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Drivers are risking fines, disqualification or jail because they do not know the rules on supervising learners

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 The motoring group’s survey of 19,000 members suggested nearly a quarter did not know it was illegal to use a mobile phone while out with a learner driver.

Nearly one in 10 respondents was unaware falling asleep was not allowed.

The law states that somebody supervising a learner driver is effectively in control of the car.

In one case a supervisor was jailed after the learner was involved in a crash that killed two people.

It said many learners benefited from time spent with more experienced drivers, but suggested short driving courses for supervisors might be needed.

The AA/Populus survey suggested drivers were also breaking the law by drinking, sending text messages, or failing to wear their glasses while on practice runs with learners.

Some 23% of respondents did not know they would be breaking the law by using a mobile phone while supervising a learner.

And 13% were unaware of the need to wear glasses if they used them when driving themselves, while 9% did not realise that falling asleep in the passenger seat was illegal.

A total of 4% of respondents who had supervised learners admitted breaking at least one of these laws. The figure rose to 22% among supervisors aged 21 to 24.

The president of the AA, Edmund King, said the issue was highlighted by a case in which a person who was supposed to be supervising was over the drink-drive limit.

“This is where the legal point is quite serious because you are actually deemed to be in control of the car, even when you’re supervising. And in fact there has been a case where tragically the learner driver actually had a crash, two people died and the supervisor was actually deemed responsible and actually went to jail.”

Reducing risk

Learners who build on skills they gain in formal lessons by practising with family or friends have a better chance of passing their test and are likely to be safer behind the wheel.

“Yet drivers often lack confidence or don’t know their responsibilities when supervising learners.

“Many are passing on bad driving habits or even risking a run-in with the law.”

Road safety charity Brake said it wanted to see the minimum age for accompanying drivers raised to at least 25.

Katie Shephard from the charity said: “It is vital that learner drivers gain suitable supervised experience behind the wheel, to ensure their safety and the safety of other road users. Accompanying drivers should also be registered as ‘approved accompanying drivers’ by completing a questionnaire to prove their suitability, which could be checked by their insurer.”

Duncan Vernon, road safety manager for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said there was “no doubt” those who supervised learner drivers would benefit from being given more information about how best to teach.

“All-round good practice should involve better co-ordination with approved driving instructors, as well-planned private practice can be invaluable,” he said.

“It gives the novice more experience in all kinds of conditions, thereby reducing the risk of them being involved in a crash once they have passed their test.”

www.thedrivingskool.com

Why are your pass rates so high compared to other driving schools?

We won’t let you take a driving test unless you are capable of driving in today’s demanding environments and therefore capable of passing a test. You’ll have to prove your ready by passing one of our mock tests. Being fully prepared for your test will give you that added confidence, meaning you’ll feel less nervous and far more likely to succeed first time. Your test is just as important to us and we want you to pass!

Are your instructors any good?

Very simply! Yes! All our Driving Instructors live and work in their communities, are CRB checked and fully qualified DSA (Driving Standards Agency) Driving Instructors. Our team of  Instructors strive to deliver the very highest standard of customer service and driving tuition to all of our customers

How much is it to hire a car for the practical driving test?

The actual practical driving test is the cost of your normal three hour booking rate. (Please do check with your Instructor) We’ll pick you up one hour before the test and help you to “warm up” and get rid of any last minute nerves. The driving test will last approximately 35-40 minutes and the final 20 minutes will be completing the paper work for your full drivers licence and driving you home!

Can I book one of your cars at short notice for a driving test?

We don’t lend our cars to anyone we haven’t seen drive before so if you have not learnt with us, you would need to book in for a lesson before your test so we can assess your driving. Booking this assessment drive does not guarantee one of our cars for the test, please contact us for more details.

I’m really nervous about learning to drive, what if I crash?

We know how you feel! Everyone is nervous the first time they get into the driving seat of a car so we will try and help you relax as much as possible.

A lot of time and effort goes into planning each lesson and the routes we use to make sure you are never in a situation which you cannot deal with. We will never shout at you and we are prepared to go over things as many times as needed in order to help you become a safe and confident driver.

All our cars are fully comprehensively insured and fitted with dual controls.

How many lessons will I need to pass my test?

The million pound question! We get asked this question a lot and without seeing you drive it is impossible to tell. Everyone learns at different speeds.. We encourage private practice and can set you tasks to practice in your own car. We would never make you pay for any lessons which where not necessary to your learning experience.

Do you give lessons in the evenings and weekends?

Yes, we’ll always try to schedule lessons around you and your availability! You are the customer!

Will I be charged if I cancel a lesson?

We appreciate that from time you time you may not be able to fulfill a lesson you have arranged with us. That’s why if you give us less than 48 hours notice, then yes you will be charged. Your Instructor does have a degree of flexibility but please let us know as soon as possible.