IAM and IAM RoadSmart – celebrating 60 years of better driving and riding

Posted on 19/05/16 |

IAM RoadSmart (formerly the Institute of Advanced Motorists) is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2016. Over the last 60 years more than 400,000 people have taken their skills to the next level and become advanced drivers or riders with the organisation.

To mark the anniversary, IAM RoadSmart is staging two parties; one for bike enthusiasts on 2 July and another for car buffs on 9 July. Isle of Man TT winners Steve Plater and Mick Grant are attending the bike party, while rally legend Paddy Hopkirk will be special guest at the car party.

  • The organisation was established in 1956. By 1995 the IAM had guided its 250,000th member through his advanced test and in the past 21 years 150,000 more have taken the opportunity to improve their skills on the road.
  • In 1962 the organisation introduced the first test for commercial vehicle drivers in the UK and in 1976 the IAM introduced its first motorcycle test. A decade later it launched a fleet training programme for businesses.
  • By 1998 the IAM’s 200th local group was formed; today there are 207. The local groups are the lifeblood of IAM RoadSmart, coaching and testing potential advanced drivers and riders week-in week-out. Currently there are more than 5,000 volunteers representing the groups across the UK.
  • By the 2000’s the IAM was increasingly involved in lobbying the government for change in transport legislation. Its manifesto became widely respected for setting out the scene of what it regarded as the most essential developments in road safety – such as a graduated driving licence system and introducing road safety to the National Curriculum.
  • In 2016 the Institute of Advanced Motorists was renamed IAM RoadSmart, and over the coming year will launch a range of products which support specific needs, to include driving at night, rural driving and motorway driving.
  • IAM RoadSmart operates a commercial division which addresses the specific needs of business drivers and fleets with a suite of courses and advice. It also provides drink-drive rehabilitation courses through its Driver Retraining Academy subsidiary.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the organisation, there are two parties coming up celebrating all things bike and car – a bike party at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on 2 July and a car party at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon on 9 July.

Visitors also have the chance to have their car or bike take centre stage as part of the magnificent #60bikes and #60cars displays. IAM RoadSmart is looking for one motorcycle or scooter manufactured in each year of IAM/IAM RoadSmart’s existence for the 2 July party, and the equivalent for the car party on 9 July.

The bike party will be attended by two legends of the British biking scene – 2009 British Supersport champion and twice winner of the Isle of Man TT race Steve Plater, and works Kawasaki and Honda rider and seven times Isle of Man TT winner Mick Grant.

Guest of honour at the car party will be none other than Mini royalty – winner of the 1964 Monte Carlo and 1967 Acropolis rallies Paddy Hopkirk.

Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer, said: “We are proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 60 years. In co-operation with our group volunteers and the willingness of the motoring and riding public, we have all worked to improve lives for the better and have seen road fatalities and injuries plummet over the decades.

“As IAM RoadSmart we are now ready for the next 60 years. There will always be a need to make better drivers and riders whatever happens to the transport landscape in the UK. Our work will only become more relevant in the future.

“Our events on 2 and 9 July will be a chance for people to celebrate their love of cars, bikes and most importantly driving. They are an important part of so many of our lives for so many reasons. We look forward to meeting as many of you as possible.”


Notes to editors:

Tickets for IAM RoadSmart’s 60th anniversary parties, at just £10 per person, are on sale now. You do not need to be a member of IAM RoadSmart to come along and there is no limit to the number of tickets you can buy. To purchase just call 0300 303 1134. Information will be regularly updated on our dedicated web pages for each party – you can find them here www.iamroadsmart.com/bikeparty  and here www.iamroadsmart.com/carparty

Both parties will feature a marketplace for all riding and driving memorabilia and equipment, and a chance to try your hand at a number of fiendish skills tests and prove you are king of two or four wheels. Alternatively if observing is more your thing, you and your family can join us for a picnic and a relaxing day out.

Anyone with an entry accepted for either displays can gain free entry to that party. Passengers in a display vehicle can also come for free, as can the pillion passenger for a display bike.

While all slots in the car display are filled, there are still a number of slots to fill in the bike display – for an up-to-date list of spaces visit www.iamroadsmart.com/bikeparty

To submit your entry to the bike party email events@iam.org.uk, post your entry to www.facebook.com/IAMRoadSmart or to Twitter (www.twitter.com/IAMRoadSmart) using the hashtag #60bikes

To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit the new website www.iamroadsmart.com

Further information from:

IAM RoadSmart press office – 020 8996 9777 – press.office@iam.org.uk 

ISDN broadcast lines available

Follow us:

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/IAMRoadSmart

On Twitter: @DriveforWork   

IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.