Training Scheme Conference

Although we were confident riders, we were less sure about instruction techniques. It was not possible to get onto the official RAC/ACU MITCON courses so we pulled ourselves up with our own bootlaces. We arranged our own training to provide real insight into instruction methods, a uniform and professional team approach and a wider understanding of the strategic aims.

PHOENIX INSTRUCTORS' MEETING

Tuesday 19th October 1976.
The Training Department, Blackbird Road Police Station. 7:15 pm.

Theme

The aim of the seminar was to regulate and improve the content and standard of motorcycling instruction within the Leicester Phoenix Motorcycling Training Scheme and to give new and prospective instructors a deeper and broader view of the requirements of their job than can be easily accumulated from direct experience and practice. This programme replaces our normal instructors meeting.

Chairman

Tony Bradley

Speakers

Derek Houghton Bob Thornton
Maurice Belben Dave Smith
Wal Bradshaw

Instructors

Pete Vines Terry Reynolds
Steve White Dick Taylor
Brian Porter Ken Wells
Mick Gaugham Phil Freestone
Bob Nash Les Freestone
Paul Dunn Ben Crossley
Margaret Wells

County Road Safety Plan and the relevance of the ACU scheme to it.

Derek Houghton. Chief Assistant Engineer (services)

Since various acts of parliament became operative about 1974 it has become the statutory duty of the local authorities to carry out a Road Safety function, Thus the responsibility has largely passed from the police to the county council, This responsibility includes the study of police statistics and the instigation of measures to prevent accidents including training and road maintenance.

The emphasis of the Leicestershire county policy is on self help in which five points are important

  • Aware The problem must be presented so that the person
  • Understand Can understand its implications and solutions
  • Accept And therefore accept those solutions which are
  • Try Subsequently put into practice until they
  • Adopt Become adopted automatically.

In achieving this it has been found that normal publicity methods, apart from sophisticated TV campaigns, have little impact and therefore available resources are used to provide staff who can take the Road Safety message into schools, particularly junior schools.

The County Road Safety department therefore employs the equivalent of "eleven" full time road safety officers, a figure well above the figure suggest by the Home Office of one RSO per 50,000 inhabitants. Visits to schools - involving teachers in Road Safety and instigated Road Safety projects is therefore the most important field of work. Other areas of work include

  • Cycle Proficiency schemes
  • Safe Driving Car Rally
  • Lorry Driver of the Year heats
  • Permanent and Mobile exhibitions

The motorcycling programmes are important because of the increase in road accidents between 1974 and 1975, an increase greater than the increase in motorcycle registrations for the county

During 1975 the county RAC/ACU schemes had 162 entrants of whom 94 passed the RAC test. Of test entries the pass rate a very high, most losses being due to failure of pupils to complete the course -.

The County Road Safety resources are largely ones of manpower. Existing and new ACU training schemes will be backed up as far as possible by the local authority but availability of full time officers is severely limited.

School Traffic Education Programme (S.T.E.P.) involves a two year CSE course which includes moped riding.

Psychology of Learning

Bob Thornton. Training Officer. Adcock & Shipley.

In the teacher/pupil relationship the Teacher belongs to a 'peer group' which leads to a Superior/Subordinate relationship. This should not be allowed to prevent the necessary contact between teacher and pupil. The pupil has needs which include the need to learn to ride and the need of self esteem.

These needs are not fulfilled by worry about fitting in with the course or achieving an acceptable standard. Contact can be further damaged by frustration anger and sarcasm which will demotivate the trainee, The instructor must be friendly, approachable and helpful in order to put the pupil at ease and boost his ego. The instructors should not withdraw into their own "peer group" or adopt a mechanical superior approach to pupils. *See footnote.

Neither should they be gushing or display their own ego. The idea is to "express not impress" .

A maxim often adopted in teaching is that "people cannot be taught, they can only be helped to learn". With this in mind the following are three things the instructor should help the trainee to learn and assimilate.

  1. Knowledge of Road Safety, maintenance, highway code etc.
  2. Skills of riding. These should not be overlooked because they have become second nature to the instructors. Examples of these skills are kinesthesis - knowing where limbs are without looking. Anticipation, knowing from experience when to expect hazards. Skills must be transferred but it is not sufficient just to describe the skills.
  3. Attitude. The pupils attitude must change in response to new disciplines, necessities and responsibility. It is important to instil the correct attitude from early on.

In order to achieve these from the pupil there are some basic instruction techniques.

  1. Plan in advance what you are going to do. This is largely covered by the instruction manual which must be read and particular lesson prepared before each evening. Proper planning represents 95% of instruction technique.
  2. Do not cram too much into too short a time. Experience shows that spaced learning is better than massed learning.
  3. Reward pupils for good work with a smile or verbal pat on the back. Try to find things done well and praise them. Punishing the pupils alone will demotivate them. Mistakes must be corrected, but the correction should be sandwiched between rewards.
  4. The pupil-must know if he is doing well. This encourages his progress. A long appraisal is not necessary but each week he should be reminded of his progress in order to further encourage him.
  5. Progress itself will usually be rapid to begin with but reduce as time continues. It is very important that the instructor keeps a careful watch for the point at which progress begins to deteriorate so fresh motivation can be introduced before progress reaches a plateau at which it stagnates. It is very often this point, when a pupil believes he has learnt as much as possible, that the pupil is lost.

