We got in touch today with one of the driving instructors in Hemel Hempstead called 360 Driver Training. We wanted to know about driving instructors using dash cams and just why weren’t the sound allowed to be used whilst a driving test candidate is taking their driving test?
At first, we thought that this was just a rumor but Piers from 360 Driver Training in Hemel Hempstead confirmed that this was not a rumor but the actual truth! The rules for driving tests are that driving school cars are allowed front and rear facing dash cams but only if they are facing outwards and not facing inwards and the sound has to be turned off.
We find this to be odd but Piers explained to us that he thinks this is because of the data protection act. He couldn’t confirm that this was the real reason or just part of the reason but he said that he’s going to enquire more and speak with the DVSA try to find out more. The DVSA are the governing body and authorise driving tests along with their partner, VOSA.
So we spoke to another driving school, only because we’re so impatient and we couldn’t wait around for Piers to get back to us. Shaun from Superdrive Academy who is one of the local driving instructors in Andover also confirmed that this was the case. He thought that this ruling was obscured because in the unfortunate event where the person taking the driving test becomes verbally abusive to the driving examiner, or even to herself then surely having dash cam footage backed up with voice recordings of the verbal abuse would swing in the favour of the driving instructor or driving examiner. Surely any court in the land would welcome this?
It wasn’t long before Piers got back to us and he couldn’t give us a definite answer as to why the voice recording has to be turned off. He informed us that the DVSA have instructed this option purely for data protection. We asked Piers if this is monitored, does a driving examiner actually check that the voice is off. Piers said not as far as he’s aware but it’s sort of known throughout the industry that we’re not allowed so he and any of his driving instructor colleagues all have the sound muted.
He’s not too sure if this will change, I suppose time will tell?