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  • Writer's pictureSimon Harrison

Give Learner Drivers Space and Respect.

A Driving School car is especially used for training the next generation of drivers. You might have come across one recently in your daily commute, trip to the shops or day out with the family. It is identifiable by the clearly-visible big L in bright red.

Driving instructors go through a very thorough training and qualification process (only around 21% of people who train to become a fully qualified driving instructor actually manage to qualify) and have to undergo regular assessments to enable us to teach people the valuable skill of learning to drive. Here in the UK, thanks in part to the skills and professionalism of our Approved Driving Instructors, we have one of the best road safety records in the world.

If you’ve ever been ‘stuck’ behind a learner driver then you must have been driving a car, so congratulations on passing your test when you did, surely you must remember what it was like learning to drive.

This might be the very first time on a main road for this learner after they’ve spent a number of hours on very quiet side streets. It might be that they’re practising a scenario that has in the past been difficult for them. They might be on a mock test getting ready for their practical test. They might even be on their test right now, you just don’t know. What you can be certain of though is that their instructor is helping them to achieve the standards required of all drivers in UK law.

If you don’t like 20mph or 30mph speed limits, if you think red traffic lights are only advisory, if you think they should have given way to you despite the give way line applying to your vehicle then I’m sorry, but there is nothing that the instructor will do about it. Beeping your horn, acting aggressively , driving erratically around the learner isn’t helping them learn anything; other than how not to do things, and it CERTAINLY won’t make the instructor or examiner say to their pupil, “actually, this guy’s beeped at us so just put your foot down here and ignore those speed bumps”.

Please keep a safe distance (2 seconds in good conditions, 4 seconds on wet roads if you’re interested) and you’ll find that the learner will soon turn off this road or pull up.

You’ll be interested to note that whilst you’re “stuck” behind a learner your fuel economy will be better and you’ll flow through traffic a lot smoother than driving a full throttle everywhere; just saying.

Give learners a little respect; they’re all trying really hard and they’ll be out of your way at the next junction.

If you are courteous to learner drivers and appreciate the skill and professionalism of our ADIs, then on behalf of all of us I thank you. You really do make our lives in the passenger seat a lot easier.

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