Research has revealed that 17% of learner drivers have acted as ‘designated drivers’ over the festive period and have been relied upon to drive people home after a Christmas night out.
However, people are being urged to rethink their ‘designated driver’ plans and to leave learners drivers out of the selection process. The law states that learner drivers should be ‘supervised’ when they are driving with family or friends. People supervising learner drivers have to adhere to road laws as if they were driving so, for example, you cannot exceed legal drink drive limits.
However, nearly half of the drivers questioned who have been festive learner ‘designated drivers’ didn’t believe that their passengers would have been in any fit state to help them out if they would have become confused or needed to ask a question about their driving. This led to these inexperienced drivers feeling anxious (28%) and worried (21%).
The Government’s website warns learner drivers ‘You can be fined up to £1,000 and get up to 6 penalty points on your provisional licence if you drive without the right supervision.’
Nick Ansley, of the Co-op, who commissioned the study, said: “The law is clear in that learner drivers have to be supervised when they take to the roads.
“Anyone who asks a learner driver to take them home after a festive get together where the other passengers are all under the influence of alcohol are putting these learners in an unfair situation.
“For the cost of a taxi fare, learner drivers are being put at risk of a driving prosecution and their licences being revoked, all before they’ve even taken to ‘L’ plates off the car.
“If you plan to have a drink, order a taxi or walk home, don’t drink and drive and don’t expect learners to take you.”