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1955 The beginning - The Finchley League of Safe Drivers

In order to combat the rising number of road casualties, The Finchley League of Safe Drivers formed in 1955 by members of the Finchley Road Safety Council.

They organised lectures by the police and, together with some on-the-road training, eventually instituted a system of testing run by some of the police driving instructors from Hendon. The principle behind the League was the improvement of driving standards through spreading understanding of the police system of car control, already recognised in those days as the safest and most efficient method of driving a motor vehicle.

1960 Going national - The League of Safe Drivers

In April 1960, the Finchley League of safe drivers became independent from Finchley Council to enable it to do good work throughout the whole of the UK. The League of Safe Drivers was formed. It had two patrons, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher (MP for Finchley) and Mr. Raymond Baxter. It continued as an independent body with examiners in many parts of the UK.

In many areas local groups were formed to maintain and foster the enthusiasm of its members. The League required its members to take tests at regular intervals and offered a three tier grading system.

1980 RoSPA Advanced Drivers' Association

The organisation had become large and unwieldy and faced increasing overheads. It was decided that RoSPA, which had in fact been very helpful from the earliest days, should take over the League, which it did on the 1 October 1980.

Thus the RoSPA League of Safe Drivers was born and based in Birmingham. Eventually at the general request of the members the name was changed to RoSPA Advanced Drivers' Association in April 1982.

The Association, while keeping the original objective and style of the League, has gone from strength to strength ever since. This is due in large measure to the enthusiasm and commitment of the local groups and the quality and consistently high standard of the tests conducted by the examiners.

2000 Onwards

Now known as RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders. This reflects the changing membership profile, and includes all motorists, including the growing membership of motorcyclists.