June 2014
Dates For Your Diary

Monday 14th July
7:15pm for 7:45
Meeting: Gary Franks will be our speaker. Gary is doing a charity banger run over the Alps to Italy in a Volvo estate that has been converted into a Route Master bus! He will be discussing the story so far.

Saturday 26th July
8:00am - 5:00pm

Calne Bike Meet

Sunday 7th September
8:00am - 4:00pm

Emergency Services Show

Monday 8th September
7:15pm for 7:45
Meeting: Malcolm Palmer, a Road Safety Consultant to TRL, will be speaking on the subject of 'When Training Goes Bad'

Monday 13th October
7:15pm for 7:45

Monthly Ride-Outs
Remember that monthly Bike Ride-Outs take place on the 3rd Saturday of every month.

Monthly meetings are all held at Liddington Village Hall opposite the church.
Do you have a topic you would like discussed, or know of an interesting speaker?  Please contact Monica!
Welcome to Tony Caulkett who recently joined the group as a member of the Bike section.
Congratulations to Greg Scawen who recently passed his bike test with a Gold grade. This came just a few days after he passed his car test, also with a Gold grade, and Greg has now also qualified as an Approved Bike Tutor! Greg's Bike Tutor was Pete Kempshall.
Don’t forget that we have a range of clothing available to purchase. We also offer a range of books, such as Roadcraft, Motorcycle Roadcraft and the Highway Code, and these are available at discounted prices.

For more information visit the Merchandise page of our web site at www.wiltshireroadar.co.uk.
We are always looking for more articles, ideas and news for the newsletter. Have you been somewhere interesting recently that would make a good story? If you attend any group events then take a camera and send us your pictures!

Please forward all contributions to newsletter@wiltshireroadar.co.uk
Parking at Meetings
Apologies for the parking problem at Liddington Village Hall during the meeting on Monday 9th June. This was due in part to the popularity of our meeting, and also due to the car park being used by members of the football club that were using the nearby playing fields. We have been in touch with the Village Hall Committee who have, in turn, reminded the chair of the Football Club that the car park at the rear of the hall should only be used by the hirer or the hall (i.e. us). The area by the church is shared so can legitimately be used by those using the playing fields. If the car park is full when you arrive for meetings you can park across the main road in Silver Street or in the Pub car park.
Calne Bike Event
We still need more help to man our stand at the Calne Bike Event on Saturday 26th July. If you can help, even if it is just for a couple of hours, please contact Stephen Izatt at chairman@wiltshireroadar.co.uk or 01249 817234.
Promoting the Group
Do you work in marketing? Or have any ideas how we can promote the group and encourage more people to join?  If so, please send ideas in to Monica or talk to a committee member.
June Meeting Report: Stuart McMillan, RoADAR Chief Examiner
Stuart drove from Shropshire to be with us, for which we give him sincere thanks. Members from Gloucestershire and Dorset Groups joined with us to hear Stuart’s views, which were forthright and at times controversial.

Stuart gave us an insight into his background as a Police Officer with West Mercia Police, a career which started in 1979 and ended in 2008. With a keen interest in motorcycles and an ambition to serve in traffic, Stuart was one of two officers who completed their advanced motorcycle course before doing so in a car. After some time spent in traffic, Stuart joined the Force driving school as an instructor, initially in cars, and later also on bikes. Stuart remained with the driving school until 1998, then on promotion to Inspector, went on to serve in the Force Control Room and other duties.

Having left the Police, and had knee replacement surgery to restore health to a leg damaged in a huge accident several years earlier, Stuart wanted to return to motorcycling and its tuition, and initially contacted his local IAM group. After that failed to bear fruit, he tried his local RoADAR group, and the rest, as they say, is history. Stuart later became one of the lynch pins of Shropshire and Powys Advanced Riders, another being his wife, Sally.

The meeting continued as a dialogue with the audience, Stuart happily answering, or giving an opinion on, subjects raised by participants.

