Congratulations to our members on passing their Advanced Driving Test during the past 12 months:

Matt Heavens - Edwin Helm - Bill Hart - Christian Rodley - Mark Daws - Paul O'Beirne - Jose Samuel - Valerie Honeyfield - Adam Browett - Pauline Judge - Milan Rados - Jack Barton - George McGuinness - Joan Toohey

View all our test passes

Online Human Factors session

27th May 2020

Following on the sucess of our online Associate Classroom session, our Observer Trainer David Reeves has begun creating short sessions covering different aspects of advanced driving.  Primarily aimed at our observers, we felt the first one Human Factors was of general interest to all our members. IAM RoadSmart published details in their weekly bulletin that is sent to all group committee members.

We held the session on Saturday 23rd May, and as well as our own members, we had 25 members from other IAM RoadSmart grojups around the country join us.  It was an excellent session, and there was a really interesting discussion generated at the end.

We will be holding more of these short sessions, so keep an eye on our events page.


Online AGM!

30th April 2020

We successfully held our AGM on 29th April – online!  Meticulous planning was involved to enable those members who are not online to be able to vote and ask questions.  We produced paper voting forms, and sent these with copy of the minutes from 2019 AGM and our 2020 audited accounts.  We also sent the Chairman’s address as he had kindly typed it up!  These also went to our online members, along with an electronic voting form.

We had a great response (60% return for the paper votes), and more votes electronically than we normally get turn up for the actual event!

On the evening around 30 members connected in via Zoom.  During the evening two virtual presentations were made.  David Smith who has been our group secretary since 2011 but was not standing for re-election received the Caithness Rosebowl, and Ann Lancaster who had stood down as Treasurer at the end of January after 9 years received the Presidents Award.

Our officers of the group are now: Chair – John Norrie, Secretary – Jack Foreman, Treasurer – Henny Cameron.

Following our formal business, our Group President, Andy Hunt, gave a really interesting and entertaining talk.


Suspension of current activities

17th March 2020

This email follows our previous communications in relation to the Corona (COVID-19) virus.

Late yesterday (16th March), the Prime Minister said that everyone in the UK should now avoid non-essential travel and contact with others.

Suspension of all activities

Given this guidance, all face-to-face Northampton Advanced Motorist meetings, activities and events must be suspended from today, Tuesday, 17 March 2020. This suspension applies to all activities and will be until further notice.

We are suspending:

  • All one-one checkdrives and assessments

We are cancelling:

  • Our Sunday checkdrives for the foreseeable future
  • Our AGM, although we are looking at ways to deliver the formal business electronically.


We will keep everyone updated via email, social media and this website (news)


COVID-19 and One-One drives

13th March 2020

Several members have asked what our position is  regarding COVID-19 and in particular should they continue their one-to-one driving sessions.

Having  looked at the government public health information, we see no reason to cancel all one-to-one sessions. However, please cancel your one-to-one session if you are feeling unwell, displaying any symptoms, have had contact with an infected person or have visited one of the listed countries.

Further, we recognise that some members or their close relatives may be at an increased risk due to existing medical conditions. If this is the case for you, observer or associate, please cancel your sessions.

Official guidance is changing on a daily basis, and we may need to review the situation in the near future.


Young Drivers – 10 spaces left

2nd March 2020

There are just 10 spaces left on our amazing young driver scheme. We are fortunate to receive a grant from the Office of the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner that enables us to offer a £100 cash back to anyone under 26 who pases their IAM RoadSmart Advanced Driving test with us. This means the whole Advanced Driving Course will cost just £49.
The take-up has been amazing, and we only have 10 spaces left – so if you are under 26 book your slot now (come and have a free taster first – book here!)


Northants Safer Roads Alliance

6th February 2020

The Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance has been established to implement the Northamptonshire Strategic Road Safety Plan.  Comprising partners from all different agencies with an interest in road safety (including Northamptonshire Police, East Midlands Ambulance Service, Northamptonshire Highways, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue, and us amongst others) the recognition is that we have a shared responsibility to ‘prevent crashes and to minimise the chances of fatal or serious injuries where crashes do occur’.

All the partners of the Alliance have a shared aim “to provide safer roads, public footpaths and cycleways within the county, whereby the safety and security of all road users is enhanced”.

The Alliance utilises a partnership approach to deliver road safety across the 5 ‘E’s: Engagement, Education, Engineering, Enforcement and Evaluation.

The Alliance is overseen by a strategic board that reports to the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.  Under that sits the Practitioners group which includes the experts such as PC Dave Lee (Safer Roads team).  John Norrie, our Chairman, represents our Group and the wider remit of advanced driving on the practitioners group.

Below the practitioners are sub groups covering working drivers, young drivers, mature drivers and communications; and we have representatives on those as well!

Activities that the sub groups get up to include running behaviour change workshops for working drivers, and attending other events to promote road safety.




2020 Group Subscriptions Due 1st Feb!

13th January 2020

It is that time again – our Group subscriptions are due. Our subscriptions have remained at £10 for some years, and represent excellent value!

You can download the forms here, including a standing order form.


