K53 Frequently Asked Questions

How many lessons will it take for me to be able to drive a motor vehicle safely and pass my K53 Driver’s Licence Test?

Answer:

  • The numbers of driving and manoeuvring lessons needed to come up to the required standard of the K53 Driver’s Test varies from trainee to trainee.
  • On–the-road driving tuition is normally for an hour. Parking lessons vary between one and two hours depending on a trainee’s sense of positioning a vehicle, which only come with practice.
  • The majority of learner drivers fail their K53 Test the first time simply because they don’t allow themselves enough time to master the principles of The K53 System of Vehicle control.
  • For a novice trainee, it can take more than 100 hours of practical driving and driving tuition to reach the level of competency as required by the K53 Driver’s Test. These hours can be done on both the driving school’s vehicle and on your private vehicle.
  • When driving on your own vehicle in between your driving lessons with your K53 Driving Instructor, you should make sure that you diligently apply the principles of The K53 System of Vehicle Control which you have been taught. Else, you will practice the wrong driving habits and would spend most part of your next lesson on work previously done. This will cause you to take longer to come up to the K53 Standard.

Additional factors which may influence the time that it will take you to reach the K53 level of a competency are:

  1. How well you understand the rules and signs of the road.
  • If you do not have a sound understanding of the Rules of the Road, and the Road Signs, as well as the Road Paint Markings, you will take longer than usual to develop your road-sense. And you will also take longer to get used to the atmosphere on the road.
  • If you study additional theoretical K53 learner driver material you will increase the rate at which you learn.
  1. Whether you’ve learned the correct driving methods from the onset.
  • If you have not learned to drive according to the principles of the K53 System of Vehicle Control from the onset, it will take you longer to master the principles of The K53 System of Vehicle Control – as you would have to be retrained.
  1. Your flair for manipulating the controls of a motor vehicle.
  • You should be aware of any co-ordination discrepancies that you may have, so that you can compensate for it.
  • For example, if you find it difficult to change gears without grating the gears, then you could have a discrepancy between your left hand and your left foot when you change gears. You can overcome this by practicing gear changes while the vehicle is stationery.
  1. How frequently you do your lessons, and the availability of a vehicle for you to practice on in-between your driving lessons.
  • If you drive only once a week, your progress will be very slow.
  1. Having the support of those close to you will also help you to make quick progress with your K53 driving lessons.
  • If you have a boyfriend or a husband who is impatient and is constantly criticizing you and breaking you down, you will take longer than necessary to reach your full potential.
  1. Adult Learners and Married Woman May Need More Time to Lean to Drive 
  • Adult learners may take longer to learn than current students.
  • Married women who are also working and have various routine household responsibilities that may prohibit regular driving lessons, will need more lessons to come up to the K53 standard.

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What is The System of Vehicle Control?

Answer:

The System of Vehicle Control is the systematic use of the controls of your vehicle at the approach to a hazard.

The System of Vehicle Control was pioneered in the early 1930’s by the Hendon Police Motor School in Hendon, England. Research done by The Hendon Police Motor School revealed the reasons why motor vehicle drivers were involved in motor vehicle collisions. Some of these reasons are:

  • Drivers do not know what a hazard is. Therefore,
  • Drivers could not identify hazards on the road. Therefore,
  • Drivers could not avoid hazardous traffic situations.
  • Drivers did not use the controls of their vehicles systematically when they approached hazards.
  • Drivers did not know how to read traffic situations. Therefore,
  • Drivers did not know how to plot the safe passage of their vehicles.
  • Drivers had an incomplete knowledge of Traffic Rules and Traffic Signs.
  • Drivers ignored Traffic Signs.

Some other factors that contribute to motor vehicle collisions are:

  • The colour of your vehicle in relation to the colour of the road surface.
  • The physical and mental condition of the driver, including the driver’s attitude.
  • The road worthy condition of the motor vehicle when driving with it on the road.

In England, the System of Vehicle Control is known as the Hendon System of Car Control.

The USA adopted the System of Vehicle Control in 1947. Dr. Raul Sherman, an optician; Harold Smith, a professional Driving Instructor; and John J. Cummings, a transport expert, adapted the Hendon System of Car Control to fit in with their American right-hand-drive conditions. They then named it the Smith System of Vehicle Control.

In South Africa, the System of Vehicle Control has become known as The K53 System of Vehicle Control, or simply the K53.

The aim of the K53 System of Vehicle Control is to render every motor vehicle driver a safe and economical driver. Being a safe driver and an economical driver are interlinked.

A safe driver will be free from driving habits that causes premature wear and tear on the vehicle. A safe driver will also effectively avoid minor and major collisions – thus, resulting in the safe and economical operation of his or her motor vehicle.

Both the K53 Learner’s and K53 Driver’s Tests are based on the K53 System of Vehicle Control. Hence, it is important that you understand the principles of the K53 System of Vehicle Control.

If you do not fully understand the principles of the K53 System of Vehicle Control:

  • Your progress with your driving lessons will be slow and you will need more driving lessons than necessary. Thus, you will spend unnecessary money on driving lessons.
  • You will also find it difficult to pass your K53 Driver’s Licence Test If you do not fully understand the principles of the K53 System of Vehicle Control.
  • You will be accident prone.

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Is everyone so nervous when they do their Driver’s Licence Test?

Question:

The last time I did my K53 Test I was sweating and my legs were shaking uncontrollably! I even felt nauseous! It was terrible! Is everyone so nervous when they do their Driver’s Licence Test?

Answer:

It is quite normal to feel somewhat apprehensive whenever you undertake something new – especially if your abilities are being tested. However, being well practiced and well acquainted with the various aspects of driving a motor vehicle and the K53 obstacles in the yard will add to your confidence.

Here are a few considerations on being confident about your driving:

1) A lack of practical driving experience is one of the main reasons for under-confidence in a learner driver. Frequent practice will add to your confidence.

2) Another basic requirement for making quick progress with your driving skill, and to quickly gain confidence about driving and the K53 Test, is knowledge about the K53 System of Vehicle Control and the Rules of the Road, as well as the controls of your vehicle.

3) If you don’t know the K53 System of Vehicle Control and your knowledge of the Rules and Signs of the Road is incomplete, then you will be overly anxious about driving on the road during your driving lessons.

An incomplete knowledge of K53 The System of Vehicle Control and the Traffic Rules and Road Signs and the Controls of your vehicle will:

  • Cause you to take longer than normal to master the principles of the K53 System of Vehicle Control.
  • Cause you to take longer to become comfortable with the mood of the road.
  • Leave you unable to interpret the Rules and the Traffic Signs of the road correctly. This, in turn, will leave you with poor road observation and traffic negotiation skills, as well as a feeling of uncertainty about how to negotiate traffic situations.
  • Leave you with a persistent fear of being involved in a collision.
  • Leave you accident-prone.
  • Rob you of the ability to approach your practical driving lessons and your K53 Test with confidence.

Generally, driving on the road will make you tense, and more so when doing your K53 Test. Also, the faster you drive, the more tense you will become as you drive on the road. Being knowledgeable in all aspects of driving a motor vehicle will endow you with the ability to drive your vehicle with confidence and dignity. A sound understanding of all the rules and signs of the road will also enable you to master the ability to negotiate hazards safely in a very short time.

Remember, expert knowledge about your skill will stay with you forever! Likewise, poor knowledge, too. Expert Knowledge breeds confidence!

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