Select Committee on Transport Written Evidence


Memorandum from The Patrick Foundation (RS 53)

QUALITY DRIVING INITIATIVE

  The Patrick Foundation Quality Driving Initiative lobbies for a return to former high standards of driver training for Police and Public alike, and for realistic research based on evidence, knowledge and established facts. The initiative should be implemented by those who have experienced and followed the pursuit of excellence, exemplified and enacted by the Metropolitan Police Driving School at Hendon. This former centre of excellence has subsequently been run down with its crucial influence in improving driving standards progressively diminished from 1965, by less well informed and badly advised Government departments and Ministers.

  The Metropolitan Police Driving School at Hendon, was founded in 1931 as a direct result of concern at an incident rate of one per 7,000 miles amongst their drivers. Opened for business in January 1932, driver training evolved from Hendon, to encompass eight police driving schools nationally, and influence driver training for the services, companies, the public, and input into virtually all major overseas countries. By 1965 an incident rate of one per 85,000 miles had been achieved for all police drivers nationally. The Hendon training methodology and success story began to be widely implemented in the public and corporate sector by organisations such as the British School of Motoring. Britain stood as a world leader in implementing a superior road safety culture, which is proven to have worked.

  Three years ago in 2004 the Metropolitan Police admitted an incident rate of one per 10,000 miles. There are no valid arguments to dispute this catastrophic decline in driving standards, and the current appalling Police accident statistics. If this was not enough, the current National statistics for young drivers are even more disturbing within a culture of confrontation, gun and drugs crimes, loss of discipline, loss of respect for authority amongst all age groups, and a Government who panders to single issue pressure groups who raise money by presenting misleading and untruthful statements to the media and the public. Implementation of the Quality Driving Initiative now, before it is too late, will save lives, reduce injuries, and restore the Nations dignity—Edmund Marriage

February 2008

CONTENTS A

A.   What is the Truth?—Some important facts behind the urgent need for radical changes to current policies

  1.  The responsibility for the lethal Instrument in a collision rests with the driver of that lethal instrument.

  2.  There are four identifiable types of driver requiring different types of formal supervision, training, and low cost medical rehabilitation.

  3.  Very few people understand the wide range of skills required to be a safe driver. These skills are best taught at a young age in schools, to establish personal responsibility and a popular safety culture.

  4.  Very few people understand the established formal driver training terminology of both the good use of, and misuse of speed. This has led to speed per se being falsely considered a major cause of death and injury, and the implementation of policies with a range of very serious unintended consequences.

  5.  Reliance on speed cameras encourages bad driving and side effects, which lead to increased numbers of deaths and injuries. The implementation of this speed camera policy, has in practice destroyed motoring public respect and confidence in the Police, the Courts and Government.

  6.  A significant proportion of the costs of the Quality Driving Initiative in achieving higher standards of driver training can be absorbed within a thriving private sector. The consequent benefits would contribute a net gain in Government finances.

  7.  The harsh reality of the important statistics, call for a major change of attitudes and policies at the highest level.

CONTENTS B C D AND E

B.  IMPLEMENTING THE QUALITY DRIVING INITIATIVE

  1.  Ten Year Plan to Bring to a Halt to the Spiral of Social Disorder, Lack of Individual Responsibility, and to re-establishing a Safety Culture.

  2.  Mobilising Currently Unused Police Expertise, and the Training of the Instructors and Administrators for this Initiative.

  3.  Quality Assurance Classifications for successful instructors and pupils to British and International Standards and Use.

  4.  Promoting the Self Funding Potential of Quality Assurance, Apprenticeship, Training and Rehabilitation in the Absence of Government Funds.

  5.  Simulated Advanced Driver Training, using Virtual Reality PC based packages, for schools and driver training establishments.

  6.  Skilled Assessments of Individual Capability and Needs.

  7.  Resolution of Drug, Drink, Substance or other Health Abuse Issues by using the Neuro Electric Therapy addiction cures, linked with effective work and training based rehabilitation, free from any subscription drugs from day one.

  8.  Integrating and Implementing the range of measures required to encourage and achieve high levels of individual responsibility through a wide range of linked activities.

  9.  Encouraging the supportive roles, which would arise by fully engaging with the Private Sector.

  10.  Legislation which would ensure that all aspects of the Ten Year Plan gained the support and understanding from the Exchequer, Police, Local Authorities and the Courts.

