It's not an automatic right!

Another tragic incident involving an automatic car on the Isle of Wight again raises the question as to whether the driver had received specialist training on an automatic especially if she had changed from a manual to an automatic. When the police investigate this case, their prime inquiry should be whether the garage who sold the car insisted that the driver had received adequate specific training before taking possession of the car. It should be the dealer's responsibility to help prevent these disasters by paying for the new driver to have a change over familarisation lesson.

 I have not used the word, "accident", because these incidents are largely preventable by ensuring that the adequate training is given by specialist driving instructors. More and more drivers who realise the great benefits of driving an automatic are seeking training before they take delivery of their automatic or before they hire an automatic car on holiday and some dealerships. pride themselves in providing training for the new automatic driver. Sadly others are very negligent or give irresponsible advice.

Manoeuvres with a manual car are primarily controlled using the clutch, whilst an automatic is controlled by use of the brake. If the driver was not covering the brake when reversing, then loss of control is likely to occur. It is not the fault of the car. As we move more towards the use of automatics in Dorset, this is going to be a growing problem and those of us working with road safety must be given the opportunity to try to prevent these incidents.

JOHN BROWN, Daily Echo,  8/03