DVSA reveal strategy for 'helping you stay safe on the roads'
An update to the DVSA guidelines now states learner drivers cannot practice driving in their own vehicles unless they have a valid excuse to be on the roads. Learners can practice in England, Wales and Scotland but this must only be with members of your household or support bubble.
These journeys are also only possible for trips where travel is permitted in law such as for work, education or other essential journeys.
The new rules will be a hammerblow for thousands of learner drivers who had their tests and traditional lessons cancelled last week.
In a statement to Express.co.uk, the DVSA said: “Government guidance is very clear that people should be staying at home to save lives and protect the NHS unless the trip is essential.
“A journey solely for driver learning purposes is not considered essential.
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“Current guidance states that you can only practice driving with members of your household or support bubble as part of travel for work, education or other essential journeys.
“This position is the same in England, Scotland and Wales.”
One social media user said the new plans “make no sense at all” with another adding the rule seemed “a bit unfair”.
Driving schools have urged drivers to practice where they can during lockdown to keep their skills fresh until they can sit an exam.
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However, RED Driving School said they recognise the severity of the situation and accept lessons should be temporarily suspended.
Ian McIntosh, CEO of the driving school has urged drivers oto switch their focus to online learning tools tio substitute for the real thing.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, he said: “In normal times, RED sees huge value in students practising in their own vehicles alongside parents or a responsible adult.
“The DVSA has now banned this activity due to the non-essential nature of the travel.
“Although we realise this will come as a disappointment to learners, we recognise the severity of the situation, and accept that driving lessons, and accompanying activities, should be temporarily suspended to help tackle the virus.
“At RED, we understand the desire to maintain driving skills during lockdown. To this end, we have provided all RED customers with an innovative online training tool called RED’s Road Brain Trainer.
“This comprises 27 e-learning modules and is proven to boost a learner’s chance of passing their driving test by 14 percent.
“All RED learners can access this tool for free, helping them stay up to scratch with their driving technique from home.
“We are excited to be able to help learners grow their confidence and skills, even in these extraordinary circumstances.”
Other driving schools confirmed the news on their social media feeds in a desperate attempt to prevent their pupils being caught out by the new rule.
DLA Driving School said: “Whilst we remain in lockdown, we remind you that we are unable to provide driving lessons.
“We would also like to advise you that the Government has also banned private practice too.”
Think Driving School said the new changes would be a “huge disappointment” to many learner drivers across the country.
The DVSA confirmed practical and theory tests as well as driving lessons would be suspended from January 5.
They confirmed candidates would be contacted with further information about their tests as soon as possible.
The DVSA said they would update drivers as soon as the government made any further announcements.
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