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The Institute of Advanced Motorists: History, Mission and Purpose

By Dom Einhorn Subscribe to RSS | December 10th 2011 | Views:

The United Kingdom is the home base for the Institute of Advanced Motorists, otherwise known as IAM. This charity based organization serves to improve the riding standards for drivers of automobiles and motorcycles. The organization’s focus is to create better safety on the roadways by controlling the systems of automobiles and motorcycles.

The History of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

IAM was created in March of 1956, but the organization has expanded greatly since this time. The most recent changes that this organization has introduced include two in 2006, RideCheck and DriveCheck, both of which assess the driver’s ability behind the wheel or on the motorcycle. A year later, the IAM introduced a bicycle training program and, in 2011, the organization began using its initials instead of its full name, as research of the market suggested that the organization’s name, more specifically the word “Institute”, was not found appealing by drivers of younger ages. The IAM is presided over by President Nigel Mansell and Simon Best, who serves as Chief Executive. The organization is headquartered in London, but has in excess of 215 different groups operating in the UK alone, as well as a wide range of additional groups in other countries. These countries include Kenya, Australia, New Zealand, Cyprus, Bermuda, Portugal and Hong Kong. Groups are considered to be mostly independent, so it is not uncommon for groups to vary in the vehicles that they cater to, as well as the fees and meeting criteria.

How to Become a Member of the IAM

In order to join the IAM as a member, an individual must first take and pass the IAM’s advanced test. Drivers are allowed up to a total of 17 exemptions; however, most of these exemptions are for those that are in the military or in an emergency services role. Members are required to pay IAM membership fees to the local group, as well as the head office. These fees are typically due yearly. Higher fees are due from associates in order to join; however, these fees are one time only fees that are paid to the IAM head office and these fees include the associate’s first advanced test attempt.

IAM’s Advanced Driving Test

Although the test that the IAM submits members to is not run independently by the IAM, it also doesn’t have the potential to negatively affect the licensure of anyone taking it. Most drivers consider this advanced test to be of greater difficulty than standard driving tests; however, all techniques used in the IAM’s test are created with the United Kingdom’s driving manual for police in mind.

There are many reasons that drivers are interested in taking the IAM’s test. Status, safety, insurance discounts and respect all have their place in the decision process. Research has found that drivers that are advanced are not only safer on the roads, but also have improved fuel efficiency. As of the time of this writing, just over 400,000 individuals have taken the IAM’s advanced test, with nearly 75% passing.

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