Trainee driving instructors a danger, says AAUp to 7,000 trainee instructors teaching learners

13 November 2009

AA concerned about unqualified instructors

AA concerned about unqualified instructors

The AA believes that up to 7,000 driving instructors - that's one in eight - may be trainees, with implications for both driver safety and costs.

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As a result of its findings, the AA is demanding the Government introduces legislation to force driving schools to reveal when a driving instructor is not fully trained.

An AA/Populus survey on the subject has revealed overwhelming support among AA members for such a move.

More than 13,000 AA members were polled, and 97% of respondents agreed that learner drivers should have the right to know if they are being taught by a trainee rather than a fully qualified instructor.

Road safety concerns

The survey raised concerns among AA members about the safety of learners taught to drive by trainees. It also rejected the practice of driving schools charging full price for lessons with trainee driving instructors, which driving schools are currently legally entitled to do.

Similarly, there is no legal requirement for the driving school to inform pupil or parents when a driving instructor is not fully-qualified.

However, the trainee must display an official pink badge in the windscreen when ‘learning on the job’.

Motorists unite

AA president Edmund King said: ‘Seldom have motorists spoken with such a united voice on an issue. Parents have serious concerns about entrusting young learners to trainee instructors.

‘One in five new drivers will have an accident within a year of passing their test, so it’s only natural to want the best instruction. Yet driving schools do not even have to tell you when the person teaching your son or daughter is learning on the job.’

King has written to Road Safety Minister Paul Clark, expressing the concerns of AA members and calling for ‘urgent action to guarantee learners and parents an informed choice.’

Advice for drivers

To find out about the latest changes to the theory test, read our online news story.  

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