Driving instructors have a say in the rules of the road – ‘a recipe for disaster’ or ‘no big deal’?; Should the helmet be compulsory? ; Pidcock heading for 2023?; Bernal’s ‘second chance’ and more on the live blog
It seems like everyone has had a say in recent traffic updates over the past month (and when I say everyone, I mean every right-wing columnist who works for a national newspaper ).
But what about the opinion of driving instructors, those responsible for shaping the habits and behaviors of the next generation of motorists?
Good, North Wales Live went to find outand the results were decidedly mixed.
Phil Jones, an instructor around Rhyl and Abergele (not to be confused with the much-maligned Manchester United footballer) seemed to be most in tune with the Richard Littlejohns of the world, saying the changes would be a “recipe for disaster”.
“I think overall the number of collisions involving cyclists is going to increase,” Jones warned.
“As a driving instructor, we train people to be aware of cyclists and other vulnerable road users, but they also have to take some responsibility for themselves.
“But I think if they drive on the roads they should be insured, it should be mandatory and they should also have some type of formal training like all other road users.”
“As for that riding in the middle of the road, all it’s going to do is cause traffic chaos.”
“Learner drivers are usually quite nervous around cyclists because they’re unpredictable, so they’re scared already, and I think that’s just going to make people even more nervous about it,” he said.
“I can see it’s going to cause problems because the general standard of driving here is appalling. And it’s going to make drivers frustrated and overtaking them when it’s not safe to overtake and it’s going to cause more road rage. “
“We teach learner drivers to anticipate what’s going to happen next. The problem is that people who have already passed their tests, they just won’t bother to check what the changes are.”
Another Rhyl-based instructor, Maxine Richards, agreed.
Maxine said: “I think it’s silly, I don’t know why they changed it. I think it’s going to cause a lot of crashes and a lot of problems for us instructors.
“We’re getting a lot of road rage against us anyway, with no new rules that the general public mostly ignores.
“I’ve seen a video from another instructor before where a student following the new rules stopped for a pedestrian but the driver behind tried to pass him and almost drove straight into a lady with a pram.”
However, Robert Collins of driving school Drive Passes was much more ambivalent about the effects of the changes, which he said his students were doing well.
“I have no problem with it, and my students are doing pretty well,” Hughes said.
“It’s not that different from what I’ve always taught anyway, so it’s not a big deal for me and my students.
“I think it’s small changes that don’t make a big difference to be honest with you.”
David Hughes, an instructor at Conwy, also said he agreed with the new rules, but warned they should be made more readily available to the general public.
“I don’t disagree with any of the rules,” he said. “But I struggled to find all the new rules myself, so how is my 84-year-old mum going to find out?
“I just think it was introduced pretty quickly and there’s not enough information released about it.
“Just dropping it without notice is bad, it could have been done much better.”
Referring to the often-misrepresented Dutch method of opening a car door, Hughes said: “People need to be educated with the new rules. You can’t just say that if you don’t open the door with your left hand, you’ll get a £1,000 fine and that’s it.
It should be noted, as we did last month, that it was already an offence, punishable by a maximum fine of £1,000, to open a car door, or to cause or allow it is opened so as to cause injury.
“You must be getting the correct information from the official source,” Hughes said. For an instructor, let’s just hope they don’t get all their driving information from the Daily Mail…