carefully during the rainy season in New Zealand. The sign shows a child that actually bleeds from the eyebrows, nose, ears and mouth but only when it rains. The caption on the sign says ‘Rain Rain changes everything. Please drive to the conditions changes everything. Please drive to the conditions’. Once the weather dries up then so does the sign.

Keep your distance Here’s another sign spotted on the A701 which might have a ‘bit of impact’ for drivers not paying full attention! © Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists & Motorcyclists

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Mobile phones and driving - its a challenge We all know that phone calls distract from driving and that if you are caught using a handheld phone the penalty is £60 and 3 penalty points but did you know that if the case goes to court, the maximum fine is £1,000 (£2,500 if driving a bus, coach or heavy goods vehicle), discretionary disqualification together with 3 penalty points. You can also be prosecuted for using a handsfree phone or similar device if you are distracted and not in proper control of the vehicle. The same penalties apply. Employers can also be prosecuted if employees are distracted because they require them to use their mobile phones while driving. If you ring or take a call from someone on their mobile phone who turns out to be driving, tell them you will talk when they are not driving and hang up. The dangers of using a phone do not just relate to talking, texting is just as dangerous and carries the same penalties.

The online driving challenge

If you want proof that mobile phones are distracting try taking the Department for Transport online driving challenge: http://www.dft.gov.uk/drivingchallenge/

Membership Renewal - Russell Wears, Treasurer Just a short reminder that membership subscriptions are due on or before the 16th of November. It is again £10 which is a small sum in return for everything the Group has to offer. Everyone needs to fill in a membership application form (enclosed with this newsletter) so we can properly record how many members we have and how the group is progressing. If you completed a standing order form last year then your payment will occur automatically on the 16th. If not, please consider doing so this year, it greatly helps the accounting. A standing order form is also enclosed with this newsletter. If you prefer other methods of payment then please do so but avoid sending cash through the post. Further blank forms are available on our web site. I attend most Group events and will have copies of the forms with me as well a receipt book for those who prefer to pay by cash. If you also signed the Gift Aid declaration on the membership form last year you don't need to do so again. If it is some years since you signed the declaration or wish to Gift Aid your membership then please sign the declaration so our records are up to date. © Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists & Motorcyclists

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Understanding photo licences The IAM tell us there has been some confusion recently about the regulations and rules around updated photographs on driving licences. To clear up any misunderstanding the IAM would like to make you aware of the following information (courtesy of the DVLA): In most circumstances, you’ll need to renew the photo on your driving licence before it expires, as the photo is only valid for 10 years. If you’re a short period licence holder (over 70 or medical short period) you’ll only need to renew your photo when your driving entitlement expires. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will send you a renewal application pack two months before your photo is due to expire - provided they have your correct address. You’ll need to: Ÿ complete the enclosed form Ÿ include a new passport type photo of yourself that’s been taken within the last month (you don’t need the back of the photo signed) Ÿ return both parts of your driving licence (photocard and counterpart) Ÿ enclose a cheque or postal order for £20.00 (no fee is needed if you have a medical short period licence or you’re aged 70 or over) Ÿ send your completed application and fee to DVLA, Swansea SA99 1DH If you have changed your name, you’ll also need to provide identity documents. DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY GROUP OF ADVANCED MOTORISTS & MOTORCYCLISTS

We advocate using the ‘Planned System of Driving or Riding’. This method gives you is a means of driving or riding in a consistently safe and systematic way which leaves nothing to chance. Our method will not help you drive or ride through a hazard, say a bend, at the fastest possible physical speed but when perfected it should help you progress through it at the fastest speed consistent with maintaining stability and maximising safety - it’s a ‘Skill for Life’. If you’re interested in improving your skills we can help you, why not find out more? E-mail (see P1) or call the Secretary (07707 035518), or visit our web site: www.iamdumfries.org.uk - Registered Charity in Scotland No. SC 023511 14