C.  BACKGROUND ON THE PATRICK FOUNDATION AND EDMUND MARRIAGE

D.  REQUEST TO ATTEND THE ORAL EVIDENCE HEARINGS AND OFFER OF ASSISTANCE IN IMPLEMENTING OF THE QUALITY DRIVING INITIATIVE

E.  ATTACHMENTS (NOT PRINTED)

A.   What is the Truth?—Some important facts behind the urgent need for radical changes to current policies

1.  The responsibility for the lethal Instrument in a collision rests with the driver of that lethal instrument

  Drivers of vehicles are personally responsible for the lethal instrument in a collision, and therefore their levels of concentration, hazard perception and anticipatory skills, together with their general ability and physical fitness are the primary factors in assessing and reducing their accident potential, and their impact on death and injury statistics.

  Put simply, bad driving causes accidents, and if bad driving is not being addressed or discouraged, progress will not be made. The informed reality is that current policies encourage bad driving, discourage good driving, and prevent high standards of driver training from taking place.

  Individual responsibility and free will is being discouraged in an atmosphere of confrontation and distrust, brought down upon us by the significant, detrimental and unsustainable expansion of State-ism into our lives.

  Government in reality has a duty of care to each individual in our wide community, and a primary requirement though education, to reduce the accident potential of those individuals, where undue risk would compromise the public interest. If targets are to be used, then the numbers who have undergone training would be a first priority measure of achievement.

2.  There are four identifiable types of driver requiring different types of formal supervision, training, and low cost medical rehabilitation

  Excellent common sense research, unfortunately discarded by the Transport Research Laboratory in the 1970s, because it could not be precisely defined on paper, concluded that there were four identifiable types of driver, who required different approaches, training methods and length of time in undertaking driver training. Associated Active—Associated Passive—Disassociated Passive—Disassociated Active. The ability to allow for these individual differences, and identify those drivers with the highest accident potential, would enable training to be conducted with greater efficiency, and more positively assist each group to lower their accident potential, rather than tend to alienate and confuse them under more standard or more limited training procedures.

3.  Very few people understand the wide range of skills required to be a good and safe driver. These skills are best taught at a young age in schools, to establish personal responsibility and a popular safety culture

  Positioning, hazard perception, judgement of speed and distance, creating safety space, making good use of speed, and acting and responding courteously to other drivers, can be taught more effectively, when a driver is put under pressure. Psychological difficulties can also be recognised by an experienced instructor at an early stage, so that the pupil can be given the appropriate instruction and experience to provide the vital confidence combined with discipline, which will significantly reduce accident potential.

  Adjusting speed to suit the prevailing conditions at all times requires maintaining high levels of concentration, observation, anticipation, hazard perception and above all, keeping eyes on the road.

  Mastering the abilty to drive slowly enough when conditions demand such action, being the primary and ultimate objective of driving skill, regardless of what speed limit was set. This is a particularily important skill on country roads, along with an understanding of the behaviour of wild animals, and the reasons for rural activities, such as riding horses on country roads.

  Not to obstruct other road users—Learning the art of positioning the vehicle correctly and safely at all times—Not driving into other peoples accidents—Overtaking as quickly as possible in order to create safety space and reduce time exposed to danger.

  The priority of providing excellent training to Police once allowed them to use their high skills to identify driving faults and an accurate analysis of the real causes of accidents—These skills are being lost.

  Former heads of the Police Driving School at Hendon would confirm that the emphasis was placed on the use of speed in the training process in order to expose and correct small mistakes before they became big ones.

  Today loss of control of a vehicle, is said to occur in 35% of accidents.

  600 deaths (20% of total) are due to drivers failing to look properly.

4.  Very few people understand the established formal driver training terminology of the good use, and misuse of speed. This has led to speed per se being considered as a major cause of death and injury, and adopting policies with a range of very serious unintended consequences

  The reduction of speed has been seen by the authorities as a priority in reducing deaths and injuries, and the strict enforcement of speed limits by mechanical means, has been a primary instrument in the attempt to achieve optimistic targets. The reliable accumulated evidence shows that this approach is simplistic, ineffective, damaging, and plain wrong for one key reason. It was established long ago that speed in itself does not kill. The correct terminology has been defined by the Hendon Police Driving School as the use of speed and misuse of speed.

  Misuse of speed as a cause of death and injury did not exceed 7% of deaths and injuries, when accident analysis was properly assessed under Stats 19-21 by Police Class One trained drivers. The Stats 19 to 21 forms still display the terms, use and misuse of speed. Sufficient confidence was expressed to support this qualified analysis that the breakdown of causes was printed in the Highway Code. In support of this important fact, speed itself was recorded as a lesser cause than this at 5% by the Transport Research Laboratory in September 2006. At least 93% of deaths and injuries therefore arise from a wide range of simple and complex causes other than speed, which should be addressed and not neglected. Government policy centred on speed per se, currently fails to address the use and misuse of speed, and fails to deal with 93% of the real problems.

