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To think that complete learner drivers shouldn't be on very busy main roads unless with a proper instructor?

(69 Posts)
Runny Thu 09-Mar-17 13:15:09

Driving to the supermarket earlier I managed to get stuck behind an obviously very new learner driver. Fine, they need to learn of course, but this woman was in a car with just L plates on the back and no sign to say the bloke in the passenger seat was a proper instructor. He didn't have the correct mirrors and therefore im assuming no dual controls either.

She pootled along the main 30mp road at about 20mph, continually juddering and occasionally speeding up. Then we reached the 40mph stretch where the slow pootling and juddering continued, until she saw a police car parked at a junction and briefly stopped dead. Then it was onto the roundabout where she sat for what seat like an age before finally turning left. She continued on to the next roundabout which is very busy, traffic lights etc. Finally she was in a different lane to me, I was going straight ahead and she was in the lane next to me to go right, except when the lights changed she was going the same way as me, and just cut straight across in front of me. Now I know people sometimes get in th wrong lane on an unfamiliar road, by there was no indication she just went straight across. How the hell I didn't hit her was a miracle. I don't think you should beep at learners, so I let it go but anyone else who cut me up like that would have got the horn and the finger!

Then we finally reach the small retail park. I go onto the supermarket and she is just sat there in the next lane, not sure where to go next. Obviously waiting for instruction, which wasn't forthcoming because the halfwit next to her wasn't even an instructor!

Actually any instructor worth their salt wouldn't have taken someone so inexperienced onto those roads. Mine kept me on small housing estates and side roads untitl he knew I was able to keep up with the other traffic.

She was lucky she didn't have an accident, and knowing those roads as I do, at a busier time of day she would have done!

fairweathercyclist Thu 09-Mar-17 13:19:43

I think that all learners should have to have a few lessons off-road before they are allowed on roads. They should learn to handle the car and not stall etc before they go onto the roads.

Once they have the mechanical bit sorted, they can start to cope with other drivers, cyclists etc. I'd suggest 5 lessons off-road before going onto the roads.

My dad taught me clutch control in a supermarket car park in the days when they were closed on Sundays. It made a massive difference to me when I went out on the roads with my instructor.

Justmuddlingalong Thu 09-Mar-17 13:21:20

You didn't hit her though. She didn't have an accident. It wasn't a busy time of day. Congratulations on being such a fabulous driver. Well done you. hmm

sameoldscene Thu 09-Mar-17 13:23:12

Highly unlikely they are out with someone who'd be happy to sacrifice their life!
Just wait- sorry.
Not everyone can afford lessons.
Have you seen the price of them these days op

HateSummer Thu 09-Mar-17 13:24:10

I agree. But there'll be loads of people telling you you were a learner driver too once. 🙄

Astoria7974 Thu 09-Mar-17 13:24:18

YOU have to be careful and give room and way when you encounter a learner. The learner is just that & it's not like she's breaking the law by learning how to drive. I wonder what people think when they encounter your driving?. hmm

HateSummer Thu 09-Mar-17 13:24:52

I wonder if she was insured too. That would make an interesting accident wouldn't it.

sameoldscene Thu 09-Mar-17 13:25:06

And actually, qualified instructors do take their learners on busy routes pretty early on.
My son is 18, first lesson he was up to 4th gear 'zooming' around.

sameoldscene Thu 09-Mar-17 13:26:35

There is no reason to suspect that the learner was doing anything wrong. Just cos she got in your way... learners have just as much right to be where you are!

Runny Thu 09-Mar-17 13:28:25

Not doing anything wrong? She cut me up!

HateSummer Thu 09-Mar-17 13:29:26

learners have just as much right to be where you are!

😂, yes, but not at the same bloody time!
Proper learner cars have passenger brakes so the instructor can stop them from exercising their "rights" to be in the same place as other road users.

marmiteloversunite Thu 09-Mar-17 13:30:48

My DD is 17 and learning to drive. I hope she meets more patient drivers than you when she is out and about. She has had about 40 lessons at £27 an hour. We have to take her out to practice too. She is sometimes slow to react and may be in the wrong lane but she is doing her best and concentrating very hard. How else is she meant to learn?

Here have my first biscuit

PageStillNotFound404 Thu 09-Mar-17 13:31:41

I don't disagree in principle OP - I don't think it does the learner many favours to be on busy roads while they're still getting to grips with the basics of controlling the car, and it can make the process of learning to drive much more stressful.

