Agency issues instructor warning

Agency issues instructor warning

It is an issue which may not cross many people's mind's, but those learning how to drive are being urged to ensure their instructor is legitimate.

The Driving Standards Agency says 39 instructors have been convicted over the last four years for operating illegally by not having the correct licence, while another 31 have received a police caution.

According to police, learning to drive with an unlicensed instructor is as dangerous as using a taxi with an unlicensed driver, who may not even be suitably covered withcar insurance .

"We talk an awful lot with people around using a licensed minicab because you've got confidence that that vehicle, that person, is subject to a process and a series of checks," Inspector Vince Brady of Metropolitan Police told the BBC.

"It's exactly the same with learner drivers. They're getting into a vehicle with a stranger they may know nothing about."

The agency says that since 2011, it has conducted around 30 roadside operations targeting illegal driving instructors.

"We urge all learners to ensure their instructor is qualified to teach by checking they display a valid DSA badge in their windscreen," said spokesman Andy Rice.

"Learners can also use the free Find A Driving Instructor service on gov.uk to see details of their nearest instructors who are approved and registered with the Driving Standards Agency.

"All approved driving instructors undergo regular assessments of their ability to teach and are also CRB checked.

"Illegal driving instruction is rare but when it happens it can potentially be very serious. We investigate all reported cases and work with the police to bring offenders to justice."

Copyright Press Association 2013