Fancy Your Parents Sitting In? DVSA Do…

learner-driversIf you are a former pupil of Tudor Driving School or a hopeful learner in progress, how would you feel about having a parent sit in on your lessons? While we have indeed accommodated the supervision of parents in the past, some pupils may find it off putting or awkward. In a recent call to arms by the DVSA, the standards agency implore parents to sit in on their teenager’s lessons in order to retain “consistency” during out of hours family tuition.

This is actually a fair point and one which should be seriously considered if parents are willing to provide further tuition outside of the pupils allocated lessons. While all learners may follow the same guidelines, lesson plan and laws – all drivers are different and will develop their own quirks and habits. Some parents may have bad habits that subsequently rub off on their kids during tuition, so it makes sense that the driving instructor can demonstrate an appropriate teaching style to adopt.

tudorAs long as parents are respectful and simply act as passive observers, this shouldn’t be a problem. If a parent is present and begins interrupting or questions the teacher’s methods, this may cause conflict and hinder the pupil’s enthusiasm and learning style. DVSA’s main point is that driving instruction has changed considerably over the last few years and the “techniques required to pass the practical and theory tests have evolved”. This means that parents may be passing on knowledge from their lessons which are now redundant in modern driving tests.

The DVSA head of policy and registrar Mark Magee had this to say…

We need to get across the message that learning to drive is changing. It’s not about vehicle control, it’s wider aspects. Parents also need to understand what we’re trying to encourage ADIs (approved driving instructors) to do, so that they work with them and not against them and actually undo some of the work that’s being done.”

What do you think of this? Let Tudor Driving School know on Facebook and Twitter.

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Top 3 Films Featuring Driving Instructors!

There are countless movies out there which use cars as a central hook to get people sat in cinema seats but these are almost always about slick sporting classics, pimped out drag racers or a VW Beetle going bananas. If you think about it though, how many films do you see about learning to drive?

Surely every actor or person driving in a film had to learn at some point so hey, it should get more screen time. Here are our top three movies which actually bother to craft a script around driving lessons!

Though critics may have found it a little derivative of classics like Harold and Maude (i.e young lad falls for older woman, oh my!), this is a charming British comedy drama featuring great performances from a young Rupert Grint and the ever charming Julie Walters…

Mike Leigh is arguably national treasure and one of the best film writers and directors we’ve ever had. While some may find is transgressive look at social realism and occasional quirkiness a little off-putting, there’s no denying the consistency of his work. Happy Go Lucky stars Sally Hawkins as a free spirited optimist who seems to encounter misfortune and glumness wherever she goes. Her driving instructor (played quite terrifyingly by Eddie Marsan) steals the show here, offering an insight on how NOT to be a good instructor. Scary yet brilliant…

A recent addition to the list, this film brings together two souls with very different ideological backgrounds and cultures. Recently divorced New Yorker Wendy (Patricia Clarkson) and Indian Sikh instructor Darwan (played by the ever diverse Ben Kingsley) soon strike up an unlikely relationship that teaches more than just how to drive.

Do you know any films that include driving teachers as a key part of the plot? Let Tudor Driving School know on Facebook and Twitter.

Driving Test Blunders to Avoid

driving through desert foothillsWhile Tudor Driving School have become renowned for our superior Lincoln pass rates, there are of course exceptions and that is completely natural. Learning to drive is a daunting prospect but one we hope to guide you through with an empathetic and personalised approach. When people do fail their tests, it shouldn’t be considered something shameful but just another step towards a better life behind the wheel.

In any case, there are times when failure comes as a result of something daft or avoidable yet… oddly funny. Here are our top five funny reasons why would be drivers have failed their tests… (according to the internet!)

  • Check Your Boot(y)

Eyes on the road please, avert your vision from that sexy cyclist. Yes, people have actually failed in the past as a result of being distracted by attractive passersby. Is a few seconds of titillation worth failing your test?

