Gosport driving instructor backs campaign against learner driver abuse

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Life Skills driving school instructor Simon Stevenson joined thousands of others in signing a petition.

The campaign was launched by learner driver insurers Jam – collecting 9,400 signatures.

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Simon Stevenson, driving instructor at Gosport, calls for an end to the abuse of learner drivers.

Mr Stevenson explained his commitment: “Without a doubt in my mind, the quality of driving has gone downhill over the past few years with patience, courtesy and just being a decent person on the road.

“We get overtaken in blind corners with two solid white lines. We get pushed around.

“Every day, we are beeped for hesitation, not to move away from the lights within two tenths of a second of going green, not to enter the slightest gap when joining a roundabout.

“It’s on top of the hand gestures or verbal abuse as they run past us screaming as we go 30mph in a 30mph zone.”

Marmalade’s research found that this type of abuse is rampant: 99% of driving instructors have witnessed such incidents.

Additionally, 59% of driving instructors have seen an increase in faults since the start of the pandemic, while 72% find that its victims are more error-prone.

Mr Stevenson said he even asked a pupil to stop driving altogether, such was the damage done to his confidence.

Events like this stimulated him.

“I’ve now started recording a weekly portfolio of worst cases from each week of video footage just to show the extent of the problem,” he said.

The instructor is far from the only one wanting to remedy the problem.

Paul Baxter, Managing Director of Marmalade, said: “Our research revealed that 54% of all respondents would support immediate fines for abuse, with 50% suggesting anger management classes and 35% supporting three penalty points. .”

Baxter’s hope is that most drivers will see the meaning of these measures and react accordingly.

“Everyone who drives has been a learner before, so they should be able to understand the struggles of learner drivers and feel compelled to help by signing this petition,” he added.

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