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Colourfile Professional 3 - 2017 UPDATE

by: John Wells on

Colourfile Professional CoverIn response to exceptional customer demand we will be releasing a revised edition of Colourfile Professional 3 within the next two weeks. The revised edition contains new pages and is currently 'in press'. We expect our first pallet of 400 units in the week commencing 4th October - two months in advance of changes to the UK driving test.

The revised edition contains the following new and/or revised pages:

  • Bay Parking - revised images to include 'Drive in - Reverse Out' 
  • Parking against the Traffic Flow (Parking on the Right) and reversing before moving off.
  • Independent Driving - with support material for urban and extra-urban journey planning and management and 'getting there by use of SAT-NAV or route signs. We've also included material supporting a lesson on vehicle familiarisation which the trainer might use to ask 'When safe, 'Show Me' how you would...'

Although these new pages will clearly help those looking for material to help learners prepare for the driving test, in line with our policy of 'not teaching just for test' we've included extra information and provided 'food for thought' so the trainer can make the most of this opportunity to develop and extend their teaching range. In common with previous editions the new material comes with lesson checklist and key questions to the left page so the trainer can develop his or her own style when agreeing the lesson plan with their learner.

So what have we added?

Bay parking diagram

Bay Parking: Of course, trainers, as expert drivers will usually advocate reversing in and driving out of parking bays. Being pragmatic, however, we have to accept the supermarket car park scenario where drivers inevitably drive into a space and then reverse out and should teach how to do this correctly for road user safety.

We recommend that trainers adopt a realistic approach to this exercise rather than offering a 'prescriptive method'. The authors would challenge any trainer to achieve the manoeuvres under the constraints suggested in some materials we've seen to date! Reality is that in a restricted space the driver faced with oncoming traffic and a gap between two other vehicles will not be able to drive in forwards in a smooth curve! Colourfile prompts you to train your learner to cope with reality!

Again, in line with our policy of not teaching for test, we've included a diagram of an 'angled bay park', usually, though not exclusively, reserved for car parks with a one way system in operation. Parallel parking diagramWhat is the advantage of angled bays?...

Parking on the Right: Scene; outside Hartlepool Driving Test Centre, 1979, candidate a 17-year-old John M Wells in the last minute of his driving test with an examiner imported to reduce waiting times and unfamiliar with the town! This was the first time that I was asked to park on the right. To be fair, the examiner asked me to 'park where convenient' and on the right was it! To avoid unnecessary suspense I will tell you now that the candidate did pass first time.

Look carefully at the video released by DVSA on this subject and you will see why the reversing element is included. It really is common sense that you may need to reverse to minimise blind spots before moving off from the right. Interestingly, just 5 minutes before we received the DVSA blog article on this subject, we'd sent this diagram to the Driving Instructors Association (DIA) for their approval.

Independent driving sectionIndependent Driving: It is a problem with any practical driving assessment that instructions or directions given by the assessor or examiner inevitably provoke a response from the candidate.

So, “Take the next road on the left please” = “Check your mirrors and signal!”


Since 2010 the UK driving test has included an assessment of ‘unprompted driving’ in which candidates are asked to follow a set route. From December 2017 the independent driving element of the test will be extended and candidates may be expected follow directions using a SAT-NAV device or by following local signs to a stated destination. This subject is easy to teach and should be practiced regularly as the driver approaches driving test standard. To help you Colourfile has numerous road layouts and images of road signs and markings to assist with teaching independent driving. We have also revised the lesson plan and supporting diagrams on independent driving in this updated edition of Colourfile 3. We suggest you use the material as follows: Diagram A introduces the concept of following directions (route sign or SAT-NAV) that can be practiced over several lessons so that confidence is gained to drive alone through unfamiliar areas in towns. Diagram B relates these skills to planning and management of longer journeys. Use Diagram C to emphasise the importance of vehicle familiarisation which could easily be tested by asking a driver ‘When it is safe to do so, show me how you would operate the...’

Modern vehicles increasingly rely on electronics that supplement driving ability and are designed to improve safety. Drivers need to know how these devices and systems work if they are to be used safely and vehicle warnings understood. Will your new driver be prepared the first time they are given a loan car/hire an unfamiliar vehicle/drive an automatic?






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