A 17 year old provisional licence holder last week found out the hard way that dad was not a very good driving instructor, not only did they end up on a motorway, but he also discovered that he was not insured to drive his dad's car either!
The learner driver had taken about 4 driving lessons with a qualified instructor (not me), after which dad decided he can now take over and bring him up to test standard, they had a car suitable to use which dad and mum were insured on, so obviously there would be no problem supervising junior in it.
On the day in question dad wanted to give junior some dual carriageway practice so they went on the A1 from apex corner in North London, and headed north towards Stevenage. For some reason dad did not notice the signs advicing that the 70mph dual carriageway was turning into the A1M at the junction with the M25. Having travelled some miles on the motorway, they got stopped by a traffic policing unit.
While checking the driver's details, it turned out that dad had not included junior on the insurance policy because he thought this was only required once junior passed the driving test and wanted to drive the car alone unsupervised!
The police are now reporting junior to the CPS for driving without insurance as well as being on a motorway when not qualified to do so! The poor 17 year old could now face a ban, but will at least get 6 points on his licence because both he and dad had not read up on the highway code and failed to obey the law. The funny thing is that the dad is not at fault in the eyes of the law, as it is the responsibility of the driver to be insured and obey the road traffic act, not the supervising driver.
The highway code only costs £1.50, and if both of the parties involved in this story had read it completely, they might not have made this expensive mistake.
So what should you do if you accidentally find yourself on a motorway during a driving lesson with a family member or friend?
DO NOT stop on the hard shoulder, continue towards the nearest exit or motorway service station, call the emergency services who will arrange to get you escorted off. Note: that under the road traffic act, it is not an offence to display 'L' plates on the motorway (I do not recommend you do), the offence is driving on a motorway with a provisional licence, and this includes those with a full automatic licence driving a manual transmission car.
UK Highway Code
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