Learner driver laws – are you getting it right?
Last week saw a father and daughter duo end up in court together on several counts of breaking driver laws regarding the daughter’s learner status and lack of insurance. They appeared at Banbridge Magistrates court for offences that occurred on the 23rd January, after police stopped the 21 year old and found her uninsured on the vehicle.
So how did both daughter and her father end up facing charges?
The story goes that there had been insurance on the car, which had lapsed due to a failed direct debit, and she was only insured to drive the vehicle on her provisional license. There was a fully qualified driver in the car at the time of the incident, however the driver was intoxicated as the daughter was driving people back from the pub.
The pair were charged last Thursday with a number of offences including not having insurance, no supervisor in the car, not displaying ‘L’ Plates and permitting no insurance (the father had admitted to enabling Kerry to drive by giving her permission).
So just what are the laws that concern you as a learner driver and how do you know if you’re following the rules? Here’s our Learner Driver check list:
According to the .Gov website, although you can apply for a licence when you are 15 years and 9 months old, you will need to wait until 17 before you start driving a car.
1) You MUST have a provisional license before you start learning to drive in GB and NI, you can’t start to learn without it.
2) Make sure you are supervised at all times in a car by an ADI qualified/trainee driving instructor or by a friend/family member who meets certain criteria (over 21, qualified in vehicle type and driving for 3 years). To check your driving instructor is up to spec, ask to see their badge. It will be green DVSA badge if they’re a qualified driving instructor or a pink badge if they’re still a trainee. Make sure your family member is up to spec too at www.gov.uk/driving-lessons-learning-to-drive/practising-with-family-or-friends
You can be fined up to £1,000 and get up to 6 penalty points on your provisional licence if you don’t have the right supervisor, not a great start!
3) You can drive with other passengers in the car if you wish, as long as it’s only as many as the car can legally hold. However, its best to keep distractions to a minimum.
4) Don’t forget to display your ‘L’ plates like in the example above! Even if you’re following all the other rules, driving on a provisional license without ‘L’ plates is still an offence. Don’t forget to take them back off again when it’s not a learner driver in the car.
5) You need insurance! Either your own or check that you are covered in the family member’s car. Some car insurance companies will need your supervisor to be over 25, and some may not cover at all. Driving without insurance is a serious offence.
*Information available at the .Gov Website and Banbridge Leader Website. This does not reflect the opinions of Go Skippy.