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

Group Committee Members for 2006/07 Chair & Group Alan Jones

01387 820527

Chief Observer

Vice chair,

Graeme McColm 01387 720425

Chief obs m/c

This magazine was published by the Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists & Motorcyclists. More details of our activities can be found on our web site at:


Helen Cameron

07707 035518


Allan Graham

01387 269421

Publicity & Events

Scott Anderson Russell Wears

01387 257826 01387 263893

Minute Sec

Anne Lind

07877 291715

Contact the Group Secretary:

Associate coordinator

Peter Dodds

01387 261523

M/c coordntr

Andrew Bird 01387 259500 Christine News 01576 202805 Distribution Donaldson Committee Charlie Allman 01387 263750 Nicol Milne 01387 261098 John Donaldson- 01576 202805 Alan Dalrymple 01387 337322 Group President: Tommy Jardine To e-mail any member of the committee, please in the first instance, use the group contact e-mail address: dumfries

Newsletter comments and contributions to:

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this newsletter are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the Editor, Group or the Institute of Advanced Motorists, to which the Group is affiliated. .......Registered Charity No. SC 023511

What’s on? (check latest news at: September 11 VISIT TO NADICS GLASGOW A chance to see the Glasgow and Central Scotland traffic control nerve centre. Minibus leaves Dumfries at 6:00 pm (prompt) October 9 VISIT TO POLICE HQ CORNWALL MOUNT A visit to hear about police driving and what makes a good police car. Also an opportunity to inspect their cars and bikes. 7:30 pm (prompt) October/November, dates to be set: 10 PIN BOWLING v Carlisle Grp also 3 WAY QUIZ v Carlisle & Westmorland Grps. Names to Helen please. November 13 VISIT TO PENMANS ENGINEERING HEATHHALL See how armoured vehicles are made. 7pm for 7:30pm December 11 CHALLENGE NIGHT - DALSTON HOUSE HOTEL, Detail for this event to be finalised. 7:30 pm 1

The Chairman’s comments - Alan Jones Welcome to the Autumn Newsletter. Your Group continues to be very active so there is much to report since the last edition. Let me give you a flavour of what has been going on. We celebrated the IAM’s 50th Anniversary on the 13 May by inviting the region’s MPs, MSPs, civic dignitaries, police and a number of business leaders to a presentation on the IAM and a discussion on the need to do more to encourage young drivers and riders to participate on the Skill for Life programme. We gained a lot from this session and our guests were also given a Demonstration drive or ride. Hopefully you will have seen the photograph from the event in the latest Advanced Driving magazine. One of our initiatives was to advertise 50 free Skill for Life programmes for young drivers and riders, the response to which was pleasantly overwhelming. To cope with the demand we held 3 induction sessions and from these we have enrolled most of the 50 places. Fortunately one of our guests at the 13 May event has agreed to fund a further 10 places so we will be Young drivers & riders at one recruiting more young people shortly and runof the induction sessions ning a further induction session. Meanwhile all our Observers are busy coaching our new Associates, with the first group due to be Test ready shortly. Our aim this year is to get all 60 young people to Test as well as to coach the 40 or so Associates who are over 25 years of age and who applied through the traditional route. If we are successful then we will become the largest Group in Scotland in terms of Test applications. All of this can only be achieved by commitment of our Observers, and here I just want to add my thanks to them for all the work they do for the Group. I am also pleased to record that our Observer numbers are once more on the increase, within both the riding and driving sections. Increasing too are our Senior Observer numbers, so this will give us more capability for coaching Observers and conducting progress drives and rides. As I have said a number of times in previous Newsletters, it’s never too late, and if you would like to think about training to become an Observer then please make your wishes known. You will get a lot out of coaching others and you will become a better, more skilful driver or rider as a result. Since last Newsletter I have been given the opportunity to put a question to Scotland’s First Minister, Jack McConnell, at the “Ask Jack” event held at Easterbrook Hall under the sponsorship of West Sound; thanks to our President, Tommy Jardine, who acted as host and question master for the evening. Not only did I get to ask a question, I also got to have a brief conversation with Jack McConnell too. I used this unique opportunity to question him on funding 2

to allow us to help more young drivers and riders in the future. You can find details of my question and his response later in this Newsletter. Let me end my report by saying that our Group is in good shape. We can see numbers growing rapidly and we now see lots of interest from young people, who after all are the ones at greatest risk. We have much to do to ensure that our successes can continue year upon year but we will work to make this happen. Finally, my congratulations to our new Members who have passed the IAM Test since our last Newsletter was published. I look forward to meeting you at one of our meetings.

