CWWAM Chairman’s March Update
INTRODUCTION OF NEW CHAIRMAN MIKE SIMON
First and foremost I wish to pay tribute to former chairman Roy Price, who I had the privilege to know and hold in much respect for his wisdom and support of myself and of CWWAM. This opportunity to take over the role of chairperson is inspired by Roy’s dedication to the group.
I have been in the motorcycle trade most of my working life, owning my business MJS Motorcycles, which ran for 20 years. I retired early to enjoy riding and restoring my own bikes. Over the years I have ridden trials and enduro’s, although I now pursue my interest in classic British motorcycles alongside more modern road bikes.
After passing my IAM Advanced test I was a founder member/rider of the Pembrokeshire branch of Blood Bikes Wales. I later became a National Observer for IAM and have been keen to help out at IAM events, also standing as a Committee member for CWWAM.
I realise I have big shoes to fill, but appreciate that everyone in the CWWAM has their own skills and enthusiasms to contribute and the potential to go the extra mile to help the success of the group. As restrictions of Covid hopefully ease, we look forward to getting back to driving/riding and future developments in motoring will demand our focus I believe that we can maintain our high standards and build on membership so that we can make the roads a safer place.
We will also take part in any Road Safety initiatives, together with other Road Safety partners.
As soon as we are allowed to meet up our plan is to have a Memorial Drive/Ride for Roy and this will be open to all members and will run for Bikes and Cars. We will meet in Carmarthen, then to the Owl’s Nest in Llandovery, then onto Strata Florida north of Tregaron (Roy had always wished to go and visit Strata Florida and never got there), then onto Aberaeron, before finishing in Fishguard.
IAM RoadSmart Coronavirus (COVID-19) update
Due to Coronavirus travel restrictions and safety concerns for our customers, staff and volunteers; IAM RoadSmart has taken the difficult decision to temporarily suspend all our car on-road training, testing, observing and any in-person group activities across the UK. Motorcycling on-road training, testing and observing is available in some areas, subject to devolved government restrictions and guidance.
Bookings for IAM RoadSmart courses remain open. If you choose to proceed with the purchase of one of our courses, we will be in touch as soon as the current situation regarding COVID-19 has been resolved to register you for your first session. Your first year of IAM RoadSmart membership will be extended for up to six months free-of-charge so you can complete your course.
We may have had to pause some of our on-road training activities in support of the Government’s advice in different regions, and as we play our part in helping to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, but you can still access the benefits of membership, read our driving and motorcycling tips & advice and purchase IAM RoadSmart products and services on this site.
If you need to contact us, we ask you to use email wherever possible. Our Customer Care team is available between 8:30am and 6pm Monday to Friday. We thank you in advance for your patience and will answer your query as quickly as we can.
Our Trustees and Senior Management Team continue to monitor the situation closely and make decisions that will best protect our future organisational capability as the Coronavirus pandemic continues.
We intend to resume all our normal services as soon as we can do so safely. In the meantime, we thank you for your ongoing support during these difficult times and hope that you keep safe and well.
Carmarthen and West Wales Advanced Motorists
ROY PRICE PAST CHAIRMAN
CARMARTHEN & WEST WALES ADVANCED MOTORISTS.
Roy joined our group in 2004. Around this time the group was at a low ebb and as chairman he was instrumental in resurrecting it together with Dylan Jones. Roy made us into a strong group with just over 90 drivers and motorcyclists on our books at the start of 2021. He also brought motorcyclists into the group, because at that time it was only cars. He persuaded the group to meet in Carmarthen, which was more central to our area. They also gave talks & slide shows to groups such as Women’s Institutes. Dylan tells me that Roy loved talking to such groups.
He was one of our longest serving members, with only a handful of members who joined before him still being on our books today.
Roy was a Senior Observer with a passion for road safety. He passed his IAM tests in car and bike. Members of the committee will know how dedicated he was to all aspects of IAM driving standards, not being afraid to argue his case with IAM in London.
Together with Dylan, he joined RoSPA and they both attained a RoSPA gold standard.
Roy also had many other interests.
He played the clarinet with a traditional Welsh folk group.
