When will we get back to driving lessons?
So, many of you are probably wondering when lessons will be able to take place and I thought I would explain what I need to consider and whose advice I need to follow. My intention is to return to work on 6th July but if the organisations below advise against this then I will follow their advice.
These are the people that conduct the tests and regulate the industry. They reiterated their advice via email directly to instructors on 15th June that lessons should only take place for critical workers who have a test booked. I am not currently teaching critical workers so I will not be doing lessons at present. This advice needs to change before I return, if it does not change by 30th June, I will push back my return to work date. I am not prepared to go against the advice of the DVSA. If you want to read the email sent to instructors it’s available online (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-letter-from-dvsa-chief-executive-to-driver-and-rider-trainers-about-restarting-instruction-and-tests/letter-from-dvsa-chief-executive-to-approved-driving-instructors-about-restarting-driving-instruction-and-tests), this also gives information about tests.
This is a group of the 3 largest national driving instructor associations, and they have direct contact with the DVSA. Most of our information is given to us through NASP. They are currently asking instructors to consider whether driving lessons are a necessary reason to leave the house and have provided guidance on keeping the car clean and PPE.
Devon & Cornwall Police
They are currently stating that instructors should only be giving lessons for critical workers with a test booked so I will need to check with them before getting back on the road. If I was pulled over and fined for conducting a lesson, this would need to be reported to the DVSA and puts my instructor licence at risk.
As the government eases the country out of lockdown it is uncertain where driving instructors fit into the plan. Currently, we have no guidance from them but if some is given, I will of course follow it. They put in place restrictions on travel earlier this year and I need to make sure I comply with these. My understanding is that the R number is crucial to the government's decision about when industries who have close contact can return.
I need to consult with my insurers before returning to work as there may be restrictions due to the DVSA advice.
The Health and Safety Executive guidelines and the government’s working in vehicles guidelines do allow for people to be within 2 metres if it is not possible to socially distance. Also, I am currently shielding until 30th June and I will need to follow the advice given by the government to shielded people.
Ultimately, my decision when to return to lessons will be my own. When the time comes, if you are happy to have lessons with the things I put in place to make them safer then I will be very pleased to see you in the car but I will understand if you wish to wait. If you have any questions about this then please do get in touch, I will answer everything as best as I can and I will always be honest.