Road Safety Competitions Congratulations to Gary Chandler of Castle Douglas who submitted the best entry for the Spring 2006 ‘spot the hazards’ competition based on the photo shown here on the right. A new competition, also with a £50 prize will shortly be underway based on the picture shown below. Anyone may enter the competition but only residents of Dumfries & Galloway who are not members of the IAM or DGGAMM are eligible to win the prize. Entrants need to visit our web site: where a larger version of the competition picture below can be found. Contestants are required to study the picture, list all the driving and riding hazards present and complete a tie-breaker. Details of how to enter, together with full competition rules, are on the web site. The closing date for entries is 11 November 2006 and the winner will be announced in the next edition of this Newsletter, which will be published in December. Best of luck.

A message from the Associate Coordinator - Peter Dodds As you may be aware all our Observers are very busy at the moment, dealing with the normal work load, together with the additional large numbers of young drivers on our books. It is particularly important that all Associates, Observers and Senior Observers keep me informed of progress and let me know when Test dates have been arranged. All this will help me to keep the group records up to date. I would also like to know of any problems so that I’ve got the chance to deal with them before they become major issues. You can contact me by telephone or e-mail me at 3

First road safety competition winner Pictured here at this year’s AGM is Maureen Robertson of Annan being presented with her winner’s cheque by Alan Jones, Group Chairman. Maureen submitted the best entry for the Winter 05/06 ‘spot the hazards’ competition and so became the first winner in this series of competitions held to celebrate the IAM’s 50th anniversary.

Supporting our Members The central theme of our charitable status, of course, is promoting road safety through coaching members of the public to the IAM’s Advanced Driving and Riding standard. This means that we focus a great deal of our time and energy on Associates. There are times however, when maybe we could be doing more for our Members, to retain their interest and support for our many and varied activities. This is always a difficult balance, given that we are all volunteers and have limited time available. Nevertheless, we recognise that it is important to focus some of our energy on existing Members as well as bringing new ones into the Group, if we are to grow and prosper. Our goal for the last 3 years has been to double the size of the Group and hit the magic figure of 100. I am pleased to tell you that we are now approaching this number and by the time you read this Newsletter I am confident that we will have achieved our aim. Your committee however, is not content with this and they have set a further goal of reaching 200 Members by 2009. If the number of Associates we have on our books at present is anything to go by then we should comfortably achieve this next goal. Experience over the last few years suggests that we can lose up to 10% of our existing Members each year. We need to find out why this is and what we need to do to stem this loss. To this end we invite Members to let us know what we can do to retain your interest. Can we improve the monthly meetings? Is there a topic or speaker you would particularly like us to include? Would you like the option of taking a Progress Drive or Ride to re-assess your skills without re-taking the Test? Would paying your annual membership by direct debit help? Would you like there to be an annual dinner/ reunion? Would you support having a membership card which entitles you to a discount in various stores? These are just a few thoughts to help stimulate your feedback, but as always we would appreciate hearing your thoughts rather than trying to second guess your views, any new ideas would be gratefully received. Please let Helen Cameron have your comments and ideas by the end of September 2006. 4

Do you want free membership? We can all become more active in increasing our Membership. Each Member can also be a salesman or saleswoman for the IAM, and to reflect this the Committee have agreed that any Member who introduces an Associate who goes through and takes the IAM Test will have free membership of the Group the following year. We hope that this will provide a small but important incentive to help encourage friends and relatives to join us as Associates and in time to become Members.

Introducing Tommy Jardine - Group President Tommy took up the reins of Group President this year just as the last issue went to press. Many of you will be familiar with Tommy in his role of presenter of the ‘flagship’ Breakfast Show each weekday morning from 6am. Tommy born and bred in Dumfries (a true ‘Doonhamer’) has been with the Radio Station since 1996. As well as working for our Group Tommy spends much of his time coordinating the Cash for Kids Charity across Dumfries and Galloway. Since the first event in the region in 1999, ‘Cash for Kids’ has raised over £210,000 for underprivileged children across the region. The Scottish total now stands in excess of Ten Million Pounds. We questioned Tommy about his reasons for accepting his new role: Q - Why did I chose to accept the position as President? I have been involved with the Charity Cash For Kids for many years now and just recently took up a post with Crimestoppers. In general I was keen to make a difference in the community with regard to road deaths as well as Crime. The opportunity to be involved with the Group, complements my overall commitment to making a difference in our region. Q- What can I bring to the Group? I would hope my skills in Charity Fund Raising along with my high profile within the Community will benefit and raise awareness of the Institute in D&G. Tommy tells us he enjoys driving and prides himself in not having a single penalty point on his licence since passing his test in 1979 (27 years ago!). Needless to say he intends to embark on the skill for life programme and sit the Advanced Test although with such a large volume of Associates on our books he may well have to wait some time. 5

