Learner drivers stopped in their tracks

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Driving lessons and tests across England, Wales and Scotland continue to remain suspended because of the lockdown, leaving many learners and instructors uncertain when they will return to the wheel.

Learners are concerned that they may even have to retake theory tests because their certificates may expire.

The current restrictions state instructor-led lessons cannot take place.

Learners can only practice with a member of their household or support bubble providing it is for essential travel such as going to work. Making a journey just for driving practice is not permitted.

Learner driver Cerys Gardner is concerned that the two year expiry for theory tests hasn’t been extended despite the fact practical tests haven’t been able to go ahead for large parts of last year.

Cerys took her theory test almost two years ago and her test certificate runs out in April. Due to lockdown, she has not been able to pass her driving test and likely thinks she won’t pass before her certificate expires. That means she will have to retake her theory test despite already passing.

In an interview Cerys said:

”The laws of the road haven’t changed drastically since I did the test in 2019.

”There are loads of people my Dad’s age who didn’t even do a theory test, and are on the road so should every adult do a theory test every two years?

”They extended MOT last year for six months, that’s fine, but not extending theory tests, that doesn’t make sense.”

An online petition to extend driving theory tests certificates expiring in 2020/2021 by 12 months has been formed on the parliamentary website which currently has over 56,000 signatures.

The Government’s Department for Transport responded:

The government have said the restrictions are in place to the middle of February, when the government will discuss the easing of lockdown.

There has been speculation that the lockdown will be extended further for at least 3 weeks to the 8th March.

Currently there is no date in place when learners can resume driving lessons and take driving tests.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said it is ”too early” to say whether England’s Covid restrictions will be able to end in the spring.

Another online petition to Exempt driving tests and lessons from COVID-19 restrictions has been formed on the parliamentary website which currently has over 22,000 signatures.

The Government’s Department for Transport responded:

To keep up to date with current government guidance in relation to driving regulations you can visit Driving Lessons and Tests at gov.uk and follow Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency on Twitter @DVSAgovuk

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