Even on dull days, the shadows cast by a highway over-bridge is an excellent marker with which to check that your following distance is adequate.

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The style of police driver training provided by ADA is the "System of Car Control," which has been continually developed by the UK traffic patrol police since 1935 and is widely acknowledged to be by far the most in-depth and most-proven driver safety training in the world.


"The System", as it is usually known, goes far beyond just vehicle dynamics and skid correction; it is a comprehensive methodology through which a large range of potential dangers may be anticipated and avoided in good time, before any of them becomes a real threat.  On the website of Strathclyde Police (i.e. the Glasgow region of Scotland) is a page which discusses some of the basics of "The System" and you can read it here.


The purpose is to create maximum safety at all times on an officer's journey, irrespective of any high speeds that may be necessary.  By doing this, "The System" not only protects the officers concerned but also protects innocent members of the public from the results of any error or excessive behavior by the officers in question.


The effectiveness of UK police driver courses may perhaps best be judged by the fact that apart from maneuvering and skid-control exercises, all training is carried out on public roads, in unmarked cars without sirens or flashing lights, and commonly at speeds which are dramatically in excess of the legal speed limits. This is allowed by the British Government simply because the training involved has proven itself to significantly increase safety for police drivers by cutting crashes to approximately one-sixth of their expected levels.


Refresher training is carried out every three years.


Clearly, the challenge facing ADA is that it is currently impossible to train at high speeds, exceeding the posted limits, on public roads in the USA or Canada, but this does not stop us working within the posted limits to teach the full set of principles involved. The key point, however, is that it is simply not possible to learn about safe police driving in traffic scenarios if training is carried out on private circuits where there is no traffic!


Key features are the creation of a highly-reliable "good attitude" and the avoidance of the condition known as "red mist".

Cumbria Constabulary "Traffic Police" Skoda, UK

Photo copyright (c) Eddie Wren


ADA's law enforcement driver training in North America can be for any officers, in which cases the courses can be short duration to cover the basics, but it can also address "train the trainer" courses, the latter of which come in progressive two-week modules which may be spread out over a reasonable period.


The first two-week block focuses on teaching officers the complexities and vital necessity of maintaining a safe attitude, as well as the "System" of advanced driving, aiming towards the level which British traffic police officers refer to as "Standard" driving.

Article from PoliceOne


The second two-week module will bring capable trainees closer to the police advanced driving level for themselves and also towards the point at which they can instruct at the "Standard" level.


The third session is currently not viable as outlined above – as this is the one which does really require high speed driving and is designed to bring trainees up to the full advanced level.


It is important to remember, however, that the primary purpose of the "System of Car Control" is to maximize safety at all times, and ADA must therefore reserve the right to terminate or refuse further training for any officer who fails to meet the required standards. Also courses are planned on the requirement that at least two trainees will be in each car and ADA must reserve the right to cancel a course if we have insufficient applicants.



"Wren’s advice is sound: 'Correct technique for law enforcement drivers to negotiate intersections must prioritize safety before speed every time. There can simply never be any excuse for hurting or killing an innocent civilian simply because we, as the protectors of society, were driving too fast for the circumstances. Flashing lights and sirens cannot — and must not — be relied upon to clear our path.'”  (By Captain Travis Yates in an article for PoliceOne, Aug. 2010: Intersections: Training to combat the enemy in waiting)



To view the total duration of the above courses in context, it is important to realize that a UK police drivers would undergo 7-10 weeks of training to attain the "Advanced" level, and around 16 weeks of training to reach the instructor level.


Please note that ADA runs variations of these courses for relevant military drivers.


Why use Advanced Drivers of America as your driver safety-training course provider?


Eddie Wren, the chief instructor at ADA, is a former UK traffic patrol officer with a distinguished traffic safety and driver training career.  His detailed résumé is available here.  He is also available as a speaker for conferences, seminars, workshops or senior officers' meetings on the subject of safe, law enforcement driving.


For further details about law enforcement and other EVOC safe driving courses or for a police-related speaker, please contact  Mr. Wren at e.wren@advanceddrivers.com





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All contents – including text, logos, artwork and photographs – are copyright © 2010 Advanced Drivers of America and/or Eddie Wren, unless stated otherwise.  Website last modified on 07-May-2012.