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by Les Oldridge, AIRTE, AMIMI
Registration of driving instructors (1)
From October 1 1970 it is an offence for anyone to give driving instruction, for which they are paid, in a car unless their name is on the register of approved instructors set up by the Ministry of Transport or they are the holder of a driving instructor's licence. These requirements only apply to "motor cars" and not to heavy goods vehicles —the training of drivers for their hgv test is not subject to the Regulations. It must be remembered, however, that the term "motor car" covers all vehicles under 3 tons unladen weight, including commercial ones, so many of the lighter goods vehicles will fall within this category.
It seems strange that one has to be properly qualified to give driving instruction on the smaller vehicles yet anyone can set up a school for the "heavies" providing the instructors hold licences to drive vehicles of the class on which the instruction is given. One feels that with the number of hgv drivers which will have to be trained in the future, the present law for motor cars will be amended to bring all instructors within its scope in the not too distant future.
The Regulations only apply to instructing for the payment of money or money's worth, made by, or in respect of, the person under instruction. Providing no payment is made it will still be permissible to teach friends and relations to drive. What is the position of a firm which instructs one of its drivers to teach another employee to drive? Let us take the example of the bakery firm who orders one of its drivers to teach another employee to drive during the course of his deliveries. One could argue that part of the driver's wages were paid for giving this instruction and if this is so it would seem that the driver must be a registered instructor or hold a licence to give instruction.
The law concerning this subject is contained in the Road Traffic (Driving Instruction) Act 1967; the Motor Cars (Driving Instruction) Regulations 1969; the Motor Cars (Driving Instruction) (Amendment) Regulations 1970 and the Motor Cars (Driving Instruction) (Appeals) Rules 1969 as amended.
The Register of Approved Driving Instructors referred to was set up by the Ministry of Transport on a voluntary basis in October 1964; the licence to give instructions is issued to enable an applicant for registration to get experience in instructing prior to him taking the examination he is required to pass before his name can be included on the register.
Anyone who wants to be an Approved Driving Instructor must:— (a)have held a full (ie not provisional) licence to drive for at least four years; (b)not have been disqualified from driving for any period of time within four years preceding the date of application for registration; (c) be of good character; and (1) pass the examination.
The examination consists of a written and practical part. A person whose name was included on May 10 1967 in the register of instructors maintained by the Motor Schools Association of Great Britain Ltd or the RAC is exempt from the written part of the examination.
Written examination The written part of the examination must be taken first. If a candidate passes the written examination but fails to pass the practical test within three years he will have to take the written part again. If he fails either part he may take it again after three months. Both parts of the examination are held at intervals, depending on demand, at various centres throughout the country.
The syllabus for the written examination is laid down in Regulation 6 of the Driving Instruction Regulations 1969. Each candidate is expected to answer questions on all or any of the following subjects:— (a)the principles of road safety generally and their application in particular circumstances; (b)the techniques of driving a motor, car correctly, courteously and safely, including control of the vehicle, road procedure, recognizing hazards and taking proper action, dealing properly with pedestrians and other road users and the use of safety equipment; (c) the tuition required to instruct a pupil in driving a motor car including the items set out in (b) above, the correction of pupil errors, the manner of the instructor, the relationship between instructor and pupil and simple vehicle adaption for disabled drivers; (d)the Highway Code and other matters in the booklet in which it is published; (e) the booklet "Your Driving Test" (DL 68) issued by the Ministry. of Transport and published by HM Stationery Office; (f) the interpretation of the reason for failure appended to the Statement of Failure to Pass the Test of Competence or of Fitness to Drive prescribed by the Motor Vehicles Driving Licence Regulations; and (g)knowledge, adequate to the needs of driving instruction, of the mechanism and design of a motor car.
The written part of the examination consists of three question papers; lhr 20min is allowed for the completion of the first and second papers together, and lhr 20min for the third paper.
Next week I intend dealing with the law concerning the practical examination and the licence.