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#1 23-08-14 07:02:50

collywobs
Verified Member
From: Tonbridge Kent
Registered: 07-08-06
Posts: 479
Website

Late instructions from Driving Examiner!

I sat in on a test on Thursday this week and witnessed what I considered to be very late and unclear instructions from the Driving Examiner.
The result of which caused my student to fail with one serious driving fault!
My student was asked to pull-up on the left about a car length from a parked car.
She asked "where?"
The Examiner said "just here"
There was only one parking space at the end of a line of parked cars.
This meant that she would have to stop on double yellow lines!
At the time she was on Independent Driving following verbal directions.
She was travelling about 30 mph and was only about 30 metres away from the parked car when asked to pull-up!
She had to pull-up quite abruptly and the situation was made even worse by the car in front stopping to take the parking space on the end!
So, she did manage to stop in time and safely but it meant that she ended-up about 2ft away from the car that parked in front of us!
The Examiner then proceeded to give her the next series of verbal directions and then asked her to drive on.
This is where it started to go 'pear-shaped' because she firstly tried to move off but then realised that she was much too close to car in front and would probably clip the back!
So, she tried to reverse back but didn't straighten the wheels quickly enough so the front wheel mounted the kerb and the back of the car started to move out into the path of the traffic approaching from behind - serious fault!
The Examiner had to intervene by saying "steer the other way".
No dispute, it was a serious fault and I had no argument with that.
I just feel that the Examiner could have offered some help/advice when she ended-up too close to the parked car.
After all, this was supposed to be the angled start and she should have been a car length away from the car in front!
The Examiner could of said. "okay Zoe, we are a bit too close, just reverse back in a straight line until you are about a car length away from the car in front"
But, he just allowed her to move off from what was an impossible position.
This particular Examiner speaks very quickly and sometimes it's very difficult to understand what he has said, candidates often have to ask him to repeat his instructions.
I thought it was rather unfair and was very annoyed with him and for the first time ever I let the Examiner know my thoughts by commenting at the end of the test.
He was very defensive as you would expect but I think he knew that he had made it difficult for her.
Despite knowing that she had failed, my student stayed calm and the rest of the drive was almost perfect, she picked-up 3 minors of which 2 were for clearance of parked vehicles.
I'd appreciate your thoughts on this and I wondered whether I should speak to the TCM?
Thanks, Colin


Colin Kentish
Grade 6 DSA Approved Driving Instructor (car)
www.colinkentish.co.uk

Dream as if you'll live for ever
Live as if you'll die today

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23-08-14 07:02:50

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Re: Late instructions from Driving Examiner!



#2 23-08-14 07:25:11

MGM
Verified Member
From: Surrey
Registered: 24-10-11
Posts: 861

Re: Late instructions from Driving Examiner!

Apart from anything else, the DT1 clearly says that the controlled stop "must not be conducted during any part of the independent driving section."

So perhaps you could argue that the test wasn't conducted properly, and ask for a free retest.

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#3 23-08-14 13:57:42

G
Verified Member
From: Edenbridge Kent
Registered: 28-01-07
Posts: 280
Website

Re: Late instructions from Driving Examiner!

You could mention it to the TCM but you won't get a free retest. I have sat in on quite a lot of tests, sometimes they don't help when they could & others they help more than I think they should. Although the examiner created the problem your pupil should have been able to deal with it & at any other time they would have done so quite easily! Unfortunately when dealing with people & not robots these things happen, some benefit & some lose out, frustrating but that's life!


www.drivinglessonsedenbridge.co.uk
Grade 6 ADI
ORDIT registered Instructor Trainer

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#4 23-08-14 14:04:48

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

Re: Late instructions from Driving Examiner!

She had to pull-up quite abruptly and the situation was made even worse by the car in front stopping to take the parking space on the end!

Without any instruction what would have happened with regard to the car in front stopping?


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

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#5 23-08-14 16:00:18

collywobs
Verified Member
From: Tonbridge Kent
Registered: 07-08-06
Posts: 479
Website

Re: Late instructions from Driving Examiner!

Not looking for a free re-test because I'm not disputing that my student didn't handle the situation correctly and it was definitely a serious fault!
Yes, she probably would have dealt with the situation in a better way without test nerves and being in a fluster after having to stop suddenly - confusion.
The problem was Examiner didn't give ample notice to pull-up so student couldn't stop quickly enough to allow one car length.
I've sat in on other tests on this route and the instruction to pull-up is normally much earlier, at least 50 metres earlier!
We actually went past two empty parking spaces and I was thinking when the hell is he going to ask her to pull-up.
As it happens, there would have been nowhere else for the Examiner to stop her before the next turn on ID
I recon at least one or even two of the other Examiners at this TC (you know who I mean G) would probably have helped in this situation to ensure that my student was a car length away before asking her to move off.
Technically, this test was not completed to required standard because there was less than 1/2 car length for the angled start which isn't really fair!
I'm pretty sure that you would have been fuming G!

