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The Newsletter of Chelmsford Advanced Motorists Issue 106 June & July 2014 IAM Group 7223 Registered Charity No 1059372

Congratulations Here are some of our successful members receiving their certificate from our Chairman Scott Bannister My very grateful thanks go to the wonderful Scott Bannister for 16 hours of instruction and company. They also go to Pat Clements for taking me out on a mock test and to Derek Wheddon for the test and passing me. Anne Culverwell

Brian Chilton

I spent several months with Scott, and under his watchful eye and advice continued to hone my driving skills. It was of course a delight, to pass the IAM test achieving a F1RST, and my thanks goes to him for the preparation he gave me in advance of my test. Paul Watkin

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Forthcoming Group Meetings These are usually held on the 2nd Monday of each month at the Essex Police Sports and Social Club, Which is through the Police vehicle park at the very end of St. Margarets Road, Chelmsford. Group Meetings start promptly at 8pm, so please arrive at around 7.45pm.


Associates, Full Members & Guests Welcome Date



Monday 14th July

Transport Research Laboratory Meeting will start at 7.30pm for this month only

Marcus Jones

Monday 11th August

A Magistrate talks

Peter Dowse

Make a note in your diary and please be there! Disclaimer—Please note that the views and opinions expressed in this Newsletter are those of the individual writers and they do not necessarily reflect those of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, nor those of the Chelmsford and District Group of Advanced Motorists. Their accuracy has not been verified. Notice—Data Protection Act: records are held of members personal details submitted on their application form. The information will be used solely for the Group’s administration purposes and will not be passed to any third party.

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to our new Associate and Full Members. We look forward to seeing and talking to them at our monthly Group nights Norman Smith


Geoffrey Andrews


Lee Walker


Noeline Mayhew


David Seaman


Charles Proctor


Melissa Baker


Alex Garrett


Hazel Mckinlay


We are a friendly bunch, so don’t be worried about coming to our Group nights if you are on your own. Make yourself known to John who will greet you at the desk, he will find one of us to come and talk to you. John will also try to get you to part with some money for the raffle. There will be Senior Observers, Observers and generally an Examiner at the evening and you will be able to get answers to any questions that you have. Please come along, we’ll even give you tea or coffee and there is a bar - for light refreshments obviously! Terry Joyce My Story I came to IAM by way of a slightly different route to some people, in that after promising myself for many years to undertake some advanced driver training, I finally got-around to it in 2012. I firstly explored RoSPA. After spending almost a year with my RoSPA Tutor, was pleased to have passed the test and achieve a good grade in the process. I was keen to explore IAM as well. In part, because of the excellent activities which I found that were offered by the Chelmsford Group, and in part because I thought it would be good to achieve recognition through IAM too. So I then spent several months with Scott, and under his watchful eye and advice continued to hone my driving skills. It was of course a delight, to pass the IAM test achieving a F1RST, and my thanks goes to him for the preparation he gave me in advance of my test. I'm now pondering the possibility of investigating 'Masters' course in the future. But above all else hope that along with other IAM (and indeed RoSPA) members, to play if only a small part in helping to make our roads a safer and more pleasant place to be. Onwards and Upwards! Paul Watkin

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Congratulations to these latest Members of our Group who have Passed

‘The Test’. Roll No


Test Date



Carole Hogg

10th April

Brian Willamson


Tim Wakeman

18th April

Clifford Murira


Gill Thomson

1st May

Roger Spall


Simon Tolaini

17th May

Scott Bannister


David Sheppard

19th May

Scott Bannister

See pages 2, 27 and the back page for photos of our members receiving their certificates. To all those people who have passed their test: It would be appreciated if you could write a few words thanking your Observer and maybe something about the process and your test, to give those New Associates an insight into the process of learning Advanced Driving. Please remember: Do telephone both your Observer and Scott Bannister ( Associates Co-ordinator ) immediately after your test.

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From the Chairman Isn’t nature wonderful? I’m no farmer but I know some good growing when I see it and the bushes/grasses/weeds at the side of our roads are having a bit of a boom. It’s fine if you want to go along the A12, but head off the beaten track on to some of the narrow lanes and vision has crashed from the glory days of Winter. It shouldn’t come as a surprise – after all, it happens every year, but I reckon this year is particularly strong growth. Whether this translates into bumper crops and the price of bread tumbling I doubt, but you never know. Of course it could be that the cash-strapped local authority doesn’t have enough dosh to trim the road edges but whatever the cause, in a low slung car like mine I sometimes feel I’m driving in a tunnel. Now you may be inclined to suggest I get one of those high mpv-type vehicles, beloved of the mums picking up children from school but it would have to get really bad before I’d consider such a drastic step. These cars fall just below disabled (automatic) cars in my list of least favourite vehicles. Apologies to all of you driving either of these monstrosities but some day you will acknowledge the wisdom in what I say….then again, you may not !! Interesting to see in the news that Google is experimenting seriously with driverless cars. It may well work in the land of the free where they don’t know what a bend is and where roundabouts are mythical things but I think we are a long way from getting anybody to go through the Army & Navy in a car with no steering wheel. Talking of this fine edifice, isn’t it wonderful that the council (bless ‘em) are shelling out lots of our hard-earned cash to improve our local disaster area. It’s difficult to tell but it looks like they are doing a wonderful job of improving one of the exits from the roundabout. Perhaps you have a different experience but apart from the badly sited pedestrian lights I’ve never had a problem exiting from the roundabout. Entering from all 5 directions has had me tearing my hair out, but never on the way out. Still it is gratifying to know they are fixing a problem that doesn’t exist – fair chance of them being successful though. Enough of my cynicism – enjoy the Summer.


