December 18, 2015

It’s one of those archetypal scenes that plays out again and again in pubs and clubs up and down the land. You’ve had a beer or two. You know that’s going to dull your driving reflexes. But you’re almost half a mile’s walk from home and those unacknowledged ‘When r u coming home?’ texts are starting to pile up. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there.

At first glance it looks like a truly intractable dilemma. But only briefly. Give it a second or two, and even your booze-addled brain will soon realise there’s probably half a dozen completely sober learner drivers in the place. One of them will happily run you home in return for some free driving tips.

Happens all the time, according to important new research from Co-operative Insurance. It happens most, the Co-op claim, in Norn Irn where 30% of people quizzed by their researchers said they’d driven drunkards home on a provisional licence. Even in anti-social old East Anglia 10% of ‘respondents’ said they’d done it.

So that’s just fine and dandy. Nothing much to see here, news-story wise, you’d probably think. Just everyday Britishers helping one another out in their hour of inebriation. Well, think again: taking responsibility for the supervision of a learner driver whilst bladdered, is very very wrong.

Old Derek who taught Bankstone News to drive was always pissed. Said he needed it to calm his nerves. “Slow down Sterling,” he’d admonish slurrily, throwing in the occasional “Gently Bentley” when he wasn’t dozing off on the long straight bits.

That, alas, was then, Dear Readers. Then being back in the day. Nowadays it’s all Health and Safety gone mad, isn’t it. Being tanked up on a regular basis is enough to get you drummed out of even BSM. Hence why Co-op Insurance have got their collective corporate knickers all of a twist over what they fear will be a plague of learner drivers acting as ‘designated drivers’ over the Christmas ‘period’.

Going all bleeding hearted over poor unfortunate learner drivers, who, they hint, have probably been unfairly pressured into driving some p*ssed old f*rt around, Co-op Ins claim 28% of learner drivers feel “anxious” because they do not believe their passengers are fit to help them out, with 21% feeling not just anxious, but full-on “worried”.

Apparently there’s some law now says you have to be sober to supervise on exactly the same basis you’d have to be sober to drive. So if you get pulled over this Christmas Eve and the rozzers find you’ve bullied some pasty faced provisional into ferrying your royally soused good self about, you’ll get a ticket just the same as if you’d been doing the driving yourself.

Plus also: the unfortunately put-upon learner could also get fined and lose their licence before they’ve even taken the test.

Like we said, health and safety gone absolutely stark raving mad.

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