Workshops to let from ÂŁ69 p.w. Easy In - Easy Out Terms No legal costs. Immediate access 24 Hour Access On-site security Ideal starter units Container storage available On-site car parking

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Work starts on new motorway Work has started on upgrading the A74 to motorway standard between Gretna and J44 of the M6, a length of about 8.6km. This section of road has often made the traffic reports due to its poor safety record. There were 15 fatalities and 28 seriously injured in the period 1995/2004 and records show that the accident rate is 80% worse than the adjacent M6. The road currently carries around 44,000 vehicles per day (vpd) of which about 34% are goods vehicles. Interestingly there is less traffic on the adjoining M6 (38,000 vpd) and M74 (30,000 vpd). The new road will generally consist of widening symmetrically the old road except in the vicinity of Todhills where the widening will take place to the west to minimise the impact on existing properties. Since the new road largely follows the existing route you can expect traffic management to play a major role in the scheme involving temporary diversions, temporary road surfaces, narrow lanes, speed limits etc. This will have significant safety issues for road users so you should resolve to be particularly observant and perhaps consider allowing extra time for journeys through this section. There will necessarily be heavy plant and equipment working in close proximity to the live road which will add to the safety issues both for road users and the workforce. The existing viaduct over the railway bridge will be replaced with one to the west, the old substandard one will then be demolished. The Esk bridge at Metal Bridge will be retained although it will be used for non motorway traffic and only the northbound lanes of the new motorway; southbound traffic will run on a new bridge being constructed alongside to the east.

Pictured here is the current bridge at Metal Bridge, built in the 1980s. The original Metal Bridge was erected in 1820 and replaced in 1915. This is the scene of several crashes including the one on 22 December 2004 when a goods vehicle carrying chemicals crossed the central reservation and collided with two other lorries resulting in two fatalities and a 38 hour road closure. 7

Driving safely through road works The UK has one of the busiest road networks in the world. On the one hand road users become frustrated by congestion and delays whilst on the other greater traffic volumes lead to increased needs for maintenance. Repairs require workers to be present on the carriageway who are vulnerable at the best of times to construction activities but add traffic moving through their workplace and the combination can lead to disaster. So what can you do to protect yourself and others? Look for advance warning signs, pride yourself in having spotted and reacted to them whilst others around you may have not. Use advanced observation skills so nothing is left to chance - scan to the far middle and near distance, in front, behind and to the sides. Identify the problems at the earliest possible stage. The clues are there you’ve just got to spot them. PLAN your drive throughout. Get into the correct lane in good time; lane discipline is all important especially as there may be temporary narrow lanes. Don't switch lanes unnecessarily, if you do your new lane will probably become the slowest! If there is a contra-flow you may be safer taking the lane(s) which stays on the normal carriageway it will probably have more protection against oncoming vehicles than the one(s) on the opposing carriageway. If there is more than one lane in a contra-flow the nearside lane may offer a little more protection than the lane immediately adjacent to the ‘oncomers’. Watch for and observe temporary speed limits, expect other vehicles to ignore the limit and overtake you, resolve to stay calm and let them go. Concentrate on the road and other traffic, not the road works, if there is no hard shoulder, watch out for broken down vehicles. Watch out for works traffic entering or leaving road works. Keep a safe distance - there could be queues in front. Recognise that cars in front and behind are likely to be driving without adequate gaps between them. Leave a little extra room in front so you have time to react and can in turn give following vehicles more time to react by braking more gently. Observe other road users, identify those whose driving style is compromised - they could affect you so give them more room. Don’t get ‘sandwiched’ alongside goods vehicles or drive in the blind spots of other drivers. Don’t get boxed in by allowing yourself to have close followers and to be following closely yourself. Look for an escape route. Have a look at the next page to see what one driver spotted when he actively observed another driver. 8

Driving south at 50mph towards J44 of the M6 through road works the driver of the van shown on the left was overtaken by this Ford Escort. The car then slowed significantly dropping back. Looking for clues as to what was happening the van driver observed the car driver had no hands on the wheel - in fact he was putting on a tie! Needless to say it was the passenger not the van driver who operated the camera.