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~~~~~~~~ Editorial ~~~~~~~~ Hello, It was agreed at our last Committee meeting that all new members would receive their copy of Forward Vision electronically. This is because the cost of printing it and postage is our group’s largest expense. Existing members will continue to receive a hard copy unless they wish to receive it electronically. Please see our accounts on page 11 to see how much this newsletter costs. Thank you to those of you that have contributed to this edition. Please keep the letters and articles coming. Please check out page 25 for our group nights in 2014. There will be more information about them and any events that we are organising in the next edition. Many Thanks to Sue Sweetland for her patient and educated assistance in producing this Newsletter.

Please note that the July Group night will start at 7.30pm because of the distance our guest speaker is coming from.

Terry Joyce Please contact me by email at

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Annual Reports to the AGM Chairman and Chief Observer Well, time for a bit of reminiscing on the year past. Was it a vintage year? I suppose it varies from person to person but for the group it’s been more of a holding pattern than one of growth or decline. Being at the discretionary spending side of life, we have found the recession tough in terms of new recruits. There has been a steady stream, but not the same numbers we once had. That said, it takes the pressure off observers. They continue to give of their time and we should all be grateful for what they have done over the years. As a committee, we spend much of our talking time on how to drag more people through the door. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we don’t but we are willing to try anything. We try to make people flexible in their driving – no harm in extending that flexibility to how the Group operates. Like all committees, a fresh supply of ideas is required for long term survival so we would welcome anybody on board that’s willing to attend six meetings a year. Not a great commitment, but very important for the long-term survival of the Group. I know I tend to harp on a bit about the extra events we run like the skid pan and the Driver Experience Day at Dunton but there is a reason. They put a smile on people’s faces and provide a bit of education too. It’s the first part I like most. There aren’t many things you can do that put a smile on faces. So give them a go if you get the chance – or have another go if you’ve already done them. From an organisational point of view, they are often a bit of a pain in the rear, but I soon forget that when I go along on the day. So, in conclusion – not a great deal of change to report. No revolution took place or looks likely to do so…….unless anybody has idea how we could/should. I and the rest of the committee are always open to suggestions – as long as they are physically possible !! Scott Bannister Group Secretary's Report 2014 The AGM marks the end of my first year as secretary taking over from Colin Snow who had many years of experience. I believe the year has been successful with a wide and varied program of events. If anyone has ideas of subject matter for future meetings please forward to any member of the committee. I attended the IAM conference last year held at Warwick University. This was the third conference I have attended. The first I found reasonably entertaining as the highlight was a talk by the original (black suited) Stig from Top Gear. A new format was then introduced to break attendees into small groups to discuss member's views about various aspects of the institute. The theme of the last event was amalgamating smaller groups to create "super groups". Continued on Page 9

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Group Secretary’s Report continued.

This has already happened in some parts of the country leading some to travel 50 miles or more to attend a meeting. It is believed by Chiswick that this will create stronger groups. It will be very interesting to gain the views of the Chelmsford Group of who we could join with and perceived pros and cons. Although I have only been in post for a year I would be happy to pass the baton to another member if anyone is interested. Don't worry you will not have to attend the conference unless you had a desperate desire to go! Steve Wright

Membership Secretary’s Report 2014 The current membership position as at 31st May 2014 is as follows:Associates (Current)


Full Members


Social Members




This shows a slight increase since the same time last year, but we are always seeking new associates, so keep ‘ spreading the word’. One pleasing feature is that more and more members are paying subscriptions by standing order, with only one or two continuing to prefer payment by cheque each month. On the issue of standing orders, there have been a small number of members who have sent their SO form direct to their bank. I must ask that SO forms are returned to me in order to be entered on the database – it creates confusion if I am unable to monitor all aspects of subscription payment, and the database distinguishes between the two payment methods. End of nag!! Stay safe and enjoy your Advanced Motoring Ken Carrington

