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Is the influence of driving instructors becoming limited?

With news stories increasing of tearaway teenage learner drivers, Book Theory Test Today looks at whether the influence of driving instructors is diminishing.

Book Theory Test Today says: “It’s not uncommon to hit the news tab on Google nowadays and discover stories of drugged up or drunk teenage learner drivers jacking their driving instructor’s vehicle and whizzing off on a joy ride. Such a scenario is becoming the norm, with driving instructors saying they’re struggling to promote road safety. But, why?”

What the driving instructors say

Increasing cases of teenage learner driver misdemeanours can be attributed to a lack of road safety coverage in the national curriculum say driving instructors. Britain, unlike eight other countries across Europe, does not provide compulsory road safety tuition and this affects the efforts of driving instructors to mould responsible teenage learner drivers.

Book Theory Test Today says: “The issue is that there’s no culture of road safety in the UK. Teenagers are not reached early enough, i.e. through the education system; therefore they have no road safety foundations before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.”

The facts and figures

In the year ending September 2014, approximately 16,600 children between the ages of 0 and 15 were killed or seriously injured on UK roads, according to the Department of Transport.

Surely, introducing road safety into the UK’s education system would go some way towards reducing this sickening statistic? It would help to raise awareness of the issue and teach people about road safety prior to learning to drive.

Although various petitions have been orchestrated across the country supporting the introduction of road safety to the national curriculum, the response has been minimal. North Cornwall and North Yorkshire councils are just two of a small number of councils encouraging inclusion across Key Stages 1-4.

Road safety values forgotten

Road safety values are delivered to children in an exciting way via the Think campaign! However, it quickly gets buried beneath other topics such as advice on drink, drugs and sex. Therefore, by the time these children become teenagers and get behind the wheel of a vehicle those road safety values have long been forgotten.

This leaves driving instructors to take up the ‘teaching’ baton, by which time it’s often too late to help a minority of learner drivers to appreciate the importance of road safety.

What would help?

Instructors say that if authorities are not willing to make road safety part of the curriculum, others areas of the learning procedure must be improved. Many instructors think that reformation of the UK theory test would help to raise awareness of road safety.

However, instructors strongly agree that there’s no better alternative than to introduce road safety education across the national curriculum, as this would help them to solely focus on raising a generation of learner drivers to drive responsibly and safely.

Book Theory Test Today says: “It would appear that until driving instructors receive some much needed help from the UK’s education system, there influence is becoming more limited.”

What’s your view? Leave a comment…

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