The Secretary Reports - Helen Cameron As a new season starts for our group meetings I would once again like to encourage everyone to try to attend at least some of the events in the coming group’s year. It was good to see that attendance last year was quite encouraging; if speakers are good enough to give up their time to come along to talk to us it is gratifying to have a good turnout. We have a varied syllabus which has been prepared by Stewart Cameron and the Committee and it would be good to see new and old faces at the Dalston House Hotel for our group meetings. Having said that our first meeting is scheduled for 14 September (the second Monday of the month) however this particular meeting is to be held at the Edenbank Hotel, a few doors up the road. The annual 10 pin bowling match against Carlisle Group is being organised, this year, by the Carlisle Group and hopefully will be in October. The finalised date of the event has come too late for this edition of the magazine but usually it starts at 8.00 pm so we leave Dumfries at 7.00 pm. We share cars so please let me know if you want to come along, and I’ll let you know the arrangements. As soon as the booking has been finalised we’ll get the details onto our web site. We do need lots of support (and players) as we have to try to retain the trophy this year after winning it back from Carlisle Group in October 2008. It has been suggested by members of both groups that it might be good to try curling so if you are interested in trying something new or you are a good curler please let someone on the committee know. It is hoped that this event will be held in March / April 2010. Once again our Observers have been very busy over the Spring / Summer period . Congratulations go to all our new members, listed below, who have recently passed their tests. If you have not yet received your certificate then please come along to the September meeting, at the Edenbank Hotel where it will be presented to you.

M/cTeam

Associate Sarah Stitt

Helen Cameron

John Haliday

M/cTeam

Julie Taylor

Stewart Cameron

Gary Proudfoot

M/cTeam

Louise Craig

Neil Whitelaw

Heather Fisher

M/cTeam

Lauren Milligan

Mark Ranshaw

Fiona Morton

Graham Watson

Susan Belford

M/cTeam

SheenaTraill

Ann Lind

Colin Dawe

M/cTeam

Shona Kennedy

Peter Dodds

Associate

Observer

Derek Hamilton

Observer

© Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists & Motorcyclists

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O B S E R V E R’ S C O R N E R

This section is intended to help when considering the best course of action. It is up to every driver to actively assess each scenario.

Observation - you can’t believe everything you see. As with anything to do with advanced riding/driving skills and in particular observation, clues are there to help you, if only you can spot them in time. However you can’t always be sure that ‘what you see is what you are going to get’. This is certainly true of some of the road signs to be found on our roads and it always is worth looking for corroboration that any particular sign correctly represents the circumstances to which it relates. A look in the ‘Know Your Traffic Signs’ book tells you that generally you should expect direction signs located at a junction and pointing along a road to be of the ‘flag-type’. Signs in advance of a junction generally should be of the map type (indicating the junction layout) or a ‘stack-type’ where arrows indicate the direction of the exit from the main road. For a minor road you would expect a simple arrowed sign showing the destination along the side road ahead. There are many places where a ‘flag-type’ sign is used in advance of a junction rather than at the junction to show the location of a side road. Whilst this may often be fairly obvious it could lead to potential confusion in conditions of poor visibility or where a covering of snow obliterates many of the surface features. In other words don’t rely on the information the sign appears to give, observe and check for the exact layout at the earliest opportunity. Here’s an example of a ‘flag-type’ sign used in advance of a junction. An arrowed sign may have avoided any potential confusion, in poor visibility

Here’s an example of a ‘stack-type’ type arrowed sign correctly used in advance of a junction.

© Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists & Motorcyclists

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Here’s an example of the correct use of a flag-type sign. It can help you identify exactly where the side road junction is located. This can benefit your observation, scanning, anticipation and planning on approach. Because you may get an early fix on the junction position it can help you to spot hazards related to the junction and any traffic on the side road.

Observation - acting on the clues Driving on a country road you notice a left-hand bend ahead, forward vision is not extensive but you monitor the limit point. What other clues have you got which may help you to build into your plan what you can’t see and help anticipate what may happen? Often a good look at the road surface will give you a clue as to the volume and/or the type of vehicles which use the road, and also the position of that traffic as it comes around the bend. The top picture shows that forward vision is limited by the vegetation on the left-hand side. It can also be noted that there is almost no white line visible although not shown in this image the white line did extend up to the start of the bend. This indicates that oncoming traffic frequently cuts over the white line onto your side of the road! Armed with this knowledge you can plan your position and speed accordingly as you enter and drive or ride around the bend. The second picture shows another bend where the white line is almost non existent (it just shows up as a smooth worn patch). Unsurprisingly an oncoming vehicle takes a less than optimum position well over the white line as it comes around the bend. In order to avoid conflict with an oncoming vehicle the driver would potentially have to adjust his position mid-corner with the attendant reduction in stability. The driver of this vehicle could have set himself up to maximise safety for the corner through good observation and proper planning on the approach. © Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists & Motorcyclists 17


New Test Report Since our last edition went to press, the IAM have introduced a new Test Report, we have reproduced part of it below, apologies for the quality of the copy. The same form is used for all classes of vehicle which you can use for the Advanced Test. You can see those elements considered by the Examiner when assessing a candidate’s competence. You will also note that there is a section relating to an eyesight test. Please make sure you have got your glasses with you, if you need them. It is imperative to have all your documents with you when you attend for a test - if you forget them you’ll get a tick in the ‘No Docs / FTA’ box, so won’t be able to take your test and you will forfeit the test fee.

© Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists & Motorcyclists

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Presentation of Advanced Driving Certificates Seen here are Richard McNicol and Mark Patterson who were presented, earlier in the year, with their Advanced Driving Certificates by Chief Constable, Patrick Shearer. Also pictured here are Patsy Gilroy, Chair of the Stewartry Area Committee, and Alan Jones representing our Group.

Pothole growth prompts safety advice for drivers and rider According to a report issued 30 April 2009 the UK has seen a growth of a third in the number of potholes as a result of a back-log and under funding. Delayed buses, damaged cars or worst still, upended two wheelers are the unintended consequences, warned the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists). Visual defects such as cracking and deterioration will be addressed by a succession of “patch and mend” road works which will do little for congestion or road safety. IAM Chief Examiner Peter Rodger said that there are things that individual drivers and riders can do to anticipate pot holes, and what should happen afterwards. " Be particularly conscious of cyclists and motorcyclists trying to get past one and give them a suitably wide berth. They are entitled to a wobble and would appreciate not having a motorist attempting to overtake just as they avoid a hole in the road. If you do hit a pothole accidentally, make a point of checking not just the outer tyre wall but the inner tyre wall, which may have been damaged as a result," said Mr Rodger. “Expect other drivers to react late to the presence of pot holes and to change direction sharply and be ready – give everyone room while we all cope with poor road conditions. Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front so that you can see the road surface before you drive or ride on it.” The IAM recommends that, spotting a pothole ahead, you should use your knowledge of the damaged road surface to position yourself in such a way that you can avoid it. "But check behind and ahead; don’t drive too close to an oncoming vehicle to avoid a pothole. Or suddenly pull out to avoid a hole, to discover that there is a motorcyclist trying to get past you when you do so," said Mr Rodger. “Bikers and cyclists need to look well ahead and change direction early, so they have time to deal with the holes, and their movements don’t cause surprise.” © Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists & Motorcyclists 19


Wet weather makes potholes even more dangerous, concealing them under normal surface water. If you know that a local road has a pothole developing, even if it is not visible, try to use the a line that avoids it - if it is safe to do so. Finally, always make a point of reporting a pothole to the local authority as an early repair could prevent a future accident.

Watch out below …. IAM driving tip Drivers tend to ignore all but the most basic of road signs. A red light will still (thankfully) get most drivers to stop, most of the time. But a junction marking stating “STOP” in large capital letters is often ignored; at best it will be treated as a “give way” and then only by the locals who know the dangers well, but still opt to downgrade the risk in order to save a moment or two. This may be because we all suffer from “signage overload”: there are so many instructions, official and unofficial, and so many direction signs and road signs competing for our attention that we already have our head full of information coming at us, at eye level. That makes it easier to miss the ones painted on the tarmac beneath us. Road users often seem totally unaware of the relevance of road markings, even when they see them. But as a rule of thumb, the more paint there is on the road surface, the more potential danger there is. Nobody has chosen to go to the time and expense (not to mention the considerable risk) of putting paint on the road without a reason. Sadly even experienced motorists seem to be ignorant of the markings. I was recently told that a double white line down the middle of the carriageway was there to “stop us turning right across it.” This is worrying, because those particular markings are there for quite a different purpose: to prevent vehicles crossing onto the other carriageway at that point. Some cross-hatchings are no-go areas (those that have a surrounding solid white line). You should not use these areas unless it is a serious emergency or you are directed there by a police officer. As well as official markings on the road surface, there are the unofficial ones which can also serve to remind the observant road user of potential danger. The classic these days is the long, snaking skid mark. That means some unfortunate has had a crash, a near miss, or had to take drastic action for some reason. When you see these, ask yourself what might have happened, and what you can do to prevent getting into the same situation. © Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists & Motorcyclists

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