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Treasurer’s Report The Group’s accounts for the year ended the 31 March 2014 have been examined and they are set out together with the figures for 2012/2013. For the year the Group had a small surplus of £257.19 mainly due to a reduction in the cost of postage as in previous years stamps had been purchased in advance of announced increase in price. It is pleasing to note that the level of income received from renewals remains at a high level. Once again the major expense to the Group is the publication and posting of Forward Vision and it has been decided that to manage costs any new members will only receive this publication electronically. We continue to benefit from Gift Aid reclaims and if you are a taxpayer and have not signed up for this please contact me and I will provide you with a form – there is not a cost to you and for every £10 the Group receives by way of donation it can claim back £2.50 from HMRC. The financial position of the Group is still strong and we have assets in the Charity account of £11,298. In view of this, at the moment we do not consider there is a need for those that are making the £10pa donation to the Group to be asked to consider a higher figure. We are aware that it is the wish of the Charity Commission that we do not retain a high level of assets as they should be used to promote the Charity. We continually look at further ways of using the funds we have to promote our objectives and in 2013/2014 we increased our level of newspaper advertising with the aim of encouraging more drivers to undertake the Skills for Life course. In respect of the Social Account, there was a small surplus last year and the balance to be carried forward is £4,143. John Johnston, Honorary Treasurer.

A Local Gem Leading classic car specialist JD Classics marks the fifth anniversary of its popular Sunday Breakfast Mornings with two events in 2014, on 15 June and 16 November The 15 June JD Classics Breakfast Morning being held almost five years to the date of the very first JD Breakfast. If you get a chance go along but be aware these mornings are extremely popular and it can be difficult to park. Wycke Hill Business Park, Wycke Hill, Maldon. CM9 6UZ Terry Joyce Page 10

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Chelmsford & District Group of Advanced Motorists Income & Expenditure account for the year to 31 March 2014

Income Gift Aid Full Member Renewals Associate member joining fees 4x4 days Skid pan Newsletter Book Sales Donations Expenditure Other Books General admin & room hire Telephone & Postage Printing & Stationary Travel 4x4 Days Skid Pan Newsletter Surplus for Year

£510.65 £3,065.00 £1,358.00

ye 31/3/2013 £604.72 £2,987.50 £1,294.00

£240.00 £480.00 £0.00 £0.00 £58.56


£240.00 £360.00 £100.00 £0.00 £128.06



£1,312.39 £221.66 £306.60 £1,077.58 £700.40 £514.60 £0.00 £432.00 £2,367.60


£1,017.28 £6.51 £304.25 £638.00 £110.60 £288.38 £250.00 £550.00 £2,290.00


Gen Fund Bal bf 11/12 cqs outstanding Surplus for year on activities 11/12 cq outstanding 200199 Gen Fund Bal cf Capital Assets Virgin Deposit Int 2013/2014 Total Assets Social Fund bf 12/13 cqs outstanding Surplus for year 13/14 cqs os Bal cf

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£3,734.37 -£357.15 £257.19 £33.54 £3,667.95 £7,500.00 £130.19

£7,630.19 £11,298.14 £3,914.83 -£21.98 £82.41 £168.00 £4,143.26

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The Chelmsford & District Group of Advanced Motorists 18th Annual General Meeting – Monday 14 July 2014. The Group’s Annual General Meeting is scheduled to be held at the Essex Police Sports & Social Club on 14th July 2014. The business will commence after our speaker and is expected to last for about 10 minutes. Agenda Apologies for absence. Minutes of the last meeting (AGM on 10 June 2013). Matters arising from the Minutes. Reports from the Chairman, Secretary, Membership Secretary and Treasurer. Adoption of the Accounts. Election of the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Committee members. Any Other Business. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Election of Group Officers & Committee Members Under rule 3.3.4 the following Group Officers retire:Scott Bannister – Chairman Steve Wright – Group Secretary John Johnston – Treasurer Pat Clements and Gary Silver are NOT standing for re election. Scott Bannister, Steve Wright & John Johnston offer themselves for re-election. Nominations for the positions of Chairman, Group Secretary and Treasurer are invited. Also under Rule 3.3.4 the following Committee Member retires by rotation and offer themselves for re-election:John Ockmore (Committee nomination form See Page 13) Nominations are invited from Full Members to stand for the Committee. The Nominee must be willing to stand for the Committee and sign the Nomination form. By signing the Nomination form, the Nominee is affirming his / her ability and intention, if elected, to attend Committee meetings regularly. All officers and one third of all other Committee Members must retire annually by rotation and may offer themselves for re-election by Group Full Members (Rule3.3). Please note: Those elected become Charity Trustees of the Group. You must not stand for Committee if the law debars you from being a Charity Trustee. Only fully paid-up members of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and of the Group may nominate Committee Members or be nominated as Committee Members. The nomination form must be returned to the Group Secretary (Steve Wright, 15 Elm Walk, Rayne, Braintree, Essex CM77 6ES) no later than 20 June 2013. Note: The number of Committee members including the officers must not exceed twenty. PLEASE consider standing for the committee, we only meet 6 times a year. Steve Wright Group Secretary

