Sunday, 29 April 2007

Why are Police so soft on driving offences?

I'm not sure of this - I'm wondering if any of you can help me?

It seems to me that motoring offences like driving without a licence, insurance, MOT and the like are reasonably clear cut and simple to prosecute. So why are people getting away with it so often?

I'm no fan of simplistic rules for how laws should be enforced, as life is bloody complicated, but I would've thought that being caught without any of the above should get a fine and endorsement. Getting caught twice should lead to a ban, and getting caught 3 times should lead to community service.

All drivers caught for other offenses like mobile phone use or speeding should have all of these things checked as a matter of course.

Many criminals use stolen or un-registered cars to carry out their business, and when caught seem not to be prosecuted for anything - often drugs found in cars cannot be linked to the driver or a passenger and so are hard to prosecute for, but the issues with the legality of the car are ignored! These should be simple to fix - any un-registered car found on the road should be impounded.

Insurance seems to be awkward to prove on a day to day basis, so surely we should have to carry proof of insurance with us, which could be easily verified. I know there are issues with the data protection act on this one, but it should not be beyond the imagination of a civilised culture to come up with a simple solution that could easily prove that people are insured.

No insurance - the car should be impounded until insurance is proved.

No license - immediate arrest, car should be impounded.

No MOT - car should be impounded.

With all of these impounds they should have to pay to have the car released - and if the car is not claimed within a certain period it should be sold to pay for the impound costs and to continue and increase the policing.

This is one of my less ranting posts (apologies to those who prefer the rants - I'll do one on how offenders should have to pay EVERY cost of their offence soon!), so I hope the principle may be considered.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Driving Lessons on Ufindus!!!!

Well they're at it again (and I do hope they find this! (edit 19.06.07: they have found this - I tracked their IP! - Did they listen? Well I ain't had any calls since!!!)), they're calling anyone and everyone in an attempt to get themselves more business.

Not only do they call driving instructors on their mobile phones (I'll guarantee that these fools will drive and talk on them and won't understand why we won't), but they also use different phones all the time. They know that we block their calls, they know we don't want to talk to them, but still they call.

Now most of the time I don't get angry with people on the phone, because these poor morons aren't intelligent enough to question the morality of what they do, but I have started giving them aggro, with the idea that if enough people question the company that they work for, maybe they will too. Staff turnover might get these guys to change from a company that cold calls then charges a huge amount for a website you could make yourself for a fiver into a company that actually gives a good service, and stops calling when you ask them too.

So if they phone, what do you do? Well - I ask them how much they're paying me for my services - this really throws them! Then when they ask what I'm on about I tell them that the phone they have called me on is for customers to request my services - in the same way that when I want someones services I WILL PHONE THEM! Then I tell them that the call has been made to a telephone preference service registered number (unfortunately not applicable on the mobile yet - can you do this? I'm sure someone will email me with the answer) and that I will report them.

Then I ask to speak to their manager, and if they refuse, I ask why they work for a company when they can't even hand over the awkward customers to the manager?! Do they not give you the back up that you deserve? I bet the pay is pretty terrible when you could be earning a real living dealing with people who actually WANT your services.

And if they haven't given up and put the phone down I ask them why they would want to work for a company that so many people hate, and suggest they do a search on the office internet about Ufindus and find out how many people despise them.

Then I suggest they find a job that actually gives them some satisfaction and suggest they become a driving instructor - did you know you can earn £30,000 a year, have a new fully maintained car, and work flexible hours - interested?!!!!

Sunday, 15 April 2007

The Retests are Coming!

Well, for bus & truck drivers they are anyway. Recent changes to the system mean that these drivers will probably have to retake their test every 5 years.

Many local authorities also expect cab drivers to do the same, and with schools and businesses often specifying that their employees may not drive on business until they have passed a driver assessment - how long can it take?

And it will never be too soon for the 3000 people who are killed on the roads every year.

