Pupil Guidance – Post COVID-19 Lockdown Driving Lessons
Because of COVID-19 it is likely that the way your lessons are conducted will change when you resume them. Not only will your instructor do things differently but you may also be required to complete additional tasks.
You will receive a telephone call from your instructor to inform you that the driver training industry is allowed to continue driver training. Due to the fact that it has been a long time since you were last on the road, you may be asked to provide a ‘driving licence check code’ so that your instructor can re-evaluate your driving licence. This is a process that should be carried out regularly anyway. The ‘check code’ can be obtained at: https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence
The code lasts for 21 days and can only be used once. For the instructor to look at the code they will need you to supply them the following information:
- Your code
The last 8 characters of your driver number which can be found on your driving licence.
- Your instructor will check the licence details only 24 hours before your next session of training takes place.
You will also be told that you will have to read a number plate at a distance of 20.5m with or without eyesight correction when you meet up again for the first time.
Below is an overview of what might be different and what will be expected of you.
Before the lesson:
Before every lesson your instructor will call you to check if:
- You have any symptoms of coronavirus such as a cough or a high temperature – find out more here: https://nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms-and-what-to-do
- You know, or have been in contact with, anyone that is showing symptoms
- You, or anyone they have been in contact with, have travelled from a high-risk region
It is important that you answer these questions honestly as you do not want to put the instructor or any of their other pupils at risk. This will also avoid the lesson being cancelled halfway through if the instructor decides you are not well enough, which may have financial implications to you.
During the call, your instructor will also request that you wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, in line with government guidance, immediately before leaving the house or place of work.
On the call your instructor will also advise you that:
- There will be no handshakes
- They will be keeping the windows open at all times and to wear appropriate clothing
- The car will be sanitised before you get in
- To wear long sleeves and trousers and not to wear open-toed shoes
- You will need to avoid using cash where possible as this can spread the virus. Use other methods of payment such as a bank transfer, for example, but discuss this with your trainer.
The instructor will only leave to collect you for the lesson once they’re happy with your responses.
Once the instructor arrives at the pick-up point they will again assess whether you are well enough to start the lesson.
- They will not let you get into the car straight away
- From a distance (min 2m) they will have a conversation with you to assess whether you seem yourself or have a cough that they did not notice on the phone call, or look like you may have a high temperature
- They may ask you to place any outerwear such as your jacket/jumper/bag inside a plastic bag in the boot to help reduce the risk of infection
Again if they are not 100% happy with your state of health or demeanour they will not start the lesson and explain that the lesson will have to be postponed until you have recovered.
During the lesson:
The lesson content and structure will remain the same as before. Your instructor will make sure the lesson has client- centred aims and objectives and is appropriate for you. You may find they go back to areas that you have covered before, it may have been a considerable amount of time since your last lesson so they will need to reassess where you are.
Your instructor will also advise you that:
- Any writing should be done by them – don’t share a pen or device where possible. If you do, they will clean with anti-bac wipes straight afterwards
- Training resources should be held up and not passed between the two of you
- You should try to avoid directly facing each other when discussing scenarios
- If they are going to provide a demonstration drive, they will need to wipe down the controls before and after.
- If you are wearing gloves, then change the gloves just before and after the demo drive
- The windows will be open to some degree for ventilation, even in wet weather. In hot temperatures, the air conditioning may not be used
- The trainer will teach pupils about recirculated air, and why using this function is particularly risky at present, if the car has this facility
- Discussions during the lesson may be held outside of the car, which is a little different to what you have been used to
Personal Protective Equipment
The C-19 virus can be spread through contact points and air-borne droplets and so personal protective equipment may be advised.
Gloves – these can be used providing they do not impede the safety and handling of the vehicle. The trainer may possibly supply disposable gloves, but you may have to supply your own.
Face coverings/masks – there is a little concern over wearing face coverings because it can hamper communication and, for those wearing eyesight correction, it can steam them up and impede vision. Plastic shields must not be worn due to injury that could be caused if an airbag was to detonate. For these reasons, the Dept for Health has advised to look ahead when in conversation and not look at each other.
After the lesson:
Once the session is finished dispose of any gloves safely and wash your hands thoroughly for a minimum of 20 seconds. It may be advisable for you to change all of your clothes on return to home and wash them to help protect your household.
Your Practical Driving Test
Your instructor will explain to you the processes that will be in place post lockdown, but it is likely that there will be some changes as to how the driving test will be conducted. It is very likely that your instructor may not be allowed to accompany you on the test and may also not be allowed near the vehicle at the time of the debrief at the end of the test. A strict hand washing regime is likely to be in place at all test centres. The contents of the test in terms of manoeuvres etc has not changed.
So, your instructor will be in touch as soon as all the necessary restrictions are lifted.
Chelsea Driving School has also given Government guidance relating to COVID-19 and health and safety procedures to all of our instructors and will not be held responsible for any spread of infection of any illness.