  • Crashing

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We recently spotted a post on a forum wherein a student had failed their test immediately for crashing the test car… into the test centre. A fail doesn’t come any clearer than that.

  • Go Straight at the Roundabout

Don’t take this literally. Please.

  • What Country Is This?

Unbelievably it’s quite common for some drivers to accidentally fail by driving on the wrong side of the road. One case which was noted in a similar article stated her failure was a result of being “immersed in the culture” of France. *sigh*

  • Bad Habits

Careful who you overtake!

If you have had your parents or a friend take you out and teach you a few things in the lead up to your test, this can result in picking up long nurtured bad habits. Driving no handed, constantly changing lanes and sparking up a ciggie during your test… unfathomable in this day and age but people do it.

Do you have any driving test stories you’d like to share? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

Preparing for Your Driving Lessons

learnPreparing for your driving lessons can be daunting but try to think of it as an exciting milestone that will shape your life to come. While Tudor Driving School understand most Lincoln students will be completely new to driving protocol, there are some preparations you can take to ensure you are ready for your initial lessons and beyond.

At the very least, driving instructors will expect you to be conscientious and partake in part time home learning. Driving isn’t just a case of sitting down and firing up the engine, it is a dense subject in itself that rewards keen learners.

Our instructors will regularly ask you questions during your lessons about the technical side of your vehicle. This includes (but not limited to) how to check your oil, water and petrol levels, your indicators and engine status. There are many minor attributes in a modern car which are easy to overlook but assist you in unavoidable ways. Be ready to answer questions as they will likely be asked impromptu.

Your lessons will only be an hour or two a session dependent on your timetable; this gives you plenty of spare time to practice independently. If you have a confident family member or friend with plenty of driving experience, ask them to take you to a safe clearing where you can practice what you have learned so far. Just like an academic exam, this is all leading to a final test so be sure to revise!

highThe looming theory test is what catches many out so stay ahead of the crowd and study the Highway Code in between lessons. This way you can apply your learning in a practical way which can only benefit you further when the time comes for your test.

Last but not least, driving instructors like to talk. We natter a lot and we don’t do it to annoy you, this is actually an important part of learning to drive. When you get your license, it’s very likely you’ll have noisy friends and companions in the vehicle distracting you. The driving instructor will prompt you on your driving, engage in friendly chat and sometimes intervene during travel… this is all part of learning, so be prepared to chat!

For more tips from Tudor Driving School please like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Sat-Navs Assisted Lessons?

sat navThe technological advances brought on by the digital age haven’t just affected the way we engage with media but also the way we travel. It’s evident that both public and personal transport has adapted to the changing tides, especially when one considers the mainstream acceptance of Sat-Nav technology. Tudor Driving School are by no means luddites, which is why the news of a Sat-Nav assisted driving test raises curiosity rather than outright rejection.

As reported in the national press, a young gent named Grant Ferguson became the first person in the UK to take a test of this nature and hey, he passed. The Sat-Nav was only used in the first 20 minutes as a means of judging the student’s ability to follow verbal instruction on a pre-planned journey. This way, the teacher was able to see how well he could incorporate all the different skills amassed over his lessons while following verbal instruction and a journey plan.

More importantly, introducing a Sat-Nav during the test could be a positive way of ensuring that drivers will learn how to listen to instructions instead of staring at a distracting screen. Of course you may be thinking, ‘hang on, putting a Sat-Nav in a test is a distraction in itself?’… well, yes but the point is to teach them to use it conscientiously and safely. Many people employ Sat-Nav’s in their daily driving but few understand how to make safe us of them without looking at the screen constantly.

We’ve spoken of big changes to the UK driving test in the past but this seems far more likely to actually happen in the near future than previous outlandish predictions. The change will be trialled across 1000 learner drivers in the coming year with the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) allowing driving schools to sign up for the trials at will.

For more updates from Tudor Driving School please like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

To get in touch about future lessons please give us a call on 0800 7318433.

No Pasta Strainers Please – DVLA

pasta

Click picture for original story.