Surely this can’t be safe

Group Chairman questions the First Minister The number of people killed or seriously injured in our region has been trending upwards in recent years; more often than not young drivers or their passengers are involved. Apart from the untold misery it brings to the families of these young people a single road traffic fatality costs Dumfries & Galloway over £1,300,000 to deal with and yet it only costs £65 to coach a young driver in “road-craft” skills significantly reducing the risk of them having an accident. Pictured below Alan Jones asks Scotland's First Minister Jack McConnel (with Tommy Jardine, Group President looking on) whether he accepts we should be doing more to help young drivers and whether he would be prepared to make a small amount of funding available so that we as the Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists and Motorcyclists can demonstrate how we can help make the young people of this region safer on the roads. The First Minister’s reply was in two parts. Firstly he dealt with funding and gave a commitment to help us identify suitable funding routes so that we might continue to help young drivers and riders obtain “roadcraft” skills. In the second part of his reply he said he believed that such skills should not be treated in isolation. He firmly believes in the need for all young people to be equipped with “citizenship” skills and he could see how “roadcraft” could form part of the bigger “citizenship” training given within the educational environment. He did not say how or when this could happen but the main thing is that he was positive to the proposal so long as it formed part of a larger initiative. We are waiting for a formal written reply to the question but in the meanwhile we have made IAM House and our Regional Coordinator and Divisional Council Member aware of this opportunity. What it could ultimately lead to is an invitation from the Education and Transport Ministers to the IAM Groups in Scotland to formalise our entry into schools in order to give presentations on the IAM, road safety and “roadcraft” skills, which is something that young, inexperienced drivers and riders just don’t have and yet which makes them so vulnerable. 9

Every picture tells a story - but what a shocking story Developing countries generally have much worse road accident statistics than here in the UK. But efforts are being made to educate the population in some countries. Photographed here is a 20ft long roadside sign erected by the Pichit Police Department, northern Thailand - a town about the size of Dalbeattie.

The sign says: Accidents in Pichit / June 2549 BE (2006 AD) / 44 Injuries / 27 Accidents 11 Deaths / Damage to Property 1,576,000 Baht (about £22,000)

Speed cameras really do catch bad drivers A research project conducted by Professor Stradling of Napier University, Edinburgh has revealed that the more times you have been caught by a speed camera, the more likely you are to be involved in a crash. The independent research project showed that 64% of motorists with points on their licence have been involved in a collision, compared with 42% who have no points. The study also showed that 72% of drivers with four or more points on their licence have been in a crash. The study also revealed that: • Only a quarter of drivers aged between 25 and 50 actually enjoy driving fast. • Three quarters of drivers consider themselves to be ‘a better driver than most people.’ • 15% of men aged between 35 and 50 have received at least three speeding tickets. • 70% of under 25-year-olds admit to breaking the 30mph limit. • The majority of drivers, especially females, believe that speeding is selfish. • Only one third of drivers who had been involved in a road traffic collision said they drove more carefully after the crash. More worryingly another third said having a crash had absolutely no effect on their driving afterwards. • Economically active male drivers aged between 35 and 50 with larger car engines are most likely to activate a speed camera. • Up to 40% of passengers said that they would never ask the driver to drive more safely. Source: Warwickshire Casualty Reduction Partnership 10


01387 269546 01387 264813 01387 262888 01776 700888

St Marys Ind Estate, DUMFRIES Tel: 01387 269546 Blackparks Ind Est, STRANRAER Tel: 01776 700444

Sponsorship The circulation of this Autumn Newsletter has now risen to 300 copies thanks to the sponsorship we receive from the organisations and companies who regularly advertise in our Newsletter. We are grateful for this help as it allows us to get our message about road safety across to a much wider audience rather than just our own membership. By sending copies to every doctors and dentists surgery we estimate that our Newsletter is now being read by 5,0006,000 people throughout Dumfries & Galloway. A special mention needs to be given to the generosity shown by two of our sponsors, Jamie Woods of St Michael Street Garage and Richard Stewart of DA Autoparts. Jamie has kindly funded a radio commercial advertising the IAM on prime time South West Sound radio while Richard has funded the Group enabling us to offer Skill for Life training to 10 young people free of charge. Richard has also offered an incentive to the 60 young people who embark on the Skill for Life course leading them to take and pass the IAM Advanced Test.

