Crowd funding to get driving instructors back to work
An interesting idea to help get driving instructors back on the road
Following the DVSA announcement on 15th June cancelling all theory and driving tests indefinitely, a driving instructor from Wiltshire is crowd funding to seek an expert epidemiological report specifically relating to the driver training profession, taking into account social distancing during driving lessons and lesson duration.
Gary Fossey of Shamrock Driving School, who’s been an instructor since 2005 and actively involved in previous national local and national campaigns, said “We keep hearing about other sectors of the economy, for example shops and hospitality, being enabled to return to work and we see people in public areas flouting the social distancing regulations. Lately we’re hearing about social distancing regulations being reduced to “1 Metre Plus”. However, driver trainers are unable to maintain either the 2 metre or even the anticipated 1 metre social distancing. Sitting normally in a suitable driver training vehicle would mean about 70cm social distancing. Additionally, to be of any real benefit, a driving lesson can’t be under 1 hour. Driver trainers continue to be threatened by the DVSA with potentially being removed from the register and losing their livelihoods in the event they are fined by the police for teaching people who are non-critical workers or critical workers who do not have an emergency test booked. It is, of course, up to individual driver trainers when they return to work, but many are in an increasingly dire financial situation, which is showing no sign of improving anytime soon, due to being new entrants and ineligible for the government Self Employment Support Scheme (SEISS).”
Many feel driver trainers face and pose an extremely low risk taking into account that they only come into contact with on average 3-4 pupils a day, who are mostly in the lower risk age groups; the vast majority of pupils are known to the driver trainer and they can keep in touch with them before, during and after lessons; driver trainers can readily ventilate and sanitise their working environment, themselves and their pupils plus they and their pupils can wear PPE.
Additionally, the driver training profession have produced and implemented extensive Covid Secure measures, which have been provided to the Government and DVSA. Such measures could be easily promulgated to all registered driver training professionals by the DVSA.
Gary Fossey explained “The intention is to use this report to submit a case, hopefully via the national associations with whom I’ve been working during this and previous challenging times, for driver trainers to be able to safely return to work to the Government and DVSA. The Government currently seem to be all but oblivious to the driver training profession and may well not be receptive to the specific considerations relating to driver training without the support of an expert and industry specific epidemiological report. They won’t want to risk potentially opening the flood gates for, say, 65cm social distancing for all!”
The objective is to raise at least £4,000 by 28th June 2020 by crowd funding via JustGiving. Driver trainers can donate to this campaign at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/driving-instructor-covid?utm_term=DxNgk3q48&fbclid=IwAR06gX9XKZeGE2PLFVdFq6yd5jvj8Dvcvt9k6wkzBJdhnnAAn9ZDK71m_Q4.