I'm amazed at the number of driving instructors using mobile phones during lessons out on the roads here in NW London nowadays!
The thing that really surprises me is that they all know it is illegal, and that getting caught not only means a fine with points on their licence but they could also lose their ADI registration, along with it their means of livelihood.
Now even if a driving instructor has one of those in ear bluetooth hands free kit devices, should he/she really be making or answering mobile phone calls during a driving lesson? Many provisional licence holders might even be happy that their instructor is on the phone while they drive as that is a sign of their competence and that they are even ready for the driving test, while others might think they can't do anything about it if their instructor sends or checks a few text messages during their driving lesson and don't be fooled by them using independent driving on the test as an excuse either!
Personally I view it as very unprofessional to be distracted by the mobile phone (even if hands free) during driving lessons, in fact I've lost a few potentiial clients who call multiple times during training sessions, don't get an answer never leave a message, and when called back later in the day say they have gone somewhere else because I didn't answer when they called!
Many learners don't see it as a big deal, but here is the truth, your driving instructor is not paying attention to you while talking on the phone. You could be making driving errors which could potentially let you down on the dsa driving test because you were not prompted or even told about it by the very person you are paying your hard earned money to offer a service to you.
If you are one of those who only goes for cheap driving lessons, then you might think well he is only trying to make some business, your driving instructors business is YOU when you are in the car! How many of the calls were family emergencies that really needed to be dealt with? I have young children in school, and have been called a few times because they are unwell, but never has there been an emergency that could not have waited till the end of the current driving lesson.
One of the reasons why so many instructors feel at liberty making phone calls during lessons, visiting the bank to drop off cheques, stopping at petrol stations/supermarkets to pickup lunch is because learner drivers are willing to pay them to do so! You would rather put up with these little annoyances than change driving instructors.
If every learner driver demanded their instructor stopped making mobile phone calls during their driving lesson or they went somewhere else where they got a better service, this behaviour will stop, but many of you reading this will not because you don't want to offend him/her, can only afford the cheap £18 lessons being offered, think it is a hassle looking for a better ADI, yet you are the one being ripped off, will take longer to pass the test and spend more money in the process as well both with the DSA and the instructor.
I'm based in NW London, and this blog is read by learners from all over the UK, so I don't have anything to gain personally by sharing this information (in fact 90% of my students read this, so I could well be shooting myself in the foot if I don't practice what I preach), but if you really want to pass that driving test first attempt then you need to get the best from your driving lessons and there is no excuse for your instructor spending time you pay for talking on the mobile phone and potentially making you an accomplice to a road traffic crime (ignorance is no excuse, as you are the one who chose who supervises you).
I would really love to hear learner driver's fedback on this issue, as it is such a common occurance and you don't seem to be doing anything about it, WHY?
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