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#1 05-07-12 11:59:04

Promanade
Guest

Very skilled police driving.

Over the years I have always held high speed police response drivers in high esteem, granted they do drive at speeds with blue lights and loud sirens and most people get out of there way but it still takes a large amount of skill to drive at such speeds on our roads today.

Would it be possible to be taught these skills on an 8 hour course personally I would think not!

I would be very much interested from any ex police officers who have had this training to share an insight into how you were trained, hours, routes, legalities etc keeping it brief of course wink

05-07-12 11:59:04

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Re: Very skilled police driving.



#2 05-07-12 16:51:19

Andrew lefthandseat
Verified Member
Registered: 22-12-11
Posts: 369

Re: Very skilled police driving.

It changes over the years, but in 1987, they took you out in an unmarked car and as soon as you passed a national speed limit sign (known as the 'GLF' sign), the instructor made you drive as fast as possible. If you could do this whilst giving a commentary and not pleading with the instructor to slow down, you passed.

The course lasted 3 weeks and was huge fun. It included time on the skid pan going sideways and successful completion entitled you to run on 'blues and twos'

If you wanted to do pursuits, you had to do a further 5 week course in a faster car and more time on the skid pan. Even more fun.

Nowadays there are periodic checks, which involve an instructor taking response drivers out on the road for a simulated high speed run. This can be quite exciting when the driver being tested isn't current (say a CID officer who isn't used to dealing with emergency calls) because they get a bit 'rusty'.

For police cars, speed limits and road signs are 'advisory'. This does not entitle police drivers to cause an accident and they are liable to prosecution for poor/dangerous driving like any other driver. There are also penalties and sanctions within the police force for bad driving.

8 hours not enough to learn response driving, although with cost-cutting in progress, anything is possible!

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#3 05-07-12 20:41:27

(ROG)
Verified Member
From: LEICESTER
Registered: 23-08-10
Posts: 1,551

Re: Very skilled police driving.

If already got a good percentage score in the IAM SA then I suppose it is possible in 8 hours theoretically


IAM Observer
Leicester group of advanced motorists
LGV instructor from 2005 to 2008

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#4 05-07-12 22:42:29

ratty
Member
Registered: 05-02-11
Posts: 466

Re: Very skilled police driving.

This is something I posted some time ago when asked about police advanced driving courses. Have a read and then ask yourself if ROG is correct, that this could be done in 8 hours theoretically!

I know things have changed a bit since I did my course but the basics are still the same. As I have said this was an advanced course, not the response course that most 'Panda' drivers have taken, that comes before this one.


