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So on my commute into work this morning on my bike, I pulled up behind the car in front of me at some lights that were on red. I was in the left hand lane of the two lane carriageway when a driving instructor pulled up alongside me in the right hand lane. He was driving by the way, there was no student in the car. As he came to a halt I saw that he had his mobile phone in his hand. I shouted across to him that he shouldn't be using his phone at the wheel, at which point he rolled his window down claiming that he was only using it for navigation. I replied to him that of all people, a driving instructor should really know better than to use a handheld phone at the wheel. At this point the lights went green and we all continued on our way.

 

It makes me wonder what hope we have when a person teaching the next generation of drivers is themselves happy to put others at risk by not focussing fully on the road ahead.

 

So now I have a moral dilemma. Ordinarily I would be uploading my helmet cam footage to the OpSnap website for the South Wales Police to deal with (or NOT deal with!) accordingly. However in this case if it WAS taken further, and he was prosecuted, not only would he get the fine and the points, but the guy could end up losing his instructor accreditation meaning he could be out of a job. Is that too harsh a punishment, or would he deserve all he got?

15 comments

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the little onion [258 posts] 1 week ago
12 likes

He deserves what he gets. In fact, as someone teachign drivers, he should be held to a higher degree of accountability. 

 

Report him.

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ktache [1989 posts] 1 week ago
10 likes

Sat Navs should be mounted.

Let the police decide.

If thes driver cannot be bothered to follow the rules, is he really going to be teaching their students with any honesty.

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climber [86 posts] 1 week ago
9 likes

No dilema in my opinion. Agree with little onion, should be held to a higher level of accountability given his role.

Report it and give 'em the footage.

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Awavey [618 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

I'd agree let the police decide, the only fly in the ointment is remember a few weeks back that guy successfully argued the mobile phone use in a car law only applies to the phone function, because somehow theres enough wiggle room in the way it was written down,even if the intent for that law was very different, so they might not pursue it anyway

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ShaunC [4 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

I wouldn't report him. For me, I don't want to live in a society where all wrongs recorded on helmet cams are reported.
Sure he was in the wrong but ultimately, no harm was done. Whereas as you say, if he loses his job, it has far more damaging consequences.

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quiff [159 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
Awavey wrote:

I'd agree let the police decide, the only fly in the ointment is remember a few weeks back that guy successfully argued the mobile phone use in a car law only applies to the phone function, because somehow theres enough wiggle room in the way it was written down,even if the intent for that law was very different, so they might not pursue it anyway

I think this one's clearer - if he admitted he was using it to navigate, chances are he was using internet connection, which means he is using it for an "interactive communication function" (or somesuch term, as defined by the law). The other guy escaped because he was just using the camera function. But agreed, police may decide there is insufficient evidence unless you can clearly see e.g. Google maps on screen while it's in his hand.  

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ktache [1989 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

ShaunC, distracted driving kills and seriously injures many people, especially those vulnerable ones not protected by by huge metal boxes.

Using a phone hands free is as bad as driving at or slightly beyond the drink drive limit, staring at a screen well away from the big front window is incredibly dangerous, what with the change in focus of the eyes and the amount of concentration required.  I have yet to know about any research done, getting a grant may be rather difficult seeing how obvious it would seem, but when you are driving you are meant to be driving, nothing else.  And this bloke is meant to be teaching a new generation of drivers.

If anyone should know the law and it's implications...

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hirsute [1042 posts] 1 week ago
4 likes
ShaunC wrote:

I wouldn't report him. For me, I don't want to live in a society where all wrongs recorded on helmet cams are reported.

Nor do I which I why I am selective about what I report. However, as driving instructor with a higher level qualification to drive, he should not be doing this and if that is his attitude, what does he teach his pupils ?

eg https://road.cc/content/news/263128-near-miss-day-286-driving-instructor...

Quote:

but ultimately, no harm was done.

You mean in the instant that the instructor was observed and 100m, 1000m further on?

Sorry, but judging by the outcome is irrelevant to negligent/reckless actions.

 

 

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vonhelmet [1404 posts] 1 week ago
7 likes

Report him. Fuck him. Fuck all the bad drivers.

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zero_trooper [354 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

I would report, if only because of his bullshit excuse. You were obvs bothered enough to initially challenge him, so why not see it through? ‘For navigation’ would mean his phone fixed/cradled to the dashboard hands free style. 

He’s not going to lose his job over this, it doesn’t work like that.

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mattsccm [425 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

Too harsh?!!!!!

it is crap like that which has created our pathetic society today. He should lose his licence for life. Should be aware of consequence before committing a crime. Life ban with at leat  zeros on the fine.

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Tjuice [269 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
ShaunC wrote:

I wouldn't report him. For me, I don't want to live in a society where all wrongs recorded on helmet cams are reported. Sure he was in the wrong but ultimately, no harm was done. Whereas as you say, if he loses his job, it has far more damaging consequences.

 

Hmm.  This is a difficult one.  I agree to a reasonable extent with ShaunC here.  He made a mistake.  I agree a serious one, but is the best outcome for him to lose his livelihood, and potentially for him then to be driving around seething with hate for those "evangelical, helmet cam toting, vigilante cyclists"  (not putting specific words in anyone's mouth - just a collection of things we keep hearing/reading about)?

I think if it were me, I would try to give this individual the opportunity to learn, and to make amends.  I think I would write to him, explaining the situation, explaining that you have helmet cam footage and under normal circumstances would report this to the police, but that you are conscious that this could put his livelihood at risk, which you would rather not do.  Perhaps explain that you would rather he take this experience and truly reinforce with his future students the importance of NOT using (any) handheld devices while driving.

If he writes back to you acknowledging, apologising, and promising to hold himself to a greater standard in the future, then that may well be a much better outcome (and potentially have a greater halo effect) than a prosecution.

Of course, if you get nothing back, or even worse, some kind of nasty tirade, then throw him to the lions at that point! 

But in general, I feel that humans will make mistakes (and as a general principle, mistakes are an important part of learning), so if there is a way of encouraging positive learning from this, rather than punishing, surely that's a good thing...?

 

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hirsute [1042 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes
Tjuice wrote:

I agree a serious one, but is the best outcome for him to lose his livelihood,

We don't know what would happen if reported, maybe he'll just get an awareness course or no further action.

One tricky aspect of waiting to hear from him is the Police requirement for footage. In Essex, you only have 48 hours, so you have to make a quick decision over what you will do.

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dobbo996 [31 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

Shop him. He shouldn't have been using his phone. He knows this well enough. There's far too many people like him out there and very little enforcement, which is why they continue to do it.

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OldRidgeback [3206 posts] 6 days ago
1 like

Report him. As a driving instructor he should be aware of the law and should know he was breaking it. Driving instructors are supposed to have a high standard of ability and this person clearly seems to think breaking the rules is fine. In that instance, it'd be better for all if the person stopped being a driving instructor.