Are Newly Qualified Drivers Ready For The Road?


I am only posing this question after a lesson today with one of my pupils who last night was being driven by a newly qualified driver. The driver may not of been totally familiar with the specific area  in Stoke on Trent, but she is from this area.

My pupil is giving the driver directions and this involved approaching a crossroads which is traffic light controlled to turn right. It’s a two lane approach with a blind approach and it is a 1 in 10 drop to the lights where it splits to 4 lanes not easy. On approach my pupil is getting a little concerned that the driver has no clue where she should be on the road bearing in mind she has been told to turn right on a two lane road!

My pupil advised her to be in the right hand lane of the two, “I have never done this before” was the response, I hope that meant that she had not turned right here not that she had never turned right! My pupil had then had to instruct the driver as to which of the four lanes to be in and further instruct as to what position in the road to be in! In some very fine detail I might add, in fact it was exactly as I would instruct her to do, and bearing in mind my pupil has only done this twice! Top job Hannah. So we have qualified driver who has not a clue which lane to be in or what position to be in when turning right. This is not and over exaggeration by a pupil she is just not like that.

This only totally reinforces what I already knew and answers the above question I raised, the answer is no. But how do we correct it, and the answers are not easy. Is the test to easy?  Do we enforce more training? Employ curfews/retests. Difficult one and probably involves a bit of each and some others but things have to change as the sad fact is 4 out of 5 new drivers have a collision in the first 6 months of passing. This is pushing the price of insurance for new drivers out of range. So new measures have to be brought in so driving is more affordable for the young driver and they have better scope to gain a job as they can travel also many ADI’S will  go out of business because there is a significant reduction in the pool of potential candidates.

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