All our observers are volunteers, and have themselves passed the IAM Advanced Driving Test. They undertake additional training and ongoing assessment.
I have been a member of IAM since passing my test in November 1993. My original motivation was to improve my driving skills in order to minimise the risks associated with high mileage driving. I now drive far fewer miles but remain a motoring enthusiast and enjoy the challenge of continually trying to enhance my own driving abilities, and those of others who also seek to develop their driving.
Originally a member of Chester City group I joined CADAM in 2007, became a Qualified Observer in 2008, and following successful assessments by an IAM staff examiner I became a Senior Observer in March 2010, and a National Observer in September 2014. My role as a National Observer presents a perfect opportunity to meet a diverse mix of interesting people driving a wide range of cars, from the mainstream to the exotic.
My day to day car is a VW Passat auto, but the “good weather” fun car is a Mazda MX5 Roadster Coupe, so I have experience of driving & observing in both manual & auto cars.
Chris says: “I worked for 28 years with ICI Pharmaceuticals, in a variety of rôles. The final 14 years was as Training Manager, and as part of this role I had responsibility for defensive driving for all staff from the Alderley Park site involved in driving for work (over 500 drivers).
I retired early and joined Congleton Advanced Motorists, passing my test in 2000. I then moved on to observing and became a Senior Observer. I also rewrote the Group’s Observer Handbook and Associates Guide as a Committee Member. I was Vice−Chair for the five years before moving to Chester in 2009. I joined CECAM towards the end of 2010 where I trained as an Observer and passed the Qualified Observer Test at the end of 2011. I have been active in this role since.
I love working with people and serve in a number of voluntary rôles, one of which involves transport for patients at our local hospice. I also enjoy clay target shooting and walking. I have driven a variety of vehicles over the years including tractors, landrovers and lorries in early farming days to vans and cars more recently. I currently drive a Volkswagen Passat auto which suits me well.”
Michael joined the Group on moving to the area in 2007.
He began driving at the age of 11 − his father’s car on a beach − and by the age of 17 had become very adept at manoeuvring cars on his parents’ driveway. All this pre−road experience (something he is very much in favour of) meant that he passed the Driving Test just 2 weeks after his 17th birthday.
Michael has always enjoyed driving all kinds of vehicles.
Today his main car for local journeys is electric – ‘driving the future’ as he says. He also likes driving on the ‘wrong side of the road’ in Europe. He was our Chief Observer from 2009-2013.
Michael believes in continuous improvement – that there is no perfect driver and we can all learn something all the time and need regular refreshers. His other keen interest is boating.
Andrew joined the IAM and CECAM in 2010 and after completing the “Skill for Life” Course went on to qualify as an Observer in November 2011.
As an experienced secondary education teacher, Andrew is keen to promote the development of the Institute’s SFL course and believes most drivers have something new to learn in order to improve their car control technique.
When not Observing, Andrew’s hobbies include classic car restoration and road biking.
Terry joined the IAM on retirement in 2007, completing “Skill for Life” at that time. He has subsequently trained as an observer, and is a past Chair of CECAM. He has also been Secretary of the Group and Newsletter Editor. He believes that advanced driving helps to improve the skills of drivers − whether recently qualified drivers or those with many years of experience.
Mick has been a member of the IAM since the spring of 2013 and was observed by Terry Wales. He achieved F1RST status in the ‘Skill for Life’ test in December 2013. He subsequently started training as an observer.
He is a retired Police Sussex Police Officer and drove many types of vehicles during his 27 yrs service, including response cars. He is passionate about promoting road safety in all its forms and believes that membership of the IAM is a good place to start. He looks forward to working with new associates. His interests include, playing jazz double bass, cycling, walking, campanology, learning modern jive and driving his sports car.
Driving has always been one of my passions, and with increased density of modern traffic, a decision to improve my driving skills to IAM level was achieved in 1995.
I immediately joined the St Helens Group as an observer, before moving to the Chester area in 2008 and joining the Chester Group.
Advanced Driving techniques are a “Skill for Life” which gives any driver, not only the skill of “awareness” to negotiate every particular hazard you encounter; in urban, rural or motorway situations, but enhance the pure enjoyment of your skill in driving, from your start position to your destination. I am extremely enthusiastic about passing on my skills of Advanced Driving to new Associates, it is a “Skill for Life”, so any driver, young or mature should consider signing up for the course – Safe Motoring!
I enjoy driving all sorts of cars and light vans including towing trailers and caravans. I have driven on many holidays in France and recently in America. There is always something new to learn, and being a member of IAM Roadsmart helps to keep me up to date.
My hobbies include Driving (of course), technology in general, listening to a wide range of music from orchestral and brass bands to rock, skiing and spending time with my family.
I joined the Chester and East Clwyd Advanced Motorists in 2008 where I completed my advanced test. Following on from that, I decided that it was time to put something back into the group. In 2014 I was fortunate to be given quality tuition to become an Observer for Chester And District Advanced Motorists as we are now known. This is a highly enjoyable and challenging role, but I get to meet many interesting people and their vehicles with the satisfaction of seeing Associates progress to advanced driving test success.
Outside of the driving World, I have been a Public Sector employee for the past 27 years employed in various roles and responsibilities. I have interests in all things mechanical and electronic, particularly to do with aviation. I also walk for several miles per week in between watching movies and comedy shows etc.
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Formula 1 Racing legend Nigel Mansell was appointed the IAM President in 2006.
“I believe driving expertise isn’t just for the race track,” said Mr Mansell.
“My grandfather always told me that it is no good lying on a hospital bed saying ‘But I had the right of way’. That is why drivers can gain so much from preparing for their IAM test.
I was honoured to take the Presidency of such a well regarded organisation and I hope that we can inform and educate more drivers and riders than ever before.”