A Student, a Lawyer and a Hitman

Driving school world map

Sounds like the beginning of a joke! A student, a lawyer and a hitman start taking driving lessons… Anyone got a punchline? But this is no joke… read on.

As another week rushes by, I can’t help but reflect on all the pupils I’ve helped to gain their driving licence. There’s been quite a few over the last 18 years.

Driving school world map

I have taught people from all over the World and from all walks of life. And I’ve met some very interesting people along the way. In fact I have a World map at home, like the one pictured above, with all the countries coloured in if I have taught a pupils from that country.

The map is almost, but not quite, full.

This week alone I will be teaching pupils from Ireland, Poland, Syria, USA, China, Bangladesh, India… and the UK.

Also, contrary to popular belief, not all, in fact not many of my pupils are 17 year old school kids. My pupils range from 17 to 72! Some are students, many at university, most have jobs or careers. Some have their parents paying for their lessons, most pay their own way.

I’ve taught lawyers, university professors, architects, plumbers, IT professionals and… YES… a professional HITMAN… or so it would seem from the news this week!! (He didn’t mention it, funny that!)

So where does that leave me when the man from Yellow Pages asks: “Who is your target market?”

I heard that question all through University as well. Define your ideal customer and aim all your marketing at that one person. Give them a name, a profession, an age. Even dress them the way you see your ideal customer dressed. What hobbies do they have? Where do they hang out?

Hmmm. That’s why I don’t bother with Yellow Pages any more 🙂

So what do all these citizens of the World actually have in common? How can I best serve someone who could be literally anyone? Simple… YOU want to pass your driving test and become a better driver, right? And the best way to do that is to learn from other people’s mistakes. So here’s a mistake that cost one of my pupils her test during the week…

Let me ask you a question.

What does it mean if another driver flashes their headlights at you?

Most people would answer: “They are letting you go first.” …and in most cases they are right. BUT… it does NOT mean you should immediately go.

When my pupil was waiting at a T-junction to turn right, she was flashed by a car approaching from the left. When she pulled out she was beeped (quite rightly) by the car approaching from the right. Apparently there were parked cars blocking the view to the right and my pupil thought the driver on the left was ‘being helpful’. She failed due to lack of observation at the junction.

What should she have done? Well, if the car from the left is willing to wait, slowly edge out until you can see the road to the right (creep & peep). If, and ONLY if the road is clear do you pull out. Should a car be approaching from the right, wait for it to pass and pull out when it is clear.

The driver who flashed and gave up his priority should then have the patience to wait for you… note, I said ‘should’!

A bit of industry news now then…

I’m hearing all sorts of rumours from my pupils about the new driving test. “They’re getting rid of manoeuvres” is one I’ve heard – NO, they’re not! “They’re going to take you on the motorway” I’ve heard – NO, they’re not! “They’re going to use a sat-nav” I’ve heard – YES, YES they are… possibly.

What I’ve heard from official channels is that they ‘might’ be phasing out the turn in the road and reverse corner manoeuvres but keeping the reverse parks and introducing a forward bay park – No official confirmation as yet. It also seems that the independent section of the driving test could be lengthened and make use of a sat-nav for directions. Still unsure who will need to provide the sat-nav though: The instructor, the pupil or the examiner? Anyone know? Let us know in the comment box please.

These changes are nothing to worry about though. The main criteria for passing a driving test has remained the same since the test was introduced… You need to drive safely, legally and confidently… Get round the test route without doing anything stupid!

As always, please leave a comment if you have anything to ask or add to this post and do drop me a line if you want any particular issue covered. Speak soon…

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