Over the last year, the pandemic has affected just about everybody in a multitude of ways, including people who are desperate to pass their driving test.
Of course, being in an enclosed space with someone not in your household for a significant chunk of time isn't ideal in a pandemic, which is why it's been so tricky for so many learner drivers - and their instructors.
And now, in the midst of the third lockdown (in which lessons and tests have been suspended) a petition has launched online calling for driving instructors to be able to pass their students themselves. And it's racked up over 30,000 signatures.
It states: "Allow learner drivers to be passed if their driving instructors feels they are safe to drive due to the failure of the Government to enable learners to book a test.
"It is unfair on learners who have been unable to book a test due to the pandemic to have to wait a significantly long time to have access to booking one."
Despite the petition picking up tens of thousands of signatures, it has sparked some debate on social media.
One person shared a snap of the petition, captioning the post: "This may be the worst one by far."
This may be the worst one by far pic.twitter.com/8QnWPTlgZ5
- Bradley (@bradleyd_98) January 14, 2021
One person added: "Hell of a difference being in a car with an instructor than being out on the road by yourself. Plenty of solid drivers fail their tests multiple times by making simple mistakes but mistakes that in the real world would get someone killed."
While another commented: "On other hand.. you get the odd unprofessional instructor... that just passes everyone and then..."
"But they are biased and aren't qualified examiners," added another.
Others agreed with the petition however, with one social media user replying: "I actually think this could be a shout, I've personally had 7 lessons, I've been driving for years and have had my test cancelled on 3 different occasions this year. I've been reassured many times by my instructor that i would pass 1st time."
Hell of a difference being in a car with an instructor than being out on the road by yourself. Plenty of solid drivers fail their tests multiple times by making simple mistakes but mistakes that in the real world would get someone killed.
- Graham O'Hehir (@GrahamHehir) January 14, 2021
Totally agree don't see how 45 mins of driving with someone else can see how "safe" of a driver you are when your instructor can assess your driving over 50+ hours
- Dylan Davidson (@DylanDavidson2) January 15, 2021
"Totally agree don't see how 45 mins of driving with someone else can see how "safe" of a driver you are when your instructor can assess your driving over 50+ hours," added another.
Meanwhile, a driving instructor added: "Seriously though. I am a driving instructor and there needs to be a system in place to improve how this farce has played out. Not as simplistic as the above but a system where the learner has to log hours, signed by their instructor, detailing what they have covered.
"That way instead of people who are test ready having to wait Months and months for tests the DVSA would be in a position to prioritise learned who are test ready rather than having people who have had 5 lessons and booked a test early clogging up the system. It's a joke at the mo."
If the petition reaches 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in Parliament.
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