hill start clarification please

For discussion of topics relating to the Driving Standards Agency Learner Test (DSA L Test) and contribution by ADI's (Approved Driving Instructors)

Postby badger1bear » Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:41 pm

Hi folks, my daughter has been taking driving lessons in a new renault clio, supplied by the driving instructor. The vehicle has a hill start asisst feature which stops the vehicle from rolling back. She took her test last Friday and she passed first time (happy dad) BUT when she takes me out in her little nissan micra today she has absolutely no clue on doing a hill start and the car rolls back out of control. I asked her what happened and she tells me that the car she was taught in had the hill start asisst feature and she was not shown how to do it correctly when she was being taught. I was not at all happy by this because in my eyes a new driver should be taught how to do this without the aid of fancy gimmicks because not every car in the real world will have this feature thereby making them possibly an unsafe driver (as today has shown)

I decided to text the instructor to see what they had to say (my font is blue his font is red)

Hi ***, I took Sam out in her car today and to be honest I was shocked, literally shocked at her lack of ability of being able to use a handbrake. She tells me the car she learned in had handbrake assist so when she gets in an older car without handbrake assist she can't do it and is not in control of the vehicle because she has not been taught it

Buy her a newer car

I guess it says a lot for today's driving standard and driving test

Its more important how to stay alive and deal with other idiots on the road than to worry about using the parking brake, its called a parking brake btw not a handbrake, to used when parking, give me another £156 and I'll give her another 6 hours in her car teaching her how to drive her car

Wikipedia definition

In cars, the parking brake, also called hand brake, emergency brake, or e-brake, is a latching brake usually used to keep the vehicle stationary. It is sometimes also used to prevent a vehicle from rolling when the operator needs both feet to operate the clutch and throttle pedals.

I would say that's a very important safety thing to learn to avoid rolling back on a hill causing an accident

I am disappointed because learners should be taught without driving aids so they can drive themselves and not have the car do it for them

It's like learning in an automatic and then told you are ok to drive a manual

Some new drivers may have the luck to afford a new car so they can carry on where the modern learner instructor car left off but all to often I see these people on the road and their driving ability is woeful

Sam will learn in her car but it's just a shame she was not taught how to drive a car using a handbrake effectively

Move with the times old man

I find this response unprofessional and down right discourteous after I had already paid for a 20hr block of lessons. Could someone clarify if this is now normal and acceptable on the driving test to be able to use this asisst feature and not show that the student has mastered clutch, handbrake and accelerator control. My daughter today has proved she is not safe to be on the road because she has not been taught this in her lessons
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Postby martine » Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:30 pm

If you were courteous in your texts to the ADI, then yes his responses sound very rude and unprofessional. Have you had words before? Was your daughter happy with his manner? It's probably irrelevant now as she passed - let it go.

In answer to your question, it is acceptable to use hill start assist on the driving test. Clutch control is tested during normal driving and in particular, the low-speed manoeuvres. Fine parking/hand brake control isn't of course.

Tricky for an instructor to develop that particular skill if their car has an electronic brake button - it's either on or off. I think his suggestion of 6 hours further tuition should be the prompt for your daughter to take her business elsewhere - it should take an hour at most - unless he's suggesting a Pass Plus course (which I would recommend by the way).
Martin - Bristol IAM: IMI National Observer and Group Secretary, DSA: ADI, Fleet, RoSPA (Dip)
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Postby cufarley » Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:49 pm

Apparently my message contains too few characters.
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Postby TripleS » Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:57 pm

cufarley wrote:Apparently my message contains too few characters.

Yes, and the response I was initially inclined to make would have been a bit short and sharp too. :evil:

IMHO that driving instructor is an idiot and not somebody I would want to employ if I wanted somebody to be taught to drive in a fully competent manner.
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Postby Happy Hopper » Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:13 pm

These electric handbrakes are a real pain in the ****...!!!! Totally pointless....
Happy Hopper
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Postby TerryTibbs » Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:12 pm

These days (I realise I sound incredibly old when I say that, but I'm only 27), pupils are literally just taught how to pass the driving test. You'll never be taught how to park to the right, because it's not in the test. If your car has anti roll-back... great, that makes passing easier, hill starts are difficult so let's not waste time faffing about learning how to do them. Instructors are allowed to teach in diesel engines and it's encouraged because they're a lot harder to stall, never mind the fact that most first time drivers are going to be driving a small petrol engine and will have to more or less relearn their moving off technique because they now need to give it a bit of gas as they move off.

So, with all that in mind, it's unfortunately to be expected that a learner can pass their test and still not possess some of the fairly basic skills.
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