December 2016
Dates For Your Diary
Monthly meetings are held on the second Monday of every month at Liddington Village Hall, opposite the church
No meeting in January, meal instead.
February 13th to be arranged
March 13th Paul Montgomery   Driving -The Teaching of Ambulance Drivers within the NHS

Monthly Ride-Outs
Remember that monthly Bike Ride-Outs take place on the 3rd Saturday of every month. 
Do you have a topic you would like discussed, or know of an interesting speaker?  Please contact Monica!

Congratulations to the following members who have passed their Advanced Tests recently:

Helen Bodmer Car Re-test Silver
New Associates: Please welcome the following to the Group

Renay Pattinson  -    Car
Terry Pattinson    -    Car
Natasha Garry     -    Car
Nicky Cork          -    Car
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
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!

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December meeting report
Smart Motorways -
Presented by the Traffic Officers of Highways England (formerly the Highways Agency).

A good audience turned out for the last Monday meeting of the year when Highways England were invited to come and present to the group. This was just as well, otherwise there might have been more of them than of us! We were pleased to welcome no fewer than 3 presenters, Bill Hadlow and Jolene Britton, an active patrol team, and their section leader, Sandy Osborough.
Rather than just talk about their work in general, the theme chosen was Smart Motorways. Bill was our main presenter, and he provided an enjoyable and interactive talk (with able assistance from Jolene and Sandy), which raised many questions.
Smart Motorways – love them or hate them? Bill did not try to convert us, but provided us with information and left us to decide for ourselves. They have been introduced to try and make traffic flow better on congested sections of our major motorways, by allowing use of the hard shoulder, along with a high coverage of CCTV cameras, and variable speed limits. Theory suggests, and experience proves, that slowing the traffic down slightly when it becomes congested, produces a better, more even flow. Interestingly, experience shows that Smart Motorways also have fewer incidents on the hard shoulder (perhaps because some of the weird and wonderful excuses people find for stopping on it, no longer apply).
There are two kinds – Dynamic Hard Shoulder (DHS) and All Lane Running (ALR). With Dynamic Hard Shoulder, the hard shoulder functions normally part of the time, but is pressed into service when traffic builds up. A full sweep for stationary vehicles is undertaken before the hard shoulder is opened for traffic. Signs on gantries instruct and guide the public on when to use the hard shoulder, and more importantly, when not to. With All Lane Running, the hard shoulder becomes a permanent live lane, with emergency refuge areas provided at intervals in case of breakdowns. ALR motorways have 100% CCTV coverage.
Bill’s main education point for the evening was a plea for motorists to heed the red X signs over a lane which is closed. Unfortunately it seems nearly a third of motorists (31% in a recent survey) admit that they would continue to drive in a lane closed by red X signs, “until they could see the cause of the lane closure”. Sandy provided some hair-raising real-life experience of this, recalling an occasion when a large articulated lorry (owned by a well-known British firm) approached him at speed while protecting an incident scene on the hard shoulder, before swerving into the next lane at the last minute, narrowly missing him and his brightly illuminated 4x4, and then swerved back onto the hard shoulder and carried on!
Don’t be tempted to follow this example, however, as the HADECS (Highways Agency Detection and Enforcement Camera System) cameras will soon be live and you will receive an automatic penalty and points on your licence. Spread the word, and help to keep the officers safe out there.
Nick Carrington
Membership subscriptions and Re-Tests
Confused?  hopefully this will settle any arguments.
When someone initially joins the Group they do so as an Associate Member whilst they are preparing for their advanced test.
You only need to join Wilthsire RoADAR at this point - £30.00
(Includes a copy of Roadcraft)
When you are ready for your test you apply and pay for your test.  When you pass your test you are then a Full Member of RoSPA and Wiltshire RoADAR
Your test fee includes your initial RoSPA membership DO NOT pay for RoSPA membership on top of your test fee.
Once you are a Full Member you pay 2 subscriptions :
Wilthsire RoADAR - £17.00 

RoSPA - £28.00
Your subscription to the Group covers our monthly meetings, hire of premises, tutor training, this newsletter and other associated running costs. It also enables you to have further training prior to re-test  - worth every penny!
Your RoSPA subscription (which can be done by direct debit) goes to the National organisation, maintains your currency as as advnaced driver/rider and ensures your re-test every 3 years.
Re-Test Training
Please remember all members are welcome to have further training drives/rides with a Tutor before taking their three-yearly re-test. Please contact Monica if you would like to arrange this.

Please also inform Monica when you have taken your re-test (and your grade) so the Group's records can be kept up to date
Swindon 105.5 FM
Peter Genet now has a regular fortnightly slot on the station talking about road safety, advanced riding and driving. Join him every other Tuesday at 10:00 with repeats on Wednesday at 18:00.  Peter is always looking for assistance with content and recording so please get in touch with him if you can help.
Winter Driving
During the winter, advanced drivers take care not to be caught out by conditions or their vehicle maintenance. Monica recently put together the text below for a local (non-driving) group who wanted some tips about driving at this time of year. You may find it useful either in your own driving, or to pass on to others (local focus groups, publications, etc.) Thanks to Monica for compiling this list.
Winter driving
Walk around your car and check tyres for any lumps or if any of them are flat.
Do you know your tyre pressures, or where to find them in your car? Most cars have a sticker either on the driver’s door jamb, or under the fuel filler cap.
Depth of tyre tread - the legal requirement is 1.6mm. In the UK, car tyres MUST have a tread depth of at least 1.6 mm across the central three-quarters of the tread and around the entire circumference of the tyre. It’s the law.
To check your tyre tread depth by using a 20p coin:
You can see if your tyres are close to the 1.6mm legal tread depth by using a 20p coin. Stand the coin in a groove in the tyre tread. If you can see the outer rim of the coin, then the tyre is approaching the legal minimum tread depth and you should consider replacing it. You need as much grip as possible particularly in the winter with wet roads, possible slippery surfaces from oil spills, ice and snow.
Clean all your windows and mirrors from heavy dew, daily if necessary. On dull misty days you need to gain as much vision as possible of other vehicles. Don’t forget to clear snow from the roof your vehicle too. You should not let movement let it fall off in the road behind you.
Have you checked how clean your headlights are, and other lights on your car? Not only do you need to see, but be seen by other road users. Do this daily in winter. When roads are wet, a lot of dirt and muck gets thrown up from the vehicle in front of you or passing lorries. If you have Daylight Running Lights (DRLs), remember they are only on the front of the car, not the rear. Think about putting on dipped head lights as very often on dull/murky days, cars merge into the surrounding hedgerow, and you need to be seen from the rear.
Make sure that ALL your lights are working. You can check them with someone else, or on your own, using reflections in a garage door or neighbour's window or another car. Then reverse and do the same for rear lights. Dipped headlights, headlights, indicators (back and front) reversing light(s) and fog lights.
Remember at the end of a journey, before you switch the engine off, switch all lights off.
Driving in fog
Fog lights don't need to be switched on at 09:00, if fog is forecast for later in the day, or the evening, as so many people do at this time of year. They should be used as you would use wipers in the rain, i.e. if the fog clears (or visibility is greater than 100 m or 325ft) you should turn them off. They can be switched back on when the next dense patch of fog is reached.
Membership Secretary: Mrs. Monica Graham, 114 Marines Drive, Faringdon, Oxon. SN7 7UG.Tel: 01367 242377
Hon Secretary: Mrs. Mary Southgate
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