Do Driving Instructors Have to Take a Cycle Proficiency?

by YorkshireMike   June 3, 2014  

After a friend of mine was cut up by one, and a couple of near misses myself, I was just wondering if cycling formed any part of a driving instructor course? I can't see cycling becoming a mandatory part of the driving test for long time yet, but surely the instructors should be made to ride as part of their training.

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So far as I know they get taught the usual blather about sharing nicely, but never need to get on a saddle. Clearly, if we must allow death wagons on the roads bikebality 3 should be required for a provisional licence, but dream on.

posted by oldstrath [143 posts]
3rd June 2014 - 14:27

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They should learn how to drive first.

posted by Shep73 [137 posts]
5th June 2014 - 15:55

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Shep73 wrote:
They should learn how to drive first.

Too right.
My run in with one was, I was doing a left and could see a Learner vehicle ahead waiting to do the same turn.
Stone me, instead of waiting for me to take the left he's only gone and told the learner to take it seconds before I do
I get him to stop and I'm raging and ask him, as the DI, what he's playing at,
"I gave you two metres room."
Argument goes back and forth so I take a pic of his school and email the owner and tell him I'll be reporting this unknown member of his staff to the DSA so expect some correspondence from them.
DSA contact the firm and the owner tells the @rsehole to respond.
Eventually, DSA respond say that they won't do anything as its his word versus mine.

Basically they don't care that some instructors are useless.

The only plus point was that according to his version of events which they CCed me in, was that I managed to dent his door when kicking it.

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posted by Joselito [133 posts]
5th June 2014 - 18:18

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I had a disagreement with a driving instructor recently in an online forum (not this one). He was venting about cyclists and motorcyclists filtering in traffic and asked when this illegal activity had been made legal. I searched the Highway Code and then posted a quote from it referring to cyclists and motorcyclists filtering and that other road users should be on the look out for this. He then posted another quote referring to cyclists and motorcyclists filtering asking why I hadn't posted that as well. And I responded saying that since he knew it was in the Highway Code more than once and that it wouldn't have been specifically mentioned if filtering was illegal, what was he asking in the first place?

He shut up after that.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2172 posts]
6th June 2014 - 9:33

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I had one instructor who was giving a lesson at the time screaming at me that I should be riding on the pavement rather than holding my line on a quiet stretch of road. Reported it to his company but heard nothing back.

Worst of it is people are paying to learn that stuff.

posted by turboprannet [49 posts]
6th June 2014 - 10:12

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turboprannet wrote:

Worst of it is people are paying to learn that stuff.

And we wonder where all these bad drivers come from...

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posted by Joselito [133 posts]
6th June 2014 - 11:01

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I'll give the one I came across in Bradford the other week his due.

Must be hard balancing your phone on your shoulder whilst holding a pen in one hand, a folder in the other and be able to drive. Even harder to be able to drop all out of sight the second my hand hit the back of the car as he drifted into the cycle lane.

Next time I may just unclip and kick the tail lights out.

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [289 posts]
6th June 2014 - 12:54

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I became an driving instructor after I retired from the police and I have been cycling since the 1970's so I can probably answer some questions on this subject.
Instructors do not need to cycle or make themselves aware of anything relating to bikeability. I would suggest that cycling proficiency when they were at school would be the nearest most instructors come to any specific cycling related awareness. (Most are middle aged). They will have a good knowledge of the Highway Code as the theory test for instructors is fairly lengthy and many will take additional driver tests, such as the IAM, Rospa, etc and will need to be familiar with the Police Roadcraft manual to pass these courses. Regardless Instructors should be perfectly aware of how to drive around cyclists and be able to teach others how to do so safely. There was a recent article in our Newslink publication outlining the main points of Bikeability; the author highlighting how road position has changed over the years. (Not much, but it is something).
My overtaking lesson focuses primarily on cyclists and horses and the skills needed to be safe around them. There are hundreds of professional driving lessons on youtube in relation to manoeuvres but professional efforts in relation to overtaking are pretty scarce. (I'll make one over the summer).
Threats to vulnerable road users, in my opinion, should form a large part of the standard theory test, specific instructors' lesson packages, and in the practical test. (The latter may involve overtaking an imaginary cyclist or horse. It does work on lessons).
Sorry the post is long but there's a lot that could be done to make things safer and it is important.

Any fool can criticise, condemn and complain - and most fools do. Dale Carnegie. 1936

posted by The Lead Farmer [5 posts]
7th June 2014 - 0:11

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I'm glad you took the time to write that.

I've wondered before whether driving school should start to use simulators at some point, so specific scenarios can be staged for learners. Learning to overtake, and drive safely around filtering traffic is an important skill to acquire. Unfortunately, an instructor can't summon bikes and motorbikes to appear for him during a lesson.

There's no reason that simulators would be an expensive technology to develop and standardise. In fact, it would probably save money if it reduces a few of the knocks, scrapes and worn clutches that I'm sure all instructor cars must suffer.

posted by bikebot [486 posts]
8th June 2014 - 8:57

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Long overdue reform of the Driving Instructor Qualification requirements should include Simulators that include ALL Road Scenarios !

Years ago i visited a Driving School in the Zillertal as a result of being overtaken by one of their vehicles . Haaving pointed out that the Austrian road Rules required " Signalling & appropriate 1 1/2M safe passing " , i have since found veryy little cause to remind them . Other driving Schools have required follow up visits , but even the threat of reporting them to the Media as " Sub standard " fails to reach the individual instructor .

Asking the " Pupil " how they would like to " FAIL " , due to incorrect teaching, certainly grabs the incompetent Driving Instructors attention . Rapping on the glass , ensures there is no report of paintwork damage !

Skippy(advocate for "Disabled / Para Sport")@skippydetour. blogging as skippi-cyclist.blogspot & Parrabuddy.blogspot currently on the road with ProTour Grand Tour Events .

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posted by skippy [383 posts]
8th June 2014 - 19:03

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