Written by Ange Clarke, The Advocate, 4/05/2009
WHETHER you obtained your driver’s licence two years ago or 20 years ago, Mark Butcher wants to help you. As director of Driver Skills Australia, Mr Butcher is on a mission and believes everybody using our roads need to be reminded.
“It’s not about only understanding your own driving, but understanding that of other road users and what to do when faced with potentially dangerous road situations,” he said.
“Education of drivers in Tasmania needs attention, there is a huge gap in driver training from licensing level – they need training in basic things like holding the wheel right and sitting correctly.”
It is fair to say Mr Butcher knows what he is talking about – he has owned DSA for 12 years. The 35-year-old started the business after working as a pilot, and enjoying motorsport as a hobby.
“I was involved in holding drive days for manufacturers and it basically just got bigger and bigger from there,” he said.
Responsible for the running of the business and overseeing all training packages, Mr Butcher works directly with companies to design training packages that are relevant to their workforce.
Setting up a base in Tasmania 12 months ago, Mr Butcher said it was simply an ideal location.
“I have always liked Tassie and I have the right people working for me on the mainland, so I can basically run the entire business from here,” he said.
With a range of courses available, Mr Butcher said 90% of the courses held in Tasmania were the defensive driving courses.
“It is a one-day course and we have five to 10 people in the group.
“It is not at all based just on the practical side, it starts with two hours of theory on road safety and driving conditions then in the afternoon we practise emergency braking,” he said.
“It is an ideal way to gain experience and develop an awareness of speed and physically put it into practice. It is the complete package of all the important elements,” he said.