After months of preparation, the time had finally arrived. It was the day of the DIA National Driver and Rider Training Conference 2016.
The conference covered a range of topics that are vital talking points within the driver training industry. The morning introduced the audience to what driver testing and regulation would look like going forward. This was conducted by Mark Magee (Registrar) and Lesley Young (Chief Examiner), as they explored the changes we should expect regarding how testing is done.
DVSA Chief Executive Gareth Llewellyn was the next person to take the floor where he addressed the issue of what the DVSA will be up to over the next 5 years.
Throughout the conference delegates had the opportunity to debate the topics being presented, grill the speakers and put forward their own views and ideas. Breakout sessions were also popular, giving delegates the chance to work in groups to brainstorm solutions and input their responses to key industry challenges.
In another keynote session, Highways England also spoke on developing safer driving on our high-speed road network and how they were seeking more ADI involvement in developing novice driver education in this area. A partnership project was announced between DIA and Highways England to deliver learning resources focused on this area of driver training. This was followed by Admiral Insurance addressing how emerging technology is impacting driver education through telematics which dovetailed with a presentation by Goodyear exploring the world of autonomous vehicles.
Dr Shaun Helman, Transport Research Laboratories, also joined the conference talked about what does and doesn’t work in driver education and the possible solutions we could develop, on this topic the floor was opened up for a valuable discussion on what could work better in practical training and how individual ADI’s could develop their delivery.
The inaugural DIA Driver and Rider Training Awards were also a key feature of the day. Huge congratulations go out to the following people, for their outstanding achievements within the driver training industry and their contribution to driver and road safety education across 2016.
Best Training Car Insurance (sponsored by adiNEWS) – Waveney
Best Young/Learner Driver Insurance (sponsored by Waveney) – Collingwood
ADI Training Hero (sponsored by Collingwood) – Jimmy Ho
Specially Commended (sponsored by Driving Test Success) - Rob Tillier, Accelerate Driver Training
Pupil Progress - Rachel Bomphrey
Car of the Year (sponsored by Q-Park) - Hyundai i30
Product of the Year (sponsored by Hitachi) – BlackVue Dash Cam
Best in Pupil Progress (sponsored by Driving Test Success) – Lieutenant Mark Towra
Industry Achievement Award – Lou Walsh
Best Local Association (sponsored by LDC) – South East London and Kent Driving Instructors Association
Best Driver Education Initiative Campaign (sponsored by Admiral) – British Horse Society
Training School 2016 Winner (sponsored by Goodyear) - Learner Driver Centre
Each and every winner should be proud of the incredible contribution they give during each and every day of their profession.