Graham Hurdle's blog: 20th August: It wasn't my fault your honour! No-one told me to update my knowledge!
20 August 2014
Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World
A recent report in the Daily Mail stated that more than one in five motorists have had their cars ticketed, clamped or towed away because of 'confusing' parking signs.
Some drivers avoid trying to park in areas where the signs are most prevalent, the poll by car insurers Churchill found.
More than four out of ten of the 2,001 people polled said parking signs in their area were confusing, while a third avoided parking in their local town or city centre for this very reason.
Almost one in ten don't even risk parking near their home because of confusing signs.
Is it true that parking signs are really this confusing? Or is this yet another example of where the motorist will blame every other Tom, Dick or Harry because it is never their fault?
The reality is that road signs, in general, are carefully thought out, clear and relevant. Of course, we all come across occasions when we feel one is confusing, but as a rule it isn't the road sign that is at fault, it's the lack of knowledge of the person reading it.
So how do we know, as road users, how to properly read road signs? By reading the Highway Code - a book that most motorists haven't read since they passed the basic driving test.
In one of my recent blogs I said how disappointed I was regarding Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin's, intention of removing road signs to make roads safer. Rather than focus his attention on road signs I would much rather he had looked at the Driving Test!
For such a dangerous activity such as driving, all we are expected to do is pass the test with no requirement for any further assessment or training. Drivers don't have to continue developing their skills or knowledge, they just jump in a vehicle and drive - and when it goes wrong they often believe it was someone else's fault. No wonder many drivers find road signs confusing. In the knowledge section of our online driver profiling system, knowledge of road laws and road signs are one of the most frequent areas that drivers fall down on.
So when was the last time you bought an up to date copy of the Highway Code for your fleet drivers? Have you ever bought any other DSA approved publication on the essential skills of driving? Just trusting what your drivers learnt many years ago in their driving test should never be relied upon to drive safely.
If you're reading this admitting that most of your fleet drivers haven't updated their knowledge in road signs since the day they threw their L plates in the bin, I'd say parking was the least of your worries!