Diary Of An ADI

A Driving Instructor's Blog

Here’s yet another example of a pathetic defence plea by some cretin who should really be behind bars for good for all of our sakes.

Sharmiz Roshan, 24, was already banned and had numerous driving offences against his name. At least one of them had involved a custodial sentence, and he was even subject to a suspended sentence at the time he was caught driving again. Police spotted him driving a white Porsche while they were in attendance at a crash scene where 11 people had been injured, including a 12-year old boy. Roshan had been caught on CCTV behind the wheel, but denied he was driving.

His defence lawyer, Nick Ross, said:

…the Porsche was rented by Roshan’s friend and he “succumbed to temptation”.

He understands the stupidity. He is ashamed and embarrassed. He wishes to give the guarantee to the court that this will not happen again. This is the wake up call.

Roshan works as a mechanic and has found his religion again.

What pathetic bollocks. Roshan has proved what kind of scum he is by virtue of his record. His brain is so warped that absolutely nothing could “wake” him up, least of all religion. It was just an attempt to weasel his way out of trouble.

Fortunately, he was as good at weaselling himself out of trouble as he was at driving without getting caught. He was jailed for 34 weeks.

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Note: This article was originally written in September 2013. I’ve updated it after using the device for nearly six months now.

The iZettle website is here - you can sign up instantly and order your reader from there. Trust me – it’s a way for driving instructors to bypass the 20th Century altogether and move straight to the 21st! If you can’t take card payments then you’re missing a trick.

iZettle Chip & Pin card readerMy iZettle finally arrived, and it’s a nice solid piece of kit. It sits easily in the palm of your hand, as the picture here shows, and yet it weighs in at about 120g and doesn’t feel like it is going to blow away in a draught or anything.

Cards with a chip (requiring a pin) go into a slot at the bottom, and there is a swipe slot at the top for non-chipped cards (which are becoming a rarity in the UK).

I set up my account with iZettle at the time I ordered the reader, so it was verified and ready to go when I opened the box. Likewise, I had downloaded the iZettle app for my smartphone and all that remained was to link the two together.

Pairing them is done by enabling Bluetooth on your phone (mine’s always on anyway), and holding the green tick button on the reader for a few seconds. You’re then prompted to enter the last three digits of the reader’s serial number, and that’s it. It connects immediately and announces that you’re ready to insert or swipe a card.

I used it for the first time a few hours later, taking a payment of £180 for a block booking from a pupil. Basically, the pupil put their card in the machine, I keyed in the amount on my smartphone and clicked “charge”, the pupil then entered her PIN, and within 15 seconds the transaction was complete. There was the opportunity to email her a receipt, but she didn’t want that. Absolutely painless, and no visit to the bank required. I love it!

Having used the iZettle for several days now (as of September 2013) I can truly say it is a godsend – ordinarily I’d have made at least one and possibly two trips to the bank for the combined amount of money I’ve taken over several days (or I’d walk around with cash and cheques in my pocket until I got time to go in). If I was going to pick a fault, it would be that I now haven’t got any cash in my pocket!

Edit 20/4/2014: I’ve taken payments exceeding £10,000 since last September. Obviously, this is turnover I’m talking about – not profit – but it has prevented me having to go to the bank much at all, and certainly I’ve not taken a single cheque since I got the iZettle (if people can write cheques, they will almost certainly have a debit card, and if they don’t then you won’t want to be taking cheques from them in the first place).

EVERYONE who once wrote cheques (and some who used to pay in cash) is now using this to pay me. Money goes straight into my account a couple of days after the pupils pay, like clockwork. Some pupils still prefer to pay in cash, of course – some even alternate between card and cash depending on the state of their bank balances – but it has worked out brilliantly. And being on 4G now has made reliability of the phone signal that much greater, at least in my area.

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TickWell done to Anna, who passed today first time with just 5 driver faults. I really wish all my pupils were like her – she was a fast learner, anxious to be a safe driver, and very pleasant with it all. As I said to her more than once, she was easily capable of passing, even though as we got closer to her test her nerves did start to kick in a little. But it didn’t matter in the end, and she has a car all lined up.

It also puts my pass rate for the year up to 55% – I finally managed to break away from 50%, although my hard-core of serial failers has held me back a bit this year. Mind you, of my passes 75% have been first timers, so it’s not all bad.

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TickWell done to Ian, who passed on Monday first time with 11 driver faults. He’s been a nice guy to teach, although his repeated “is this on the test route?” questions were a little tedious sometimes. As I pointed out frequently to him, if you can drive it doesn’t matter where we do the lessons, and I will show you any tricky features!

He also had a severe case of “stampy foot” when it came to roundabouts and junctions, but we finally got that sorted out.

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You have to laugh. I heard this on the radio today – and before anyone starts, it’s funny because no one got hurt, and you couldn’t write a better comedy script if you tried.

A woman was driving through the lions’ enclosure at Longleat Safari Park when her car caught fire!

