‘Enjoyment’ might not be a word you’d initially associate with a driving course, but that’s exactly what IAM RoadSmart’s Advanced Driver Course gave to Margaret and Harriet – and much more!
Margaret Campion’s advanced driving journey began at her regular U3A (University of the Third Age) meeting in late 2019. The guest speakers on an Autumn Day in Lincoln were IAM Lincolnshire; the topic: Confident Driving. A presentation designed to give the listeners hints and tips to improve their enjoyment, confidence, and safety when on the road.
Following the hour-long presentation, free taster drives were offered, and Margaret quickly put her name forward. A few weeks later and the taster drive was complete. The result? Margaret had signed up to complete a full Advanced Driver Course.
Margaret said “My confidence had evaporated following the death of my husband and it would have been easy to give up driving completely. However, thanks to the efforts of the team at IAM Lincolnshire I regained confidence throughout the course and completed my advanced test almost 60 years after I took my original test in 1961!”
The course started well for Margaret but was hit with pauses along the way due to Covid-lockdowns. Despite these breaks, Margaret persisted with observed drives and practiced on her own whenever the opportunity arose, commenting that the prolonged time due to the delays had been useful.
The benefits she found as the course continued turned Margaret’s attention to her grandchildren’s driving and before long granddaughter, Harriet, aged 19 also signed up for an Advanced Driver Course, through IAM Lincolnshire’s partnership scheme with Police and Crime Commissioner, Marc Jones, which sees fully funded courses for young drivers (aged 17-24). Harriet’s deposit was quickly paid, and her advanced journey began.
“When my Grandma told me there was opportunity to join IAM Lincolnshire thanks to the Police and Crime Commissioner initiative, I jumped at the chance.” Harriet said. Having been driving for just over a year she welcomed the opportunity to improve her skills. “The course was so enjoyable, and my confidence improved so much even before I had passed my test.”
Despite learning to drive many years apart, the pair found that driving difficulties were the same through the generations, as they worked on improving their techniques. Margaret found that ‘spoken thought’ (or commentated drives as we call them) really helped her to start noticing road signs and marking, anticipating hazards, and dealing with these effectively. “It was good comparing notes as we progressed” Harriet said.
Following another Covid-related pause, the pair returned to their course in May 2021 made excellent progress eventually passing their advanced tests in September 2021 – just one day apart!
“My observers were so kind and helpful – no groans or gripping the door handles as I took corners too fast, or too slow, or used the brakes when I should have accelerated.” Margaret added. “I have had the additional pleasure of seeing Harriet complete her advanced driving test too which is wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and have recommended the course to several of my friends and would encourage others to do it too.”
The pair are now encouraging their family members to match their achievements and take the course.
Congratulations to Margaret and Harriet on their fantastic achievement.