Shining a light on our female community this Mothers Day

Blog post posted on 17/03/23 |

Shirley smiling This Mothering Sunday IAM RoadSmart is looking to highlight all the strong women that take on that role. Mother’s come in all shapes and sizes including step mums, grandmothers, foster mums and even aunties.

Each year Mothering Sunday lands on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Traditionally, it was a day when children, mainly daughters, who had gone to work as domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother and family.

Shining a light on one mother in IAM RoadSmart’s community, Shirley Yule, mum to a teenage daughter and a member of our Dumfries group, has written about her driving story...

How long have you been on the road?

“I have been driving since I was eighteen and have driven all sorts of vehicles in all different countries and terrains. I am ex-army and served with a Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Regiment, as well as a Transport Regiment, where I got to play with a lot of big green expensive toys in all corners of the world. The BV206 in the Falklands was a hoot!

Being slightly under 5’2” tall people tend to misjudge you a lot, but never one to fit a stereotype, I got my full bike licence 25 years ago and have been riding bikes ever since.”

What are the biggest differences you have noticed on the roads in the last few decades?

“The biggest difference is the quality of the roads, the sheer volume of traffic, and how people rely more on technology to drive rather than the basic driving skills. Things like mirrors and reading road signs used to be the norm, but people can’t seem to manage without sensors and satnav’s now.”

What are the benefits of taking an IAM RoadSmart Advanced course?

“A few years ago, I had a small accident on a VFR750, and it knocked my confidence. Prior to this accident I had toured over Scotland and Europe on a bike and loved it.

“A friend of mine suggested the IAM RoadSmart course, so I gave it a bash. I am not saying it was easy, but I will say it was well worth it. There were times my mental block was getting the better of me, but I had two particularly good observers that did not give up and helped me through it. Being able to read the road better makes me drive and ride more safely.”

What do you enjoy most about driving and riding?

“I ride and drive roughly 1700 miles a month so it’s about the freedom to get away from life and feel alive. I have a love of horsepower in the sense of I ride bikes and horses, some say I have a screw loose for doing the two.”

Inspired by Shirley’s experiences? Check out other member stories or our courses