Welcome to DGIAM, the South West Scotland branch of the Institute of Advanced Motorists. We are a registered charity that’s affiliated, like over 200 other local groups to the Institute of Advanced Motorists – or IAM. Our aim, like the IAM itself is to improve the standards of driving and the advancement of road safety on Dumfries & Galloway’s roads.
We are made up of a friendly group of volunteers, covering all ages, all with a keen interest in better driving & motoring for all. To this end, we encourage all motorists to take the Advanced Driving Test, and offer them guidance, through our associate scheme, on how to prepare for this.
You can join the group as an existing full IAM member, or as an “Associate” member. Associates are members who have not yet passed their Advanced Driving Test, but wish to get involved and take advantage from the coaching & advice given by our Observers.
A number of reasons led to me signing up to the course. I think anyone would be crazy to rest on their laurels and say they know everything. I also hadn’t driven solidly while I was at university and found that I was not as confident in a vehicle as I should, or would like to, have been. My thoughts were “nothing ventured nothing gained”. The absolute worst that could happen would be I came out with a few new skills. Seemed like a ‘no-brainer’.
At the beginning I thought it may turn out to be a bit of a waste and that ‘oh well I’d just get my certificate and everybody would be happy’. I had the impression that the course would simply iron out bad habits such as crossing hands rather than teaching anything.
My first observed drive was obviously quite nerve-racking. No commentary necessary and no major talking from Charles made me fairly comfortable and confident thinking I was sailing through. Until we came to a stop and Charles started going through my drive with a fine tooth comb. What a shambles!
I soon realised I had a lot of work to do. The one thing with driving is it becomes second nature and we start becoming blasé about the decisions we make, changing gear, clutch etc. So now when you have to change the way you’ve been subconsciously functioning it becomes so difficult and almost unnatural. This is coming from me who is still a relative youngster so I can’t even imagine what it would be like for an older person.
Eventually things did start to kick into place, this System teaches you that the more prepared you are, the more information you can take in advance, the better you will deal with the actual event and similar events to follow.
I absolutely would recommend this course to anyone and actually everyone. It does give you that little extra bit of confidence. Not many people admit or believe they are a bad driver, but if the only thing they could improve was their observation skills they would soon identify more hazards including the risks other people take, and this in turn would lead to they themselves starting to drive in a very different way.” – Lawrence