The tests are only part of the course. To get on a course an officer has to have already passed a police response driving course. This is usually two to four week depending on the force. You do not have to be a traffic officer to take the course. In some forces the majority of officers who take driving courses are not it traffic (or Roads Policing as it is called now). To give you some idea about the course I can tell you about mine, although it was some time ago in the early 1990's.
First there was a written test on the Highway Code, Roadcraft and the force driving rules and regs. This was followed by an eyesight test and then by a test of reversing, manoeuvring and parking a manual car. These were done during the first morning of the course. The first afternoon was taken up by driver assessments to see how a student was driving, bearing in mind they had already had at least one driving course and possibly more if they already motorcyclists. If their standard had badly slipped they could fail the course on their first day. The remainder of the first week was completed in lower powered cars (2 ltrs) and acted as a refresher. The remained for the, in my case, four week course was completed in higher powered cars. The cars always ran in pairs to introduce the students to following another car. There were three students to a car with one instructor. During the course all of the students had to do a test on the skid pan, following an instructor against the clock. We also had to do a day familiarising with larger HGV and PCV vehicle driving. (This was prior to 1997 when licencing laws changed). We used a different car virtually every day, nearly all unmarked, changing between manuals and autos and different makes of cars, Rovers, 24v Senators and a 24v Granada. This was done under the constant pressure of knowing that each Friday we were check tested and could fail at any stage of the course. We were also marked every day and there was an expectation that a student's standard should improve virtually ever day. We were also tested driving under blue lights for a day, introduced to some basic anti-hijack manoeuvres like high speed reversing and had to do a long night drive. At the end of the course we were tested in two ways. We had to simulate a blue light run by driving from A to B as fast as was safely possible and then we had to pursue an instructor for about half an hour. The first test was in an auto, the second in a manual car. As has been mentioned earlier, if they passed the student is then given a police driving classification. Class 1 being higher than class 2. If, as I was, the student was a member of a traffic department there was enormous pressure to get a 1 classification to the extent that a class 2 was seen by some as a fail! There was also  an unofficial 'true' or 'pure' class 1 grade. During the course the student was marked in at least 5 different and separate aspects or parts of the course. To gain a 1 classification the students average score had to be above 85% (75% being the course pass mark and a score of between 76 and 84% resulting in a 2 classification, the score of exactly 75 and 85 were never given). However to gain a 'true' class 1 the student had to score more than 86% in each different aspect of the course.
Hopefully the above gives you some idea about the course, it's very specialised nature and the reason it is only available to police officers and a select number of other security and or military personnel.
One thing with still makes me laugh is the number of police drivers who describe themselves as class 1s. There were 24 students on my course and of those, I'm sure there were just 5 class 1s. The large majority of police advanced drivers are not class 1s. It's very easy for someone to say they are a class 1 went there is really no way this can be checked unless someone is 'inside'. It is also noticeable that lots of class 2s describe themselves as 'advanced' rather than say they are class 2s.

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#5 05-07-12 22:43:44

ratty
Member
Registered: 05-02-11
Posts: 466

Re: Very skilled police driving.

(ROG) wrote:

If already got a good percentage score in the IAM SA then I suppose it is possible in 8 hours theoretically

Do you really believe this?

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#6 06-07-12 07:01:34

trunkmonkey
Member
Registered: 05-03-09
Posts: 747

Re: Very skilled police driving.

(ROG) wrote:

If already got a good percentage score in the IAM SA then I suppose it is possible in 8 hours theoretically

No, it isn't.

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#7 06-07-12 08:06:24

(ROG)
Verified Member
From: LEICESTER
Registered: 23-08-10
Posts: 1,551

Re: Very skilled police driving.

ratty wrote:
(ROG) wrote:

If already got a good percentage score in the IAM SA then I suppose it is possible in 8 hours theoretically

Do you really believe this?

If they only need the B&Ts bit then surely it is 'possible' ?


IAM Observer
Leicester group of advanced motorists
LGV instructor from 2005 to 2008

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#8 06-07-12 08:26:53

ratty
Member
Registered: 05-02-11
Posts: 466

Re: Very skilled police driving.

ROG I really don't want to get into a personal slanging match here, but it is apparent to me that you really don't know anything about police driving standards or you wouldn't post this.

I also know that, unfortunately, the IAM is currently having real credibility problems about the consistency of marking and quality of it's tests and assessments. They can't convince their members that there is consistency in marking.

For you to post what in my view is rubbish like this does not help either their cause or frankly your credibility.

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#9 06-07-12 10:19:45

(ROG)
Verified Member
From: LEICESTER
Registered: 23-08-10
Posts: 1,551

Re: Very skilled police driving.

ratty wrote:

ROG I really don't want to get into a personal slanging match here, but it is apparent to me that you really don't know anything about police driving standards or you wouldn't post this.

I would never suggest that any civvy driver can drive under the same pressures that a police driver has to content with

What I am suggesting is that the physical skills to drive under B&Ts is possible for a civvy to be taught in that timeframe = I said taught and not be ready to actually use them on the road

In a 3 week response course, how many actual hours behind the wheel does each get on B&T training?


IAM Observer
Leicester group of advanced motorists
LGV instructor from 2005 to 2008

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#10 06-07-12 11:23:44

ratty
Member
Registered: 05-02-11
Posts: 466

Re: Very skilled police driving.