The difficulty is that in our 24/7 world, it's harder to find sufficient places where learners can spend some time concentrating on stopping, starting and travelling smoothly and that are big enough to get up to 30mph safely. The traditional practice zones of retail parks and trading estates are busier than ever with the trend towards out of town shopping and longer opening hours. Not everyone can take their lessons at 10.00pm at night or 8.00am on a Sunday morning when everything is shut and there are car parks and industrial estates quiet and empty.

Sirzy Thu 09-Mar-17 13:32:05

Some of the most dangerous antics from learners that I have seen have been when driving with "proper" instructor so YABU.

Runny Thu 09-Mar-17 13:33:07

How else is she meant to learn? By doing what my dad did and taking me onto industrial estates on Sunday mornings to get me used to managing the gears, finding the bite etc. It takes a few lessons to be able to put all that together.

Spam88 Thu 09-Mar-17 13:34:44

I don't think (early) learners should be on busy roads at rush hour, but other than that they have to learn don't they and they can't do that by driving round a quiet housing estate forever. At the end of the day they're only going to delay your journey for a few minutes really. And always best to give them plenty of space!

sameoldscene Thu 09-Mar-17 13:36:59

They need to have drivers ed here- like in the US.
Part of the curriculum.
Then we wouldn't have this overinflated mess for learners trying to get their license.
They'd do hours and hours of classrooom & then be allowed out.
Most families can't afford driving lessons- they are ridiculous prices.
You can't blame people for doing it like this.
If done in school, it could be subsidised for lower income.
Won't happen though , as the whole learning to drive crap
in this country is a massive money spinner for the government!

Lewwat Thu 09-Mar-17 13:38:17

Crikey OP

Apparently, according to this thread at least, the rules of the road don't include learners. You should obviously have anticipated her cutting you up without even a hint of indication!

I completely agree though. I only learnt 5 years ago and started on a quiet housing estate. YANBU

Wando1986 Thu 09-Mar-17 13:39:47

Runny I think you need to understand a little more how learners learn. They don't have to have a 'qualified instructor'. It can be their 97yr old nan if they wanted.

Get a grip. If anything happened in that situation then you were the bad driver. They are a learner, you should've given them a very wide berth.

Oblomov17 Thu 09-Mar-17 13:50:59

I agree with Op, learners shouldn't be on busy roads at rush hour. They must take time, at less busy times, to get used to roads, and then build up to cope with rush hour.

IamFriedSpam Thu 09-Mar-17 13:56:38

This is why it's better when people learn with proper instructors at first who will take you to a quiet area until they're familiar with the basics of getting the car to go etc. Also if you're in the wrong lane then you just have to go the wrong way and turn around - an instructor wouldn't have let her cut across you.

Obviously legally you could get a provisional licence and drive with your 21 year old cousin (who hasn't had been at uni for 3 years and not done much driving since passing his test) on a dual carriage way having never been behind the whee before but it would be a reckless thing to do.

I think driving at 20 in a 30 is just about on the limit of what you might expect from a learner whose nervous to be out on a busy road for the first time but the rest is dangerous and shows she wasn't ready to be driving in that environment.

brasty Thu 09-Mar-17 13:59:25

I was taken out on busy roads very early on by my properly qualified instructor. He only took me to quiet places to practice manouevres.

MrsTrentReznor Thu 09-Mar-17 13:59:33

I agree.
I encountered a new learner a few weeks ago on a roundabout where a major A road meets the M25.
At 6.25am.
There's 4 lanes of traffic joining this roundabout, I first encountered it once I'd been driving for years and it's an intimidating bit of road.
It was irresponsible of the instructor, the morning commute is unforgiving at the best of times. The learner was flustered and looked absolutely terrified!

TeenAndTween Thu 09-Mar-17 13:59:54

DH is teaching DD (in a dual control car!) He regularly reports back about other drivers doing idiot things. We think people see the L plates and think 'better get in front of this car' and then don't act appropriately.

Oblomov17 Thu 09-Mar-17 14:03:37

Loads of instructors take learners down our school road at school run time, 8.45am and 3pm.
Makes me really cross. It's hard enough to squeeze past vans etc, whilst allowing some other cars to squeeze into parking spaces. It's hard enough for very experienced drivers. Why do instructors take very inexperienced drivers there?

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