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About us

Southampton Advanced Motorists came into being in 1957, two years after the formation of the Institute of Advanced Motorists. At the time the group was known as IAM Southern Group. Initially there was little in the way of organised ‘preparation for the IAM test’.

Efforts were made to recruit ‘observers’, including making overtures to professional driving instructors who were taken to Brands Hatch for skid pan sessions.

Preparation and Fine-Tuning

The IAM was supportive of a national road safety campaign under the title of ‘Mind How You Go’ and the concept of advanced driving gradually gained momentum. The group arranged meetings at various venues, where guest speakers were invited.

It was some years before the ‘preparation for IAM test’ was put on a formalised basis which was ‘fine tuned’ as development progressed.

Staying Local

Initially the ‘observed runs’ were done from Portswood in Southampton but were soon transferred to a more convenient venue at the rear of Owen & Owen stores in the centre of the city. The ‘observed runs’ were carried out on Sunday mornings which still remains the preferred format to the present day.

The Owen & Owen site was used for about ten years, various sites have been used in the interim, but we are now based at Otterbourne Village Hall.

A Fine Replacement

In addition to preparing associates for the IAM test the group has run a series of ‘Better Driving' Courses which replaced the ones that Hampshire Police had to abandon. These courses continued until 2006.

A number of people have over the years, played key roles running and developing the group so for fear of omitting one or other of them, we thank them all.

Get in touch

Interested in attending an event? Want to find out more information? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to help you.

Interested in learning more about driving?

Take a look at our driving tips to see how you can become a better driver.