South Meath Driving School

Making Irish Roads Safer

We use a 1.4 litre Toyota Yaris.

    Dual control means the tutor has a clutch and brake pedal on the passenger side for demonstration or emergency purposes.
    This car is very easy to drive and allows good vision in all directions.
    Diesel engine and manual gears.
    Seats are adjustable to suit small or tall people. Wing mirrors electronically adjustable
    Perfect for learning to drive.

Posted by Louis on May 28, 2012

Pressure Coming on Unaccompanied Learner Drivers

By law, a learner driver must be accompanied by a fully qualified driver of at least two years standing and must also display an ‘L’ plate front and rear.

In a recent Garda survey throughout the country, it was discovered that compliance was not far short of 50%. Some 2,200 drivers were checked and 946 (43%) were unaccompanied by a full licence holder and 660 (c. 30%) did not display ‘L’ plates. Many offended in both categories. With summer upon us, the Gardai have made it known that there will be higher vigilance in the areas of speeding, drink and drug driving, non use of seat belts and the chestnut cracker of a mobile phone to the ear.

Yet, the law is not heavy-handed with young people and most will suffer a Caution if certain conditions apply.

Every young person setting out on  their driving mission should be taken to a morgue and made view the body of a crash victim – young, innocent, loving, invincible, with his family members standing there, numb.

Then, they should have on their driving syllabus the contents of a family impact statement like that of Margaret Sheehan which was read out at Cork Circuit Court recently. The judge said that it should be compulsory reading for all drivers. It read, in part –

‘There are places and moments in time that we all for one reason or another will never forget. Standing in the morgue in Cork City that morning the situation became a reality. The words and whispers that had been following us around for the previous few hours were now real. Our beautiful son  … was gone from us. Lying still, cold and lifeless in front of us, covered in a single white sheet – he lay silent in a world completely at odds with that in which his family stood.’

And there’s much more words of free-flowing expression from that mother’s grieving heart.

Nobody wants to be reminded, especially those who live the loss, and they are many. I am not saying that young drivers are responsible for all the worst situations out there. No, but we can’t get away from the cold fact that the record shows, that of all fatal crashes in any recent year, up to one third involved a driver between 17 and 25 years.

Learning to drive comes easy to most young people. With tuition, almost all become competent. As I emphasise to those who have progressed in the short few months, it then takes a few years to acquire the wisdom of the road. Apprenticeship is defined as a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a structured competency-based set of skills. Whether it be a bricklayer, a thatcher or a solicitor, each must go through the learning process for which there is no quick fix. Hence, a period of apprenticeship.

It’s the same for the learner driver who must be patient and, as a sage from Cavan once advised, ‘Progress slowly.’ Noel Brett and Traffic Commissioner O’Mahoney continually harp on that those recently invoked laws are there to provide a high standard of training for the novice and to protect them from the lurking harm that’s out there. Other drivers are immediately made aware, by means of the display of an ‘L’ plate, that such driver is in the learning process and may need extra space and a little protection from the hum and hassle that is a busy thoroughfare. Yes, there are those who may show little respect for a Learner Driver, perhaps that’s part of learning the trade: the world and her mother can’t go half fast enough for certain people.

Parents should advise their child of the intricacies of car insurance. Read the terms over carefully and, maybe, consult your broker. For, it should be noted that where a learner driver who is not complying with the terms of such licence and is involved in an accident, that driver is covered for third party liability, but their insurance provider may not cover any other costs and may seek to recover costs relative to the non compliance.

Overall, road deaths are down on last year which is great news. April, though, saw an increase of ten deaths on 2011. If you are a young driver, don’t invite your mother to compile a victim impact statement. It will kill her.

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