Learner Drivers Urged to Report Predatory Driving Instructors
In recent months, concerns have been raised about driving instructors abusing their position of trust. What should you do if a driving instructor acts inappropriately towards you? Government MPs and driving instructors are urging learner drivers to report rogue driving tutors to the DVSA, who will investigate any allegations…
It’s horrible to think that learner drivers are being targeted by ‘predatory’ driving instructors, which is why government MPs want to see the law changed to protect young drivers from being groomed by rogue driving tutors.
Conservative MP for Gloucester, Richard Graham is urging UK Prime Minister, Theresa May to review the law, saying that driving instructors should be subject to the same rules as teachers.
During our research, Book Theory Test Today picked up on an article published by the BBC, which shared the story of ‘Jess’ from Portsmouth who had a bad experience with her driving tutor.
She recalls: “I started noticing little comments. He’d talk about whether I cycled anywhere and said ‘You’d look good in Lycra.’ He added me on Facebook and would ask me questions about whether I was single. As soon as I ended the lessons, I had a text from him asking me out for a drink.”
Learner drivers left mortified
The whole experience left Jess mortified, and she was concerned that other learner drivers were being subjected to similar treatment by her instructor. She said: “17 and 18-year-olds are probably in the car with this guy and what’s stopping him from talking to them in the same way he talked to me?”
At the time of her ordeal, Jess didn’t report the incidents, despite thinking that she was way too young for him and questioning why her instructor would think his behaviour was appropriate. She said: “I didn’t complain, I just wanted the whole thing to be done with. At 26, I thought I could handle myself, but I wish I’d spoken out before now.”
Instructors should not be allowed to have sex with learner drivers
Richard Graham told Theresa May that driving instructors should be ‘banned from having sex with learner drivers’ and rules should be brought in, similar to those imposed on teachers. In 2001, the law was changed to make it illegal for teachers to engage in sexual activity with students at their school, if they are under 18.
Mrs May has pledged to instruct the appropriate government department to investigate the issue.
Meanwhile, Nick Ibbott, a driving instructor with 30 years’ experience, said: “As a driving instructor, you’ve got to make sure that you don’t cross that line and if someone is uncomfortable, they should complain to the necessary people.”
What should you do if you’re subjected to inappropriate behaviour?
The DVSA advises you to report incidents of inappropriate behaviour to them. In a statement, the government agency said: “We take the safety of learner drivers very seriously. All allegations of improper conduct will be investigated by the DVSA and could result in instructors being removed from the register.”
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