National Associations Strategic Partnership

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By NASP, Jul 16 2020 09:46AM

DVSA has announced that examiners will not conduct driving tests in vehicles that have a screen fitted between the driver and front passenger.

The reasons for this are that screens:

Can restrict the candidates vision of the the road

May prevent a quick exit from the vehicle in an emergency

Prevent an instructor or examiner taking action in the event of an emergency, for example by using the steering wheel

May cause injury in a crash if the air bags or other restraint systems are deployed

Screens between the driver and front passenger in vehicles provide limited benefits in protecting people from coronavirus. Key guidance from Public Health England (PHE) is that frequent handwashing with soap and water (or the use of suitable alcohol gels), coupled with an appropriate vehicle cleaning regime are the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Face coverings must be worn during driving tests, unless an individual is exempt and has notified DVSA of a medical reason for not wearing one.

This directive does not apply to buses and other similar vehicles where screens are routinely fitted as part of normal operations. These vehicles are subject to routine testing to ensure they are safe. For other vehicles including cars, where after-market screens are fitted, an IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval) test certificate will be required to show that the vehicle is safe.

If a vehicle (other than a bus) is presented for a driving test with a screen fitted between the driver and front passenger, examiners should allow a reasonable period time for the candidate or accompanying driver to remove the screen, especially if it is a temporary screen. If the screen cannot be readily removed the test must not go ahead and should be shown as test terminated, vehicle not suitable for test.

By NASP, Jul 14 2020 08:48AM

NASP has today urged trainers to ensure they are taking every precaution possible to mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the training environment.

Worrying pupil feedback that their trainer has not worn a mask or facilitated any ventilation in the vehicle has been received by both the national associations and the DVSA.

NASP joins with DVSA, and wider government, in impressing on trainers the need to ensure a safe and clean training environment and to give pupils and parents the reassurance that every precaution is being taken to mitigate the risk of infection.

Driver trainers and their pupils are particularly at risk given the close and enclosed proximity of in-vehicle training. Face masks are worn by examiners and are mandatory for pupils on test – the same measures should be taken to protect all concerned in the training process too.

In a separate plea NASP is also asking trainers to respect each other at this difficult time, and not engage in bullying and abusive behaviours towards fellow trainers. There has been a noticeable increase in combative and aggressive behaviour on and offline of late, with divisions of opinion occurring over the decision of when to return to training.

NASP reminds the industry it is the individual choice of each trainer as to when they return to the road and that individual choice should be respected if the trainer is carrying out training safely and responsibly in accordance with the NASP guidelines.