Drivers warned that getting frustrated with learner drivers could result in a £2,500 fine
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Road users are warned that they risk fines of £2,500 for erratic or dangerous driving around learners, with around 345,000 more new drivers currently on the roads this April. That’s due to pandemic delays causing a significant backlog of driving tests.
Insurance firm Veygo is advising motorists to be patient with learners and not show any road rage, because doing so could be expensive.
Police can hand out on-the-spot fines of £100 and three points for careless driving, or £2,500 and up to nine points for more serious cases as well as risk of disqualification.
James Armstrong, CEO of Veygo told Express.co.uk: “We know that aggression or impatience from other road users is something that lots of learners experience.
“From tailgating, to unnecessary tooting, to risky overtaking; for some drivers, seeing an L plate is like seeing red.
“Learners need other drivers to grant them time, space and patience.”
He added: “They’re likely to make mistakes, and adding pressure to the situation can be the difference between them learning and moving on, or sparking a crisis of confidence.
“Drivers who come across learners should be conscious of the consequences for driving dangerously around learners, from on-the-spot fines to disqualifications from driving altogether.”
The offence of driving without due care and attention (careless driving) under section three of the Road Traffic Act 1988 is committed when the defendant’s driving falls below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver.
Some examples of careless or inconsiderate driving are driving too close to another car, overtaking on the inside or flashing lights to force other drivers to give way.
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Veygo has also come up with some tips on being courteous around learner drivers:
Give them space – Learners have likely spent a handful of time on the road compared to experienced motorists.
They might not have their manoeuvres completely down to a T yet, or they might be nervous about stopping distances and junctions.
Be careful not to crowd vehicles with L-plates, so they can focus on the road ahead of them and not worry about feeling rushed.
Don’t beep your horn – Road users often rev their engine or toot their horn at learners in frustration; not only is tooting your horn in aggression not allowed, it can also be really disruptive and unsettling for learners trying to focus on the road.
Being patient can allow them to learn from their mistakes and become better drivers, while aggressive behaviour towards learners can really set them back in their progress and crush their confidence.
Allow time for your trip – With the bank holiday traffic, tensions might be high if you have places to be and you encounter a learner going at their own pace and holding you up.
So plan ahead, and leave more time for your trip, avoiding too much frustration at the traffic or the learner drivers you come across.
It’s been estimated that more than three million learners will be impacted by the driving test backlog over 2022 and 2023 which won’t fully ease until January 2024.
This year, demand has reached its peak with over 520,00 learners piled in a backlog – making it impossible for thousands to get a test booked.
During the pandemic, routine driving lessons and tests had to be suspended for months because of coronavirus restrictions.
But they resumed in England and Wales in April 2021, with Scotland following suit a month later.
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