When you consider how much damage can be done with one of those lethal weapons we like to call our cars, it’s a wonder that parents haven’t been banned from teaching their own children to drive.
For all those who claim they never needed a single hour of professional tuition, there’s a dad who can still point to a deep furrow in his brow, caused by the time he took his learner child out on the road.
My own dad gave me a lesson once. The fact that his vehicle wasn’t fitted with dual controls didn’t stop him from stamping at an imaginary brake pedal every time I lurched nearer to a ditch.
Now, I love my dad. But it was a horrible experience for me and for him. We didn’t try it again and I was passed back to my instructor quicker than you can say ready, steady go.
And that’s right. How can it not be?
Driving lessons are expensive – the AA’s are around £24 a hour – but proper tuition should be a legal requirement.
Parents don’t have the training, equipment or professional detachment needed for the job.
You yell at your own children. It’s allowed. But being yelled at while you’re trying to steer a beast with a two-litre engine down a winding street isn’t actually that helpful.
Sadly, things do go wrong. That point was made all too clear last week when one mum died after she was struck by her learner daughter’s car.
Others are lucky to get away with just bumps, scrapes or near-misses.
Isn’t now the time to accept that driving lessons have to be paid for? It might be an expensive rite of passage, but isn’t that the way it should be?
Just think of what you’re handed along with your pass slip.
Freedom – and a massive responsibility to keep yourself and everyone around you safe.
If it was up to me we’d be required to sit driving tests every five years. You’d get considerably more than three points for a speeding offence. And lifetime bans would be dished out to drink-drivers.
Isn’t professional tuition a fair price to pay for the out-and-out privilege of being able to get behind the wheel?