  Use of speed more often relates to driving well under the speed limit to reduce the chance of a collision. Use of speed is an important part of driving safely and creating safety space for all drivers. Use of speed also assists in removing the problem of obstructing other road users and causing congestion. Use of speed become a valuable tool in maintaining the essential high levels of concentration. For all drivers speed is the primary beneficial influence, which encourages them through fear to be observant, stay mentally awake and behave safely and responsibly.

  The failure to understand the difference between use of speed and misuse of speed, and to remove knowledge and experience on these two aspects of speed from the debate, lies at the heart of the damaging conflict between a badly advised Government and the better informed driving public.

  The strict enforcement of speed limits, in practice, creates side effects by lowering the standard of driving, and this in turn leads to a relative increase in the numbers of dead and injured, particularly within the built up areas at speeds below 30 mph, where most death and injuries occur. Cameras are extremely expensive and cannot cover more than a very small percentage of the country (currently less than 3%). In any event they are required as a matter of priority where pedestrians are at high risk. There is no possible hope of meeting road safety targets, unless individual responsibility is encouraged and rewarded. The lack of mutual respect between the State and Road Users has made this all the more difficult. One size fits all speed enforcement therefore does not address the issue of saving lives and reducing injuries on our roads.

  18% of accidents are said to occur with drivers travelling too fast within the limit. 2 million speed tickets are currently issued each year, and 1.3 million drivers are one offence away from disqualification.

5.  Reliance on speed cameras encourages bad driving and this leads to increased numbers of deaths and injuries. This policy has destroyed motoring public respect and confidence in the Police, the Courts and Government

  Misuse of speed is now a growing problem, because the reliance on speed cameras sends the wrong messages to drivers. There is no longer a means to identify and encourage the correct use of speed. There is no longer a means to identify and punish the misuse of speed. There is no means to encourage and reward good driving.

  Other specialists have provided the solid evidence to this committee, to demonstrate that speed cameras used as a one size fits all solution has been a disaster, indirectly causing many more deaths and injuries (estimated at 1,200 deaths per annum) to set off against the very small reduction in deaths and injuries claimed at camera sites (25 deaths—see the Conclusions of the Safe Speed Report attached.

  The camera was located on a straight stretch of high quality dual carriage way, far from any form of hazard, such as a bend or the brow of a hill. The road conditions and visibility on the day in question were excellent and the amount of traffic was light. Accident statistics demonstrate that such roads in Britain have the lowest relative ratings for deaths and injuries of all roads, including those in any other country in the world—Witness statement at a site where record amounts of speeding fines have been unjustly extracted from drivers.

  The proven method of encouraging drivers to adjust their speed to suit the prevailing conditions and to keep their eyes on the road, is now more relevant than ever before in restoring sanity and safe driving. Total control of speed by gantry signs and cameras has proved successful under certain conditions, but the nanny state has decreed the strict enforcement of speed limits, without any consideration being given to the serious ongoing decline in standards of driving, and the massive increase in the wide range of bad driving habits, which eventually kill and injure more people.

  Reliance on speed cameras is guaranteed to increase deaths and injuries on the roads of the world. Using them to raise money is a corrupt abuse of authority, guaranteed to alienate the drivers of vehicles, and further destroy public respect and trust in what were once called the courtesy cops. The letter attached from a Police Sergeant on this subject covered above is typical of the majority of experienced and informed policemen in the United Kingdom, whose advice has been ignored.

  Meanwhile 1.2 million road deaths and 50 million injuries around the world continue to present growing unresolved problems for the human race, through the failure to deal with the known causes of deaths and injuries.

6.  A significant proportion of the costs of high standards of driver training can be absorbed within a thriving private sector, and the consequent benefits contribute to a net gain in Government finances

  The current average cost of each road accident, is estimated to well exceed £1 million. This does not include the disruption and congestion, which impacts upon the National economy. The cost effectiveness of improved and widespread driver training has for long been proven.

7.  The harsh reality of these important statistics, call for a major change of attitudes and policy's at the highest level

  1.  A loss of downward trend from the early 1990's costing more than 8,000 lives.

  2.  From the lowest fatality rate of 33 countries in 1995 to 5th place in 2005, and 28th in accident reduction over the last 10 years.

  3.  One million, mostly young drivers, on the roads without insurance and valid driving licences.

  4.  Death rate for young drivers under 20 has doubled in the last five years, when full licence holders in this group has halved over five years.