Above all it must be remembered that it is the instructor's skill not the pupil's ability which determines the rate of progress. Information must be presented in a form which pupils can learn.

The Manual

Dave Smith. Course Lecturer

The manual contains two syllabuses. The first is like our scheme with approximately a fifty percent split between theory and practice. The second syllabus is predominately practical and the details of practical riding are entered in greater depth. The aim of our scheme is to achieve all the theory of the first syllabus and the practical lessons of the second syllabus.

Our pupils have their own machines and therefore very often already possess some of the basic skills of balance and control. The early lessons may therefore be rushed over. However the basic skills should still receive some attention to make sure that they are handled correctly.

The manual should be used to form a basis for working out a programme for each pupil. Pupils will be allocated one instructor for the complete course so that continuity may be maintained and proper presentation prepared. A printed hand out of the theory lessons will be provided so that the instructors can direct lessons parallel to the theory lessons.

Rear Observation.

Must be a proper observation over the right shoulder regardless of whether mirrors are fitted and used.

It should be made:

  • Before moving off.
  • Before giving signal.
  • Before manoeuvres.
  • Before stopping or slowing down.
  • Before altering course.

Signals

Always use flashers supplemented with hand signals for a count of three for left and right hand turns. Hand signals should be from the shoulder. Providing flashing signals are given, hand signals may be omitted for overtaking. Slowing down signals must be given particularly at pedestrian crossings.

Turn Left

Rear observation, Left hand signal. Change speed and gears, Rear observation, turn, cancel signal.

Turn Right

Rear observation, Right hand signal, move into correct position: Rear observation Right hand signal (Flasher remains on from first signal), Adjust speed and gears Rear observation, turn, cancel signal.

Overtaking

Rear observation. Flasher or right hand signal manoeuvre, do not cut in. Cancel flasher.

Move out a complete lane when passing parked vehicles.

Roundabouts

Rear observation. Left hand signal for left turn, no signal for straight on, right hand signal for other paths round island. Left hand signal on leaving. Mini roundabouts to be treated as normal traffic islands.

Pupils to be reminded that the route begins at the cattle market.

Progress Cards

The details must be filled in on the first night which will include bike check, clothing check, documents check (date of expiry). The first night contains quite a lot of work which must be completed so that the second lesson is not used up. It is therefore important that instructors attend the first evening.

Cards must have instructors name written (not signed) each week, and must have a mark from 0 to 4 (except R H Turn 0 - 8) in each box. Parts not done should be crossed *

Important mistakes must be entered on back of card.

Routes.

See map of test Route.

At the Freeman's Common/Aylestone road traffic lights the correct procedure on turning right is to pass to the offside of traffic. However in practice this may expose the pupil to danger and for this reason the rider may pass to the front. It may be better to hang back and allow oncoming traffic to clear.

A signal may be helpful at the end of Newark Street.

The move to the right before the traffic island on Welford Road should preferably be completed before the brow of the hill. Full hand signals are required at the traffic island.

At the centre refuge on Saffron Lane only one pupil at a time should stop in this area.

Routes should be designated as follows

  • Left Hand Route No. 1
  • Right Hand (Test) Route No. 2

Numbers 3 and 4 as shown on other map.

Pupils should not be told that they are using the test route as it will lead to automation and defeat the aim of the training scheme.

* Allow 2 to 3 minutes for filling in each card.

  1. = Dangerous
  2. = Not to Standard
  3. = Min required standard
  4. = Average, Good
  5. = No observed error. Well executed action

Conduct of Instructors

Wal Bradshaw. Chief Instructor.

All instructors must be permanently committed to attending every Tuesday night, particularly now that they will be allocated the same pupils throughout the course. If for any reason they are unable to attend they must let the Chief Instructor know in advance so that he can reallocate the pupil as soon as possible. (telephone Leicester XXXXXX).

The instructors must arrive early so that they are ready to start at 7:30 pm. latest, possibly earlier. They should find their pupils and ask for the card.

Instructors must set a good example; not only in their knowledge and skills, but also in their attitude to the course must not form into groups for social chat. The Club night is Wednesday, not Tuesday.

Pupils must be returned in good time for next lesson bearing in mind that his progress must be discussed.

The coffee break will be rearranged to regulate the changeover.

Discussion Session

Following the above talks a question session was held. Mr Belben explained the recruitment procedure for enrolling pupils, and the difficulties involved with a heavy backlog of applications. Unhandleable demand could be increased at any time, particularly by publicity.

More training schemes are required but only if they are self run and do not make demands upon the present Road Safety department manpower. There would also be difficulty in holding together a non club based training scheme.

The talks had often come round to the subject of the number of pupils failing to complete the course. Wal Bradshaw had found that of the six pupils on our schemes who had failed to complete the test, one was through machine unreliability, one was because of very bad nerves and one had received a driving ban before beginning the course.


During discussions the question arose regarding the relationship between the Training Scheme and the Club. Past policy has been that the club is not mentioned at the Training Scheme in order to prevent a feeling that the Training Scheme is being used as a recruiting ground for the Club. It was felt that enquiries from pupils at their own initiative should be answered and welcomed as a means of forming contact between pupils and instructors.

Derek Houghton Bob Thornton Maurice Belben Dave Smith Wal Bradshaw Pete Vines Terry Reynolds Steve White Dick Taylor Brian Porter Ken Wells Mick Gaugham Phil Freestone Bob Nash Les Freestone Paul Dunn Ben Crossley Margaret Wells