DVSA steps up efforts to safeguard learner drivers

11.26 | 19 February 2018 | | 2 comments

Driving instructors who are considered a high risk to learners face being removed from the Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) register, the DVSA has announced.

The DVSA says any sexual relationship between an instructor and a 16 or 17-year-old pupil, even if consensual, will be treated as exploitation – as part of efforts to ensure instructors are ‘fit and proper’.

The new measures follow a call from prime minister Theresa May, who in October 2017 asked the DVSA to look at ways to protect learner drivers.

There are currently around 39,000 driving instructors in Great Britain, the majority of whom ‘offer a high standard of tuition and pride themselves on delivering excellent customer service’, according to the DVSA.

However, in 2016-17 there were 109 investigations into instructor misconduct, including inappropriate sexual behaviour and a range of other offences.

The DVSA says it will investigate serious allegations of improper behaviour and refer its findings to the police. These allegations include instructors using sexualised language, unnecessary physical or inappropriate contact and sending indecent messages or images to their pupils.

The DVSA is also reminding learners it is illegal for an instructor to use a hand-held phone while teaching – adding that it is ‘unacceptable’ for instructors to be impatient, shout or swear at learners during lessons

Andy Rice, DVSA head of counter-fraud and investigations, said: “We take the safety of learner drivers extremely seriously and will thoroughly investigate any complaints about the conduct of instructors and will involve the police where necessary.

“Any driving instructors threatening the safety of learner drivers and failing to meet the ‘fit and proper’ criteria will be removed from the ADI register.”


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    Laressa, they do. Except not as you would expect. A DBS certificate lasts for 3 years and an ADI badge for 4. You cannot renew your DBS upon expiry. Instead, you must wait until badge renewal time! I know, you could not make this up.

    I do however admire the hypocrisy of this policy. We have the highest number of teenage pregnancies in the EU, with 13 year old mothers proudly displaying their latest animated toy; sorry, I mean baby, at school. Sex under 16 is illegal. Nobody cares. There is much talk of giving the vote to 16 year olds on the grounds that they can make informed political decisions of considerable complexity and important but cannot, at that age, decide to enter into a legal, if morally questionable, relationship.

    Political correctness rules again, even if it is completely irrational. The age of consent is 16. The driving age is 17. Doctors prescribe contraception to children and that is ok. We allow these poor ignorant children to venture onto the public highway in a killing machine at 17 yet they are incapable of deciding who they go out with.

    I would never dream of propositioning a student. I regard it as highly unprofessional and counter productive. However, there is no law against this and even if there were, it would instantly fall into disrepute because of the double standards applied to consensual under age sex. Get that right and then come back for another go.

    Kevan Chippindall-Higgin, Southsea
    Agree (4) | Disagree (0)

    When ADI’s register could they be required to apply for DBS checks prior to granting a licence? Also, when they take a check test there could be a requirement for them to update it.

    Laressa Robinson, Dorchester, Dorset
    Agree (0) | Disagree (1)

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