It will never be too soon for the 28,000 people seriously injured, disabled and disfigured on britains roads every year.

£11.73 BILLION pounds is one of the estimated costs of bad driving every year.

That's £11,730,000,000 in real numbers. And to break that down into even more understandable figures, that's £586.50 for every driver.

And if you're not a driver - don't worry - you pay your share in taxes.

The worst bit is that many of these bad drivers don't pay a penny, because they aren't insured - and until they cause an accident, all they really risk is a small fine and a few points on their licence.

If anyone is listening - PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE.

Sorry guys - rant over.

Monday, 9 April 2007

How much does a driving instructor earn

Another one without a simple answer, but I'll try.

Anywhere from £0 (or even a loss after training, car, franchise and other costs), to £30k and beyond.

£0 or a loss - work for a bad franchise who charge you a fortune then don't give you any customers. Work for yourself, but have no business sense, and a bit of bad luck (5 lessons for a fiver brigade opening up next door).

£30k - work like a sod for about 3 years. Train constantly to gain new qualifications. Have good business sense - or learn it. Work smart, keep customers, get a good reputation, but never slack on getting the word out.

Beyond? Start your own school, move up through the career ladder to ADI training and beyond. The owner of a 10 car school who trains all his ADIs should be able to earn around £1500 a week.


(for more info on this huge subject click on "driving instructor earnings" below.)

How much does it cost to train to be an instructor?

I keep getting hits for this question - or something similar, so the answer is.........

anything between £0 and £6000.

And the £6000 doesn't guarantee you'll pass!

The free route - do loads of research yourself, be strict with your revision, know your subject, be a bloody good driver already, and be a good trainer/coach already. With the amount of info out there it is possible I reckon, though I suspect only in theory. The best thing would be to do the work, then get someone to check you're on the right track every now and again. I reckon realistically you could do it for about £500 if you were really determined. Bear in mind about £220 in test fees, and a hundred or so on books.

The expensive route - follow the adverts, let the sales people talk you into things, and trust them to do the right thing by you. Don't do your homework, and expect "them" to "teach" you. This will not work. "You" will have to "learn from" them.

The sensible middle ground - go and have a chat with one of the "good guys" in the panel on the right, or someone who's posts you trust in the forums. Find recommendations, and work with them. Don't expect anything to come to you, 'coz even with the good guys it won't happen. Go after it.

If you wind up paying more than £3k for the whole shebang you're probably paying too much.


Will it ever happen?

Will the insurance companies introduce it through the back door?

Do us a favour - post your views under the comments below.

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Too many new Driving Instructors?

It's a commonly heard complaint in this industry, with people calling for the ADI register to be closed, training companies to be sued for mis-advertising and the like, and moaners on the forums from noon till night.

And yes, there's loads of the buggers around - I think I've seen 6 pink badges in my area recently, even though the local BSM office has shut down. There's a hundred and one new cars and new roofboxes around, and the local garages must be upping their stock of cheap and nasty cars for driving instructors. (Kia Picanto - eurgh!)

But they disappear again after 5 minutes! I'm gonna keep a list, and tick them off when I get a chance, and see how long they last. It seems no sooner than these guys get their green badge they disappear (obviously a good few disappear even before the green badge stage!).

The main reason seems to be not enough work. And I'm not sure why. Yes it's competetive, yes it's not regular, yes you have to do dodgy hours sometimes, BUT THAT'S WHAT IT'S LIKE WHEN YOU START YOUR OWN BUSINESS!

And we are all self employed! The business sense of some of these guys is great, but some of them seem clueless. One of the PDI's I spoke to in the test centre complained that he didn't have enough work because his recommendations were going to another PDI who had started with the company!!!!! GIVE 'EM YOUR OWN NUMBER!

Like I've said before - with a lot of work, and by vigorous rubbing together of braincells it is not too hard to make a living at this game. With a bit more work and brainpower (and some lateral thinking, training, and luck) the £30k is not out of reach given 3 years or so.