What price is safety

Wednesday 16th March, 2011 at 15:03 COMMENTS (0)

It certainly looks as if we're heading towards some further tough times with the threat of spending cuts and the possibility of falling into a double dip recession.  The economy's not going to do any of us any favours in the foreseeable future. 

On the face of it, people are going to be strapped for cash and may look for alternative means to learn to drive or perhaps opt to discontinue lessons all together. 

The driver training industry is a market place and like it or not, subject to the same rules as any market. 

In an ideal world, I'm sure most instructors would like to teach people to drive, not just to pass their test. 

Driving Instructors have little alternative but to try and supply the service being demanded but,if people demand an alternative to correct training methods, should instructors adapt?

There are some people that realise the need to complete training a correctly structured training course and prepared to put in additional time and effort but many are not. 

We have recently seen in the press, examples of where those involved in the driver training industry have bowed to public demand. 

The Basildon Echo reported, a woman took thousands of pounds from learner drivers while pretending to be a fully-fledged instructor.  Lisa Branston, 40, of Link Road, Canvey, set up her own Canvey-based driving school, but did not have a licence to teach people how to drive. 

The incentive for the naive pupil's was an economic factor, price.  Here the pupil's thought that had a result by paying a reduced lesson price but instead received a level of training from someone claiming to be a driving instructor that had failed to pass the appropriate examinations

When booking a course of driving lessons, it's all too easy to just consider the price of each or block of lessons but it's essential to consider what you are paying for.. 

Beware of driving instructors offering cheap driving lessons, all is not as it first appears. 

Some potential learner drivers have resorted to more alarming means that also include, Driving Standards Agency examiners. 

TheThurrock Gazettereported on Monday 14th March of a driving instructor and a DSA examiner, have been convicted of accepting bribes to pass students. 

Salima Rashid, 49, of St George's Avenue, Grays, took money from pupils she taught, from January 1, 2007, until last June saying she would get them passed at the Barking Test Centre. 

Worryingly, driving examiners, passed students after taking backhanders without even taking them out onto the road. 

During the trial, driving instructor, Rashid blamed the examiners and her "corrupt" pupils.  Is this what the general public really want?

For some learners drivers the structured training course can be both time consuming and difficult to achieve success.  Here we find an option for some that would avoid this process by simply handing over an envelope, stuffed with £1,000 cash. 

We have to presume that these people realised through inferior driving standards or indeed several failed tests that they were not competent or safe enough to be allowed on the road. 

This alternative, of paying an illegal bribe in exchange for a pass certificate was seen as acceptable by some but we all can only hope that this was a minority and not what the market will fall into. 

Judge Simon Wilkinson at Snaresbrook Crown Court, said, Rashid had committed an offence which was "serious on many levels" and added "As an officially approved driving instructor, the public expected you to maintain the highest standards in relation to that position.  Instead you betrayed them."

Professional driving Instructors have a responsibility to all those that they teach, their families, other road users and themselves but the driver has also to consider that there are no safe short cuts. 

Therefore, when you consider learning to drive, demand quality and accept you are learning a skill for life. 

Make sure you check that your driving instructor has a vaild instructors licence displaying the relevant photograph and a valid date.  If not do not continue with lessons but instead email the DSA Fraud department @  All information you provide to the DSA will be treated in the strictest confidence


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