Last edited by collywobs (23-08-14 16:05:28)


Colin Kentish
Grade 6 DSA Approved Driving Instructor (car)
www.colinkentish.co.uk

Dream as if you'll live for ever
Live as if you'll die today

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#6 23-08-14 16:06:28

kaf
Verified Member
From: Wiltshire
Registered: 05-08-07
Posts: 3,328
Website

Re: Late instructions from Driving Examiner!

The only reason to stop them on ID is to give further directions.
Now if this coincides with the opportunity to do the angle start, that is fine.
But, it should not be done during the previously given instructions.

That is just plain wrong and certainly worth having  a discussion about.

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#7 23-08-14 16:15:39

Mentor
Verified Member
Registered: 22-10-05
Posts: 387

Re: Late instructions from Driving Examiner!

I have had a test where the examiner gave a late instruction to pull over, confused the pupil and had to dual her. Continued with test, apologised at the end and issued a pass. There is no consistency in test marking, some examiners are helpful to candidates and some are not.  You just have to take the rough with the smooth.

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#8 23-08-14 16:41:52

collywobs
Verified Member
From: Tonbridge Kent
Registered: 07-08-06
Posts: 479
Website

Re: Late instructions from Driving Examiner!

Well, if I do talk to the TCM it would just to point-out that this Examiner speaks far too quickly and often gives late and confusing instructions.
But, I'm sure the TCM is already aware of that because the Examiner has been quality checked a few times recently!
End of rant!

Last edited by collywobs (23-08-14 16:45:46)


Colin Kentish
Grade 6 DSA Approved Driving Instructor (car)
www.colinkentish.co.uk

Dream as if you'll live for ever
Live as if you'll die today

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#9 23-08-14 21:46:13

MAZ
Verified Member
From: N/Wales, Cheshire
Registered: 13-06-06
Posts: 838

Re: Late instructions from Driving Examiner!

I try to prepare my pupils for such situations as best I can, I tell them that examiners instructions are only a guideline and that they should add to the end of every examiners direction "......if safe to do so." Quite often the same thing can happen to us during tuition, you can see an opportunity ahead to park up and give your pupil the instruction hoping that they will see the same spot you identified, only to find as soon as the instruction has left your mouth another vehicle takes up the spot and possibly the only spot currently visible, I would expect my pupil to drive on until they find a "nice" spot to park up. I also advise if they are not entirely satisfied that there is enough clearance when moving off behind a vehicle (particularly after a parallel park) to reverse back to create space (hopefully with straight wheels), which they often do even though I know there is enough room, I will still let them reverse back unnecessarily, better safe than sorry, a minor fault for an unnecessary shunt is better than a serious for an ETA.

I know it is easy in hindsight, I have come across these situations on test many times and aim to prepare my pupils as robustly as possible to work around the dynamic changes that happen.

The examiner could not have known the other car would take the space leaving insufficient time for a one car length stop. Independent drive is often split into sections for local logistical reasons, and other required elements are often fitted in-between. I doubt there is sufficient reason for "test not conducted in accordance", but it is entirely the candidates prerogative to follow the official route should they feel the test was not correctly conducted.

Maz.

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#10 24-08-14 15:08:42

Lady-Hynarc
Verified Member
Registered: 09-04-12
Posts: 650

Re: Late instructions from Driving Examiner!

I encountered a similar situation with a severely dyslexic pupil.  Having pointed out the issue to the examiner and requested instructions given in good time and repeated as the special need caused short-term memory loss, he proceeded to give instructions throughout the test only once rather late.  Although his attitude was good he misunderstood (or chose to ignore) the specific request.

My pupil failed, not due to the directions, but I went to the TCM and explained the situation regardless.  Rather than approaching it as a confrontation about inappropriate actions by the examiner, I couched it in terms of feedback on the specific examiner's dealings with a severly dyslexic pupil.

As far as I know the TCM acted upon the information and, according to him, he ensured that the next test was conducted by a sympathetic examiner who was well aware of the situation and did her best to accommodate the candidates request.

I cannot praise her or the TCM enough for the way they did their best to help my pupil - who is now driving as a full licence holder!

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#11 24-08-14 19:29:24

AUTAX
Verified Member
Registered: 22-07-11
Posts: 1,032

Re: Late instructions from Driving Examiner!

We used to have an Examiner who on occasions would give the instructions in almost a whisper.
Pupils would either misunderstand the instructions or when asking for them to be repeated
Would answer in a very patronising manner. Horrible.


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