He enjoyed the countryside as well as fishing and shooting and all aspects of nature and country crafts.
Photography was another interest, also repairing and improving things, plus woodwork and craftwork.
He didn’t have a T.V. but did have a radio. He was an avid reader of all subjects, including Celtic, Native North American, Oriental and Eastern folklores. He also had a very good knowledge about news and current affairs.
A love of his indoor plants was another hobby.
Roy loved meeting people and would pass on knowledge where he could.
Discussions with him were lively and interesting and he didn’t have time to be bored.
Members have told me that as well as being an excellent chairman,
Roy will be remembered as a true gentleman.
Ralph Carpenter Membership Secretary
Coronavirus Impact on IAM Roadsmart and its Affiliated Groups
Just a few short weeks ago, we were looking forward to the start of the busiest part of the year for IAM RoadSmart and its 182 local groups as the days got longer and the opportunities to recruit and coach new associates to advanced driving and riding standards usually begin in earnest.
What none of us could have known then was how quickly Coronavirus would overtake our efforts to make roads across the UK safer through driver education and training.
Looking back over the last few weeks I am filled with pride for the way everyone – staff and members – have pulled together and how the IAM RoadSmart community has stepped up, as one, to the incredible challenge facing our whole country.
Through an extraordinary team effort, we are keeping our charitable mission on the road, continuing to spread the word about the importance of road safety and the part every driver and rider can play in reducing the number of people who die and are injured on our roads each year.
Exceptional times call for exceptional measures. Staff and members have adapted with equal enthusiasm to a world where we all keep in touch over video conferencing, socialise with our family and friends online and use social media to keep sharing our road safety message.
I take my hat off to all those groups who are using video conferencing to continue holding regular committee meetings, AGMs and social events. I congratulate all those who are holding webinars for associates to keep their journey to advanced driver or rider status ticking over. To those who are using regular e-newsletters to keep in touch and looking ahead to a time when we can all enjoy some restored freedoms, I salute you.
Many of our members are among those who are currently on the frontline of the fight against Coronavirus and we are grateful to you for all your dedication and hard work in these extremely challenging circumstances. I have tried to make sure all of us at IAM RoadSmart are playing our part by staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives. I’ve been on my doorstep for the weekly #ClapforCarers, along with so many of you. It’s a moving and exhilarating experience to see how we have all come together in this national crisis.
So many more of our members have taken their incredible volunteer spirit out into their local communities, to support the vulnerable, joining the NHS Volunteer Responders and doing other invaluable work. Staff have also signed up or are rolling their sleeves up to help in their local communities. From shopping for a vulnerable neighbour to keeping in touch with those on their own, you have shown just what an incredible community IAM RoadSmart is.
Wherever we can, we have used our role and reputation as the UK’s largest independent road safety charity to reinforce the Government’s messages and offer people sensible, practical advice on everything from vehicle maintenance to managing speed and being considerate of more vulnerable road users to minimise the risk of adding yet more pressure for the NHS at this critical time.
We now know we will be continuing to remain locked down for at least another three weeks. And while it’s vital everyone continues to follow the Government’s social distancing advice to protect all our health, at some point our social distancing measures will be relaxed, as we’re seeing in other parts of the world
It is not yet clear how soon we will be able to resume our on-road training safely but I believe this will be more important than ever after such an extended period of restricted vehicle use. Roads busy with traffic may seem daunting to many initially. Our driver and rider coaching can do a great deal to sharpen dulled road skills and rebuild confidence dented by time off the streets.
Carmarthen and West Wales Advanced Motorists
Training for the IAM Advanced Driving Test is via a series of "observed drives" with one of the group's qualified observers. Although there is no set number of sessions, most associates (trainees) require an average of six before applying for the test. Normally these are with the same observer and at mutually convenient times, although additional sessions can be arranged on a Sunday morning at Carmarthen if the associate wishes to do so. Although every driver is different and presents different skills and weaknesses, we try to offer a structured course tailored to the individual needs of the associate. Within reason, there is no limit to the number of drives offered, and we will support associates right up until the actual test.
All our observers have been trained and tested in accordance with the IAM's guidelines and should offer a uniform approach to making preparation for the test as enjoyable as possible.