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School Of Motoring Ballymoney

School Of Motoring Ballymoney- Keeps you up todate with changes to the driving test.

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Recent blog posts

DVA Driving Examiners are Going Digital

We are embracing new digital technology to transform how we carry out driver testing.

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Your role is to assess the ADI’s competence to deliver effective driving instruction. The ‘National standard for driver and rider training’ is expressed in terms of learning outcomes and there may be more than one way for an ADI to achieve those outcomes. Of course if an ADI does, or says, something that is clearly wrong it is important that you pick this up, especially where it could lead to a safety issue. However, your overall approach should be focused on recognising achievement and promoting improvement and development - rather than purely identifying faults.

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A major consultation to help pave the way for automated cars to be used on British roads is being launched, with all drivers invited to have their say.

Under the proposed measures, rules will be changed so automated vehicles can be insured for use on the roads.

In addition, the Highway code and regulations are to be altered so advanced driver assistance systems that change lanes on the motorway and park the vehicle by remote control can be used safely.

Separately, the government will next month launch a competition for a further £30 million from the Intelligent Mobility Fund, for research and development of innovative connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.

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Introduction of Graduated Driver Licensing and the Review of the Driving Test

We want to cut the number of people killed and injured on our roads. One of our big worries is that 1 in every 5 new drivers has a crash in their first 6 months of driving and generally younger drivers are involved in more crashes than older drivers. To make young drivers safer we must make driver training and testing better.

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Mobile Application. We are also in the process of developing a mobile application to be used on a tablet device, by driving examiners as part of the driver test process. Work is underway to put the necessary infrastructure in place to facilitate this change to the way we work. Over the next few months we aim to trial these mobile devices firstly in house with our driving examiners at three pilot sites (Coleraine, Dill Road and Belfast Test Centres).

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The Department of the Environment issued a consultation document on 31 May 2013, seeking views on a number of proposals for change to the Approved Driving Instructor/Approved Motorcycle Instructor schemes operating in Northern Ireland.

The responses received indicated broad support from the industry to the consultation proposals. I can advise that the legislative amendments required to implement the agreed changes will come into effect on 28 February 2015.

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The hazard perception part of the driving theory test has been updated using computer generated imagery (CGI). This will help ensure candidates' awareness of risk is tested in modern driving environments that are more like real world situations.

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A new theory test has been introduced for anyone applying to become a taxi driver. It is in two parts. You must have passed both parts of the taxi theory test before you can apply for the practical test.
What happens during the test?

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There is a two stage application process for first time applications. Applications usually take 12 weeks to process. To obtain a taxi driving licence first time applicants must.

  • Have held a full driving licence for at least 3 years.
  • Be eligible to work within Northern Ireland.
  • Meet the necessary medical requirements.
  • Meet the necessary good repute requirements.
  • Have pass a taxi driver theory and practical test

First stage

New applications for a taxi driver licence will include checks on previous convictions, health and the length of time you have held a driving licence. In addition to the application form you must complete an enhanced disclosure application form for Access NI and return it to Passenger Transport Licensing Division (PTLD) with the necessary identification documents, you don't have to pay any additional fee. Further information on new taxi tests can be found in the manual.

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Driver Requirements 

Any person driving a public service vehicle must be the holder of an appropriate licence. Most drivers who don't hold the appropriate licence also don't have insurance cover and this can, upon conviction, result in a
£5,000 fine and ,6-8 penalty points. The type of licence required depends on the number of passenger seats in the vehicle being hired.

Drivers of vehicles with 8 passenger seats or fewer are required to hold a valid taxi driver's licence. This
licence is only issued to drivers who have had their repute checked to ensure that they are a fit and proper person to hold a taxi driver's licence. This gives passengers some level of assurance that they will be
transported in relative safety.

The driver of a vehicle that is being used for weddings or funerals does not have to wear a taxi driver's badge. However, you can ask to see the driver's proof of licensing when booking the vehicle, or when it picks you up. A driver who is detected without the appropriate taxi driver's licence can, upon conviction, be
fined £1,000 and awarded 3-6 penalty points.

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During March we told you about the changes to vehicle registration and licensing services in Northern
Ireland. These come following the introduction of enhanced electronic services, to provide the same quality of service across the UK.

They will also give NI motorists additional services that they do not have now. The Driver & Vehicle Agency
(DVA) will no longer offer vehicle licensing services in Northern Ireland. This will become the responsibility
of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Swansea.

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From 19 January 2013 a new Directive the third European Directive on - driving licences -tEU3-B) (2u06!126/EC) - will come- into force. This new legislation, which is aimed at improving road safety, will change driving licence rules in Northern Ireland.

The changes include:

new style design and format of the driving licence;new moped and motorcycle licensing categories (including minimum age requirements);new minimum test vehicle requirements for mopeds and motorcycles;new rules for car drivers towing trailers;an increase in the minimum age to 24

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Welcome to this new edition of Update. This edition provides you with an update on a number of issues including CBT, EU 3rd Directive and a range of other issues. I hope you find the contents of this edition of Update both interesting and informative.


On 15 May 2012 the Minister for Environment Alex Attwood, reported to the Assembly on the outcome of a recent North South Ministerial Council Transport sectoral meeting. Regarding his current thinking about reforming the current regime for learner and restricted drivers and on graduated licensing, he said:

"I am inclined to go down the road of allowing learner and restricted drivers to drive at a speed of 70 mph rather than 45 mph.

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