Earlier this month, driving lessons in England got the green light to resume, after being temporarily halted by the coronavirus pandemic. Of course, this is good news for both driving instructors and pupils alike! But stop – whether you learn to drive in York, or anywhere else across Yorkshire for that matter, there are a number of things to consider. You may be back in the driving seat, but things are a little different. Read on to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable learning experience.
- Have you spoken to your instructor?
At least 24 hours prior to your lesson, your instructor may contact you to confirm that they’re well and healthy enough to conduct your lesson. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health and contact with other people too – notably that you’ve not displayed the symptoms of COVID-19 within the last 7 days, or been in contact with someone who has symptoms within the last 14 days. It’s important you are honest with your answers, as to not pose a risk to anyone involved – and avoid the risk of your lesson being cancelled.
- Have you used electronic payment?
Like most other industries during this time, cashless payments are the preferred option when it comes to paying for your driving lessons. For example, Bill Plant Driving School offer a pre-pay option over the phone or online for new students, with subsequent lessons then being arranged directly between the pupil and instructor. Cash payments are still being accepted, so don’t worry – but remember to sanitise your hands after handling and transferring notes.
- Are you wearing suitable clothing?
While this may seem obvious, wearing suitable clothing is of even more importance now. By suitable, we mean comfortable loose-fitting items, and flat-soled shoes suitable for driving in. Clothing that covers as much of your arms and legs is also advised.
- Do you have the relevant PPE?
Facemasks are highly advisable for both instructors and pupils – although a visor (or a mask with a vent) may be worn for wearers of glasses, to ensure eyewear doesn’t steam up. Your mask must cover your mouth and nose, and you can find all the relevant information online. Disposable gloves are not compulsory, but are recommended and your instructor may wear them. It’s important you dispose of any PPE after your lesson in the most hygienic way, again adhering to guidelines.
- Have you washed your hands?
Immediately prior to leaving home for your lesson, it’s important you have washed your hands, following the government recommendation of 20 seconds. Hand sanitiser and/or antibacterial wipes will be available throughout your lesson, and your instructor will have a black bin liner to dispose of them. It’s vitally important that you don’t wash your hands and then touch anything unnecessary, for example your face or phone. If you’re feeling conscious, sanitise your hands prior to setting foot into the vehicle – but your instructor will have wiped down all key areas before your lesson.
- Are you prepared for a safe learning environment?
First of all, there will be no handshakes involved, and a suitable distance will be kept between you and your instructor, and any members of family. There’s a good chance your lesson may go on longer than usual or expected, particularly if your instructor needs to demonstrate a manoeuvre, as all areas will need to be sanitised before and after swapping seats. It’s also important to know that while lessons take place, ventilation will be provided by having the windows partially down. If air conditioning units are required, they will not be set to the re-circulatory option.
- Are you ready to drive?
It’s important that you’ve followed all the steps listed above and are ready to embark on your driving lessons – no distractions. Family members and partners will not be allowed to join you on your drive, but your instructor will be able to greet them prior to your lesson starting. Ensure you’ve only got what you need for your lesson. Jackets or coats, if not worn, should remain at home. If you’ve got a handbook, it may need to be similarly stored. If your instructor makes notes during your lesson, it’s likely that these will be sent to you electronically. Avoid bringing unnecessary personal items, such as food and drink or your mobile phone.
Now you should be ready to go – remember to stay alert and safe, adhering to the guidelines at all times. Good luck and remember the rules of the road!