‘It’s my living, but no lessons is small price to keep people safe’
NOT giving driving lessons while there is the worry of spreading the coronavirus is a small price to pay to keep everyone safe, driving instructors have said.
Instructors say it makes sense to stop further lessons to protect the island, as all tests, theory and practical, have been suspended until further notice.
Dave Sheppard, who is the owner of Driving, said he felt he was responsible for putting the well-being of others first.
‘I think most driving schools have ceased teaching,’ he said.
‘Guidance suggests that we should social distance from everyone but that’s impossible to do in a car, you’re sat shoulder-to-shoulder, there’s no chance of not spreading it if someone has it and you just don’t know.
‘And although it’s disappointing as so many of my pupils are close to taking their tests, it would be irresponsible if I continued.
‘We could potentially be one of the biggest carriers due to the amount of people we’d come into contact with.’
Mr Sheppard added he had cancelled 21 lessons this week and with more than 25 pupils, this would mean a huge impact on his earnings.
‘I’m self-employed, so for me it’s my only source of income,’ he said.
‘If I continued to have no work for the rest of the year, I wouldn’t be able to survive, I’m using my savings to live.
‘Being self-employed means this cuts into what I would use when I retire as I won’t get a work pension.
‘Though I understand. It’s a small price to pay to keep safe, I’d rather be poor than dead.’
However, Roadcraft and HGV driving school instructor Wayne Stokes said he knew of some driving schools who were still giving lessons.
‘I’ve not been giving lessons for over a week now, that’s over 30 lessons and 30 pupils,’ he said.
‘I know some still are and that’s up to them and although it is a difficult decision income-wise, I think it’s the right thing to do to stop.
‘Perhaps the States could help us, I just don’t want to risk my life or others.’