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News and Events

4/11/2012 11:04:10 AM


Driving in wet weather


The Highway Code applies to England, Scotland and Wales. It's essential reading for everyone. Here's a reminder about driving in wet weather.

 Rule 227

 ·       In wet weather, stopping distances (PDF, 125KB) will be at least double those required for stopping on dry roads. This is because your tyres have less grip on the road. In wet weather

·       you should keep well back from the vehicle in front. This will increase your ability to see and plan ahead

·       if the steering becomes unresponsive, it probably means that water is preventing the tyres from gripping the road. Ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually

·       the rain and spray from vehicles may make it difficult to see and be seen

·       be aware of the dangers of spilt diesel that will make the surface very slippery

·       take extra care around pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders

Pass Plus Success
4/10/2012 7:57:09 AM

Congratulations to Scott Donald from Laurencekirk who completed his Pass Plus course yesterday. He completed all six DSA core competency module’s which were delivered in 8 hours of training as a 1 day course. Not only did Scott successfully complete his course, but he clearly ranks in my top 5 students who have taken the course and demonstrated to a high standard that he was a safe and confident driver. Good luck to Scott for the future and I look forward to seeing him on the road.

Safety improvements for motorcyclists and lorry and bus drivers
4/3/2012 5:55:02 AM

Safety improvements for motorcyclists and lorry and bus drivers

Measures to boost safety for motorcyclists and lorry and bus drivers have been put forward in Parliament. 

The measures - which also strengthen requirements for driving examiners and impact on the rules for drivers towing trailers - will come in to force on 19 January 2013 as part of new European requirements aimed at improving road safety. 

The changes are being implemented by the Department for Transport in conjunction with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). 

The main aspects of the new rules are:

  • Motorcyclists – Access to more powerful bikes will be staged subject to competence, age and previous experience. The minimum age to ride the largest bikes without previous experience will rise from 21 to 24.
  • Licence renewals for bus and lorry drivers – At present, drivers of medium-sized and large buses and lorries need to renew their licences every five years once they reach the age of 45. Over 45s also need to demonstrate their fitness to drive through a full medical report. From 2013, all new or renewed bus and lorry licences will be renewable every five years. However, drivers under 45 will not require a full medical report and will still only need to renew their photograph every 10 years. All other drivers and riders will continue to renew their driving licences every 10 years as is currently the case.
  • Driving examiners – Compulsory initial qualification, periodic training and quality assurance checks will be required for driving examiners. Britain already fulfils most of these requirements but the new rules will enhance the Driving Standards Agency’s existing arrangements.
  • Trailer towing – Under the new rules car drivers will be limited to towing 3.5 tonnes.

DSA chief executive, Rosemary Thew, said:

“Britain already has some of the safest roads in the world. These changes build on our existing standards and recognise the importance of our examiners' professionalism. They will also help to ensure that new motorcyclists gain the right skills and experience before riding bigger bikes."

DVLA chief executive, Simon Tse, said:

“These changes will provide a useful additional reminder for bus and lorry drivers. They will help to ensure that drivers of these vehicles will continue to operate to high levels of levels of safety by ensuring that they are fit to drive.”

The European requirements are being introduced in Great Britain in line with feedback from a public consultation, which included responses from driver and rider training bodies, trade associations and road safety groups.

Full details about the changes can be found at
Ballot on industrial action by Unite fuel tanker drivers
3/27/2012 7:24:01 AM

Ballot on industrial action by Unite fuel tanker drivers

Following a ballot by the union Unite, fuel tanker drivers have voted to undertake strike action. The government has condemned this potentially disruptive action and urged both sides to negotiate a settlement to avoid strike action.

Fuel supplies

There is currently no problem with fuel supplies. But if a strike were to go ahead, supplies of fuel to some, but not all, forecourts across the UK could be affected.


The government is able to take a number of steps to minimise disruption, in particular to make sure the emergency services get the supplies they need.

How you can help

Motorists can also help by following the following sensible advice:

·       don’t change your purchasing behaviour, refuel as you normally would, planning ahead if you have a long     journey to go on
·       stick to speed limits as this helps conserve fuel
·       don’t queue at petrol forecourts, this causes congestion and increases disruption
·       check travel sites and latest news before travelling

Regular updates and the latest information will be published on Directgov.

