Supervising a learner driver - how to stay legal

Drivers risk fines, disqualification or even jail because they don’t know the rules on supervising learners, according to an AA survey.

The law states that somebody supervising a learner driver is effectively in control of the car, which is why in one case, a supervisor was jailed after the learner was involved in a crash that killed two people. 

The law states that somebody supervising a learner driver is effectively in control of the car

The survey also suggested that drivers frequently break the law by drinking, sending text messages, or failing to wear their glasses while on practice runs with learners. Some 23% of respondents didn’t know they’d be breaking the law by using a mobile phone while supervising a learner. 

Meanwhile, 13% were unaware of the need to wear glasses if they used them when driving themselves, while 9% didn’t realise that falling asleep in the passenger seat is illegal. A total of 4% of respondents who had supervised learners admitted breaking at least one of these laws. The figure rose to 22% among supervisors aged 21 to 24.

The issue was highlighted by a case in which a person supervising a learner was over the drink-drive limit. When the learner driver had a crash, killing two people, the supervisor was deemed responsible and went to jail.

It's a fact

Anyone supervising a learner driver must be at least 21, and must have held a full licence for at least three years.