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NEWS Newsletter for Approved Driving Instructors

Mondello’s oldest drifter!


3 year old Des Redmond set a new record at Mondello Park recently in becoming the oldest driver to complete its Motor Racing School Course at the County Kildare circuit. From Manor Kilbrade, County Wicklow, Des, a lifelong car enthusiast having worked in the motor trade for most of his life, fulfi lled a dream thanks to a group of friends. Des proved that age is no barrier to adrenaline seeking as he drove a race-prepared Mazda 3 hatchback around the track.

He began the new dedicated Mazda 3 starter course in the classroom before gett ing into the passenger seat for four laps of the on-track tuition

Seatbelts & Head Restraints required on vehicles for HGV/ PSV Driving Test


he Road Safety Authority (RSA) is making some further changes to the requirements for vehicles presenting for HGV/PSV Driving Test in certain categories with effect from 28 March next. From Monday 28 March 2011 all vehicles presenting for a practical driving test in categories C, C1, EC, EC1 and D1 will be required to have a front passenger seatbelt and head restraint fitted. “Where such seatbelts and head restraints are not fitted the driving test should not be conducted and the applicant should be given a non conducted test form indicating that their fee is forfeit,” said an RSA spokesperson.

timed laps and emerged from the Mazda with a huge smile on his face. The oldest man ever to complete a Mondello Park Course was then presented with his Certificate of Completion cheered on by his friends who watched the milestone occasion. “It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life and I really appreciated the chance to fulfi l my wish,” said Des.

from his instructor. He then swapped seats with the instructor and successfully completed ten

Drivers of any age, wishing to emulate Des can fi nd out more about the range of courses at Mondello Park Motor Racing School on www.

Renault promotes the employment of disabled young people


s part of Renault Group’s commitment to diversity and equal opportunities, the French automaker has teamed up with ARPEJEH, an association that helps disabled young people fi nd employment. Renault will be providing these young people with opportunities to find out more about the automotive business and will increase the number of internships available. To re-enforce the many initiatives taken by Renault over the years for its disabled staff, many of its sites in France organised a forum to raise the awareness of all employees.

a professional and personal standpoint. These include financial aids, flexible working hours and the ergonomic adaptation of workstations. Renault is the only European manufacturer (through its subsidiary Renault Tech), to design, build and market vehicles for persons of reduced mobility.

The aim was threefold: to promote a better understanding of what disablement in the workplace means, to dispel stereotypes and, more widely, to discuss all the measures taken by the company to make day-to-day life easier for disabled workers, from both

Wish to become a Certified Transport Manager?


nterested in pursuing a career in transport? Unlock your potential and gain a recognised qualification by attending a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) Course in Transport Management. Th is Certificate, which is awarded by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, qualifies the participant to become a Transport Manager, which provides the starting block to set up a road haulage or bus passenger business. Subjects covered in the course include: Managing a transport business; Employment and Health & Safety legislation; Contract law and Text: 30 Jarlath FLEETCAR Sweeney | Summer - editor@fl

fi nancial management; Tachograph and hours of driving legislation; National and International documentation etc. Approved CPC courses are run at weekends by Tony Hynes at Tony is starting his next CPC Courses on Saturday 5 March at the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow; Saturday 12 March at the Kilmurry Lodge Hotel, Limerick; Saturday 19 March at the County Arms Hotel, Birr and Saturday 26 March at the Green Isle Hotel, Naas Road, Dublin. If you wish to obtain further information contact Tony at 066-7185556 or 086-2458379 or email Text &DIRECTION/adi Photo: Gerry Murphy | SPRING - gerrym@fl 2011 35


So you want to be an HGV Driver?


he transport industry has historically attracted and employed all manner of people, who over the years have come, gone - and often come back again. Many of these are following in the footsteps of family members - but equally many just want to drive trucks. For those who have grown up within a transport background, it seems only natural for them to show an interest in gett ing behind the wheel. It often starts out as just lending a hand, and ends up as a lifetime's labour.

in transport declare that such a person “is a good driver” what they in fact are referring to is the person’s ability to do the job. The ability to move the truck from A to B and back again is taken as a given, and in real terms is only a small percentage of the occupation. This argument is supported by the fact that if two similar drivers are available to transport a load, one maybe preferred because that individual is just a litt le more professional, though both are equally capable of the driving vehicle being used.