Group wins grant for young driver offer

16th July 2019

We are thrilled to announce we have been awarded a grant from the Office of the Police, Fire, and Crime Commissioner. Specifically, the grant is for young drivers who are our most vulnerable section of drivers.

In our bid we explained the Advanced driving course is an excellent way of improving driver behaviour and making our roads safer.

Road safety organisations, the Government, and the Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance are constantly trying initiatives aimed at under-26 drivers, as this age group is statistically more likely to be involved in a collision than other groups.

We wish to assist in every possible way by encouraging more under-26 drivers in our area to become advanced drivers. To this end, this grant is enabling us to offer a refund of £100 off the IAM RoadSmart Advanced Driving Course for under-26 drivers who pass their Advanced Driving Test with us.

The £149 cost is often out of the reach of younger drivers, therefore by offering a substantial discount, we will make the Advanced Driving Course affordable and attractive.

If you know a young driver who would like to benefit from this scheme, please contact us on or get them to book a free taster drive here.


2019 Group Subscription due

1st February 2019

It is that time again – our Group subscriptions are due. Our subscriptions have remained at £10 for some years, and represent excellent value!

You can download the forms here, including a standing order form.


IAM RoadSmart launches “Thumbs Up For Great Driving!”, 1st – 31st August 2018

1st August 2018

RoadSmart has labelled August ‘Thumbs Up For Great Driving And Riding!’ month as the charity gears up for a campaign to increase courteous and polite driving and riding on UK roads.

From 1st to 31st August, IAM RoadSmart is encouraging drivers and motorcyclists via its network of 202 local groups around the country to acknowledge and demonstrate their appreciation when another driver or rider lets them into traffic, allows them priority or gives them a helping hand –with a simple thumbs up.

The money raised from the campaign will go towards a special IAM RoadSmart safety vehicle, decked up in IAM RoadSmart colours and equipped with road safety merchandise and equipment. If the target of £10,000 is reached, IAM RoadSmart groups around the country can use the vehicle free of charge for promotional events or displays through the year as they help spread the road safety message to young people and local community groups in their area.

The ‘Thumbs Up For Great Driving And Riding!’ campaign has won the support of two of the country’s most respected motorsport heroes –Nigel Mansell CBE and Paddy Hopkirk OBE, plus one of the UK’s most accomplished riders, Maria Costello MBE. Nigel, who is world famous for his 14-year Formula 1 career culminating in winning the 1992 world title in a Williams, said: “Nowadays it sometimes feels like courtesy on our roads is in rather short supply – and it’s about time that good driving is rewarded. I am wholly in favour of ‘Thumbs Up For Great Driving And Riding!’ month –anything that leaves a smile on the face after a journey is a good idea to me.”

Paddy, who became a household name after winning the Monte Carlo and Acropolis rallies in the iconic red Mini, as well as competing at Le Mans, Daytona in the USA and the epic London-Sydney Marathon, added: “I’ve been driving for more than six decades and being thanked or thanking someone changes the whole tone of a journey. Let’s just make all our lives that much more cheerful by giving the thumbs up where it’s deserved and moving on with a smile.

”Maria, who made history as the first woman to claim a podium at the Isle of Man Classic TT alongside her hero John McGuinness and who held the Guinness World Record as the fastest woman to lap the Isle of Man TT course for five years, said: “It really is a shame to see conflict on the road escalate so fast, when all it takes is for one party to back down and diffuse the situation. We urge everyone out there to be the ‘bigger man or woman’ and take the first step towards promoting courtesy between road users as the norm and not the exception.

”IAM RoadSmart is asking drivers and motorcyclists to get involved with the campaign by sharing their own positive driving and riding experiences on social media using the hashtags #ThumbsUpForGreatDriving, #ThumbsUpForGreatRiding or #ThumbsUpForGreatDrivingAndRiding.

For more information please visit or go to the Thunderclap page here to help share the message.


General Data Protection Regulations – 25th May 2018

25th May 2018

New data protection laws mean we need permission to stay in touch therefore we have now contacted all our members who have been current within the past 12 months and our supporters to ask them to opt into receiving communications about promotional and social events.

Members an supporters will still receive our quarterly newsletter, monthly bulletins and subscription reminders as these form part of our core membership with them. In addition members undergoing the Advanced Driving Course will still receive information about one-one observed drives and classroom sessions.

We have asked members to confirm they wish the following:

  • to receive information about our social and promotional events
  • that we can publish their name and photo in any write up of our events in our newsletter, and on our social media accounts to publicise our Group.
  • to use social media and our website to celebrate our test passes and their achievement.

We have a data privacy notice that can be found here and a data retention policy.

If you are a member or supporter and think you have not received our GDPR e-mail, please check your Junk emails. If it is not there, please contact us using our contact page.


Northamptonshire County Schools Challenge – Road Safety

13th May 2018

The Northamptonshire County Schools Challenge (NCSC) is a joint Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service project where secondary school pupils use a business approach to raise awareness and develop creative ways to tackle a social problem.

This year the theme is keeping our roads safe for 12-16 year olds.  NCSC selected the theme following an excellent bid from the Northamptonshire Safer Roads team, who explained that whilst there was a lot of road safety materials for primary schools and for 6th formers (new drivers), there was very little for the vulnerable 12-16 year olds.

