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Drivers supervising learners risk breaking law, says AA

Category: Headlines

Published: 2nd Aug 2010 02:05:02

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

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 ten respondents were unaware falling asleep was not allowed.

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

The AA said that 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.

Many [supervisors] are passing on bad driving habits or even risking a run-in with the law”

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 use 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.

AA Driving School director Simon Douglas said: "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."

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BBC News, 2010. Drivers supervising learners risk breaking law, says AA [Online] (Updated 2nd Aug 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/79021/Drivers-supervising-learners-risk-breaking-law-says-AA [Accessed 31st Aug 2014]

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