So, what attracts a person to take up a job where they are viewed by the general public at best, as an unnecessary inconvenience, and where the pay is far from what would be commanded in other industries for similar levels of responsibility? An industry where the only constant, is the fact that everything constantly changes. No pension, no sick leave, minimum paid holidays and litt le guarantee of job security. While not all driving jobs are as bleak as just described, nevertheless this still represents the working conditions of a large number of drivers.

For some who enter the industry as a driver it may be the only skill they have to sell and they just want a job. Driving is often preferred to other occupations that may be on offer, as there is a certain amount of freedom, which appeals to many.

The job of a driver demands a certain type of individual, who must be prepared to follow all the rules - yet work on their own initiative. Reflect all that is good about their employer - while ensuring all the skeletons remain fi rmly locked in their respective cupboards. A driver must never be late, but have limitless patience to suffer delays when it all goes wrong. Rarely be commended for doing a good job, but willingly accept having all their mistakes roundly sanctioned. The job of a driver demands a level of knowledge and skills that cross a wide range. When people 36


Over the last twenty years or so there have been many changes, which have affected access to the industry for new entrants. A number of these changes are presenting new entrants with formidable barriers to finding employment. Becoming a driver is now a lot more expensive than it was in previous times. Currently it costs €297.00 to arrive at the stage of submitting an application, not to mention any driving lessons which have to be taken. In addition to hiring a vehicle for the test,

the digital tachograph card, and ongoing CPC requirements - it is by no means cheap. If viewed as an investment and a person is successful in gaining employment the return on investment is realised reasonably quickly. Not many jobs require such an investment before you even begin to apply for work. In fact, the process is now more in line with forming a small company or business. Unfortunately, these costs are only going to increase, possibly to a level where it becomes unreasonable to embark on such a career path. Prior to the now infamous Celtic Tiger years, there was a shortage of drivers in Ireland. It could possibly be the case in the future that this shortage


may be repeated. Mass immigration resolved the driver problem from the mid-nineties on. However, as the economies of the Eastern European States achieve parity with the older members, some drivers will migrate back to their home countries, where conditions are steadily improving. As the indigenous population of drivers becomes older, and others currently being forced to seek employment outside the industry or outside the country, this could create a vacuum. Th is possible vacuum will not be helped if a consultation document proposed by the RSA comes into force. The proposals will require drivers to be a minimum age of twenty-one before applying for a Class ‘C’ licence and twenty-four for a Class 'D’. Th is realistically means that a prospective driver will begin to seek employment with a ‘Full Licence’ aged at best 22 and 25 respectively. At this stage of their working life, not everyone may be prepared to invest the previously mentioned sums to enter the industry. ‘DIRECTION/ADI’ surveyed a number of drivers and asked how they felt about their job and the transport industry as a career. Some were new to the industry while others have spent the majority of their working life behind the wheel. It was decided to exclude any drivers whose parents owned vehicles, and concentrate on drivers who chose the industry of their own volition. The average age of the sample was 39.6 years, and the drivers worked in a variety of transport disciplines, from tipper and national distribution, through to international work. Though a small sample, it is very representative of the transport industry in Ireland. At a time where you must brace yourself Text: Paul White –

before turning on the radio in the morning, the fi ndings could be described as surprisingly positive, if not uplift ing. As none of the respondents had access to commercial vehicles from the cradle, they had all worked in other occupations before becoming drivers. Some of these occupations ranged from warehousing, tilling, computer programming, factory work, the construction industry and secondary school teaching to name but a few. When asked what attracted them to the industry, all answered that it was always their intention to drive trucks and viewed their previous occupations as stepping-stones to achieving their main aim. All believed they made the right choice and enjoyed their work even though they felt conditions could be improved - especially with regard to salaries. That being said when asked, “if they believed transport was a good industry to work in,” again all responded positively, stating that they they would encourage a close friend or family member to get behind the wheel. They all had the fullest intention of staying in the business for the rest of their working life, either as drivers or fulfi lling some other role within transport. When asked, “if given the chance again, would they choose the same career path?” Not one hesitated in answering yes; all would be happy to follow the same road and believed they made the right choices. It is encouraging that those surveyed all possessed an ambition to be drivers, and were determined to fulfi l that ambition, regardless of the obstacles.

