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on 18 November 2008
ULTIMATE DRIVING CRAFT - RoadCraft and Advanced Driving from Sergeant Chris Gilbert former Met.Police Driving School Hendon. Instructor to Prince William and Prince Harry.Launched November 2007

This DVD is excellent. It should be essential viewing to all police drivers before even the basic test, or even issued along with the copy of Roadcraft before the standard course.

It gives the viewer a clear guide of how to drive safely and at speed, on country roads, main roads, in the dark or inclement weather. Not just suitable for the police driver but any driver wishing to learn how to become a safer driver. For those who have not had input from 'the system' before it gives an overview from the beginning.
The commentary is brilliant because it is clear and concise. No waffling! I like the phrases Chris uses to explain what he is seeing and have adopted a few!

I hope Chris brings out another DVD, this one is exceptional.
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on 11 July 2008
This is an excellent DVD from a highly respected expert in his field. I have watched it 3 times already and on each occasion, I have felt that I have learnt further skills, that I can put into practice, to improve my own driving ability. The DVD concentrates on the importance of good observation and raising vision when driving at all speeds and in all conditions.There is a good balance between city and rural driving.The instruction given by Chris is informative and clear.I very much hope it is not too long before another DVD is made by Chris. I would advise that any Police Officer going through a standard or advanced course buys this DVD, as it will assist greatly with the course.In addition, a must have for the Institute of Advanced Motorists programme. Thoroughly recommended.
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on 5 October 2017
Totally professional, forget the rest this is an
in depth methodical way of driving to grade one
police standard by an instructor with years of
police experience of driving at a highly advanced
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on 14 March 2016
learn somethig everytime I watch this video.
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on 25 September 2017
Fantastic teaching :-)
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on 16 June 2008
Having viewed the original Roadcraft DVD I was aware of Chris being a very assertive, articulate and competent Police driver so whilst happy to order it I was not sure of what particular value to me this would add.
It is not a discourse of high performance magical tricks and techniques but rather contains numerous best practice examples, in different situations, of bulding upon and using commentary and observation to raise your driving competence and confidence.
In this sense it is a key element of what I was looking for and like Roadcraft when I review it again I see things that passed me on my earlier viewings.
The Commentary aspect of Advanced driving is perceived to be the most awkward and is an aspect I was looking for examples and advice so for me this has been a good investment
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 21 August 2012
What this DVD is NOT is the Highway Code in video form. Rather it describes a technique for enhancing driver performance in which a comprehensive knowledge of the Highway Code is assumed. It is the kind of DVD advanced motorists might turn in order to sharpen their skills. The technique is taught to all new police drivers.

The basis of the technique is to develop the ability to perform a running commentary whilst driving, the objective of which is to demonstrate [to an instructor] alertness and awareness of prevailing driving conditions, traffic and weather, and to use that knowledge to take appropriate and timely action to avoid potentially hazardous situations. Once the technique becomes instinctive and therefore automatic the running commentary maybe ceased. The intention of the commentary is to demonstrate the student driver's hazard perception skills and the courses of action the student intends to take to eliminate the hazard.

The instructor, `Chris', is a professional police instructor of 40+ years experience with 20+ in advanced driving skills. He explains how the technique maybe applied whilst driving different types of vehicle from a family saloon, sports saloon , low-loader and passenger coach.

The video, which is of 100 minutes duration, is divided into 10 sections:-

1 opening commentary on a 999 run
2 commentary driving
3 roundabout approach
4 taking bends
5 driving plans
6 bad weather driving
7 motorway driving
8 city centre driving
9 progressive driving
10 clips of PCV and LGV driving

My first acquaintance with the video was to review it in its entirety in order to gain an appreciation of the technique and to learn the structure of the video. It is a prerequisite that the viewer has a comprehensive understanding of the Highway Code. I do not think this video is suitable for learner drivers unless their intention is to develop their driving skills beyond the mediocre.

Having watched the video I now have a better appreciation of what the technique involves. I found I could follow the instructor's thought processes in the vast majority of cases and it confirmed to me that maybe I am not that bad a driver after all. However, the video did highlight some weaknesses in my driving style, most notably not using the nearside wing mirror and looking over my left shoulder to view the nearside blind spot often enough. I have already begun to rectify these shortcomings as a direct consequence of viewing this video.

What I found particularly difficult was giving a running commentary to myself. It felt unnatural and unnerving because I prefer to listen to the radio whilst driving. It is almost impossible to give a commentary whilst listening to entertainment which is distracting at any volume level. I expect it would take many weeks, or even months, of daily tuition for a learner police driver to acquire sufficient confidence to be able to give a running commentary under the watchful and ultra-critical eye of an instructor. Watching the video without sound and giving a running commentary to oneself is nerve-racking enough but at least there are no adverse consequences if a mistake is made. It is a far worse experience behind a steering wheel under the watchful gaze of an instructor. It would be like taking the Driving Test all over again.

My approach to viewing this video after the initial session is to repeat each section as many times as necessary until the technique feels more comfortable and natural. I am currently practicing giving a commentary whilst driving alone. It is not something that should be practiced when carrying passengers because they soon get annoyed.

Chris mentions in the introductory section that none of the driving examples were rehearsed and what is seen is exactly what happened during the making of the video. I can believe it. However, there were no actual examples of driving in really bad weather where visibility can be seriously impaired, for example, driving in torrential rain at night (say). There was an example of how to apply the technique upon encountering deep water after a torrential rainstorm, a common enough scenario.

Chris did answer a query that has been on my mind for some time. How do you apply the technique when driving through a built up area where the proliferation of signage both on the road and alongside the verge can sometimes overwhelm the driver with too much information. The answer is simple, ignore the minor signs and concentrate only those that pose a risk if ignored. I think filtering information in this manner is a black art in itself.

One very useful tip that really hit home was if you find your commentary getting behind your driving, slow down, you are probably driving too fast. Ideally the commentary should identify hazards and courses of action BEFORE they are encountered. A learner police driver would not pass the course if his commentary failed to keep in step with his actions.

I deducted 1-star because I felt there could have been real examples showing how to apply the technique in adverse weather conditions where visibility can be greatly diminished. How do you give a commentary if you cannot see the road ahead? Don't drive, I suppose! Giving a running commentary in these difficult conditions would, I feel, be distracting and perhaps complete silence would better aid concentration. It is not an issue I care to put to the test.

I mentioned early in this review that the running commentary is only a means to an end. Once the technique has become automatic the need for a running commentary ceases, especially without an instructor present.

My favourite driving technique is to imagine my car affords me no protection whatsoever, as if it didn't exist. I think of myself as a `virtual pedestrian'. The threat of being struck by another vehicle certainly heightens ones senses and makes one more cautious.
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on 1 May 2009
An excellent platform for safer driving . Seeing everything and talking about it reinforces the priorities in order to take the safer option in any driving situation. Risk is reduced and the planned drive makes the roads safer for all road users.
Anyone who aspires to be a better than average driver should watch this and learn.
A must for anyone taking the IAM (or similar) advanced driving test
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on 14 September 2008
I stumbled across this DVD via some clips on YouTube.

This is an excellent DVD when combined with the Roadcraft book and adds to "the Police Driver's Course on Advanced Driving" DVD.

The DVD covered driving situations which I don't have a great experience of (Central London driving, Motorways and narrow country roads). Every time I watch it I always pick up something new.

There is a poor weather section which covers heavy rain only. Lets hope that Chris Gilbert brings out a second DVD that covers other poor weather like fog, ice and snow plus night driving.

I can't recommend this DVD enough to anyone who wants to improve their driving skills at whatever level.
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on 23 August 2009
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