Learning to drive is something everybody deserves an opportunity to take part in. It’s a universal skill of aspiration and Tudor Driving School will never condemn or scrutinise anybody who comes our way regardless of race, culture or orientation. With that said, is it fair that the DVLA have rejected this man’s driving license application on the basis of Mr Ian Harris wearing a colander (yes, a pasta strainer) on his head?

We’ve all met some odd people in our time, most of them really quite charming, but never have we driven a man around with a colander on his head. Would we object to teaching him? No – but we’re not issuing official photographic documentation for his driving license, so it’s somewhat understandable why they have refused to authorise his photograph. The thing is, Mr Harris says his colander is religious attire for his belief in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. He’s a ‘Pastafarian’, in fact it sounds like quite a fun church which is based around free speech and offers a light hearted alternative for atheists. It has a long history and has made the news before but is it a true religious piece of attire?

It’s safe to say Mr Ian Harris isn’t too happy about his rejection and has taken steps to prove his devotion to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Thing is, it’s clear he’s doing it in goodwill and trying to prove a satirical point about conventional religion:- “I have a spiritual connection with the Flying Spaghetti Monster, until they have brain probes how are they going to say I don’t.”

DVLA claim religious headwear is only allowed for major religions and the photograph must be clear and a current likeness to allow police confusion free identification. That’s all very fair but the push for ‘major’ religions only seems to rub some people the wrong way. It would be rather funny if he does indeed get to wear his colander, weirder things have certainly occurred and in this age of cynicism it would be a kind gesture.

For more news from Tudor Driving School please like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Outlaw Driving? A Divisive Future

tudor

The joy of driving needn’t end here.

Well then, this is an odd one. We’re used to the news blowing predictions out of context but this is a little hard to contort. Elon Musk, the famous entrepreneur, engineer, inventor and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors believes that if self driving cars take to fruition then traditional driving could be made illegal. The idea seems sound but at the same time a glimpse into a very different future to the one we once envisioned.

As humanity becomes ever reliant on digital methods, there’s a sense we are losing the traditional need to engage with physical tools around us. Sure, self driving cars could be safer but they also represent the oppression of travel and the liberation offered by your own free roaming vehicle. Tesla Motors have long been celebrated for their innovations in electric cars but more recently it’s their autonomous cars which have courted the most press.

Elon Musk thinks that should these self driving vehicles become popular, the all out ban on traditional driving would take around twenty years to achieve “because of the sheer scale in the challenge of replacing cars already on the roads”. It seems a little farfetched to trust the world’s travel to a computer system and a tough pill to swallow for the millions of car enthusiasts across the world. We really can’t see it happening, at least not in the next fifty years at least.

The technology itself is still very much in its infancy and as Mr Musk points out, the biggest hurdle will be “navigating urban streets safely at speeds of between 15mph and 50mph”. Self driving cars can’t predict the future any better than a human, so being able to get the car to respond to an immediate and unexpected danger will be a huge task. The outcry at the first on road death in a self driving car would surely cause a social uproar.

How do you feel about this? Overblown nonsense or a wise, ecologically progressive move? Tell us…

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Driverless Future?

google carThe bizarre phenomenon of self driving cars introduced by Google seems to be heating up with potential competition from the controversial Uber taxi service. The ‘autonomous car’ is a concept the public are failing to latch on to in fear of their safety but even on paper the notion of the car being in control seems a little far-fetched. Still, this hasn’t stopped Google further developing their driverless tech with UK tests rolling out across the UK in Bristol, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Greenwich this year for a period of 18 to 36 months!

The government are said to be funding a good £19 million of the trials expenses but don’t expect to see Herbie rolling up your high street going bananas anytime soon as all testing will take place away from main public roads. Those that fear a driverless future needn’t worry; it’s very unlikely that the technology or consumer desire will be there to replace the freedom of a traditional vehicle. Those who should be a little worried are taxi drivers, as it’s more than likely that driverless cars are the next progression in public transport.

