The ‘independent driving’ part of the test is to be doubled from 10 to 20 minutes and during this part of the test, learner drivers will be expected to follow directions from a satnav. Manoeuvres such as reversing around a corner are to be replaced with more real-life scenarios, such as driving into/reversing out of a parking bay.
Imagine the snow falling, it's a month before Christmas. New tests are due for Santa's sleigh and the Elves are freaking out. Why is change good?
It was a month before Christmas and all was on schedule. In the North Pole things were normal. It was white and very cold. In the way of snow safety things were the same, the odd accident but all in all things ticked over nicely. They didn’t realise that things were going change and be a little different.
Santa had been doing what he normally does when he’s preparing for Christmas, which was to sit in front of a warm fire, feet up on the sofa with Mrs Clause, a cup of hot chocolate and maybe the odd biscuit. This year something was different. Santa sat on his sofa with Mrs Clause, but not relaxing. Santa looked like he was deep in thought about something Mrs Clause couldn’t quite fathom. This year was different indeed.
Their grandson had recently turned 17 and wanted to drive his own sleigh and much like anything, this was fine. However, Santa had done some research following a documentary about how out-of-date the current sleigh testing is. He wanted to make sure his grandson was a safe driver and wouldn’t cause any harm to himself and any of his elves. This was the last thing the Clause family needed at Christmas. To spend Christmas day in hospital was not part of his plans. This really frightened Santa and he needed to do something about it.
Therefore, what would anyone in his predicament do?
Simple, Santa opened up his laptop and decided to do some research on what others did in faraway lands to combat similar issues. Santa soon stumbled upon some fascinating news that the UK were planning to change the test for new drivers. Santa thought this was interesting and very relevant to what he wanted to know about. However, he didn’t just want to keep reading articles about it. He had so many more questions which he wanted to ask. Why the change? Why now? Who does it affect? How will this change happen?
Santa knew that the world from when he was driving his sleigh had changed. For one there were far more people on the snow now than ever before and the distraction of technology was an increasing concern. Santa was stupid. He knew that he couldn’t get rid of technology in cars all together. How would he find a solution? Test learner sleigh drivers on how to use satnavs safely? Not a bad idea, he thought.
What Santa wanted most was to go to a place where everyone was asking the same questions. Santa soon found a conference many miles away in Staffordshire, UK. A conference which will discuss changes in a more details. "Perfect," he thought. He soon grabbed his bags and off he went in the sleigh.
After days of travelling he’d arrived. Everybody was so friendly, nice and approachable. He thought he had a good chance of winning the Big Fat Quiz so booked himself into a room. When jumping on his bed and founding out how comfy it was, Santa knew that this conference was going to be good. Santa went to the quiz, had a couple of brandies, came in tenth place in quiz and decided to call it a night.
The morning of the conference, Santa, who is to teach his grandson how to drive a sleigh and enforce the new changes, was awake and feeling good. He entered the conference and was met with excitement and anticipation. He had a freshly brewed coffee in hand and took his seat. He listened as Gareth Llewellyn and others spoke about road safety, the role of the trainer and what to expect in the future.
The day flew by, Santa tucked into a nice Christmas dinner and in the blink of an eye it was over. Santa had filled up his note pad, made some new friends and walked away feeling that he learnt every bit of information he needed to make some big decisions.
Santa had a fantastic day at the Driving Instructors Association’s National Driver and Rider Training Conference and couldn’t wait to play his part in making the North Pole a better and safer place in 2017.
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