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Motorists across the UK could soon be getting fined for abusing learner drivers. A new UK Government petition has been launched to penalise drivers who choose to threaten people learning how to drive a car.
New research carried out by car insurance company Marmalade has revealed that four in five learner drivers have experienced abuse and intimidation from other road users.
The figures also showed that the abuse is on the rise with 59 percent of instructors admitting it got worse since the Covid pandemic.
The findings come after Marmalade surveyed over 1,000 learner drivers and more than 400 driving instructors from across the UK.
The most common forms of abuse included tailgating (68 percent), dangerous overtaking (65 percent), beeping (59 percent), and being cut up (44 percent).
Some four percent of road users even went as far as getting out of the car to confront learners.
Additionally, the report found a whopping 99 percent of driving instructors have witnessed abuse directed at their pupils.
Over 60 percent of respondents claimed that most incidents took place at roundabouts and traffic lights.
The experts also revealed that 72 percent of driving instructors claimed that learners who face abuse make more mistakes on the road.
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Marmalade has now launched a petition to punish motorists who abuse learners.
Commenting on the research and the launch of a UK Government petition, CEO of Marmalade, Crispin Moger said: “This issue means a lot to us and is something we feel incredibly passionate about.
“It’s something that impacts the majority of our customer base which means we have a responsibility to help.
“That’s why we’re calling on the Government to help – our research found that 54 percent of all respondents would support on-the-spot fines for abuse, with 50 percent suggesting anger management courses and 35 percent backing three penalty points.”
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Mr Moger continued: “We’re asking the Government to do more to prevent on-road bullying of learners by introducing measures to impose stronger sentences on drivers who drive carelessly or dangerously around learner drivers.
“Everyone who drives has been a learner before, so they should be able to empathise with the struggles of learner drivers and feel compelled to help by signing this petition.”
Chloe Hutchon, a learner driver from Fife said the abuse she received whilst learning knocked her confidence and stopped her from driving for over a year.
Ms Hutchon said: “As a learner driver I’ve had numerous experiences of abuse whilst learning to drive, which really knocked my confidence and left me feeling quite nervous and full of dread.
“The most damaging experience was when I accidentally took the wrong exit off a busy roundabout.
“The driver behind me responded in such an abusive manner it really shook me.
“The driver took the same exit as me and sounded their horn for a good 40 seconds whilst driving extremely close to me and shouting verbal abuse.
“The shame and embarrassment from that incident along with general driving nerves gave me anxiety and can still put me in a bad mindset behind the wheel which can lead to more driving mistakes.
“I think there should be consequences for these actions as it’s unfair for young people to be regularly subjected to this type of bullying. If you were to introduce fines and points, it will make people more aware and can help learners to feel more at ease behind the wheel.”
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