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Steering (again)

By October 22, 2016January 1st, 2017Uncategorized

In the headlong rush to increasingly lower standards, Steering once again raises it’s head, this time in an article by  John Farlam in the latest ADINJC Newsletter.

(  – (The October one I’m referring to is members only, until they upload it next month)

It starts off with “The DVSA (and before them DSA) have never insisted on pull-push steering and it has never been a requirement in the UK driving test

This might strictly speaking be true, but it’s also misleading as the DSA was only formed in 1990 – Prior to that the Ministry or Department of Transport carried out testing under its own name – While I don’t have access to the DT1 or its predecessor going back that far, we can have a look at “Driving” – The Official Department of Transport Manual from the 1969 edition

The next rule to remember is not to cross your hands on the steering wheel when turning it

The correct way to steer round a corner is to feed the rim of the steering wheel through your hands with a pull-push movement”

Seems pretty clear to me –

Incidentally the D(V)SA have never said you have to use your right foot on the brake and not your left either*….

John then covers some of the history of the Pull Push method -“In old vehicles with heavy steering, pull-push was a fairly essential requirement unless you were the world’s strongest man – but in modern vehicles there is no need for this cumbersome steering practice

Fair enough, the weight of steering was indeed was one of the main advantages of the pull push method, however I’m not sure what it supposedly ‘cumbersome’ about it.

In his article last month, again talking about steering we have:-

Steering failure is probably as common as alien abduction. Having said this it’s useful to know about it (steering failure, that is!). The most likely cause of steering failure is a loss of power steering. This can happen if a hydraulic pipe breaks or is cut by debris from the road. Even in this eventuality it’s unlikely that the power loss would be sudden. It’s probable that the steering would gradually become heavier, thus giving a warning

So in the event you do have a power steering failure, would the steering not become very heavy?, in which case surely it would be best, to be already steering using a preferred technique and not suddenly have to learn a new one on the fly, while you’re suddenly wondering why the steering wheel won’t turn……..?

Sir John Whitmore and I worked together to lobby the DSA on the issue. The result was that the DSA acknowledged that pull-push was not a requirement”

Make your mind up John, if it’s never been a requirement anyway, what were you lobbying them for?

I never quite understood where this supposed resistance to pull push appeared from, until it suddenly became clear –

You’ve guessed it :-

All the people “pushing”, alternatives to “pull-push” (see what I did there?) seem to be self appointed ‘coaching experts’ like Sir John Whitmore –

I imagine its extremely difficult to “coach” pull-push without instructing as to the hand movements.

If you have to carry out a task in a specific way, you can’t market lots of ‘coaching’ courses, because it becomes too difficult to get people to reach the a required standard, and if it’s harder than ‘instruction’ what’s the point – So the only alternative is to lower the standard to that almost anyone can comply……..


*With one possible exception