What laws will you choose to break?
It’s a question I ask my learners. When they’ve passed their driving test, which laws/rules/guidance will they decide they disagree with ad break.
It always seems to make them think.
Some will say that there are certain 20mph zones that they feel could easily be 30mph. Especially when the ones around schools, when outside of school hours. But most tend to say that they don’t intend to break any.
The rules of the road are there for a reason and even though they don’t necessarily agree with all of them, they intend to follow them.
The rules are made clear within the Highway Code.
A set of rules that are regularly refreshed and updated. The latest of which being the proposal around the new hierarchy of road users set to come into effect on 29th January. Rules including giving way to pedestrians waiting to cross, as you turn left into a side road.
You can access an online version of the Highway Code here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code
And you can find the proposed changes here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-58021450
A lot of ADI’s that I speak with disagree with some of these proposals, but as driving instructors part of our role is to teach learner drivers to drive in accordance to the Highway Code. So, we need to ask ourselves that question:
Which laws/rules are we going to tell our students to ignore?
As much as we may disagree with them, we still need to teach them. Yes, we can challenge them in the appropriate places and yes, there’s always room for debate, but would it be right to tell a learner driver to break the rules?
What we can do is be a positive example to our students, explain as best we can and answer any questions they have.
One concern I have is the car behind, would it be expecting us to stop when we’re turning left? Could that car come crashing straight into the back of us?
Surely this is the ideal point to discuss with your students the importance of being aware of your surroundings. If you know there’s a car close behind as you approach a junction, could we be reducing speed earlier? Getting our brake lights on?
We can ask our learners what they would do. Whether we agree or not is irrelevant to them. It’s an ideal conversation to have with them. Get them thinking.
As for the general public. There will be a huge percentage that has no idea of these changes. There will also be a large percentage that disagrees with the idea and chooses to ignore it.
While it’s not our responsibility to inform the public we can still have an impact. We could make or share videos with our students, asking them to show them to family or friends. We can be active on social media discussing it in a positive way. We can have conversations with our fiends and family. We could even get in touch with former students and inform them.
Will we get everyone on board? Probably not, but if we can increase awareness perhaps, we could win a few people over and help reduce the risk of collisions.
We should be being proactively positive, not just complaining.
Complain in the right places, but also create awareness. We can lead from the front here.
What are your thoughts on the new proposals and how will you be handling them with your students?