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Chelmsford & District Group of Advanced Motorists Minutes of the 17th Annual General Meeting 2013 held on 10 June At the Essex Police Sports & Social Club, Chelmsford, Essex The meeting commenced at 20:00. Colin Snow sent apologies for his absence Minutes of the previous AGM were accepted with no matters arising – a motion to accept the minutes was proposed by Tony Marchant, seconded by Sue Sweetland and was passed unanimously. Officers reports, were published in the recent newsletter and the motion to accept the reports was proposed by Pat Clements, seconded by Tom Gardiner and was passed unanimously. The accounts were circulated on the evening within the latest newsletter. The motion to accept the accounts was proposed by Ken Carrington, seconded by Sue Sweetland and passed unanimously. Scott Bannister noted that, somewhat unwillingly, he was prepared to stand for Chairman for a further year. In accordance with the rules, the Secretary and Treasurer completed their term in office John Johnston offered himself for re-election. CS did not. The election of SB and JJ were proposed by Tony Marchant, seconded by Steve Wright and passed unanimously. SB proposed Steve Wright for Secretary and this was seconded by John Johnston and passed unanimously. In accordance with the rules where one third of the committee retire each year by rotation three committee members retired and offered themselves for re-election. These were Terry Joyce, John Stone and Ken Howard. SB proposed their re-election. This was seconded by Sue Sweetland and passed unanimously. There being no other business, the meeting closed at 20.06


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Nominated by

Seconded by

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Common Confusions The IAM have issued a document called Common Confusions to issue some central guidance in relation to the subject of both Observing and Examining within the IAM. This document has been produced in consultation with Staff Examiners across the country and will be added to as any further ‘confusions’ are identified. Maybe I would use misinterpretation rather than confusion. To see the full Common Confusions Document. Follow the link below and select common confusions-car. I would just like to show you a few of the points in the document. Item 9 states: ‘Mini roundabout stalemate – clarification: Highway code rule 184, 185, 188, 189, 190 (HC revised 2007) applies. If a Candidate has stopped at the give way line to give priority to traffic from the right then they have fulfilled your obligations within the confines of the Highway Code. If the vehicle from the right is not going to move (because they are waiting for the vehicle from their right who, in turn, is waiting for the vehicle from their right who is probably waiting for the Candidate) then they should cautiously make the first move and proceed. Do not wave vehicles on.’ I totally agree with item 9, especially the word cautiously. Item 10 states: ‘Misconception – Neutral must always be selected when stationary in traffic: This is not true. Neutral should be selected when the Candidate is likely to be stationary for some time. This counts towards the test competencies of Vehicle Sympathy. To not select neutral is not a test failure on its own but might contribute with other faults to an eventual failure.’ I would like to add my view on this. If you arrive at a junction and you cannot go, start to count; 1, 2, 3, 4 and If you still can’t go I’d be inclined to put on the handbrake, take a deep breath, there’s nothing that you can do apart from look for information. By putting on your handbrake, you’ve stopped shining those bright red lights in the eyes of the driver behind and freed up a tiny part of your subconscious mind. This may help you to make a better decision when you see that gap. Item 11 states: ‘Definition clarification: ‘Off siding’ = the crossing of the centre line/hazard line, (or in the absence of such lines, the centre of the carriageway) in order to extend a view.’ I agree with the definition. Continued on page 15

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Common Confusions continued

Also in Item 11 is: ‘Off-siding – single track road clarification: In situations where there is no possibility of passing an oncoming vehicle due to the width of the road and in order to enable your presence to be seen earlier, this is acceptable, providing it is both advantageous and gives no risk of conflict.’ And ‘Off-siding (to extend view) – two-way carriageway clarification: Experience is showing that this is causing Candidates to put themselves in danger. The IAM actively discourages this practice and it is therefore not acceptable on test.’ On the above two items, I see where the IAM are coming from but don’t totally agree. What I do agree on is any of this type of manoeuvre, crossing the white/centre line of a carriageway HAS TO BE CARRIED OUT SAFELY. I’ll talk to some other Observers and try to give a more definitive response next time. What is your opinion? Item 12 states: ‘Set of open bends – straight-lining/trimming clarification: Trimming or straight-lining a set of open bends whilst acceptable on test must not be carried out if there is a risk of conflict with other road users or where it will inconvenience, confuse or cause alarm or distress, to others. If the Candidate compromises their own, or any other road user’s safety they will fail the test.’ I wrote an article called ‘A picture paints a thousand words’, in issue 96 of this newsletter explaining my understanding of crossing the white line. See pages 14 and 15. There are a few more items that I would like to comment on next time but in the meantime have a look at the document and let me know what you think. From the IAM document ‘Common Confusions’ edited by Terry Joyce

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Smart Motorways? England’s motorways are changing. Many now use a range of new technology to vary speed limits in response to driving conditions. These smart motorways make the hard shoulder available to traffic. This could be permanently or at particularly busy times of the day. These smart motor-ways are managed by The Highways Agency regional control centres. They use CCTV so that Highways Agency traffic officers can be deployed to incidents if they occur and help to keep traffic moving. The section of the M25 between junctions 5 and 6/7 is now running as a "smart" motorway and also Junctions 23-25, this will be extended to Junction27. See the link below for more information from the Highways Agency.