The survey highlights some points that are often overlooked. One is that within the industry in Ireland there is a loyal, skilled and highly adaptable workforce, which is prepared to work in sometimes difficult circumstances, and not just for the money or because they need a job. Instead, they work because they enjoy what they do and are proud of their occupation and what they accomplish on a daily basis. One of the respondents said that in doing the job right “gave him a great sense of achievement and self respect he never got from his other jobs”. So why would anyone NOT want to be a driver?

Pre-Test Expenses Driver Theory Test Learner Permit (not including photos) CPC Theory Test Technical Test Driving Test Application

€70.00 €15.00 €70.00 €32.00 €110.00



Additional Expenses: • Driving Lessons • Hire of Test Vehicle • On-going CPC Requirements • Driving Licence • Digital Tachograph Card Optional: (ADR Certification for Dangerous Goods) (Safe Pass Certificate For Construction)

DIRECTION/adi | SPRING 2011 37



JS. In your role as European Driving Schools Association EFA 2nd Vice President, what is involved?

Cathy Bacon,

CB. As 2nd Vice President in the European Driving Schools Association – EFA - I have a significant role in EFAs dealings with the European Union and participate in European Projects relating to Driver Education. I attend CIECA – International Driving Testing Organisation – meetings. Th is allows me to keep our members updated on EU developments in all areas of Driver Education and Testing. EFA membership allows the IDIA to interact with other European Countries in the interest of road safety.

Chairperson, Irish Driving Instructors Association, with Jarlath Sweeney -

JS. The changes to the driving licence structure – how do they effect your organization and members going forward? JS.

How, why and when was your organisation formed?

CB. Irish Driving Instructors Association – IDIA, a national organisation was initially formed in 1991 as the Approved Driving Instructor Register – ADIR to establish registration for Instructors in Ireland. It co-operated with the Motor Schools Association of Ireland to form the Driving Instructor Register of Ireland (DIR). In 1996 the fi rst voluntary examinations commenced. To avoid being confused with the DIR, the ADIR decided to change the name, to Irish Driving Instructors Association - IDIA.

CB. The Association welcomes the changes in the Driving Licence structure. However we feel the slow implementation and non-retrospection will delay the benefits to road safety. When fully implemented the changes will allow learner drivers to benefit from the Driving Instructors expertise and will help reduce the carnage on Irish roads.

Website: e-mail:

JS. With your ongoing liaison with Government Departments and the RSA are you pleased with the progress made in recent times re reducing waiting lists and the establishment of The Driving Instructor Register? CB. RSA registration of instructors ensures that all instructors are examined and high standards maintained. The shorter waiting time for a test is beneficial to road safety as learners can prepare in a structured way and if necessary can repeat the test sooner. JS. Are you satisfied with the quality of service provided by your members and where further can improvements be made? CB We are happy with the quality of service especially now that the high standards and qualifications are recognised by RSA registration. We believe the learning process never ceases and improvements can always be made. IDIA Seminars, newsletters and website keep our members informed of trends and developments. A number of members - Advanced Driver Trainers - provide safety training for Fleet drivers. They constantly up skill to keep pace with the latest developments. They now also provide ECO driver training for Fleets leading to reduced emissions and costs. JS. What services do you provide to your members and what is the membership fee? CB. IDIA communicates with the RSA, Gardai, Insurance companies and other relevant bodies on issues relating to learner drivers and road safety and where a difficulty arises, we represent instructor’s cases, in confidence. IDIA provides advice and information for members by email and phone. Membership includes discounts on Insurance, web design, training equipment, materials and other services. Membership fee is €60 per annum. JS. Being Dublin based, how often do you meet and how do you communicate to your members? CB. The Committee meets monthly. We hold two Seminars and an AGM every year, one being held outside Dublin. We also have a number of Regional meetings each year. 38 DIRECTION/adi | SPRING 2011


Swilly Drive School of Motoring

Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) Training Courses ADI Module 1 Theory

Classroom / Home-Study

ADI Module 2 Driving Skills

In-Vehicle Tuition

ADI Module 3 Instruction Skills In-Vehicle Tuition Courses Running in

LETTERKENNY, SLIGO, DUNDALK, DUBLIN, GALWAY, LIMERICK & ATHLONE Early booking advisable as places are limited! FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: i:Tek Building . Business Park Road . Letterkenny . Co. Donegal

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Fleet Direction Spring 2011  

Text: Jarlath Sweeney - DIRECTION/adi | SPRING 2011 35 Newsletter for Approved Driving Instructors 30 FLEETCAR | Summer 2010...

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