Community Driver Mentor Programme

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Here are some of the common things that are tripping up students going for their restricted driving test. This is designed for those coaching students either at home or through the CDMP Programme. We have to be aware of what faults the testing officers ‘deem’, when failing our students, & we have to respond to their requirements.

Usual errors are;
  • failing to ( completely) stop at stop signs. Best to stop & count 2-3 seconds before moving off.
  • speed too fast or too slow)….essential to remain under the posted speed limit by a couple of km’s. (FOR A PRACTICAL TEST….PLEASE UNPLUG THE LEAD TO OUR GPS UNITS AND PLACE THE LEAD IN THE GLOVEBOX…. PLUG IN AGAIN AFTER THE PRACTICAL TEST
New 30km/h markings on Queen St Masterton
Travelling too slowly is an error as well. Highway speed with little traffic and good conditions means the speed should be high 90km’s.
In 50km/h areas the speed will be dictated by where they are. e.g. Wide quiet streets they should be travelling at around 45km/h; busier narrower streets will be lower speeds
  • failing to make ‘blindspot’ shoulder checks. These MUST be done otherwise a ‘critical error’ will be assigned for each omission. Remember that three critical errors in a test is a fail ( and a fail if two errors are noted in the first section of the test route).
Hopefully the following quick video ‘clips’ will better explain when these must be done, but basically complete over the left shoulder for   EVERY left turn, and over the right shoulder EVERY time when pulling out from the curb, when lane merging on the highway, and when moving into the ‘hatched’ area leading to a right turn bay ( such as outside KFC on Chapel St).
  • slighlty over the centre-line just before making a right turn. ( vehicle should be positioned NEXT to the centre-line but not over it).
  • cutting a corner. Testing officers are now spending quite a bit of time in the first section of the test, taking the student on many turns on unmarked streets ( around quiet streets on the Westside ). This affords them many opportunities to assign critical errors to the student. The vehicle positioning is critical, so please ensure the student keeps to the left of an ‘imaginary’ centre-line, on each & every street & intersection. (They use different streets so below is just an example I have witnessed)
Hopefully the diagram explains:
    • failing to look both ways at railway level crossings. Slow down to a crawl if necessary & students must physically turn their heads left & right before moving over the tracks slowly.
  • not selecting an appropriate gap in traffic to move into at intersections. Students should be continually scanning both directions at a cross-intersection when turning right ( e.g. Stop sign at Queen St/Russell St at the back of The Warehouse), preparing to take foot off the brake, the moment the last car passes through, then immediately make their turn. This will stop taking too long to clear the intersection.
  • mounting curb on reverse parallel park. There is a video on explaining how to coach this manoeuvre. 
Whichever technique you prefer, my advice is ‘the slower the better’. This will provide opportunities to slowly correct their path of travel.     Get them into the habit if possible of using both their shoulder check behind & their external left mirror perhaps.( If they are about to hit the   curb, they can stop & then pull forward & straighten up.)
We know the indicator stalk clicks off during these manoeuvres. The student should at least attempt to correct by repeating to operate   the stalk whilst reversing then this should suffice. I would be interested to hear if students have been afforded a critical error if they have  tried to rectify this & still were marked down.
  • following too closely ( always on the highway). Mentors will know appropriate following distances…but then be careful about getting too far behind & being marked down for travelling too slowly. 
  • failing to check rear vision mirror regularly. Important to check after exiting intersections & regularly on S.H.2.
  Note: A ‘check’ is a 1-2 second glance, then back to looking ahead…the same as when checking their speedometer.
Other Videos that can help:
For anything else not covered here, please contact Bruce Pauling or call 06 377 1379

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