G et

We thank Jamie, Richard, and all our sponsors for their support in furthering the aims of road safety in our region. Maybe you have not already completed an Advanced Driving or Riding course or perhaps you know someone who might benefit from such a course. In either case we can help.

in control

Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists and Motorcyclists exists to promote road safety and the improvement of driving & riding standards to motorists and motorcyclists throughout Dumfries and Galloway through the provision of driving and riding courses. So whether you are a newly qualified driver or rider, or have had many years of experience on the road, why not find out more? Contact the Secretary (07707 035518), or visit our web site (see P1) to find out how we can help you to help yourself - it’s a ‘Skill for Life’.


JOHN F. BLACK Servicing - Repairs - Welding - Recovery - MOT Testing We cater for cars, motor-homes and light commercials

Tel: 01387 267473

6B Catherinefield Industrial Estate Heathhall Dumfries DG1 3PQ

Smoking ban The smoking ban for the occupants of vehicles such as lorries, buses, vans, tractors etc, being used for work purposes, in Scotland was introduced on health grounds but may well have safety benefits for drivers who now can concentrate solely on driving. The rules applies to any vehicle used for work purposes, whether company or privately owned, under laws that ban smoking in the workplace. No smoking signs are even required by law in such vehicles. However, the ban does not apply to company cars but wise drivers may consider refraining from lighting up as they drive, to enable them to reduce distractions and maximise their concentration on the job of safely driving. It seems that smoking at the wheel of a vehicle may become an offence in the next edition of the Highway Code, according to a report in the Scotsman. The Driving Standards Agency have said that the proposal is there for the safety of drivers and other road users although as yet such proposals are not final and will be reviewed. 13

New Motorcylce Senior Observers Sunday 30th April saw the motorcycle section score a hat trick when Andrew Bird, Graham Abrines and Scott Anderson all successfully passed their Senior Observer tests.

New seat belt regulations From 18th September 2006, children under 11 years and under 135cm in height travelling in cars will be required to use an appropriate child restraint, with few exceptions – the existing ‘if available’ loophole will disappear. Passengers in minibuses, buses and coaches that have seatbelts fitted will also be required to wear those seatbelts, and operators will be required to notify passengers that seatbelts must be used. The table below sets out the requirements for cars. For more details go to: Occupant Front seat Rear seat Who is responsible Driver Seat belt must be Driver worn if fitted Child under 3 Correct child re- Correct child restraint must Driver years of age straint must be be used. If one is not availused able in a taxi, may travel unrestrained Child from 3rd Correct child re- Correct child restraint must Driver birthday up to straint must be be used where seat belts 135cms in used fitted. Must use adult belt in height rear seat if correct child (approx 4'5") restraint not available: (or 12th birth- in a taxi; or day, whichev- for a short distance in an er they reach unexpected necessity; or first) - if two occupied child restraints prevent fitting of a third Child 12 or Adult seat belt Adult seat belt must be Driver 13, or over must be worn if worn if available 135cms available (approx 4’ 5”) in height Adult passen- Seat belt must be Seat belt must be worn if Passenger gers worn if available available 14



Dumfries Group of Advanced Motorists can help you be safer on the road, in all situations - find out more here.


Don’t let it be you! The ethical driver Whether you rely on your vehicle for work or just for pleasure there are things you can do to reduce emissions and cut the amount of fuel used. Why not consider some of these actions which may also increase your safety? Drive defensively - avoiding harsh braking, steering and acceleration cuts pollution and fuel use. Concentrate and anticipate the actions others may take. Drive smoothly - this can reduce wear and tear, cut emissions and improve your fuel consumption. Check your tyre pressures regularly, under inflated tyres = more fuel used. Think about your use of speed, the faster you go the more fuel you use. Driving (illegally) at 80mph causes more pollution and fuel use than at 70mph. Switch off if you are stuck in a jam - it cuts fuel use and emissions. Plan your journeys to avoid congestion and roadworks when you can. Avoid short journeys if you can. A cold engine creates more pollution and can use twice as much fuel. Drive off immediately when starting from cold, it can take 5 miles before your catalytic converter becomes fully effective. Roof or bike racks, driving with the window open at speed, using air conditioning unnecessarily all increase fuel consumption and emissions.

