Attacks on driving test examiners increase
A 50% rise in assaults on driving test examiners has prompted the DVSA to consider issuing body cameras to invigilators. Failing your driving test is frustrating, but there is no excuse for violence. You could face prosecution, landing you with a criminal record and you could be forced to take your next test elsewhere.
It’s shocking and sad to hear that driving test examiners are facing increasing incidents of violence and abuse from disgruntled learner drivers who have failed their driving test. To get to the stage where invigilators are having to wear body cameras is a disgrace.
According to DVSA data, more than 300 staff were subjected to physical or verbal abuse in 2016. That’s an increase of 198 compared with 2015. Two-thirds of the attacks targeted driving test examiners, while the rest were aimed at vehicle testers and roadside enforcement personnel.
Cameras for driving test examiners
As a result of increasing incidents of violence, the DVSA is trialling body cameras for frontline staff. They will initially be issued to roadside personnel, but could be handed to driving test examiners if they prove effective as a deterrent.
Meanwhile, the DVSA has stated that learner drivers who exhibit abuse to its staff will be forced to take their exam at another driving test centre. Threats and physical assault will be reported to the police.
Failing a driving test is an unpleasant experience, but getting aggressive is not going to change the outcome. There’s a perception that it’s personal when a driving test examiner fails a learner driver. However, it’s not personal, they assess learners based on their ability to drive and lashing out is landing more wannabe motorists in serious trouble. Stay calm!
Don’t do what this guy did… “Having been asked to stop the car for committing a serious error, the candidate proceeded to swear at me before driving wildly across a dual carriageway. I had to use the dual controls to bring the vehicle to a halt safely. The culprit
was banned from my particular driving test centre and will be supervised during any future tests.”
This is just one examiner’s tale out of many occurring up and down the country. Gareth Llewellyn, the DVSA’s chief executive said: “Our message is clear: whatever has happened, don’t take it out on our staff. If you do, we’ll press for the strongest possible penalties.”
With that in mind, remember to keep your composure and ask yourself can you handle failing the practical driving test? It happens, and many go on to pass after having another crack at it.
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