Matthew has continued his programme of visits with the Metropolitan Police by attending the Police Driving School at Hendon Training College in Colindale.
While discussing changes to the law about blue light training, Matthew learnt not only about differences between the training received by the police, ambulance and fire services but also about differences between police services across the country. This means that blue light training is taught in different ways depending on which emergency services a person is employed by and in which part of the country, producing much duplication and a number of interpretations.
The visit also included viewing a practical driving lesson at an airfield in Herfordshire where Matthew was shown how serving police officers put their classroom teaching into practice by performing high speed starts, emergency braking, over and under steer, Y turns and J turns to extract themselves and passengers from emergency situations. Matthew was given a lesson in the latter which involves a manoeuvre in which a reversing vehicle is spun 180 degrees and continues travelling in the same direction by changing into a forward gear with the vehicle then facing in the direction of travel.
Matthew said: "It is very useful to see the level of training received by police officers so that they can do their job of law enforcement while minimising risks to members of the public on the roads. The potential speed of vehicles is a real hazard and I saw how this is tempered by trained police drivers though roadcraft, judgement and anticipation. Most members of the public do not have these skills and I believe it would be of use to everyone to do a course such as one the Institute of Advanced Motorists offer.
"I found it peculiar that there are different training programmes between the three emergency services and different programmes taught in different parts of the country which results in a variety of interpretations on road safety. This is something I shall raise with ministers in Parliament."
You can take The Policing Association's Roadcraft Quiz here http://www.roadcraft.co.uk/roadcraft-2/ to test your own knowledge of driving.