January 2016
Dates For Your Diary

Monday 14th March 7:30
Meeting: Clive Jones - former head of South Wales Police driving school, will talk about Police driver and rider training, and how it differs from civilian. Clive looks forward to your questions.
Monday April 11th 7:30
Meeting: Geoff Gregor, Bike Examiner. Come and hear what the examiner expects from you on your test.

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!
Congratulations to the following members who have all recently passed their tests:
Rob Auckland – Gold (Car). Tutor Lawrence Moss.
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
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Christmas meal
Over 20 people attended our annual Christmas meal at the Village Inn at Liddington. It was good to see many familiar faces and a few new ones in a light-hearted atmosphere, with "better halves" present to keep the conversation away from things with wheels (most of the time). The Village Inn did us proud with huge portions, all piping hot, and well organised service. Thanks to Mike and Mary for all their organisation, including some splendid raffle prizes.
Happy New Year, everybody!
Blue lights - what to do?!
Members of the public often worry about what to do when they see an Emergency Services vehicle with blue lights and sirens on its way to an emergency. In collaboration with GEM, the Blue Light Aware group produced a short video with helpful advice on what to do. You can see the video online, but sometimes it's easier to have something written down to show people, and for discussion. So here, transcribed from the video, is their advice.

Blue Light Aware

Loud sirens and flashing blue lights warn other road users of an approaching emergency vehicle responding to an urgent call for help. We can help too, by knowing what to do when the emergency vehicle is coming through.

General Advice

First of all, keep calm. Look and listen. If you hear a siren or see flashing blue lights, assume there’s something coming your way and give yourself time to plan. Turn any music off in your car so you can hear the siren better. Look for somewhere to pull over and stop if it’s safe, even if the emergency vehicle is on the other side of the road. Use your indicators to show you’re pulling over when there’s no risk of causing confusion to other road users. Stay off kerbs, pavements and verges.
Emergency vehicles come in all shapes and sizes, so if you stop, make sure there’s a large enough space for the emergency vehicle to get through. One very important point is that you should always stay safe and legal.


At traffic lights emergency drivers will try to find their way around you. They won’t expect or want you to go through a red light, so stay behind the white “stop” line. The exception is if a uniformed Police officer directs you through a red light. In these circumstances be sure you follow the officer’s exact instructions. Be careful about entering bus lanes, as it may be unsafe or illegal to do so. If you’re approaching a junction or roundabout and you see an emergency vehicle, remember the driver behind you may not have the same view, so don’t brake suddenly. If you’re already at the junction, be patient and wait for the emergency vehicle to come past. On motorways and dual carriageways, don’t overtake blue light vehicles. This will ensure you don’t become involved in the incident it’s attending. Give any responding vehicle plenty of room and follow it at a safe distance.

White lines

In a solid white line system, an emergency vehicle may switch off its siren as it follows you. It can only legally pass you if you have stopped completely, so keep going, at the speed limit if it’s safe, until you’re out of the solid white lines. Then, expect the siren to go back on, and the vehicle to come past. Also keep going on the approach to a bend, or on the brow of a hill, then pull over when there’s a better view ahead. As we mentioned, stay off kerbs and pavements, and stay off verges, as these tend to hide all sorts of obstacles and ditches.

Reading the signals

Check your mirrors for any signal the emergency vehicle may be giving. This will help you understand where it wants to go. Of course, if it’s a Police vehicle in your mirror, look carefully, as it may be signalling specifically for you to stop. If you’ve slowed down or stopped, don’t move off or accelerate until the emergency vehicle has passed completely. Have a good look round, and be aware of other drivers who may decide to pop into a gap created by the emergency vehicle. Finally be aware that there may be more than one emergency vehicle coming. Listen for different sirens and look all round before moving off.

Help save a life

In summary, remaining aware and observant gives you time to anticipate and plan, without compromising your safety.  What’s more, your courtesy could be helping to save a life.
Thank you.
See the video version at www.bluelightaware.org.uk
GEM Motoring Assist is calling on the Government to introduce compulsory eyesight testing for all drivers at regular intervals. GEM says better regulation of eyesight tests for drivers would cut collisions and make Britain’s roads safer. A detailed test of a driver’s visual acuity and field of view should be required every 10 years, according to GEM.
GEM chief executive David Williams MBE, FAIRSO comments:
“We are worried that a large number of drivers have not had their eyes tested for many years – and some have never had a test. Many of us assume our vision is fine and does not require a check-up; however we have no way of knowing this for sure. That’s why it’s so important for road safety that the Government take steps to ensure regular, compulsory testing for all drivers. We believe it is unacceptable to operate a system where a driver can read a number plate aged 17 and carry on driving for 50 years or more without any eyesight check whatsoever. Along with many road safety organisations, we believe everyone should undergo a compulsory, professional eyesight test when applying for a provisional licence, with a further test every 10 years after that.”
The current ‘number plate’ eyesight test was introduced to the driving test in 1937 and has only been amended in minor ways over the years to reflect changing number plate sizes. It is the only eyesight test drivers are required to undertake until they reach the age of 70. According to GEM, the test is crude and outdated, as it only measures visual acuity (sharpness). It could also quite easily examine a driver’s field of view, as is done in many US states, to check whether motorists can see and react to what’s happening around them.
From AIRSO news, via Chris Gleed
Re-tests and membership subscriptions
Don't forget that 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 can you also let Monica know when you take your re-test so that the Group's records can be kept up to date.
On a similar note, a reminder about membership subscriptions. Depending on your status, you will be liable for different fees:
Associate member (not taken an advanced test) - you pay a subscription to the Wiltshire Group only. When ready for test, you pay a test fee to RoADAR HQ, usually via our Group Treasurer.
Full member (passed an advanced test) - you pay a subscription to the RoADAR national organisation (currently £28 per annum). This pays for your triennial retests. If you elect to remain a member of Wiltshire Group, you also pay a subscription (currently £17 per annum) to us. This covers our monthly meetings, hire of premises, tutor training, this newsletter, etc.
HGV driving
We are still hoping to arrange another Trip to A1 Lorry Driving Experience at Netherhampton near Salisbury, in the Spring. Dates are not fixed yet, but watch this space!  This was excellent value and all those who attended thoroughly enjoyed the day. If interested, please let Mary or Monica know soon.
Membership Secretary: Mrs. Monica Graham, 114 Marines Drive, Faringdon, Oxon. SN7 7UG.Tel: 01367 242377
Hon Secretary: Mrs. Mary Southgate
To make sure that you receive our messages we recommend that you add newsletter@wiltshireroadar.co.uk, membership@wiltshireroadar.co.uk and secretary@wiltshireroadar.co.uk to your address list.