Another First Time Pass
3/26/2012 12:26:56 PM

Congratulations to Gordon Sinclair from Laurencekirk who passed his driving test in Aberdeen today first time after training with Smarta Driver Training. His instructor Fraser Mathers provides training in Aberdeen, South Aberdeenshire and North Angus including Aberdeen, Portlethen, Stonehaven, Inverbervie, Johnshaven, St Cyrus, Montrose, Laurencekirk, Brechin, Edzell, Luthermuir, Fordoun and all areas in-between, and commenting on the result, Fraser said “Gordon was a student with no road driving experience other than one off road session. He was a pleasure to teach and took on board everything that was required to make him a safe and confident driver. Even his DSA examiner said today that his angle start was the best she had ever seen” Good luck Gordon and I look forward to seeing you on the road.

3/25/2012 4:23:05 PM
When driving in fog you should be able to pull up well within the distance you can see clearly - HighwayCode rule 235
Driving Ambition
3/23/2012 9:28:41 PM

Smarta Driver helps Mearns Academy Pupils in Laurencekirk at their annual Driving Ambition program held in the school today. Good luck to all pupils who were out with Fraser Mathers. If any other pupils are interested in taking training, then please contact us.

Vehicle Tax Changes
3/22/2012 8:50:35 AM
Budget changes for vehicle tax announced by the Chancellor yesterday - applies to tax discs taken out from 1 April 
Smaller manoeuvring area for LGV, PCV and B+E tests introduced from 26 March
3/22/2012 8:47:50 AM

Smaller manoeuvring area for LGV, PCV and B+E tests introduced from 26 March

From Monday 26 March the size of the manoeuvring area for the ‘S’ shaped reverse exercise in large goods vehicle (LGV), passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) and car and trailer or caravan (B+E) practical tests is being reduced.

The new manoeuvring area measures 66m x 11m, compared to the previous 92m x 18m.

The change will mean:

  • it will be easier for trainers to become ‘customer sites’ and host tests on their own premises
  • DSA will be able to make more tests available at its existing test centres
  • it will be cheaper and easier for DSA to develop new centres

Trials have shown that the smaller area:

  • requires the same level of skill and judgement
  • does not make the test harder
  • maintains the integrity of the test

This only affects the ‘S’ shaped reverse exercise; other parts of the test are unchanged. See Directgov for more information about the practical driving test for buses and lorries or the car and trailer or caravan practical test.

Booking your driving test
3/21/2012 2:05:52 PM
Book your theory or driving test through Directgov.  It's the only official site, and you won't get extra fees or through your own driving instructor who also wont charge extra fees.
3/16/2012 11:56:42 AM

Driving test pass rates issued today by the DSA show that the overall pass rate for the UK is 46.3% and split by gender it shows 49.6% are males and 43.3% are females. Pass rates for the test centres  covered by Smarta Driver Training are – Montrose - 56.8%, Aberdeen MPTC Cove - 52.1% and Aberdeen Balgownie - 48.6%.

First Time Pass no Faults
3/13/2012 9:35:53 PM

Many congratulations to Amy Watson on passing her driving test first time with no driving faults. You now join some of the very few who manage this fantastic score. Can I wish you all the best for the future for safe and fun driving and many thanks for passing on my name to Morag. Once she has had 10 lessons with me I will be sending you a voucher for £20 as a thank you for getting me a new pupil. Hope to see you on the road.

Driving Licence Rules
3/13/2012 9:29:26 PM
Driving licence rules in Great Britain will be changing from 19 January 2013. Find out how they could affect you:
3/8/2012 8:25:01 PM
Thanks guys...5 pupils have signed up on the first day to use Theory Test Pro for FREE, Make sure you all sign up is 100% FREE to registered pupils.. Just go to the contacts page on this web site and send me a message and I will send you the log on details
3/7/2012 9:43:50 PM
Get FREE Theory Test Training - Smarta now offer FREE Theory training to all registered students who are taking practical driver training - Speak to your instructor for more details
3/7/2012 2:55:50 PM
You can see us on FACEBOOK at Like us please
3/7/2012 7:11:32 AM

Congratulations to Franky Marshall on passing his test first time yesterday with only 1 driving fault. It’s been a pleasure working with you and helping you become a safe and confident driver, I look forward to seeing you on the road. - Fraser Mathers DSA ADI Smarta Driver Training 

3/6/2012 9:15:44 PM

As of today, Fraser is now a registered Pass Plus ADI and can provide Pass Plus Courses on completion of your training and post gaining your licence. Speak to him to arrange this valuable training which will not only enhance your driving skills and experience, but it can also help reduce the cost of insurance

Booking your Driving test
3/6/2012 9:09:48 PM
Book your driving test through your driving instructor or direct at Directgov. It's the only official site, and you won't get charged any extra fees. 
: Before you start to learn to drive, make sure you know the eyesight rules:
3/4/2012 3:56:57 PM
Check out the rules here: 
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