Membership renewal It’s time to renew your membership for the forthcoming year, included with this newsletter is the renewal form. If you’ve not already completed a Gift Aid Declaration please do so as it provides a significant benefit to the Group. Please note that if you have completed the declaration in the past it is still valid so there is no need to complete that section again. The Inland Revenue remind those who have completed a gift aid declaration that they must continue to pay income tax or CGT each year in excess of the value of the gift aid benefit for it to remain valid - otherwise let our Treasurer know. 17


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

Approaching Traffic Lights Associates sometimes ask about the best way to approach traffic lights. Here we’ll aim to give some advice on how to negotiate this type of hazard. LIGHTS ON RED - If you see the lights at red in the far distance then by the skilful use of acceleration sense to reduce the speed of your vehicle, you may be able to manage your arrival so that the lights change to green by the time you get there. Not forgetting, of course, to check your mirrors before reducing your speed. You should be aware that almost 1 in 3 of all accidents are due to rear end shunts. The fact that you are slowing down increases the hazard from behind so you’ll need to monitor what’s happening there. If the lights do not change in your favour then you will need to stop. In the final stages of slowing to stop select a stopping point. If you are at the front then this will be before the Advanced Stop Line, if there is one. If traffic ahead is already stationary consider allowing sufficient space between you and the vehicle in front so that you can see their tyres meet the tarmac. If stopping on an incline then consider increasing this distance a little to guard against a “roll-back” situation. The stationary position you choose should allow you to pull around the vehicle in front, if for instance it breaks down. This position should also afford an escape route in the event of a vehicle behind being unable to stop in time, so for instance at temporary lights set up near a bend you may want to consider stopping well back to maximise your visibility to others, then moving up as the next vehicle arrives to join the queue. To provide some further level of protection consider showing your brake lights, even when stopped, (handbrake on), to help alert an inattentive driver behind. While in the stationary position constantly monitor your mirrors until at least two vehicles behind you are also stopped. However, even in this position constantly monitor for hazards and anticipate the movement of other road 18

users as well as the present and future traffic flow through the lights. We should not forget either that in order to remain in control of our vehicle at all times your hands should remain on the steering wheel. After the lights change to green and before we move off check around the vehicle, including the blind spot, and of course check your mirrors, especially on the nearside one, for the cyclist who may be trying to access the Advanced Stop Line. Before crossing the intersection remember also to scan junctions to ensure our priority is not compromised by someone crossing after their lights have turned to red. LIGHTS ON GREEN - Approaching lights on green presents a different situation. You know they will, at some stage, turn against you, but not when. Should you speed up and try to beat the lights or hold your speed or even slow down in anticipation? Observing how long they have been on their current phase helps. Here you must pay recognition to the Highway Code, rule 151, which states “You MUST stop behind the white Stop line across your side of the road unless the light is green. If the amber light appears you may go on only if you have already crossed the stop line or are so close to it that to stop might cause an accident.� When approaching lights on green therefore, do not speed up to try and get through them before they change against you. Maintain your speed or even reduce it slightly. What you should do all the while however, is anticipate that the lights will, at some point, change against you. With this knowledge in mind check your mirrors to see who is following and how far behind they are. As you get closer to the lights bear in mind the following traffic. Clearly if someone is close behind and the lights change to amber as you close on the lights then you have to decide if stopping may result in an accident. If this could occur then continuing through the lights may be the safest course of action. In the same situation without traffic close behind then the decision may be to stop. The ultimate judgement will need to be taken at the time and will depend on the traffic and just how far away from the lights you are when they begin to change against you. The important point however is that when approaching lights always check your mirrors so you know who is behind and, in the case of lights on green, anticipate them changing against you. Be prepared to stop but modify your decision based on the other traffic, especially if an accident might result. 19

Try this system for successful parking in a bay Start with the driver aligned with the centre of the empty bay and one door width from the vehicles to be parked next to.

Drive forward slowly whilst applying full right lock - look for other traffic and pedestrians as you go.

Monitor the offside door mirror; when the vehicle behind (on the offside) just comes into view straighten up and stop. Best apply the handbrake before reverse.

Drive straight back for about 1 metre, again looking out for other traffic and pedestrians as you go.

Then apply full left lock, a minor steering adjustment might be needed to ensure your vehicle is heading for the centre of the bay.