(ROG) wrote:

What I am suggesting is that the physical skills to drive under B&Ts is possible for a civvy to be taught in that timeframe = I said taught and not be ready to actually use them on the road


You mean they can read a book on the subject and be shown where to on / off switch is in the car?

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#11 06-07-12 11:44:10

(ROG)
Verified Member
From: LEICESTER
Registered: 23-08-10
Posts: 1,551

Re: Very skilled police driving.

I am not explaining very well am I ?

Lets say a civvy driver has passed every possible civvy advanced test going with flying colours

They are then allowed to go for B&T training

Could they be trained for response B&T driving within 8 hours behind the wheel?

I think its possible - probably not likely but possible


IAM Observer
Leicester group of advanced motorists
LGV instructor from 2005 to 2008

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#12 06-07-12 12:37:47

trunkmonkey
Member
Registered: 05-03-09
Posts: 747

Re: Very skilled police driving.

A police Standard Driving Course is 3 weeks - 37hrs driving time.
At the end of the course the successful student may have achieved a Class 3. A higher grade is not possible. A Class 3 is the equivalent of a RoSPA Gold or IAM SA.

After a few years experience the officer may apply for an Advanced Driving Course. There is a 1 hour assessed drive. You only have 1 hour to impress. There are no second chances.

If successful you attend a 4 week Advanced Course – 49 hrs driving time. If successful you may achieve a Class 1 or Class 2.

In Ratty’s force you would then attend a 3 week Response course – 37hrs driving time.

The difference between Class 3/RoSPA/IAM  is huge. The civvy driver even with the top badges has never (legally) exceeded the speed limit on public roads.
Is there a possibility of being competent to respond within 8 hrs?   No, it’s more like 80 and that is after a Standard Course and a few years of experience in smaller vehicles.

Can civvy drivers reach the standard? Absolutely.
There is nothing magical about a police Class 1, only that because of their role they had an opportunity to take their driving ability to another level.  It isn’t easy. Most drivers have potential but start to take them out of their comfort zone and reality moves to the fore. Quite a few, at that point, are brave and say “Sorry, it’s not for me”.

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#13 06-07-12 14:03:47

Stephen7738
Member
From: Warrington
Registered: 12-10-04
Posts: 305

Re: Very skilled police driving.

Rog,
No disrespect to you but this is a different area of driving if anything this is more important as you are driving for yourself and everyone else on the road your planning and approach speed to hazard's has to be spot on,and remember if you get it wrong,every single driver on the road at that particular time is potentially a witness against you,this is what you are told from day one of the course which for me it has stuck in my mind,along with all eyes are on you whilst driving under B+Ts as well as normal road speeds.

I worked out that on a three week standard response course with a three to one ratio based on 7hr day this is after lunch and morning break taken into account as a student you sit behind the wheel for about 35hrs,there are other factors built in such as a slow learner or a student having a particularly bad time at getting something right then as students we could give up some extra time to them to help them along.

There are certain restrictions in place now for standard response drivers that were not in place a number of years ago such as they can only drive at the speed limit +20 and must stop at red lights and be given right of way before proceeding.

I certainly wouldn't want to sit next to someone after only 8hrs of training whilst weaving in and out of standing traffic,as some of them seem to forget what they have been taught as soon as they leave the gates of the driving school. I at present have to step in and say something when colleagues have been driving to incidents and I can see what appears to be red mist forming,when this happens I will interact with other drivers as the passenger to leave the driver,to do what he should be doing and that is driving safely.

Police drivers are just like everyone else there are good and bad amongst them unfortuneately when we get it wrong we seem to make better headlines than the rest of the emergency services (but thats another Story). So,after all that,in my opinion no 8hrs is no where near enough trtaining to acheive a basic Police response driver,i would say the 35 to 37hrs is the bottom line for it.

Thats just my opinion which I am currently still doing on a day to day basis,and watching and assesing others doing it.

