Yesterday, Minster FM reported a story about a woman who was charged by Police for using her mobile phone while supervising a learner. Apparently, she did not realise that when you are supervising a learner the same rules/laws apply as if you were driving the car. What was even more worrying is that she claims that she rang 5 driving instructors to ask them what the law was with regards to mobile phones and only 2 of the 5 knew that it is illegal to use a mobile phone while supervising a learner. If you want to read/hear the story you can find it on the Minster FM website.
You can find the rules regarding supervising learner drivers on a number of websites including gov.uk, Helping L Drivers.com, the AA and the BBC. The basic rules for a supervising driver are as follows:
- be at least 21 years old
- have a full driving licence (for the type of vehicle they are supervising in – manual or automatic), which must have been held for a minimum of three years
- ensure the car is in a safe and legal condition including insurance to allow a learner to drive the car while supervised
- meet the minimum eyesight standards and wear corrective lenses if necessary
- ensure the car displays L Plates (or D Plates in Wales) if a learner is driving
Supervising drivers should also be aware that they are legally responsible for the car and the same laws apply as if they were driving the car. Therefore, off the top of my head, a supervising driver cannot be over the drink-drive limit, cannot use a mobile phone, cannot read or take a nap. The supervising driver must also ensure that the learner driver is fit to drive. Finally, if you are not a DSA Approved Driving Instructor you are not allowed to take payment of any kind for supervising a learner.