Welcome to our favourite page, where we hear your points

of view . . . .

Our aim is to undertstand what you think about driving around our beautiful countryside, towns and cities. In the course of doing this, you will have experienced the pleasures of driving in Herefordshire, the frustrations, fears and the fun of it. IAM Herefordshire want to hear from you, in confidence if you prefer, using this form, so that we can develop our support services to help drivers of all ages drive confidently, efficently - and safely.

If you prefer to talk direct, please ring Mike Warnock on

01531 579174 or email him 

IAM Herefordshire is a local charity affiliated to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM). Registered Charity No: 1049679Email safer-drivers@iam-herefordshire.org.uk Website www.iam-herefordshire.org.uk
An extraordinary spate of accidents on the A49 just North of Hereford, early in the year, lead to much discussion about the safety of the road and what and who should do something about it. , submitted the result of assessment of the particular stretch of road by a group of our most experienced Observers to the Hereford Times and, following the negative reaction, drafted the following response which unfortunately was not published. However we felt you might like to read an edited version of it. ‘’I appreciate that there is concern about the crashes which seem to happen all too frequently on the A49. However, we are looking at the situation from an entirely different perspectives. Some want the authorities to make the road ‘safer’; but more signs, road markings and warnings, for example, are useless unless drivers are going to obey them. I and my colleagues who have undergone extensive, additional driver training, advocate more driver education, so that there is more understanding of the risks and hazards we need to be aware of and how to anticipate and deal with them. During my long career in the Fire Service, I would regularly be asked the question: ‘what if we have a fire here?’ My response was always:  ‘the question should be: what would cause a fire here?’ because once you have identified the cause, you can seek to eliminate or control it. The same applies to dealing with potential road crashes. The question is not ‘what if we have a crash’ but ‘what would cause the crash? The answer in the vast majority of cases is ‘human error’. Having
identified the major cause, we can progress to determining what we can do to prevent it. In my opinion the answer is surely better driver education, coupled with determined enforcement of the law, since unfortunately there will always be those who drive in a reckless and irresponsible manner. Independent research by Brunel University concluded that nearly 70% of drivers who received some degree of coaching showed significantly better skills than average drivers in a number of key areas, from speed management and cornering to hazard awareness and anticipation.  I’m delighted that several hundred drivers in the county have undertaken advanced driver training. I am sure they recognise the value of the skills that training has given them and would agree that the basic test does not adequately prepare drivers for dealing with the hazards they can face. Additional coaching can also show how to get the most out of your driving in a safe and enjoyable way.  A good starting point: realise that by the very act of driving on the highway you are a hazard to other drivers and should ensure that you do all in your ability to minimise the risk you pose. Abide by the law and within the limits of your competence. David Williams, Chief Observer
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