The hard shoulder has been converted for use as a permanent traffic lane. This, together with the introduction of enhanced on-road technology to manage traffic flow will improve the reliability of journey times, providing a boost for businesses and the wider economy. The new infrastructure and technology that has been added between junctions 5 and 7 includes: • 9 gantries that span both carriageways • 10 refuge areas • 13 emergency telephones • 88 overhead signals • 33 verge mounted signs • 38 CCTV cameras. As part of the smart motorway initiative, the new road layout for this section of the M25 will involve “all lane running”. This means the hard shoulder is permanently converted into a traffic lane on these sections of the motorway. Instead of the hard shoulder you will see regularly spaced emergency refuge areas, each one with an emergency telephone. They have also installed CCTV cameras to help spot incidents and deal with them as fast as possible. Put your hazard lights on to help. If you can’t make it to an emergency refuge, the smart motorway technology lets them close any lane by displaying a red “X” on the gantries, moving traffic away from the incident and keeping it clear for emergency vehicles. Do not drive in a lane with a red “X” displayed over it. All lane running increases the capacity of the motorway to reduce congestion and makes your journey more reliable. It does this at a lower cost and with less disruption than a traditional road widening scheme. Has anyone had experience of these sections of the M25? From The Highways Agency edited by Terry Joyce

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ASU Visit On Saturday 10th May a group of 18 members paid a visit to the Metropolitan Police Air Support Unit (ASU), based at Lippitts Hill in Epping Forest. Our host for this two hour tour was Constable Andy Cronkshaw. The Lippitts Hill site retains many listed buildings, from its time as a prisoner of war camp during World War II. The Metropolitan Police moved in during the 50s, but it wasn’t until 1980 that the ASU came into existence in its current form. We enjoyed an extremely interesting presentation on the role of the ASU – primarily suspect searches, photographic tasks, vehicle pursuit, missing persons, counter terrorism and public order. Unlike most other forces, the Met operate the Eurocopter EC145 aircraft, valued at around £5.5 million each. There are three machines based at Lippitts Hill, with two operational at any one time and the other in deep maintenance. The ASU is headed by an inspector and supported by three sergeants, 20 air observers, 10 constables, five engineers and five support staff. The sound of a siren warned us than an aircraft was about to take off and depart on a job, so we all stepped outside to watch at first hand. The pilot kindly performed a few manoeuvres for us, before heading off. Interestingly, although helicopters are renowned for their ability to take off and land vertically, they often use a short grass runway similar to a conventional aircraft. A tour of the hangar was next on our agenda, where one of the EC145s was in the process of being stripped down. This deep maintenance takes place after every 600 hours of flying. Upstairs in the hangar was the control room, where we were able to watch exactly what the airborne helicopter could see, on a series of wall mounted screens. We could also hear the ground controller communicating with the crew via VHF radio, and supporting the mission with additional information not otherwise available to the crew. Then back to the classroom to watch a couple of interesting videos, one of which starred three different blue minis being apprehended by the ASU to the soundtrack from the Italian Job! After a question and answer session, Andy received a round of applause from all of us for providing such a fascinating insight into his work. Thank you to Pat Clements for organising this visit. Tim Wakeman Page 17

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Commuting fun and safely I wonder if you, like me, have sometimes completed the commuter run from home to your destination in your vehicle and stopped for a second to think of whether you can actually remember the journey, or more often than not, were on ‘autopilot’? It occurred to me after passing my IAM test, that the occasions in my life when I have been closest to having an accident have been on the daily commuter run. I considered why this might be, and concluded that concentration is harder when you are bored, and boredom comes with repetitiveness, along with over familiarity and overconfidence, therefore it should not be surprising that a regular commuter run can effectively put you in a dangerous place. So, for fun, I invented a game that I call Key Stage Awareness. I challenge you to have a go at it and see if you are better than me. So what are the rules? Well let’s have a bit of background to my commute first and you can see how to make your own game. I commute on a scooter (and sometimes a car or motorbike) nearly every day from South Woodham to Wickford station. The journey is just over 6 miles and takes about 10-15 minutes at 06:45 in the morning. I decided to brighten up my morning commute by identifying hazards and labelling them Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2 etc. I did think Key Hazard was a more accurate name, but it’s a bit of a mouthful to remember – there’s something that trips off the tongue better when it’s KS1, KS2 and anyway it’s my game, so it’s my rules…. So between my house and the station I have identified 17 key major hazards that are there every day. There is a danger that identifying and tracking them means I don’t look for other transient ones, but generally at that time in the morning, it’s pretty quiet and these are the key ones to worry about. So Key Stage 1 is turning right out of my drive. It’s a quiet little drive onto a 30mph road, but it’s a key link road in the area so traffic is about and more importantly it wakes me up to focussing on the journey rather than thinking about what I have to do at work, and have I remembered all my papers, keys, wallet etc. I’m not going to list them all, but as examples: Key stage 2 is a pair of parked cars on a bend which are always there and make visibility around the bend hard. Key stage 5 is a T junction where joining traffic have a habit of not looking left before turning right in front of you. Key stage 7 is a major roundabout where traffic actively show no intention of stopping or allowing anyone to get in front of them.