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#14 06-07-12 14:45:08

Driver99
Member
Registered: 21-01-11
Posts: 264

Re: Very skilled police driving.

ratty wrote:

I also know that, unfortunately, the IAM is currently having real credibility problems about the consistency of marking and quality of it's tests and assessments. They can't convince their members that there is consistency in marking.

Are you basing that comment on the current IAM forum ramblings?

There's a handful of "keen amateurs" who like to chat (pick the bones out of everything!) - out of over 90,000 members I wouldn't be concerned.

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#15 06-07-12 16:01:57

ratty
Member
Registered: 05-02-11
Posts: 466

Re: Very skilled police driving.

Driver99 wrote:
ratty wrote:

I also know that, unfortunately, the IAM is currently having real credibility problems about the consistency of marking and quality of it's tests and assessments. They can't convince their members that there is consistency in marking.

Are you basing that comment on the current IAM forum ramblings?

There's a handful of "keen amateurs" who like to chat (pick the bones out of everything!) - out of over 90,000 members I wouldn't be concerned.

In answer to your first question, no.

In answer to your second comment, I agree that the vast majority if it's members couldn't care less but I think that the enthusiasts who want to improve by aiming for a higher grade are being let down by the standards in the organisation.

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#16 06-07-12 16:52:28

Promanade
Guest

Re: Very skilled police driving.

Thanks to all for taking the time to reply to my OP. smile

So in your opinion would it be possible for me an ADI of 20years experience to train a serving police officer in the skill of high speed response driving if, i had spent a day in the classroom and a few hours out in the car. Honest opinions please don’t worry about hurting my feelings. wink

#17 06-07-12 17:05:34

daz6215
Verified Member
Registered: 07-06-08
Posts: 449

Re: Very skilled police driving.

Why do you ask Promanade?

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#18 06-07-12 17:43:14

Driver99
Member
Registered: 21-01-11
Posts: 264

Re: Very skilled police driving.

ratty wrote:

In answer to your second comment, I agree that the vast majority if it's members couldn't care less but I think that the enthusiasts who want to improve by aiming for a higher grade are being let down by the standards in the organisation.

There does sound to be some inconsistency, but that's natural.  You only have to look at the ADI forum and the constant questioning of DSA Examiners decisions etc to see that!

Re the "enthusiasts", I think most of them go outside the IAM for further training.  It's good that IAM is trying to revitalise additional assessments, but it's early days yet on developing them it appears.

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#19 06-07-12 19:25:28

(ROG)
Verified Member
From: LEICESTER
Registered: 23-08-10
Posts: 1,551

Re: Very skilled police driving.

Promanade wrote:

Thanks to all for taking the time to reply to my OP. smile

So in your opinion would it be possible for me an ADI of 20years experience to train a serving police officer in the skill of high speed response driving if, i had spent a day in the classroom and a few hours out in the car. Honest opinions please don’t worry about hurting my feelings. wink

NO would be my answer - not a ******* chance - hows that?

Thanks to others for explaining more in detail what the response course entails - that changes my mind about the 8 hour thing - my answer will now be no hope !!


IAM Observer
Leicester group of advanced motorists
LGV instructor from 2005 to 2008

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#20 06-07-12 19:34:39

ratty
Member
Registered: 05-02-11
Posts: 466

Re: Very skilled police driving.

Promanade wrote:

Thanks to all for taking the time to reply to my OP. smile

So in your opinion would it be possible for me an ADI of 20years experience to train a serving police officer in the skill of high speed response driving if, i had spent a day in the classroom and a few hours out in the car. Honest opinions please don’t worry about hurting my feelings. wink

I don't know how many times this has to be repeated but no, not to any standard worth having.

I would also like to know why you ask though.

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#21 07-07-12 13:13:24

trunkmonkey
Member
Registered: 05-03-09
Posts: 747

Re: Very skilled police driving.

Promanade wrote:

Thanks to all for taking the time to reply to my OP. smile

So in your opinion would it be possible for me an ADI of 20years experience to train a serving police officer in the skill of high speed response driving if, i had spent a day in the classroom and a few hours out in the car. Honest opinions please don’t worry about hurting my feelings. wink

Along with the others, no.

