“Driving instructors are one of the unseen engines of the country. They train future generations of drivers and I hope they can resume their important work safely as soon as possible.”
Yes, we had good news yesterday, and we welcome it for all the ADIs who are so desperate to return to work.
However, we must be vigilant and would encourage you to be cautious. It is essential firstly that people do their own personal risk assessment and decide when it’s safe for them to return, and not to return on 4 July if they are vulnerable and at risk, or if they have family members who are. Each individual needs to take responsibility for their own safety and how they may affect those around them.
And when we do return to work we must be absolutely scrupulous in carrying out our cleaning and hygiene regimes. Pupils must be contacted in advance of every lesson to make sure they have no symptoms, lessons should not go ahead if there is any doubt. We have yet to hear from DVSA on any updated news since May on PPE and precautions we will have to use, or be advised to use, but we will let you know as soon as we hear. We have obviously made you aware of what has been discussed previously and what is available as far as we are able to.
We as business owners need to take responsibility and put the measures in place that reduce risk to an acceptable level and make our lessons Covid secure.
If there should be any cases of infection we run the risk of being closed down again so it is imperative that people proceed with caution. We certainly don’t want to be the subject of headline news that our industry has created a spike.
There is a lot of information for helping you return to work in our toolbox on the front page of our website – www.adinjc.org, which you are welcome to use and adapt for yourself.
And of course our colleagues in Wales and Scotland are still waiting for any indication of when they may return to work, we hope they get news soon.
We will continue to meet and liaise with DVSA and ask for more information on PPE and safety procedures.
You can register now for Monday’s webinar here.
If you would like to view the Scottish webinar that took place today you can do so here.
Thanks to Digby Eade for sending us the letter he wrote to the Welsh First Minister:
Dear First Minister,
Following the announcement from the Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, yesterday releasing Approved Driving Instructors (ADI’s) back to work on the 4th July 2020 and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) later refining that statement to being ADI’s in England only that can return to work, could you please advise when you propose to release ADI’s in Wales? Our circumstances in cars are going to be no different to those for our English colleagues and whilst I recognise the step-by-step process that is important to follow can our release be accelerated to match the date given to English based ADI’s?
Obviously, the pandemic risks have not gone away, it never will, but myself personally am taking mitigating steps such as-
1. If I or a student are displaying signs of CoVid-19 infection then the lesson will not proceed,
2. Only the student will be allowed in the car, no other accompanying persons – when presented for test this means the Examiner and the Candidate,
3. On arrival to the car by the student, they will be assessed by a non-contact infrared thermometer and, if they show signs of elevated temperatures, again, the lesson will not proceed,
4. The car will be disinfected with antibacterial wipes and spray on all contact (and many non-contact) surfaces before and after each lesson,
5. Antibacterial hand gel will be used by both instructor and student before the start of the lesson and will be available during the course of the lesson if required,
6. The instructor will be wearing a face mask for the duration of the lesson and a disposable face mask will be available for the student to wear if they do not supply their own,
7. During the course of the lesson, the windows will be kept open to enable any risk of the virus to be sucked out of the car,
8. Gloves will not be used due to the increased risk of loss of control at potentially a safety-critical moment,
9. With the exception of where it is safety-critical (e.g. checking blind spots), the student and instructor will maintain a face-forward stand withing the vehicle.
With these mitigating steps, I do not see how we can make the car any safer or how I can uphold my responsibilities of safety to myself and my customers. Obviously, if you have any additional suggestions I would look forward to hearing those ideas but, with those steps in place, is there any justified reason why you could not release us back to work inline with our English colleagues?
Diolch yn fawr / Thank you for your time with this matter.
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The NJC continues to be dedicated to help you in these challenging times and we hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy. Please feel free to contact us for help and support.
ADINJC’s helpline is 0800 8202 444
The Secretary’s number is 07855 453414
HMRC Helpline: 0800 0159 559
Citizens Advice Bureau – https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/health/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you/
The ADINJC is a national association run by ADIs on a not-for-profit basis. We work tirelessly to inform, represent and support our members, and to promote the interests of our profession.