  5.  Of £44 billion collected, £8 billion is spent on road transport.

B.   Implementing the Quality Driving Initiative

1.  Ten Year Plan to Bring to a Halt to the Spiral of Social Disorder, Lack of Individual Responsibility, and Re-establishing a Safety Culture

  Promote a new driver training industry based on the Quality Driving Initiative and allowing a period of 10 years to meet major objectives. This would be achieved initially, by pulling together all current loose ends—clear leadership, reform and re-mobilisation of police skills, instructor training, legislative issues, public awareness of the facts, industry requirements etc. Re-establishing the pursuit of excellence within an effective safety culture for the future.

  In order to encourage individual responsibility within an ordered community, each individual has a moral duty of care to that community. An individual who legally chooses, or is required, to deploy a lethal instrument, be it a knife, gun or car, should demonstrate skill and responsibility in its use. The Quality Driving Initiative sets out how this can be achieved under self regulatory structures, with the minimum of Government interference. An essential requirement is the encouragement of individual responsibility, and taking seriously all related issues at as young an age as possible.

  The pursuit of excellence in each department was a matter of honour, where self interest led to a duty of care towards fellow citizens and the overall success of that community—Learning from History—Edmund Marriage.

2.  Mobilising Currently Unused Police Expertise, and the Training of the Instructors and the Administrators of this Initiative

  We have reached a point in time where there is a rapidly decreasing number of Police, who were trained the Hendon Class One driver qualification. They would however currently represent sufficient available numbers to be the potential, knowledgeable instructors and administrators in the revival of Hendon methods, through the Quality Driving Initiative.

  The policy of encouraging or allowing police personnel to retire as early as the age of 48, does allow this substantial reservoir of highly skilled and experienced individuals, familiar with past best practice in driver training and community policing, to be re-employed as a matter of national emergency, in clearly defined and well rewarded roles, which should not create conflict with the running of the current Police force.

  Radical action is required by Government in a number of important areas to ensure the Quality Driving Initiative is successful. One central issue is to mobilise unused Police skills on a large scale in training instructors and administrators for the Initiative. At the same time a dual purpose in this action would be to select those Police skills best equipped to provide supporting sensitive community policing, to support this, and similar rehabilitation and training initiatives.

3.  Quality classifications for successful instructors and pupils to British and International Standards and Use

  A British Standard for five classifications of training achievement as perfected by the Police Driving School at Hendon, between 1933 and 1965. This would be re-branded as the Quality Driving Initiative for police, fleet training, public, armed services, and administered through a re-formed Driving Standards Agency, and the Driver Training industry.

  For example Pass Plus, the IAM test and the Driver Improvement Scheme would fall in the category of Class 5. A good IAM test would fall into the category of Class 4.

  Penalties for bad driving, especially amongst the young, should be focused on compulsory and voluntary driver training, not being banned and criminalised, but encouraged to enjoy driving well and be rewarded for achieving results. In cases where a Court imposes a two year detention and training order, this should dovetail into the Initiative outlined in this Submission (see B7 below).

4.  Promoting the self funding potential of quality assurance, apprenticeship, training and rehabilitation, in the absence of government funds

  The early success of the Initiative would stimulate a wide range of opportunities of linking with similar training projects, and obtaining funds from a wide range of sources other than Government. Good planning and support from Government is therefore of great importance to achieving long term objectives. Neither Government nor the private sector could achieve a successful outcome on its own.

5.  Simulated Advanced Driver Training, using Virtual Reality PC based packages for schools and driver training establishments

  The writer was closely involved with the Transport Research Laboratory and the Bristol based Virtual Reality Specialist Company Division in 1997-98 in an attempt to set up a grant aided project, to explore the provision of low cost, mass produced VR PC packages, which would utilise Hendon methodology, to allow realistic driver training to be taught in the classroom. The plans were ahead of their time. However such a project 10 years on, with improvements in technology and lower costs, make such a concept a practical reality.

6.  Skilled assessments of individual capability and needs

  This initiative would provide an emphasis on the all important duty of care to the individual with methodology to understand individual training requirements, encouraging confidence, providing special assessments and resolutions of psychological and medical difficulties. This would assist in successfully training high risk individuals and reducing numbers condemned to a underclass, unable to enjoy the freedom of driving.

