Minibus prize goes to single correct entrant

Josephine Gardiner

So you think you can drive safely round a blind bend? There was only one perfect entry among the many hopefuls who attempted The TES win-a-minibus competition this summer, in which competitors had to answer three multiple-choice questions on driving technique and road safety.

This made it very easy for the judges, but perhaps draws attention to the danger of complacency about driving when it comes to school trips.

It was one question, apparently, that caused so many entries to backfire. Most people thought you should approach a blind bend in the centre of the lane, as usual; the right answer was option B - drive as close to the centre line as possible.

The winner, technology teacher Keith Franklin, only arrived at Wye Valley School in Buckinghamshire this term.

His head, Linda Melton, expressed delight at his win: "This is the kind of news that gives us all a lift. It's not every day that a member of staff comes into my office saying 'I've won a minibus for the school'." The school scraped the money together for one bus two years ago; having two, she said, will mean that whole teaching groups can go on a visit together.

The questions and answers are as follows:

Q How many teachers did our panel of judges agree can be fitted into a Ford Minibus like the one pictured above?

A 29

Q When approaching a blind bend on any road, what is the best approach position?

A As close to the centre line as possible to avoid kerbside hazards.

Q If you are approaching a hazardous junction, such as a roundabout what should you do?

A Brake early, keep the brake lights on until the car behind responds, check if it is clear ahead, then choose one appropriate gear.

Q If you are joining a busy motorway but the traffic is dense in all three lanes, what is the best course of action?

A Accelerate, matching your speed to the traffic, blending when you can even if it means using some of the hard shoulder to avoid slowing other traffic.

All questions and the answers were supplied by one of the UK's leading independent driver training companies.

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