Essential Driver Training in Ireland

15/01/2014 11:51

The Infamous EDT in Ireland

You might be shocked with what you will  read further  on but all of it is true and require that they be treated with respect. Just like what you might expect, those who carry the highest risk of getting into vehicular accidents are those who are inexperienced like young and new drivers. These accidents often result in the loss of limbs and life. This sad fact has prompted the Road Safety Authority to come up with new measures that will ensure that only responsible individuals who have successfully undergone driving lessons are able to get behind the wheel and on the streets. 
These new measures include the enactment of the essential driver training, also known as EDT. This training course was designed so that the learner, which is the person who wants to learn how to drive, is sure to be equipped with the proper knowledge and comprehension of road safety once they are done with the entire training. The EDT now requires everyone that has received a first car learner permit on the fourth of April 2011 and onwards to take a minimum of 12 hours of essential driving training. An approved driving instructor, or ADI, would have to facilitate these lessons. The 12 hours are considered requisites if you want to sit through your driving test. Of course, the 12 hours are the bare minimum as majority of learner drivers actually opt for filler lessons and more practice time before they feel confident enough to sit through the driving test.

So what is the rationale behind it?

The idea is that while your ADI would be responsible in introducing you the basics of driving, you would need to practice on each skill and that requires that you pick out a sponsor. This person is known as your sponsor. Once you're done with a certain EDT lesson, it would then be your sponsor's responsibility to help you practice the skill that you've just learned. The time that you spend with your sponsor in practice will seriously help you become more confident in the road. In order for a person to be your sponsor, he or she must have a full category B license for a period of more than two years. With regards to your EDT course, there will be 12 lessons that you will have to go through to pass the course. Each lesson will only be taught to you by your ADI for an hour but lessons may be spaced out to give you time to practice; usually they are spaced two weeks in between. The time in between each lesson should be spent for practices with your sponsor. In a bid to ensure that you have really learned all that has to be learned before you sit through your driving test, you have to wait for six weeks from first getting your learner's permit. This stipulation was put into place in order to prevent learners from fast tracking their lessons at the expense of real learning. Both the Road Safety Authority and the ADI that you will work will take the EDT course seriously so it's expected that you be fully prepared when you attend each lesson.
So what sort of thing can you expect from each EDT lesson? Here is an example of the content for one of the EDT Lessons.
EDT Lesson 5
Positioning Correctly
The fifth lesson of the EDT course will allow the learner driver to slowly become acquainted with a variety of road conditions, allowing the pupil to have the chance to position the vehicle while actually driving on the street. The pupil will also be able to position the vehicle in traffic lanes, while turning left or right, while entering roundabouts and while emerging from junctions. On top of those skills, the other skills that will be covered include making turnabouts and moving in reverse, stopping in traffic and parking.
By the end of lesson 5, the learner driver should be able to drive while maintaining a safe position consistently while on the road while still have the ability to perform challenging maneuvers. Since this lesson involves a review of the previous skills covered by the earlier lessons, not having enough practice will trickle over by making it more difficult for you to nail down this lesson.
In order to supplement the lesson and allow the pupil to have ample time to master the skills highlighted in this level, majority of learner drivers and their sponsors opt for non-EDT support lessons. Unlike the more tense and rigid EDT lessons, non-EDT support lessons are conducted in a relaxed atmosphere that enable the learner driver to practice without any fear or stigma. Often times, learner drivers just need to be transplanted to a less crowded environment for them to learn and master maneuvers which they would otherwise find overwhelming. Support lessons are also advisable for pupils that do not get enough practice in between their EDT driving lessons. This EDT lesson will be a notch more complicated than correct vehicle positioning since it will emphasize on switching directions and managing speed progressions. Practicing before and after the lesson is crucial for pupils to complete the fifth EDT lesson. 

Lets continue...

The first thing which the ADI will do is to check your learner's permit, and inspect your vehicle for the necessary documentation, i.e. Insurance, motor tax, NCT and roadworthiness, should you decide to make use of your own vehicle in the lessons. Anything awry with regards to the documents and condition of your vehicle could cause your ADI to not move forward with your lessons. With regards to the NCT, a vehicle will only require one once it hits four years old. 
The first time that you and your ADI will meet, the latter will explain to you the rationale behind each lesson and the goals that you have to accomplish throughout the entire course, and then give you your logbook. It's important that you take care of your logbook since it will be on this notebook that the details of each lesson will be written on. Once each lesson is done, your ADI will then record your progress using the logbook, sign and then stamp on it. Since each lesson has to be recorded in detail on your logbook, it's necessary that you are truly prepared for each lesson before you show up for one. You may ask your ADI if he or she feels that you are prepared enough to move on to the next driving lesson or spend more time on practice. It is important for lessons one to eight to be taken chronologically, with the lessons covering car controls and safety checks, correct positioning, changing direction, progression management, anticipation and reaction, sharing the road, and driving safely through traffic. When you've successfully gone through lessons one to eight, you can then take lessons nine to 12 at whichever order you think is necessary since by then you should have already accrued enough skills and experience to be able to go through the lesson without much difficulty. Lessons nine to 12 include changing direction in complicated situations, speed management, driving calmly and night driving. For a more detailed explanation of each lesson covered by the EDT course, learner drivers are advised to peruse the RSA booklet. The learner driver information booklet "Essential Driver Training" is downloadable from the RSA website if it's not given to you by your ADI.
For every lesson that you agree to take, there are certain goals that you need to meet and it is the collective effort of you, your ADI and your sponsor to meet those goals before you proceed to the next lesson on your EDT logbook. For this reason, it's crucial that you bring your EDT logbook with you during every driving lesson. Your ADI's practice recommendations will be the basis of your sponsor's involvement in the learning process. The documentation goes on even when you practice with your sponsor as the latter is obligated to write down in detail what happens during these practices. At the same time, it's also important that you complete the self-analysis page and show this page to your sponsor. With the help of your logbook, you and your sponsor should be able to find out exactly which part of the course you need help with.
Once you are ready to move forward with the next lesson, take the time to read the relevant sections in the rules of the road. This will help you find out what driving concepts your ADI will discuss with you during your next session and will give you an idea of what to prepare for. Another way that you can keep a step ahead is by asking your ADI what the next lesson will be so that you can do some advanced reading.