Continued on Page 19

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Commuting fun and safely continued

Key stage 9 is where a dual carriageway narrows to single lane, and at exactly that point the road surface is very poor meaning mirrors on a bike/scooter are useless for checking for traffic cutting in late. Key stage 11 is a downhill 60mph ->40mph section with poor road surface where very occasionally a car or lorry will either pull out from a rarely used road or stop in front of you to turn into it. As it is a rare event and you are not expecting it on a normal commute it can be very dangerous in terms of stopping distances. Key stage 13 is a 30 mph speed camera! Key stage 15 is a junction on the left into the petrol station, immediately off of the exit to the roundabout, not cancelling an indicator immediately gives a false signal of turning left causing traffic to cut across you. You get the idea. Now the game is, having identified all of the Key stage hazards, and knowing there are 17 in total, it is to get to the end each morning having identified, remembered and checked all 17. I have invented new rules as I go along just to keep it interesting. For example I have picked three Mega Stages. My mega stages are KS5, 7, 9 & 13. Why? Well they are places that I’ve had near misses at. It is usually through other people’s erratic or dangerous driving, but if I’m honest, in some cases because I haven’t handled the hazard well too on occasion (including one broken wrist hitting some ice & diesel when I took a spill off my scooter a couple of years ago). If I get to the major roundabout (which is Key Stage7) and I’ve only got up to KS5 in my head I know I am not as alert as I should be as I’ve missed 2 and wake up a bit and pay attention. If I get to KS13 and my count is only at 12 I know I’m not doing too bad. If I get to the station and have forgotten to play the game, then I know I have a real problem with attention! Anyway have a go on your commute. Make up your own rules, be honest with yourself, let me know if you find it fun and helpful, but most of all, don’t take it too seriously, it’s just a way of relieving the boredom and trying to be a little safer en-route. Ray Hockley

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What terrific weather we've had in the last couple of weeks - my lovely "man who does" had just about got the garden sorted out before we had a nice amount of rain to encourage the runner beans. A few weeks ago, a friend and I went to Lakeside for a day. I know - it's not Mayfair but I needed a frock for a family "do" so we decided to have a girly day out. It's a while since I drove on the M25 and while those who know best were adding an extra lane, I hadn't exactly relished the prospect! As it turned out, the drive was really enjoyable we came across a couple of HGV drivers who pulled out without warning and then spent what felt like half an hour trying to pass one of their mates on the A12 but that's all in a day's work. I can still hear my old Driving Instructor telling me to assume that everyone else on the road is about to do something stupid! Susan Sweetland P.S. I found the frock and thoroughly enjoyed the party :-)

Our Observers Ron Adams

Graham Lowe

Scott Bannister

Gaynor Manthorpe

Pat Clements

Dr Clifford Murira

Philip Cooper

John Ockmore

Paul Crosby

Roger Spall

Jamie Drummond

Lawrence Tattersall

Tony Hawes

John Tullett

Helen Jeffries

Mark Warbey

Terry Joyce

Brian Williams

Rob Laird

Rob Wise

George Locker

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Chelmsford Advanced Motorists

Issue 106

Letters & emails On all matters relating to motoring and the Chelmsford Group, this newsletter or your experiences in preparing for or taking your test are most welcome. Visits to my aged parents in Eastbourne have always been traumatic not least because there are certain rituals my dad just has to perform. At some point during the stay he will pose the question "So how's the car? Got any more dents?" He will then make a point of conducting a full visual inspection of the exterior of my little Jazz and I will squirm as I'm cross-examined over how every dent and scratch came into being. For the record, absolutely none of the dents and scratches were my fault. The majority were down to low bollards - those tricky little beasts that hang out in car parks. I swear they move forwards as you reverse towards them. My mum, however, suffers from poor eyesight and wouldn't notice a great crater in the bonnet. (There isn't one, in case you were wondering!) Nevertheless, my problem with Mum is that it's a little disconcerting driving her around as she hangs onto the door handle whilst pressing an imaginary brake pedal in the passenger foot well and shouting "Anne, slow down! ANNNNE!" The crunch came with a new partner. Initially the honking from other drivers was laughed off but once infatuation flew away and reality set in the blasphemous exclamations at emergency swerving and braking started. He too developed my Dad's habit of periodically circling what he called my "stock car" and scrutinizing it for blemishes. His pet check point was my alloy wheels. Doesn't he know that everyone's alloy wheels get scuffed from town centre parking and five point turns? Then, after one particularly eventful drive involving a stray wheelie bin he gave me a stern look and very quietly decreed "Enough is enough. I AM going to sort you out." (pun unintended!) A few days later messages started flashing on my answer phone from the "IAM" asking me to call back and arrange an observed drive. "Errr?! What's all this about?" I wondered. Then a package plopped through the letterbox containing a welcome from the IAM. I was utterly mortified. Deep down I knew my driving was bad. I was always scared that one day I wouldn't be able to brake fast enough or swerve hard enough and a serious accident would occur. So how could I possibly join the IAM?! Surely the IAM wasn't for drivers like me? Along with their letter came a helpful manual telling me how to be a better, i.e. advanced, driver. After a few days I braved a peek. "Brakes are for slowing, gears are for going", "braking should be smooth and progressive" "advanced drivers can go from third to top gear, missing out fourth". I paled. Continued on Page 22