7.  Resolution of drug, drink, substance or other health abuse issues by using the Neuro Electric Therapy addiction cures, linked with effective work and training based rehabilitation, free from any subscription drugs

  An assessment of the inmates of Exeter Jail demonstrates that some 80% are there for drug related crime, and some 10% alcohol related crime. This pattern is typical across the county. Drug related gun crime has a major influence on road deaths and injuries. The growth in gun crime matches the growth in the illegal drug industry. The illegal drug industry has thrived and expanded by exploiting addiction. The illegal drug industry is a man made monster out of control. Addiction, or craving for another dose of drugs, is an uncontrollable physical reaction due to damage to brain connections. This physical problem can be cured in one short simple treatment, together with the efficient follow up of aftercare and supervision, during which the patients can be placed in work in suitable environments. The take over and dismantling by the State of the drug industry is now a practical proposition, coupled with proven measures to bring about a medical treatment approach, which would remove the spiral of dug crime,without the de-criminalisation of drugs. However, this solution to the problem cannot be compromised by a failure to address all the linked educational, environmental, rehabilitation supervision and legislative requirements, which must be delivered in a single package.

8.  Integrating and implementing the range of measures required to encourage and achieve high levels of individual responsibility throughout linked activities

  This initiative would link for obvious reasons with many other education projects, youth training programmes, and vocational qualifications.

  A consultation process would be required by all interested parties to build a successful cooperative strategy, and highlight special opportunities for cooperation.

9.  Encouraging the supportive roles, which would arise by fully engaging with the private sector

  Government would be required to provide a fiscal and administrative environment in which the Initiative and the driver training industry could thrive and prosper both in the United Kingdom and Internationally.

  The Insurance industry as a whole would almost certainly have to be compelled by legislation to support and encourage Quality Assurance Classifications for driving ability, and feed data into the system so that progress can be monitored, and management decisions made.

  The private company sector has established an example of one incident per 250,000 miles through an on going company driver training programme, against a National average of approximatly one incident per 15,000 miles

10.  Legislation, which would ensure that all aspects of the Ten Year Plan gained the support and understanding from the Exchequer, police, local authorities and the courts

C.   Background on the Patrick Foundation and Edmund Marriage

  The Patrick Foundation is an independent not for profit research organisation run by Edmund Marriage based at Sherborne in Dorset. The Quality Driving Initiative lobbies for a return to high standards of driver training for Police and Public alike, and for realistic research based on evidence, knowledge and established facts, in reducing deaths and injuries on our roads.

  Edmund Marriage—Principal of the Patrick Foundation—ARICS, MRAC—Qualified in Agriculture and Land Agency at the Royal Agricultural College Cirencester and Wye College, London University. Founder of the Golden Age Project, British Wildlife Management, Work Groups for Wildlife (Rehabilitation), the Quality Driving and Shooting Initiatives, with a career in countryside and wildlife management, property, fund management, and independent research. His video lectures can be seen on the Holistic Channel Broadband Television.

  Edmund Marriage successfully undertook most of the advanced driving courses offered to the general public in the early 1960s, exercising his personal responsibility in undertaking over 100 hours of one to one training in the private sector, reaching a standard, which equated with Police Class 1 Standard. He benefitted greatly from instruction by Hendon trained instructors employed by the British School of Motoring High Performance Course, who had taken driver training to its ultimate apogee of excellence with specialist cars under the auspices of Tom Widom and Denise McCann, before the imposition of the 70 mph limit.

  He has campaigned and lobbied on driver training issues since 1965. For many years he was a member of the Association of Road Safety Officers attending events arranged by that organisations. He has undertaken many refresher courses to maintain driving skill. He has wide experience of the driver training industry, especially in teaching young people.

  He instigated the Quality Driving Initiative in 1995 to lobby for a return to the high standards of Hendon driver training for police and public, utilising the system of five classification of categories of training skill.

  He was closely involved with the Transport Research Laboratory and the Bristol based Virtual Reality Specialist Company Division in 1997-98 in an attempt to set up a grant aided project, to explore the provision of low cost, mass produced VR PC packages, which would utilise Hendon methodology to allow realistic driver training to be taught in the classroom.

  He gave a presentation on the Quality Driving Initiative to the Association of Road Safety Officers at the Driving Standards Agency training school at Cardington in Bedfordshire in November 1999.

  As direct result of his involvement and passion for high standards of driver training he has recorded over 1 million miles without incident. He is prepared to state that however good a driver thinks he is, just one mistake at the wrong time or place would result in instant death. However this is more likely if drivers are encouraged by the State to divert their attention away from best practice, towards misleading beliefs!

D.   Request to attend the Oral Evidence Hearings and Offer of Assistance in implementing of the Quality Driving Initiative

  With a working lifetime of interest and experience in this subject, I would like to attend the oral evidence hearings, and play a key role in the implementation of the Quality Driving Initiative.

E.   Attachments (not printed)

February 2008





 
previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2008
Prepared 29 October 2008