Victor Olisa becomes President of Guildford Advanced Motorists.

Guildford Advanced Motorists (GAM) are delighted to announce that Dr Victor Olisa (QPM) has accepted the position of President of the group.

Victor joined Surrey Police in 1982 straight from university, where he studied Biochemistry. He joined the City of London Police in 1990 where he worked as an operational uniformed Inspector and the Fraud Squad investigating large scale corporate and financial fraud in the UK and abroad.

In 2003 he went to the Home Office to work on Stop and Search as part the Office for Criminal Justice Reform. In 2005 he was awarded a PhD in Criminology by the London School of Economics and Political Science.

He transferred to the Metropolitan Police in April 2006 in a variety of senior management roles. From 2009 to 2010 he led the work on one of the Commissioner’s strategic priorities to deliver safety and confidence to Londoners: Professionalism.

In April 2012 he was promoted to Chief Superintendent and posted to Bexley Borough as a Borough Commander. In 2013 he become Borough Commander of Haringey. He then became the Head of Inclusion and Diversity for the Met, between 2016 and 2017. In 2017, Dr Olisa was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished police service.
In October 2017 he retired from the Police Service and is currently carrying out research into police leadership as a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science and working as a Governor at Treloar’s and Director of Safeguarding at Surrey County Football Association.
Victor came to GAM earlier this year to do his Advanced Driving Test, passing with a F1RST. He is now training to become a Local Observer.

We look forward to working with Victor to improve our links with the emergency services and driving safety groups locally and nationally.

We thank the outgoing President Alan Bone for his help and guidance over the last three years.

Graham Ranshaw
Chairman, GAM
December 2018.

Rain, rain, go away ……

Recently we have seen the heaviest rain we have had for quite some time – here is some advice from IAM RoadSmart on how best to cope with it.
Heavy rain:
• Heavy rain will affect your visibility, so take it slow. Rule 126 of the Highway Code states that the braking distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you should be two seconds when driving on a dry road, and at least four seconds in the wet. It is even longer on icy surfaces.
• Your windscreen should be clean, wipers effective and the jets aimed at the screen. It is sensible to clean the windscreen, make any necessary adjustments and remove anything from the screen area before you start your journey.
• A good rule of thumb is that if you need windscreen wipers, then you need your headlights. Automatic light settings will not always activate in bad weather conditions, so it is up to you to make a sensible decision as to whether these need to be turned on.
• If the water is standing in puddles on the road surface, your car is at risk of aquaplaning. This is where a wedge of water forms in front of the tyre and lifts it up off the road surface. This is caused by the tread not being able to displace the amount of water present. To recover from aquaplaning, ease gently off your accelerator, have a firm grip of the steering wheel and be sure not to make any sudden steering actions. The car will eventually regain its grip as the water clears.
• First ask yourself – can you take another route? If not, then you need to identify how deep the flood is. If the standing water is more than six inches deep, avoid driving through it. If you are familiar with the road, you can judge the flood in relation to the kerb.
• If heavy rain was not the cause of the flood, then what was? And what impact on the road does it have? For example, if it is a burst water main, the standing water may look like a normal flood but the road surface beneath the water may be completely broken up. If you are unsure how the flood has formed, then avoid it altogether.
• Are there other vehicles of similar size to yours that are safely driving through? From this, make a judgement as to whether it is safe to travel through or not.
• If the water is fast flowing, do not attempt to drive through it, as there is a real danger of your car being swept off the road.
• If you have taken everything into consideration and decide to drive through the flood, be sure to do so slowly. The best approach is to press lightly on your clutch and add gentle pressure on your accelerator to increase your engine revs. Do so without increasing your speed, in a similar way to how you would undertake a hill start. This will prevent water from entering your exhaust. If you are in an automatic car, accelerate slightly but control the speed with your brakes. When you have passed the flood, test your brakes to make sure they are dry and working properly.
• If you are in the slightest doubt, then turn around and don’t go through the flood. Often modern saloon cars have the engine air intake in the wheel arch, which may be below the water level. If your engine should take in water, it will immediately stop and be severely damaged.
• Remember to stay alert and avoid splashing pedestrians. If this is done accidentally- even when causing splashes when driving through puddles at the side of the road – you could receive a fixed penalty and three points on your license for driving without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other road users. If deliberately done, it could be a public order offence, a court appearance and a fine.
Richard Gladman, head of driver and rider standards at IAM RoadSmart, said: “With the British weather the way it is, we should all be well practised at driving in the rain. Keeping your car maintained and the wipers and tyres in good condition will help you stay safe. In the recent times we have seen that standing water and floods are becoming more commonplace, so take extra care and if possible avoid driving through flood water. If you’re in any doubt about the depth or surface underneath a flood, then it’s best not to take any chances.”

Budget pothole fund not nearly enough for disillusioned drivers, say IAM RoadSmart

Leading road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has said while the £420 million in new investment in tackling Britain’s pothole crisis is welcome, it doesn’t go nearly far enough and is merely a drop in the ocean to deal with a long-term and major issue.
The 29 October budget saw Chancellor Philip Hammond announce the cash injection for our beleaguered roads, alongside a £28.8 billion fund to upgrade England’s motorways.
Mr Hammond announced £25.5 billion for Highways England for major road upgrades between 2020 and 2025 and an extra £3.5 billion of funding allocated to major local routes, under the jurisdiction of local councils. The £420 million for potholes is on top of an existing fund of almost £300 million.
However just three months ago IAM RoadSmart conducted a survey of over 7,000 of its members, finding how disillusioned they had become with Britain’s rotten roads.
Over 3,400 respondents said they had experienced damage to their car, commercial vehicle, motorbike or bicycle, or personal injury as a result of hitting a pothole.
Around 90% had spotted a deterioration of some level in the roads they use with just over half rating the state of their roads as ‘much worse’ in the past three years and 38% rating them ‘worse.’
Close to 6,000 people said they have noticed ‘many more’ potholes in the past three years, and over half said they have to take avoiding action on every journey to dodge potholes, while 27% said they have to steer around a pothole every day.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “IAM RoadSmart welcomes the commitments to building more modern safe highways. What we really need to see however is the same long-term funding approach applied to potholes.
Extra money is always welcome but when it arrives unpredictably for one year at a time it does little to help the long term planning needed to really attack the pothole problems drivers and riders see and feel every day.”