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Chelmsford Advanced Motorists

Issue 106

Letters & emails


How could gears be for going?! Despite my scepticism, the next time I got in my car I thought I'd have a go at these so called "block changes". Big mistake – all I achieved was some serious gear grating as my long suffering motor vigorously complained at my attempts! I threw the manual behind the cushions on the settee and tried to forget all about it. The answerphone messages kept coming and the manual kept calling. Eventually, I ran out of excuses and I had a date with Scott Bannister at Sainsbury’s. I was terrified, especially when I saw him waiting for me with a clipboard. I feared I was in for a scathing dressing down from a self-congratulatory driving buff and being told I was not worthy. Nothing, however, could have been further from the truth. Scott turned out to be a most convivial fellow with a wonderful sense of wit. After a brief drive he assured me he had experienced worse and could definitely fix my driving. Furthermore he guaranteed he could raise my driving score from 42% (I was on my best behaviour!) to somewhere in the nineties! And so the journey began. Scott took me out on a total of 8 observed drives. Once over the initial dread I looked forward to every one of them. Each added to my confidence and I no longer fear driving. I actually enjoy it and have become obsessed with driving round bends on country lanes – with sparkle! My five point turns were also brought down to two, without using the kerb as a gauge as to location. Although the "test" again worried me, my examiner (Derek Wheddon) did his utmost to make it a pleasant experience, reassuring me that I should treat it as another observed drive and enjoy the drive. Passing the test gave me a huge sense of achievement but doesn't make me think of myself as a good driver. To me it means that I know there is "another way" and that way is faster, smoother and above all, safer. I "just" need to keep it up. My very grateful thanks go to the wonderful Scott Bannister for 16 hours of instruction and company. They also go to Pat Clements for taking me out on a mock test and to Derek Wheddon for the test and passing me. A month on I now have the luxury of a new car – dent free and I am going to do my best to keep it that way. As for my critics: my father has just confessed that he has taken a dirty great gauge out of my step-mother's car – not his fault he assures me – a case of the driveway being too narrow with a brick pillar in the way. I've taken my mother out for a spin in the new car along Beachy Head. My new qualification seems to have given her some confidence and, despite the recent cliff falls, there were no screams for me to slow down! To balance out my very positive view of the Skills for Life course, there is just one annoying niggle that I must mention. Thanks to Scott I can no longer pass a police car without (to my daughter's great irritation) chanting his mantra "Policeman ahead. Fine body of men; over worked and underpaid. Incredibly handsome. Wish I could marry one!" My partner, who I am forever indebted to for signing me up to the IAM, has, however, recently had an indiscretion in his car. I don't think he holds the same view of the police as Scott!

From Anne Culverwell

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Chelmsford Advanced Motorists

Issue 106

CHELMSFORD ADVANCED MOTORISTS LIBRARY LIST DVDs Drive Smarter, Essential know-how for your driving career (2 copies) By Gem Motoring Assist Roadcraft, The Police Driver’s Course on Advanced Driving By The Police Foundation

PC CD-ROMs The Interactive Highway Code HMSO/ Interactive Driving Systems Hazard Perception Test


BOOKS Roadcraft Human Aspects of Police Driving The Tyre Digest (2 copies)

TSO Scottish Police College Michelin

Driving Abroad

Robert Davies

The Official Highway Code Rev. 2007 Edition


The Official Guide to Accompanying L-Drivers


Sideways to Victory

Roger Clark

The Myway Code

Ian Vince/Dan Kieran

Paul Ripley’s Expert Driving

Daily Telegraph

The Inner Game of Tennis

W Timothy Gallwey

Mind Driving

Stephen Haley

Older Drivers – Safe or Unsafe? Traffic– Why we drive the way we do Boreham, A History of the Racing Circuit

IAM Tom Vanderbilt Bryan Jones & John Frankland

CDs Awake, Driver Reviver


Advanced Road Craft

Bespoke Driving Training

The Driving Test – Your Licence to Drive

IAM/Safety on the Move

If you have any books etc from the Library can you please contact Scott Bannister Page 23

