Launceston Driving School
Producing Safer Drivers!
Why I Became a Driving Instructor
Tony Fogarty @ LDS
I have had driving jobs for a large part of my life. I started driving buses around Perth in WA back in 1986 after my Dad suggested it. He had been a bus driver for many years and as I was getting out of the RAAF and didn't have a job to go to, he said ‘put your name down at MTT’ (Perth's then bus service which eventually became known as 'Metrobus'), which I did - this was 1983. My name came to the top of the waiting list 3 years later!
So I became a bus driver til something better came along. 12 years later the job, Metrobus, ceased to exist and I took a redundancy. From there I did some work with the private operators that took over from Metrobus - Perth Bus, Southern Coast Transit, Swan Transit, Path Transit...I drove for them all at one time or another. But I also drove tour coaches which was fun. I drove tourists all over WA from Coral Bay and Monkey Mia in the north and down to Albany and the south-west wine-growing region around Margaret River.
I later drove for Transwa, which is kind of like Greyhound and provides bus services from Perth to various towns in country WA. I also drove trains for Perth Trains which was interesting, and I even drove buses up in the north west of WA in the iron ore belts as a FIFO driver, transporting workers between camps and airports. I ran out of fuel one day up there, half way between nowhere and somewhere else with a bus load of FIFO workers trying to get home! They got home ok, didn't even miss their jet as other buses from other companies stopped and took my passengers on to the airport.
But the job I had that you probably mostly find useful, was with the WA Dept of Transport as a Driver Assessor. I worked out in the northeast of the city assessing car drivers trying to get their licenses - both novice drivers and folk that were new to Australia and changing over from their foreign license to a WA license. We were very busy there, 6 assessors doing 8 assessments a day, but the pass rate was only about 45 - 50%. So many people were deemed ‘not-yet-competent’ for basic things like indicators and head-checks.
I always said to my assessor workmates, if I ever became a driving instructor, I would be insisting my students were doing the little things very very well, because the little things can become very big things and a source of road rage, or major motor vehicle accidents very quickly.
A few years ago we moved to Tasmania. We had visited here a few years before and loved it! Such beautiful countryside, short distances between towns (after WA!) and not many flies! I arrived here with no job and a think tank ensued where we decided what we wanted to do. I had tour driving experience, but was new in Tassie so that would need some study and exploring Tassie more. Oh no!! :) But I also thought back about being a driving instructor, and after a Certificate IV course and a medical and here I am - a bona fide Tassie driving instructor.
While I am a newish instructor, I am an old hand when it comes to driving, with a ton of experience, including driving buses and delivering cars on working holidays in the USA. That was fun :) I am also a huge fan of the ‘Keys 2 Drive’ program which is funded by the Australian Government and the Automobile Association of Australia. This program aims to save lives. So many young P Platers lose their lives in the first six months after getting their ‘P’s, so the Keys 2 Drive program addresses this issue and has proven to reduce the incidence of serious injury or worse in younger drivers. For more information you should visit www.keys2drive.com.au
The program includes a FREE DRIVING LESSON! That got your attention! So check it out.
I am not yet an accredited Keys2Drive instructor, but I will be very soon, but don't let that stop you as there are a number of K2D instructors in Launceston - the RACT has a number of K2D instructors.
Otherwise, I am available right now to help you learn to drive.
To Book a lesson call me at Launceston Driving School on 0414 749 626 and we talk about what you need, or hit the Booking Button below and check the vacancies on our Calendar!
Tony at LDS