Finally fine tune your position, if necessary, as you reverse fully into the bay, stopping without overhanging the pavement. 20

A method for parallel parking - try it if you have problems The starting position is approximately 1 metre away from the car to be parked behind and the steering wheel about level with the front of it. Reverse back slowly, looking out for other traffic and pedestrians until the door pillars of your car are about level with the offside door mirror of the car alongside Now apply full left lock as you reverse slowly - keep looking for hazards. Monitor the offside mirror, when the car behind comes into view and you see its number plate Straighten the wheels, keep reversing slowly. Look for hazards - don’t forget to look through the driver’s door window and windscreen for approaching road users When the nearside door mirror is in line with the centre of the vehicle to be parked behind apply full right lock until your vehicle is parallel with the kerb Then straighten the wheels. Dependant on the size of the gap and the relative size of your car and the car you’re parking behind you may have to make some minor adjustments as you go Remember ‘practice makes perfect’ 21

Ron! A Word In Your Shell Like - Russell Wears Do you fill up at the petrol station, bemoaning the price and occasionally shopping around? Is it just a case of choosing the cheapest or might there be another angle to consider? BP and Shell would like you to think so, and they both offer “performance” petrol as an alternative to ordinary unleaded but are there any justification to their claims. Petrol is a complex melange of hydrocarbons and additives but put simply, petrol is composed of two basic hydrocarbons – Pentane and Octane. The percentage of Octane in the mix is essentially the RON you see on the petrol pump. 95 RON petrol has 95% Octane and 5% Pentane, broadly speaking. The additives are a small percentage of the total mix and are mainly, lubricants, detergents and aids to combustion.. You might like to consider the possibility of changing to a more expensive and better quality petrol, consequently reducing your fuel consumption. The first thing to consider is whether or not the basic unleaded petrol you are buying is the best petrol for your car. Your owner’s manual should tell you the best RON rating to use, and it will probably tell you your engine will run equally well on lesser RON petrol without damage. If your engine is designed for 95 RON petrol, then that’s what you should use, it’s the standard unleaded petrol in the UK. Your engine won’t run any better using 98 RON petrol, just cost you more. SHELL offer their Optimax petrol rated at 98 RON and claim it will deliver an economy and performance benefit, BP market their Ultimate petrol and make the same claims. But are they right? Since June 2005, SHELL Optimax has been used in a Volvo S60 with a 2.0 litre, 5 cylinder, 20v turbocharged engine which Volvo recommend runs on 98 RON petrol. The petrol consumption has been carefully recorded both before the change and after. The car had been using 95 RON petrol up until then. Volvo confirms that no damage will have been done to the engine, so what about the results? Almost immediately an improvement of around 3 mpg was achieved with an apparent mid range edge to the acceleration. Apparent, because there is always a danger of seeing something that’s not there especially when you’ve just spent £60 filling the tank! But the petrol consumption is a recorded fact. Nevertheless, the mid range improvements have become noticeable, nothing spectacular but there all the same. What is more noticeable is that the engine is smoother and quieter. Also, and unexpectedly, was an improvement in engine performance approaching the 6000 rpm level. Before, on the 95 RON petrol, a degree of vibration and unwillingness to rev further was evident. This has now gone with using the better grade petrol - cheap supermarket petrol had been used previously. As a consequence, overtaking is a more assured and a safer manoeuvre. 22

A quick calculation (cost of petrol verses reduced consumption) shows a saving £7 in every 1000 miles. Not a lot, but it is a saving and a much improved (and safer) driving experience is gained. You may be able to benefit too, check out the SHELL and BP web sites and, of course, your owner’s manual. Don’t forget BP Ultimate petrol is available at St Michael Street filling station, Dumfries, a generous and consistent supporter of the Dumfries IAM group. It looks like there is something to this after all. If these benefits can be gained with car engines of modest performance, what would be the effects on a high revving bike engine?

Help at hand

Dumfries & Galloway Group of Advanced Motorists and Motorcyclists Guidance Pages

For those of you who don’t know there is a guidance section on the Group web site where resources such Home as help sheets and handObserver’s Corner books can be accessed and Cornering & Posidownloaded.

