March 2016
Dates For Your Diary

Monday April 11th 7:30
Meeting: Geoff Gregor, Bike Examiner. Come and hear what the examiner expects from you on your test.
Monday 9th May 7:30
TBA - possibly a quiz night.
Shows - we need helpers for these events - please contact Mary

July 3rd
Strawberry Drive at Wanborough
30th July
Calne Bike Meet - the biggest bike meet in the UK
11th September
Hullavington Emergency Services Show

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!

to the following on their recent test passes
Jim Carr - 
Gold (bike) re-test

Welcome to the following who joined the Group recently
Hazel Bell (car)
Charlotte Moss (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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March meeting report - Clive Jones
This evening we were treated to an excellent talk by Clive Jones. Clive is the former head of South Wales Police Driving School. He currently runs High Performance Courses and Skid Control / Risk group defensive driving courses.
Clive joined the Police force in 1986 and was immediately put onto traffic while still a cadet, one of the youngest Police Officers to be on traffic. As a consequence, when he applied for the Instructors Course he was already well known for his driving skills and was accepted. For the next twenty years, with an occasional short break, he was involved in the Driving School until his retirement in 2006.
The Police course is a three week course and it covers Police, Ambulance, Mountain Rescue, Fire Service and Coastguard with blue-lights included.
The evening was very much an interactive evening with very lively members’ participation. Clive talked about three lane road death-traps, the importance of observation over distance, positioning for the best view and hazards to look out for.
He explained the Justice Blair (a 1930s judge) equation how to work out our stopping distances and reaction times in feet per second rather than mph (multiply by 1.5 - e.g. 40mph = 60 feet per second). He also explained that the braking distances were first worked out in the 1950s using a Ford Anglia and that those distances are as relevant today as they were sixty years ago. He told us that it makes very little difference what size vehicle you are driving, the stopping distances only vary by about two meters. We went on to work out stopping distances in feet per second and also car lengths. If you are doing 30 mph, for example, that would be three car lengths, forty would be four and so on, estimating the “average” car length to be about 15ft.
The equation he used was:
Speed = 30 mph, take the 30, divide the first digit by 2 (1.5) multiply by the speed (45) then add the speed (another 30) for thinking time = total 75ft
This goes all the way down:- 40mph = 2 * 40 + 40 = 120 ft
It is easier to work it out than to try and memorise and feet per second is more easily visualised than mph.
He explained the benefits of cadence breaking and the most efficient way of applying the brakes. He asked quick-fire questions to keep us all thinking and re-iterated the methods of stopping effectively that we have in our Roadcraft books.
It was a very thought provoking evening and one which served as a refresher course – reminding us anew to keep alert and observing at all times – this is our life-saver.
Thank you Clive, and we look forward to your next visit.
Mary Southgate
Older drivers
Chris Gleed voices his opinions in response to Monica's questions from last month:
I thought it very interesting to read about Monica’s topic about Older Drivers. I used to think that we should do all we can to help, but I have changed my opinion due to the fact that we can put ourselves at quite a risk! We are in the business of Tutoring for Advanced Driving and I feel that people need to be at a ‘Recognised Standard’ to come to us.
On that basis and due to many years of past experience, I feel that there is only one course left for ‘Older Drivers’ and that is to put or ask them to get in touch with a Driving School / Instructor, especially those at or about 80 years of age. As for the lady who was physically impaired and ‘A crash waiting to happen’, what should we have done?
Q: She had just come from the GP. Should he have stopped her from driving?  
A: As far as I know, he can only inform the DVSA.

The Pharmacist was on his own so could not leave the shop, but I think he did all he could to prevent her driving, especially when I arrived and offered help.
Q: Should I have taken her keys away and taken her home and then driven her car back to her?
A: No, that could be construed as ‘Theft’ and ’Assault’ if you snatch the keys from her. She has not given you permission to drive her car and that might be considered ‘TWOC’ (Taking without consent).
Q: Should someone have reported her to the DVLA pointing out she is not fit enough to drive? A: No. We are not responsible for other driver’s actions, no matter how we feel. The person reporting her could be someone with a grudge.

Q: I certainly would have felt guilty if she had caused an accident on her way home.
A: In my opinion, this is not our problem. It is down to the Professionals who she seeks advice and help from.

 Q: Should it be left solely to the individual to inform the DVLA that they are not fit to drive? A: The GP, the Pharmacist and others, are aware of her condition. If we reported it to the DVSA, the response would be….’Her GP has not suggested that she is ‘unfit to drive’.
Chris Gleed - Advanced Tutor
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).
Your first year's  membership is included in your test fee. At the end of that year you will receive a reminder asking you to set up a Direct Debit for future years, to ensure that your retests will occur every three years.
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.
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. 29th March and 12th April will be the next two dates.
Skillshare 2016
Skillshare will be starting on the first Saturday in April at the Divine Cafe in Cherhill. This year we hope to extend it to car drivers as well as bike riders. Drivers or riders can turn up and get a free assessment of their skills, with the opportunity to sign up for full membership if they want to take it further. If members get an opportunity to publicise this please ask Mark Sealey (skillshare(at) for more information.
Membership Secretary: Mrs. Monica Graham, 114 Marines Drive, Faringdon, Oxon. SN7 7UG.Tel: 01367 242377
Hon Secretary: Mrs. Mary Southgate
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