Age is no barrier to success

Blog post posted on 29/06/23 |

GeoffGeoff Salt has been an IAM motorcycle observer for 27 years and has observed more than 150 RoadSmart members who all went on to pass their Advanced Test with IAM.

In March this year, the 78-year-old, who has been driving for almost 50 years, tried for his IAM RoadSmart Advanced Car test. It took just five sessions with the Derwent and Hope Valley group to achieve a First.  

How the IAM journey began

At just 16 years-old, Geoff started riding a Triumph Tigress Motor Scooter and a few months later, passed his DVLA motorcycle test. In 1964 he spent ten days touring the Scottish Highlands, now known as the North Coast 500 route. It’s a 516-mile scenic drive around the north coast of Scotland, starting and ending at Inverness Castle. At the age of 21, he swapped two wheels for four and traded in his bike when he and his wife started a family.  

28 years later, in 1991, Geoff returned to motorcycling and noticing the increase in traffic volume over the years, realised he needed some help with his skills, so, he joined IAM RoadSmart and in 1997 passed his IAM RoadSmart Advanced Motorcycle Test.  

From 2011 - 2017 Geoff became the Chief Observer of the Derby IAM Motorcycle group.  In 2016 the group was awarded a trophy and a cheque for £600.00 for being the second highest achieving group in the country for test passes. He was also awarded Star Performer trophy at the NEC Birmingham in 2017 for his achievements in motorcycle observing.

How have the roads and traffic volume changed over the years?

Geoff, who now drives a Porsche and rides a motorcycle, believes the increase in traffic on the roads is a problem as well as the power and speed of modern-day vehicles. He cites road signs as another issue, believing many of them to be badly displayed.  His biggest peeves are aggressive, impatient drivers with no consideration for other road users.

What are the advantages of being an advanced driver with IAM RoadSmart?

According to Geoff, the benefits include increased ability and knowledge gained by using improved forward and rear observations and hazard awareness. Reflecting on his experience Geoff said, “At the age of 78, I’m so proud of my achievement, proving age is no barrier.  I would encourage anyone who has thought about the

 IAM Roadsmart Car and Motorcycle Advanced Test to go for it. The examiner encouraged me to take a Masters car test. Bring it on.”