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The Newsletter of RoADA South East Essex Group The ‘System’ of car control

For more information see Roadcraft and our website. Issue 18

October 2013

Scott Mildren


Deputy Chairman Steve Andrews Secretary

Mervyn Whitney


Alison Morris

Publicity Officer Newsletter Editor Terry Joyce

Editorial Hello, The dates for our group meeting in 2014 are now published, please make a note in your diaries please. They are at the back of this newsletter or on our website.

We’ve had St Jude’s storm, winter is coming, so prepare yourself and your car. See the RoSPA website for lots of driving tips and information.

We have set up a Facebook page. Can you have look please and like the page. We will start to add more to this as the numbers looking at it rise.

Terry Joyce

to our members who have taken a test. Name



Lee Walker


Merv Whitney

Scott Mildren

Gold (retest)

Terry Joyce

Karl Bates


Merv Whitney

Howard Becker

Bronze (retest)

John Ockmore

Tom Rogers


Merv Whitney

Clive Smith

Gold (retest)

Merv Whitney

Paul Watkin


Ron Adams

Alistair Barnwell


John Ockmore

To our new members: Andrew Barfield, Sue McClellan, Jill Winn, Nadia Rogers, Karen Lashley, Simon Taylor, Stephanie Thurkettle, Sabiha Ali, Andy Berry and Stephen Cornish.

Roadcraft August 2013 saw the release of the latest edition of Roadcraft, The Police Driver’s Handbook. It has been updated to reflect recent changes in the legislative framework surrounding driving and emergency response driving and new methodologies in teaching safe driving. It now also incorporates information on automotive engineering advances such as ABS and Sat Nav devices and their effect on driving. A new chapter has been added to teach drivers the physical and psychological aspects of driving and how to develop mental skills to become a better driver. The foreword reads: Roadcraft is the official police driver’s handbook and is widely used by the other emergency services. This new edition has been prepared through careful consultation with senior police, other emergency services and civilian driving instructors experienced in advanced driver training. It incorporates the best and most reliable parts of previous editions with the latest knowledge in this rapidly developing field. While designed to complement driver training and practice, Roadcraft is a valuable learning aid for anyone who wishes to raise their driving competence to a higher level. I will read through this new edition and provide my perception of the changes and the new sections. Continued on Page 5

Roadcraft continued

Let us begin. It is approximately 5mm thicker. The old edition had 176 pages whereas the new edition has 268. It now has thirteen chapters, instead of ten. In the section titled ‘About Roadcraft’, ‘The importance of practice’ has been renamed ‘Personal risks, practice, and self-assessment’. The key to be a good driver is being aware of your weaknesses and the way you drive and being able to assess that. It also states that reading the book is not enough on its own there is a need to practice and applying the skills that you learn consistently. The contents pages at the front of the book list all the main headings plus a selective list of the most useful sub-headings and there is a comprehensive index starting on page 264. Chapters 1 and 2 are the foundations for the later chapters. At the beginning of each chapter there is a list of ‘Learning outcomes’ and at the end of the chapter a checklist of the understanding that you should acquire from the chapter. At this stage I would like to mention another book. The Human Aspects of Police Driving by Gordon Sharp. This book was written as a reference companion to Roadcraft in 1997 and well worth a read. The fact is that even highly trained and skilled police advanced drivers occasionally make mistakes leading to a collision, so what hope do we have. Well as long as we able to assess our own driving honestly it is a good start. Chapter 1 is titled ‘Becoming a better driver’ and focuses on the personal qualities that are essential for safe and competent driving. If you haven’t got a copy, I suggest you get one. Roadcraft can be bought from most book stores or online stores, have a look at and use police drivers handbook as the search criterion. More in the next edition. Terry Joyce

