Driving Lessons and the Driving Test will need to be conducted differently once the #LockDown has been lifted.
It's not possible to conduct driving lessons or a driving test whilst adhering to self-distancing measures. Whats required is some self-discipline to limit the contact and spread of any virus. Driving Lessons are unique as they allow for instructors to work with just one client. This situation can be managed, but like any job there are risks.
Instructors will be required to contact students in advance to determine there general health and wellbeing. Who they have come into contact with between lessons, such as family and friends.
I'm sure many Driving School policies will stay the same, but a degree of flexibility will need to be given to students who cancel at short notice. 48 hours notice would be required for most driving lessons, this gives the instructor plenty of time to manage their diary and find another client for the available time if possible. These policies may need to change to 24 hours giving both parties more time to cancel at short notice without being charged for lessons. It's likely that any student or instructor showing small signs or even a common cold will need to stay away from close contact with others.
Students and instructors will need to prepare for longer periods away from driving so they can fully recover from any virus or illness.
Payment for Lessons
Most driving schools will have some form of card payment system in place but to avoid additional contact credit card payment systems or online payment are essential.
It may seem obvious to some but turning up for a driving lesson clean and presentable is not something everyone considers. Instructors and students may have to consider when and where they start lessons. Having facilities to clean hands before entering the vehicle is essential.
Suitable clothing that limits additional contact of the arms and legs may need to be worn.
For example long sleeves and trousers.
Tuition Vehicles This goes without saying. I've always used bacterial wipes in my vehicle, but this now need to go a step further where the vehicle is cleaned between every clients session. This would included the outside of the vehicle and any items that are used in the training car, along with all contact points.
Masks & Gloves
Whilst I cannot see it being mandatory to wear a mask or gloves this would be a consideration for both students and instructors during the course of the lesson.
Driving Tests The DVSA have a duty of care towards their examiners and I can see changes to the way driving tests are managed. 1. Driving Examiners will ask students if they are experiencing cold or flu type symptoms. The examiners will cancel tests (without refund) if they feel someone is showing signs of #COVID-19
2. Examiners and Students will need to wash their hands before meeting.
3. There will be no hand shake or contact during the test.
4. Anti-Bacterial/Virus wipes will be available for the examiners and everything will be cleaned once leaving the vehicle.
5. Examiners will ask students to place their licence on a flat surface so it can be checked before the driving test commences.
6. Instructors/Students may have to bring their own stylus/pen for signing the declaration and pass certificate, much in the same way you provide a mirror for the driving examiner.
7. Examiners will wear gloves during the driving tests, this will help with trying to avoid making contact with their face.
8. It's likely that only the candidate will sit the driving test. Instructors will not be allowed in the vehicle.
9. Suitable clothing should be worn to avoid additional contact with the arms or legs.
10. A test maybe terminated if a student starts to cough or sneeze. Whilst some of these changes may not happen, it's clear that the way we work will change for the future. Driving test times may need to be staggered further as to not allow additional contact in the waiting rooms. Candidates may be asked to wait in the vehicles after cleaning their hands.
A full audit will be needed to decide if the cost of the driving test needs to change in line with the additional times and costs.
It's not possible to avoid all contact and to provide driver training and testing self-distancing measure are not possible, but with certain precautions we can avoid unnecessary contact with others and limit our risks.
Wash your hands regularly. Cough in a tissue and dispose of immediately and avoid contact with your face/eyes.