Guidance Pages home

In these pages you will find a selection of guidance resources which may be of use to any driver and in particular to Advanced Skills & those of you who are interested in preparing for, or have already taken the Advanced Driving Test. overtaking tioning

To find out what’s available just navigate to <DGGAMM Guidance Documents> in the menu at

Secretary’s Report - Helen Cameron We are now half way through the IAM’s centenary year and continue to be very busy indeed. Most of the free young people’s places have been taken up and our Observers are working very hard to get them through the course as quickly as possible. As always it would be great to have some more Observers so if you would like to sharpen up your already advanced skills and help the group at the same time then please get in touch with myself or Alan Jones. This year, to help give Observers a more professional appearance when out with Associates, we have bought polo shirts with the group name and IAM logo (black with green for bikes and red for cars). Some members have asked to buy one, if you are interested please let me know, they’re £10 each. The annual 10 pin bowling challenge v Carlisle Group and the 3 way quiz with Carlisle and Westmoreland will be in October or November (dates yet to be finalised) so let me know if you’d like to take part and/ or support the teams. I would like to congratulate our new group members who have successfully passed their advanced tests in the last few months. Car- Ryan McGarvey, Brian Godfrey, Alison McGarva, Darren McGarva, Paula Docherty, Ronald Jardine, Natalie Richardson, Robert Marchbanks, Patricia Acres, Alison Robertson. Motorcycle- Jenny James, Neil Thomson, Alan McKean, John Higgons, Brian Wells, Jamie Woods, David Lockwood, David Hamblin, Christine Donaldson. 23

50 tips to improve your driving - white lines Marking the IAM's 50th anniversary this year it continues to provide weekly driving tips to the press - you can read them all on the IAM web site at; below is an example. White lines are a familiar part of the road landscape, but they all do a different job. The information they are intended to impart varies, despite the fact to the busy driver they all look the same. As a rule of thumb, the more paint there is on the road surface, the more danger or potential danger there is at that point. For example, do you know the difference between a short white line on the middle of the carriageway and a longer white line? The first marks the boundary of the lane, without any other information. The second also warns of a hazard: a potential danger point. How about if there are two solid white lines running down the middle of the carriageway? This is to divide two opposing lanes of traffic and you cannot cross it except in certain specific circumstances - turning into/out of an entrance, passing a stationary vehicle or overtaking slow-moving vehicles, pedal cycles or horses. From time to time you will see a single solid white line, coupled with a dotted one, either on your side of the carriageway or the other. The line nearest your side of the road is the important one if it is solid, the rule above applies! One that gets forgotten sometimes is that it is an offence to park where there are double white lines in the centre of the road - even if there is room. If you are ever uncertain of the meaning of a white line, make a point of checking the Highway Code. Things do change and it is quite important to keep up to date with new markings - or even reintroduce yourself to those you may have forgotten.

If you would like your company details to appear in the next issue of ADVANCE and help sponsor our charitable work please e-mail the editor for details of our rates. 24

Summary of recent IAM Fact Sheets

Something for your driving plan

These are aimed at helping you become a safer driver/rider and enjoy your time on the road more. You can download them from or speak to Helen. No.


21/001 Safety Cameras 20/001 Successful Towing Techniques 19/001 Driving Attitudes

Food for thought

Occupants of cars are 27 times more likely to be killed for every kilometre they 17/001 Sharing the Road with Cyclists travel than air and rail passengers combined and 13.5 times more likely to die 16/001 Use of Gears & Adv Driving than bus and coach passengers. 18/001 Emergency Vehicles

15/001 Driver Fatigue

14/001 Driving in Wet Weather

More people die on the road between midnight and 5am than at any other time

13/001 The 'School Run'

A pedestrian hit by a vehicle travelling at 12/001 Scooter Riders should be styl- 20mph has a 95% chance of surviving. At 40 mph the chance drops to just 9% ish but SAFE - so check your speed as you go. 11/001 Personal Safety on the Road

IAM President active at the Motor Show Seen here is F1 Racing legend and President of the Institute of Advanced Motorists Nigel Mansell OBE at the ExCeL Motor Show this summer signing special limited edition copies of “How to be an advanced driver” – the official IAM manual. Recent IAM News Releases all available at: Life without motorways

Aug 06

One quarter of motorway drivers “an accident waiting to happen”

July 06

Mansell To Make Motorists' Day At ExCeL

July 06

"M25 Drivers" Put Skill First In Safety Survey

July 06

New Parking Regime Plan Should Reduce Road Rage

June 06

Child Death Figures Still Unacceptable

June 06

Insurance Boost for IAM Bikers

May 06 25

AUTUMN Autumn06  

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