He should already be trained, shouldn't he?

Also you are restricted to the laws of the road, ergo, no excess speed, no exceptions or exemptions.

On another note, at my Driving School we recruited from the ADI sector. Of 24 applicants through to assessment, only 4 were  successful. After interview, two went on to the Standard Driving Course along with other young officers. One quit after a week, the other initially failed then passed after a further two weeks. Then onto the Instructors Course for Standard driver training. He failed. It is a problem. How do you teach something when you have only just qualified yourself?
That is why most police forces use officers with lengthy Advanced driving experience. In my force you would not be considered for Driving School with less than 15 years experience.
I had over 20, but was in such a good job - Surveillance Unit, that I wasn't interested - then I thought, hang on, I retire in 10 years. There may be more opportunities out there for a retired police Advanced Driving Instructor than there is for a retired detective.

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#22 07-07-12 14:27:28

daz6215
Verified Member
Registered: 07-06-08
Posts: 449

Re: Very skilled police driving.

Some of the best sports coaches cant perform to the same level to that of their student! There is much more to being a successful trainer than driving skill, of course it helps and will certainly give you credibility but you also have to be able to understand how adults learn, and be able to use different styles to appeal to different learning types. A lot of drivers will say tell you they have 30 years experience of driving, but have have they actually bothered to learn within that time, has there been any self reflection, could they even teach a novice?

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#23 07-07-12 18:26:40

trunkmonkey
Member
Registered: 05-03-09
Posts: 747

Re: Very skilled police driving.

daz6215 wrote:

Some of the best sports coaches cant perform to the same level to that of their student! There is much more to being a successful trainer than driving skill, of course it helps and will certainly give you credibility but you also have to be able to understand how adults learn, and be able to use different styles to appeal to different learning types. A lot of drivers will say tell you they have 30 years experience of driving, but have have they actually bothered to learn within that time, has there been any self reflection, could they even teach a novice?

i wouldn't disagree with that comment.
In police terms the prospective instructor has first to have an Advanced retest. No less than a Class 1. Within the early years of me Advanced days I was retested every two years and had an Advanced refresher every 5 years, so keeping the driving skills up shouldn't be a problem. Teaching is the problem. Good drivers do not necessarily pass the Instructors oourse. During my tenure 3 failed the course.

An ADI coming in has an advantage as he is already a qualified teacher ; but now he has to become a driver, initially at a Standard level. I would cite Overtaking as a major hurdle. Whilst Stephen speaks about speed limit plus 20 (in my force its 30) during training the student will travel up to 120mph but on test not expected to exceed 100. This follows the 85% rule where a police driver should never drive at more than 85% of his potential. Be competent at 120 and the test is a breeze.

Now factor in overtaking on a two way road at 100mph.
Then do it with oncoming traffic
Then do it in the rain
Then do it at night.

So far so good.

Then teach it to a novice.

Are you at that stage now?

If so good luck, it's the best decision you've ever made.

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#24 07-07-12 18:31:49

Promanade
Guest

Re: Very skilled police driving.

The reason is because i am a little confused, if an ADI is EMPLOYED by a police constabulary what purpose would that ADI serve to the police if not fully trained in fast responce driver techniques and what would the ADI be getting paid for if employed.
Approx 3 years ago 4 ADIs including myself spent some time with the police on something called the blue light scheme, sadly nothing ever came of it sad  (though it was interesting at the time) i was hoping it would lead to some work involving teaching young police cadets but was told the police do not employ outside professionals in any training of police driving.

#25 07-07-12 18:49:57

daz6215
Verified Member
Registered: 07-06-08
Posts: 449

Re: Very skilled police driving.

It would depend on the role you apply for, it may be teaching learners, I have saw adverts in the past for that role or it maybe response, in which case as has been mentioned, further training will be required before you teach it.

Last edited by daz6215 (07-07-12 18:50:29)

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