An initial topic was the “lack of support” from HQ. Stuart pointed out that the staff is tiny, and funds even smaller. He also wondered aloud if, should RoSPA come up with a brilliant marketing campaign, Groups were geared up to accept a potential large influx of associates. There was some sympathetic nodding of heads in the audience at this point – most Groups know the problem of too many associates, and too few tutors. On the other hand, it’s no good having a posse of freshly trained tutors champing at the bit, and nobody for them to train. A balance has to be struck.

On the “fast track option” once favoured by HQ, Gerry Griffin wondered if this still existed. Not to his knowledge, said Stuart.

Steve Hyde wanted to know why we stick with the name RoADAR, which confuses people. Why not just use RoSPA, which is a more recognised name? While we can use the term RoSPA in discussions with the public, it was thought it is probably a financial reason that keeps RoADAR separate, but nobody was really sure.

Greg Scawen asked if examiners would continue to be exclusively serving or retired Police officers. Stuart said the wording of this may change slightly to allow for a few other people with Police qualifications, but on the whole he favoured a level playing field and knowing the Police standards, allows him to judge candidates against a common yardstick. He also said he will be introducing elements of quality control into the recruitment and assessment of examiners, to ensure consistency around the country.

Should RoADAR go the same way as the IAM, with their externally-accredited National Observer qualification? Stuart was very much in favour of more structured tutor training, having produced his own course for his local group before taking up his current post. His ambition had been to submit this for accreditation by an external body, and he believes this may happen. He would also like to see a national package available for tutor training. Its exact form is yet to be decided. It’s unlikely to be a cut and dried set of “lessons”, or just a set of competencies to be attained, but somewhere in between. Dialogue with the IAM may help to set the standard for both organisations.

What are the benefits of the RoADAR Diploma in Advanced Motorcycle Instruction? For the individual, the ability to apply to be included on the RPMT (Register of Post-Test Motorcycle Trainers), which gives credibility within the industry. For the Group, it gives the individual the ability to take on the Advanced Tutor role, perhaps lightening the load on the Group Training Officer.

Stuart finished off with a few items from his personal philosophy and principles.

First, was the change to the Test guidelines allowing the crossing of centre lines to straighten a series of bends. Stuart was keen to emphasise that this is to be done where appropriate, requiring the individual to use their judgement. He changed the guidelines to remove the black and white aspect of “thou shalt not”, which he believes stifles judgement and leads to driving/riding by rote. A similar principle can be applied to hatch markings, when bordered by dashed lines. Would the examiners endorse the change? “Well, yes they would”, said Stuart. Having met a large group of them recently, despite a proportion initially being against the change, they had come to see his point of view.

Stuart then emphasised that advanced driving and riding is about preparation, not only what happens in the car. Prepare for your journey – check weather and traffic conditions, take emergency supplies, check your vehicle and equipment before setting off, and be “advanced” before you even get on the bike, or into the car.

The final question was about eyesight, driving licence and insurance checks. Stuart was fully in favour of these, emphasising that, especially in a car, the tutor or examiner is entrusting their life to the vehicle and we need it to be in a safe and legal condition. So walk all round the vehicle and check all the available paperwork before you put your life in their hands!

An interesting evening. Thank you, Stuart!

Nick Carrington
New Bike Tutors
Greg Scawen Approved Tutor   Greg Scawen and Stephen Izatt both recently qualified as Approved Bike Tutors for the group and were presented with their certificates by Stuart McMillan at the June meeting. Very well done to both!   Stephen Izatt Approved Tutor
Membership Fees
Our membership fees have remained static now for several years. Unfortunately our expenses are increasing so we now need to put up our fees. Therefore, from 1st August 2014 the membership fee to join the group will be increased to £30. Our annual renewal fee will increase at the AGM in October 2014 from £14 to £17.
Secretary: Mrs. Monica Graham, 114 Marines Drive, Faringdon, Oxon. SN7 7UG. Tel: 01367 242377
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