As a learner driver, have you noticed your driving instructor check their phone for texts, perhaps replied to a text or even made and received a call?
Whilst most instructors wouldn’t even consider it, there are some that feel a quick call or text isn’t really an issue. But is the odd text or call such a big problem?
There is the issue of courtesy and respect. You’re paying the instructor for their undivided attention, which doesn’t include them drumming up business in your time. Then there’s the legal issue.
You might feel it’s somewhat inappropriate for your instructor to be using their mobile whilst on a lesson, but it is in fact illegal – precisely for the same reason that it is for drivers who use their mobile device.
The instructor is of course the supervisor and all attention should be focused on the learner, not only because that’s what the learner is paying for, but also for safety reasons. Instructors who are caught using their mobile whilst on the road teaching face the same penalty as drivers caught using their mobile – that’s six points and a £200 fine. Worst still for the instructor, is that they may face removal from the ADI register, effectively losing their job.
So if you do catch your instructor using their phone during your lesson time, tell them to ditch it or you’ll ditch them. See how to find a good driving instructor for further information.
Once you have passed your test, you essentially have a probation period of two years. Within this period, if you accumulate six or more penalty points on your licence, it’ll be revoked. Get caught using your phone whilst driving and that’s your licence gone. You’ll need to apply for a new licence and once again take your theory and practical driving test. When you get behind the wheel, it’s best just to turn it off!
Rules for Supervising Passengers
The same penalty faced by instructors also applies to supervising passengers in a non-professional capacity, such as family members or friends.
But What if We’re Not Driving?
The rules apply to supervising passengers, both professional and non-professional only whilst the learner is driving. A driving instructor may use a mobile or tablet device for driving or manoeuvre visual aids for example. This is perfectly legal providing you’re safely parked up.