Observation & Observation Links At some stage I will be looking at this as part of the ‘Roadcraft’ review but I think it is essential to improve our observation skills to be able to plan our driving and be fully systematic in our approach. We use several senses to gather information as we drive but vision is used the most and accounts for around 95% of these senses. We use vision to spot hazards, judge distances and widths etc. So how do we improve our observation. We need to develop a scan that suits us. I can say we need to look as far up the road as possible. Yes we need to do that but not only that. If we were to only focus on the end of the road, we would not see the car right in front of us. Our eyes were not designed for driving. We are the result of hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. Our eyes, and the way that our brain processes the images that they receive, are very well suited to creeping up on unsuspecting antelopes and spotting threats such as sabre-toothed tigers but these threats are largely gone and they’ve been replaced by vehicles. The scan we use must build up a picture in our brain of everything around our car and it should not be just limited to the road in front and behind us. One tool that we can use to help us build the picture is the use of Observation links. An Observation link is spotting something in your field of vision whilst driving that gives a clue to something else potentially happening. One of the commonest is noticing that all the houses have their bins out, leading to the conclusion that there may be a slow-moving bin lorry somewhere in the vicinity, perhaps around the next bend. Observation links tend to brighten up a commentary and the more far-fetched they are the better. I once managed to work a Portaloo into my commentary. Another of my favourites is Equine Defecation otherwise known as Horse S**t. If it looks fairly fresh, it is reasonable to expect a horse to be around the next bend. It is important for us to store these links and what if scenarios in our brain, because when we see them again, our brain is able to process them quicker than if we have just seen them and have to think what they mean. Good spotting. Terry Joyce

Changes in The Official Highway Code (Revised 2007) Š Crown copyright 2007

Road users requiring extra care Other vehicles 220

Powered vehicles used by disabled people. These small vehicles travel at a maximum speed of 8 mph (12 km/h). On a dual carriageway where the speed limit exceeds 50 mph (80 km/h) they MUST have a flashing amber beacon, but on other roads you may not have that advance warning (see Rules 36 to 46 inclusive). Law RVLR reg 17(1) & 26

The 50mph as been added and Rules 36 to 46 are a new section for users of powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters


Vehicles with flashing amber beacons. These warn of a slow-moving or stationary vehicle (such as a Traffic Officer vehicle, salt spreader, snow plough or recovery vehicle) or abnormal loads, so approach with caution. On unrestricted dual carriageways, motor vehicles first used on or after 1 January 1947 with a maximum speed of 25 mph (40 km/h) or less (such as tractors) MUST use a flashing amber beacon (also see Rule 220). Law RVLR 1989, reg 17

The wording has been increased and modified Rules for class 3 invalid carriages Because class 3 invalid carriages can be used on the road they need to meet certain extra rules. Otherwise you could be stopped by the police. Class 3 invalid carriages need the following features: a maximum unladen weight of 150 kilograms, a maximum width of 0.85 metres, a device to limit its speed to 4mph, a maximum speed of 8mph, an efficient braking system, front and rear lights and reflectors, direction indicators able to operate as a hazard warning signal, an audible horn, a rear view mirror, and an amber flashing light if it’s used on a dual carriageway See Link below to online Highway Code

Internet Links The links below are to websites that you may have an interest in. Please let me know if any of them are not working. Email me if you think of any websites that may be of interest.

Highway Code online

Know your traffic signs


Drive Alive

This is a picture that I took recently showing the A127 at Rayleigh.

Our Group meetings are held in the Village Hall at Rawreth Located in Church Road, the post code is SS11 8SH.

Group Nights 2014 Wednesday 22nd January Wednesday 30th April Wednesday 30th July Wednesday 29th October

Make a note in your diary!

See our website for links to Google Earth and Streetmap. Bedloes Corner is the junction on the A1245 with Rawreth Lane and Church Road. It is controlled by traffic lights. From the North: You cannot turn right. See the arrows on the diagram. You turn left just before the lights and then turn right. You can then enter Church Road by going straight on at the lights. From the south: A1245 turn left at traffic lights For anyone approaching from the Wickford/Shotgate direction the hall can be reached via the A129, turn left into the old London road, passing The Chichester. There is a width restriction when you enter Church Road.

In4mation 18 october13  

Newsletter of South East Essex Advanced Drivers

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