Todd Andrew CARVER
Tasmania Police Force
former Constable – 2011
Regd. # ?
Born: 5 December 1971
Died: 13 July 2014
Funeral 18 July 2014 at ?
Cop driver training ‘a joke’
TASMANIA Police’s former lead driving instructor has slammed the force’s attitude to driver training.
He says management has run just one refresher course in the past decade.
Todd Carver left the organisation last year after more than 20 years as a police officer.
He spent a decade working in traffic and championed the importance of internal driver training.
Mr Carver who has trained the Australian Federal Police, and Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment and Infrastructure Department staff said he became tired of hitting his head against a brick wall.
“Driver training within Tasmania Police is a joke,” he said.
“Five days of the 34-week recruit training course is devoted to driving. Once they graduate that’s pretty much it unless you’re involved in a serious crash.
“Only then do you have to do a couple of days ‘remedial’ training.”
Despite police being required to complete one day of training every five weeks, Mr Carver said it had been virtually impossible for officers qualified in driving instruction to get the time off from usual duties to conduct training sessions.
“I did my instructor’s training in 2001 and it took another seven years to get them to approve a course,” he said.
“Even then the only way I could get them to allow it was by making it a requirement for new instructors to achieve their qualification.”
His criticism comes a week after a Tasmanian coroner found police officers involved in a suspicious vehicle call-out in 2010 that ended in a Glenorchy boy, 16, dying after crashing at speed, had breached procedures and did not have a sufficient level of knowledge and understanding of the policy.
“It’s unfair officers involved in these incidents are blamed when the fault lies squarely with management who consider driver training the lowest priority,” Mr Carver said.
Tasmania Police said low-risk driver training and manoeuvring had been scheduled into this year’s training for all officers.
“This will involve the delivery of lectures in low-risk driving techniques,” said Commander (human resources) Mark Mewis.
“A manoeuvring course will also be available for police officers to practice low-speed manoeuvring.”
Mr Mewis said officers from all front-line departments would participate in the training program.
Mr Carver said the response was in line with the force’s “reactive approach”.
“If they do this, great that’s what’s motivated me to speak out,” he said. “It’s a pity they have to wait until something happens before they address their unacceptable attitude towards safety on the roads.”
Interstate police forces, such as NSW Police, use a graduated licence system with officers allowed to drive certain vehicles at specific speeds based on their level of training and certification.
“Here you’re either restricted or unrestricted and pretty much everyone is unrestricted,” Mr Carver said.
“But all management cares about here is making sure all the boxes are ticked.”