NCSC have 24 schools participating, and the Dragons will be selecting the top eight from the two-day semi-finals to represent their schools at our Grand Final being held in July.  At this point NCSC do not know what innovative products and/or services the students will design, but based on previous years they will be exciting.

NCSC would like to extend an invitation to all our members to attend the Grand Final, details as follows:

Event: Northamptonshire County Schools Challenge Grand Final
Venue: The Castle Theatre, Wellingborough NN8 1XA
Date: Monday 9th July 2018
Time: 5 pm for 5.30 pm start
Tickets: Free – but must be booked

To book ticket(s), contact Henny Cameron who will reserve them to be picked up from the box office on the night.  Alternatively they can be booked via the Castle box office, using or 01933 270007


#DontStreamAndDrive day 3rd April 2018

3rd April 2018

We are proud to support the #DontStreamAndDrive campaign, the only IAM RoadSmart Group to officially do so (click on logos to get larger image and spot our logo!).

The following is taken from the Think Road Safety governnent website

The facts

Drivers using a hands-free or handheld mobile phone are slower at recognising and reacting to hazards.

Research shows:

You are four times more likely to be in a crash if you use your phone.

Your reaction times are two times slower if you text and drive than if you drink drive, and this increases to three times if you use a handheld phone.

Even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or text – and a split-second lapse in concentration could result in a crash.

The law

It’s illegal to use a handheld mobile when driving. This includes using your phone to follow a map, read a text or check social media. This applies even if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.

It is also illegal to use a handheld phone or similar device when supervising a learner driver.

You can only use a handheld phone if you are safely parked or need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop.

If you’re caught using a handheld phone while driving, you’ll get 6 penalty points on your licence and a fine of £200. Points on your licence will result in higher insurance costs.

If you get just 6 points in the first two years after passing your test, you will lose your licence.

Using hands free (e.g. for navigation) is not illegal. However, if this distracts you and affects your ability to drive safely, you can still be prosecuted by the police.


Peter Davey

6th January 2018

Sadly, we have to report the death of long serving Observer and committee member, Peter Davey on 6th January this year.

He took and passed his IAM Advanced Driving Test in 1991 driving his beloved 1980 MGB GT. Following this he trained and became an Observer then senior observer for our Group. Helping many Associates pass their test. He joined our committee at the end of 1995, and became our first one-one organiser and serving for seventeen years. He worked tirelessly for our Group, which can be evidenced in Peter winning our *Points Award on no less than three occasions (1994, 2001 and 2003). Unfortunately ill health forced peter to step down from observing in 2014 although he and Ellen still attended our social events.

On his retirement we awarded Peter our Presidents Award to acknowledge his enormous and valuable contribution to our Group.

Peter also had a number of other talents, not least as an artist. He painted mainly in watercolours and oils, doing mainly landscapes, and at one point ran a small afternoon art class. He was also a talented cartoonist, and created a number for us to use in our newsletters.

He was a committed MG owner, and attended many of their events including the annual trip to Jersey which he professed was his favourite holiday destination.


Brian Johnson

4th January 2018

It is with real sadness that we have to announce the death of one of our longest serving observers, Brian Johnson.

Brian passed his car test in September 1986 and became an observer soon after. He continued in this role for 26 years, helping many of our Associates successfully achieve advanced driver status.

Being a trucker by trade (he drove for Golden Wonder amongst others), Brian followed this up with his commercial test in 1988. Becoming an observer for commercial vehicles naturally followed! Over the next five years Brian helped 11 drivers pass their commercial Advanced Driving test.

Brian joined our committee in 1995 only resigning in 2013 due to ill-health. During this time he became Chief Observer, responsible for standards and training of all our observers. He also arranged many specialist events, often involving a coach or bus from the Northampton Historical Vehicle Association of which he was a member. The Group enjoyed turning up to Bletchley Park, Sulgrave Manor and the National Tramway museum in one of their beautiful vehicles.

Always generous with his time and with a heart of gold, Brian used to hold sessions with his truck so Group members could understand the view from the cab and have a go at manoeuvring.

Brian had a never ending supply of jokes and one-liners, and a beaming smile! He was also an expert crossworder, and often set the crosswords in our newsletter.

Away from the IAM, Brian was a keen scrabble player, and was a member of the Northampton Twinning Association. This meant he had many trips to twinned towns, and knew the Mayor of Northampton – whom he always brought as a guest to our Christmas meals!

In 2011 Brian was awarded The Presidents Award to thank him for his excellent service to the group.


Our 40th Birthday!

1st January 2018

This year, on 31st January to be exact, we will hit a big milestone birthday, our 40th!!

To celebrate this very special occasion, and to say thank you to all our hardworking members (past and present) we will be organising a big event in the summer. At the moment we are thinking of a barbeque related event. If you have any suggestions, please let us know.

We are also hoping that we can reach another milestone achievement this year, that of our 1,000th test pass. We had an amazing year in 2017 with 38 passes (our year does not end until 31st January so this may increase!), and if we match these figures in 2018 we will achieve 1,000 passes!