Plenty of parents enjoy supervising their teen in the car, helping them to learn to drive in real-world situations such as hefty traffic or on country roads.
However, new laws mean that if you are supervising a learner driver and you make one simple mistake, you could be fined £200.
Updated Government guidance on using a mobile phone now means you cannot have a device in your hand whilst driving for any reason, even if you are stopped in traffic. However, the law also applies to people supervising a learner driver. The experts at Bill Plant Driving School reveal how to supervise a learner under the new rules:
Peter Brabin, Head of Training at Bill Plant Driving School says:
“Lots of learners do opt to practice with family and friends, outside of their lessons with instructors, to keep the skills they learn sharp. Anyone supervising must be over the age of 21, have held a licence for over three years and be licensed to drive the type of vehicle the learner is driving. However, you can’t supervise learners on the motorway, or use a mobile phone. And it’s really the mobile phone part that parents and other supervisors should pay the most attention to, as a simple mistake can land you with a £200 fine.
Whilst it was already illegal to make a call or text, you now cannot use your phone for ANY reason in the car. For people supervising learner drivers, as well as those driving, this means that even checking the time, using the sat nav, changing music or viewing a notification is now banned. To supervise a learner, you must keep your phone in your pocket, in your bag, or on a hands-free device such as a dashboard mount, but not blocking your view of the road.
If you break this law whilst supervising a learner, you will be liable for six penalty points and a £200 fine. Plus, there will be new roadside cameras that can catch you doing this.
Supervising a learner outside of their lessons is a great way to build their confidence and road skills in different situations. However, it comes with a high level of responsibility. We recommend always keeping up-to-date with the Highway Code to ensure you avoid getting into trouble.”
Tips for supervising a learner driver from Bill Plant Driving School:
- Ensure you have the right insurance. Learners need learner-specific insurance.
- Make sure to display L plates on the car and in the correct position.
- Check that the car you are using is in a safe and legal condition.
- Never be under the influence of alcohol or drugs whilst supervising a learner.
- Try taking an advanced driving assessment or another type of refresher course to make sure your driving knowledge is up to date.
- Buy an extra suction mirror that you can use as an additional rear view mirror.
- Remain calm, and patient.
- Make sure you know what level of driving the learner is at before you go out on the road with them.