What makes it funnier was that as she tried to get out, rangers were shouting at her to get back in. I suppose it was to give them time to get the lions out of the way, otherwise it could have been a lot worse. According to one witness, the lions watched the entire show from a respectable distance.

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For some reason, a lot of people are looking for the DVSA logo if my search stats are anything to go by. Go to the DVSA home page and it’s right there at the top.

I’m not sure if there will be a standalone logo, but some time ago there was a statement that government bodies were standardising under the GOV.UK banner, so perhaps there won’t be.

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The DVSA is asking for opinions on plans to reduce the cost of the Theory Test. Quite frankly, it is a cynical government vote-winning exercise ahead of the next General Election.

The bulletin makes what must rate as the most stupidest sales pitch imaginable:

The proposals, which could save learner drivers in excess of £100 million pounds over the next nine years…

The simple fact is that most people pay for ONE theory test in their entire life. So the real saving is actually £6. You can multiply it by any number you want, but the fact remains that the most anyone will save is £6 per test, which is nearly 17 million times less than what the government is claiming.

Those ADIs who are supporting the idea on behalf of their little darlings need to start thinking a little bit further ahead instead of pursuing a continual vendetta they don’t understand against everything the DVSA stands for. The current price of £31 for a test which lasts around 90 minutes is hardly a lot by modern standards, particularly when you consider the importance of the end product. Pro rata, it is less than the cost of a driving lesson.

Reduce it by 25% and more of the little darlings might start thinking £25 an hour for a driving lesson is too much, too.

The price is fine as it is.

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Zain Iqbal is a pathetic little weasel who undertook another car and – as a result of his non-existent road skills (which he probably thought were brilliant) – smashed into a taxi. This is what Iqbal’s actions resulted in…

A pedestrian, Gary Booth, was pinned against railings by the cab that Iqbal sent spinning off the road. He suffered leg fractures and needed a skin graft. His previous job as a ski instructor is probably over.

Pregnant Wei Liu was a passenger in the taxi. She had to have an emergency caesarean a month before the baby was due. She suffered a torn aorta, and fractures to her pelvis, ribs, and face. She also suffered a punctured lung and has scarring, as well as bleeding on the brain. A blood clot near her kidney may need surgery, and she has trouble with her balance now. There are also issues with the “bonding” between her and her son.

Wei’s boyfriend, Geng Liu, was also in the taxi. He sustained a punctured lung and rib fractures. The taxi driver and another passenger sustained minor injuries.

You don’t need to be a genius to work out what sort of speed Iqbal was doing to cause such damage – and this occurred on Great Ancoats Street in Manchester, which is a built-up town centre area not far from the MEN Arena. The vile scumbag’s lawyer claimed:

…his client felt “overwhelming guilt” that he had “ruined lives”.

What a load of crap. He was just sorry he got caught. If it wasn’t for luck – if you can call it that, as far as the Lius and Gary Booth are concerned – he could easily have killed five people. He nearly did.

The sentence is quite laughable. Iqbal has been put away for a mere two years and four months, so he’ll be out before next summer, most likely. He’s also been banned from driving for a paltry four months (it should be a lifetime ban). British Law strikes again.

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Sometimes you couldn’t make it up. I found this on the BBC website while I was looking for something else.

Derby magistrate, Ajit Atwal, has been suspended as a result of this photo he had took in India posing with an AK-47 rifle.Ajit Atwal and AK-47 pose

You have to wonder what was going through his mind to have had the photo taken at all, and then to post it on Twitter for everyone to see. What was the purpose behind the pose?

You then start to wonder at how he managed to become a magistrate in the first place, and then how he can possibly claim he hasn’t “done [anything] wrong”.

You also have to wonder at how the police have concluded that no crime has been committed, and how the Liberal Democrats – of whom Atwal is a member – have decided to take no further action.

What the hell is this world coming to?

Note that this apparently surfaced some weeks ago and has been covered in the national press. I didn’t see it.

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The DVSA has sent out a warning about Toyota Yaris vehicles built between 2005 and 2010. The Yaris is subject to a recall notice as a result of serious safety issues (27 models are involved, of which the Yaris is one). The recall was issued by Toyota 10 April 2014.

As the bulletin makes absolutely clear, you cannot take a test in any vehicle subject to a recall if you cannot prove remedial work has been carried out.

Anyone with a test booked within the next three days (from 16 April 2014) will be able to cancel and rearrange without losing their fee. Anyone with a test more than three days hence has still got time to rearrange it without losing their fee – but the implication is that if you don’t rearrange it, and then fall within the normal three working days grace period, then you will lose your fee.

There is no excuse for any ADI not to know about the recall if they have a Toyota, nor is there any excuse for trying to take a test in one without having had the remedial work carried out. Note what the bulletin says:

DVSA examiners may accept proof from the Toyota Online Recall Tool. You or your pupil would need to access this tool and complete the verification process on a suitable device to show the examiner, without delaying the testing schedule.

Either that, or they need to see a garage report that the work has been carried out.

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