The news is alight with news that Uber are launching an ‘advanced technologies centre’ in Pittsburgh in order to develop their own ‘autonomous’ technology and trial safety tests. For those unfamiliar with Uber, they are a hugely popular mobile app ‘taxi’ service operated entirely outside of regulation. Their drivers are essentially hired on the basis they own an acceptable vehicle and are qualified to drive, hence worries over passenger safety. They have been at the receiving end of countless protests throughout Europe and American by taxi drivers, companies and government officials who believe Uber are operating an unlawful operation which is threatening the livelihoods of thousands of regulated taxi drivers.

With all this said, the Transport for London Plan for 2050 which was released in July 2014 hopes to harness the driverless tech to reduce deaths on the road, save money on buses and provide a more efficient service. How this plays out only time will tell but for a heavily compacted area like London, they may just be on to something.

For more news from Tudor Driving School please like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Make Safer Driving Your New Year’s Resolution

learner-driversFirst of all we’d like to wish a very happy New Year to all our students both past, present and future.

As Tudor Driving School enter 2015 (oh, we’ve been in this game a long old time now) we’re feeling as resolute as ever with our eyes looking keenly at the challenges ahead.  When it comes to new year resolutions, it’s easy to pick something daft and easy like ‘cut down on chocolate’ or ‘drink less wine’ but in reality these rarely stick. The best resolutions are applied to physical practices, you know, like driving.

We’ve compiled 4 suggested New Year’s resolutions for you to consider when it comes to your time behind the wheel. Feel free to suggest some of your own on Facebook.

  • Signal

Your indicators are there for a reason and neglecting their use is lazy and dangerous. Drivers and pedestrians aren’t telepathic; they don’t know your next move before you do, flick the switch for courtesy and safety.

  • Speed Limits

Goodness, this should be an obvious one. The arrogance of the over confident driver can be the undoing of more than just pride and those speed signs are there for a reason. We know it can be tricky to keep to 40 or 50 on an open valley of road but if you’re frequently driving on a curvy, dark roads while hammering the accelerator then you might wish to take heed.

  • Hang Up

Phones, iPods, Sat Navs – leave them alone, just stop fiddling during driving. It doesn’t matter if you’re stuck at a light because that could change any second. If you want music on then choose an album or playlist before you set off and don’t even think about answering that phone.

  • Tyres, Wipers and Engine

It’s easy to get complacent when it comes to car maintenance; if it’s not affecting you directly then it must be fine right? The problem is these problems can sneak up on you at the most inopportune times.  Keep on top of your tyre inflation, check your wipers for muck and keep the tank happy. Also, give your car a good clean!

Contact us today to see how we can help you get on the road.

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UK driving test to enter a new era?

learner-driversYou may have heard in the news lately about some significant changes that could be introduced to the standard UK driving test. Tudor Driving School have been in this business for over 25 years but this has the potential to be the most significant change seen in some time. First up is the dreaded ‘three point turn’ which faces redundancy due to its supposed lack of relevance to modern driving. This is interesting given there are far more important manoeuvres and situations that have long gone neglected.

The DVLA have also released a statement that suggests they have been seriously reconsidering how effective the current test procedure is to new drivers. An unnamed spokesman from the agency has said “We are carrying out initial research to explore how the driving test could better reflect real life driving. Any future changes to the test would be subject to full public consultation”, the last part is an encouraging democratic move but we hope the consultation also comes from those who moderate and teach driving on a daily basis too.

So what’s going to happen next? 1000 learner drivers from the UK will be taking part in an exclusive trial of the new practical exam with the suggested changes. Reversing out of a parking bay, rejoining heavy traffic flow and following SatNav directions as part of an independent driving section are key additions to the reshuffle. The emphasis on motorway driving and joining traffic is welcomed as this is something many new drivers find daunting and struggle with.

For now we’ll have to see what the future brings but this reshuffle will affect all of our lessons and usher in a new era of modern test conditions. Till then, we shall continue to offer the absolute best in Lincoln driving instruction.

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