Driving instructors seeking measured return to work

East Antrim driving instructors are a calling for a phased return to work.

Larne test centre (image Google).

Proposals by John Penrose, chair of East Antrim Approved Driving Instructors, have been submitted to Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon by Roy Beggs MLA, who is a member of the Infrastructure Committee.

John explained: “The proposals are based on instructor/student being immune or having been tested prior to training. The average age of students is 21 years old, very low risk group. The initial return to training should be restricted to an age group and based on medical conditions to avoid high risk candidates. Most instructors/examiners would normally work a 30-hour week, this involves various clients working within a one-metre space. Instructors will conduct a course of lessons with full day training of the same client with immunity or who has taken a test proving not infectious. It’s acceptable for all day training with breaks to achieve the standard to pass a driving test over the required days - average seven days or 30hrs if condensed; 45hrs is common when lessons are spread over six months. Theory testing, Highway Code and training can be achieved online. Or reverting to examiner Q&A at the end of test as a temporary solution.

“Proof that tests had been taken and immunity confirmed or not infectious should allow that instructor or examiner to conduct training and testing. The safety of my colleagues and our families is the priority, however, we should try and move forward cautiously towards a return to a service which is required to ensure safe driving is taking place on our roads.”

Mr Beggs confirmed he has written to the Infrastructure Minister to outline the “phased proposal for examiners and instructors to return to work”.

A five-stage plan for moving out of lockdown was issued by the Executive on Tuesday.


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