Chelmsford Advanced Motorists

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Young Driver Scheme Do you know of anyone who is not 17 years of age, but wants to learn how to drive? Chelmsford IAM group supports this road safety scheme to give people the opportunity to learn basic car control skills in Driving School Dual Controlled cars on private land before they go on the public Highway. Lessons, lasting for one hour, are run on the third Sunday of most months at Earls Colne (near Coggeshall). There is an initial Registration Fee of ÂŁ30 which covers registration and the first one hour lesson. Subsequent lessons cost ÂŁ25. Lessons must be booked in advance. The scheme is intended primarily for 16 year-olds but, if vacancies permit, places may be offered to 15 year-olds or even to older people who are nervous about

getting behind the wheel (again, or for the first time). Full details of the scheme, a letter from Essex Police and a map may be viewed, and the application Form can be downloaded, from Alternatively, forms may be obtained from the YDS Organiser. Nicola Hyland, 67 Main Road, St Lawrence Bay, Southminster, CM0 7NA Dedicated Mobile number 07847 645632 or

Notification of Events There has been a lot of positive feedback from events organised by the Group. If you would like to be kept informed of any up and coming events please make sure that l has your current email address.

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Chelmsford Advanced Motorists

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Group Nights & Events 2014 Please make a note in your diary Monday 14th July

Transport Research Laboratory Meeting will start at 7.30pm for this month only

Marcus Jones

Monday 11th August

A Magistrate talks

Peter Dowse

Monday 8th September

"Growing Old Disgracefully" (or into the bewilderness) which is a humorous look at maturing.

Chris Winter

Sunday 14th September

Driver Experience Day

See Scott

Monday 13th October

Talking about her work as "Deputy Lieutenant of Essex" and her involvement in "The Pride of Essex Awards".

Susie Cornell MBE

Saturday 18th October

Skid pan 9.00am till 12.30 – Cost £45.

Monday 10th November

The Motor BanditsThe 1927 murder in Essex of Constable Gutteridge

See Scott

Fred Feather

These speakers have all been booked by Sally Langley. If you know of someone you think the group might like to hear, then please contact Sally on 07905 445249 or email her at Sent in by Scott from

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Chelmsford Advanced Motorists

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Group contact information Our Group Enquiry number: - 07757 399897 Honorary Life Members

Mr Mike Corbett, Mr Glyn Jarrett, Mrs Ruth Jarrett, Mr Dave Travers, Mr Colin Snow.

Committee Chairman Associates Co-ordinator & Chief Observer

Scott Bannister


Steve Wright


John Johnston

Membership Secretary

Ken Carrington

Website Editor

Jon Ward

Newsletter Editor

Terry Joyce

Events Organiser

Sally Langley


John Stone

Group Contact

Susan Sweetland

External Events

Pat Clements

Committee Member

Dr Clifford Murira

Committee Member

John Ockmore

Committee Member

Anthony Marchant

Committee Member

Gary Silver

Committee Member

Ken Howard

Observer Examiner

Gaynor Manthorpe

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Chelmsford Advanced Motorists

Issue 106

Congratulations Here are some of our successful members receiving their certificate from our Chairman Scott Bannister 'My Drive Check 55 helped me recognise 40-years of accumulated habits. John Ockmore coached me over varied routes, at peak times, in darkness and rain. I enjoyed the challenge of improving my skills in a way that would benefit all experienced drivers. Many thanks.' Regards: Ken Richmond

Paul Addington

I've had great fun with Scott on my observed drives. His sense of humour, knowledge and gentle correction of bad habits has made the drives something to look forward to. I have learned a lot, after starting out as a doubting Thomas, and my examiner Derek was a great chap with a goldmine of information and experience. Ray Hockley

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Chelmsford Advanced Motorists

Issue 106

Congratulations Here are some of our successful members receiving their certificate from our Chairman Scott Bannister I had intended to apply for the I.A.M. course for ages but never quite got around to it. Now that I have passed my test I wonder why I didn't do it years ago. I really enjoy driving now and I certainly did not before. To anyone thinking of doing the course I'd say "Go on. Just do it. You'll be glad you did ". I'm so glad I did. Many thanks to Scott, my Observer, to Pat for her advice on the mock test and to Paula for making me feel so relaxed on test. Regards, June Godfrey

I drive on country roads and up and down the M25, often with a grandchild on board, so I thought it time to make sure that I was driving the best I can. Scott gave me a “taster� drive and I was hooked. Brian, my Observer was very pleasant and patient with me. We drove on so many different type of roads, that I think I know almost every pothole in the area! Thanks to Scott and Brian. Thanks also to Pat who went out with me a couple of times, and to Paula who put me through my test. I learnt a lot and feel I am a much safer driver now. I have told my WI group all about it and hope that some of them will do the course. Regards Carole Hogg

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Chelmsford Advanced Motorists

Issue 106

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.

IAM DrivingAdvice & Tips

Online Highway Code

Know your traffic signs


Drive Alive

Heritage Motor Centre

London Cyclist

The roads are The Bury and Mill Street in St Osyth. Above them St Osyth Priory and Deer Park

Forward vision 106 june 2014  
Forward vision 106 june 2014