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While some driving instructors are already filming driving lessons, there have been recent calls for this to become the legal standard. Cameras in cars would encourage responsible and safe behaviour from both parties, and provide evidence if disputes arise between learners and instructors.
Why would people want to film driving lessons?
The topic of filming driving lessons has become a campaign recently due to the exposure of statistics regarding frequent reports of inappropriate behaviour in driving lessons. The DVSA (which is a separate agency from the DVLA) received 246 complaints regarding indecency and harassment between April 2018 and March 2019. This is a drastic rise from the 150 complaints the previous year, which itself rose from 109 the year before, and 75 in the year before that. The DVSA is currently investigating 135 separate cases. The agency took action against 42 driving instructors in the last year, removing 10 from the register and issuing warnings to 23.
Would filming driving lessons protect drivers and instructors?
The instructors who do not abuse their position should welcome the possibility of cameras filming their driving lessons, because it would protect both the student and the instructor. Not only in such cases of inappropriate behaviour and assault allegations from either party, but also in cases of disputes regarding driving mistakes or accidents. The footage would be able to prove what actually happened and confirm whether any fault took place or not. Knowing that there will be video evidence should make everyone more comfortable and encourages appropriate behaviour. In the event that inappropriate behaviour did occur, the footage would help the victims with convicting them of it.
How would filming driving lessons work?
An in-car camera with a clear view of the driver and the person in the passenger seat would ensure a reliable record of what occurs in every driving lesson. If complaints do arise, either concerning behaviour or the actual driving, then the footage recorded with the camera can be used to investigate. This would ensure fair investigations and should speed up the process as well. Some driving schools already implement cameras into their cars and record their driving lessons as a security measure. Often, regular drivers also have cameras in their cars in case of accidents. Rather than being worried about invasion of privacy or seeing this as an over-reaction, people should see it as a reassurance.