'There’s been a real increase in bad habits' - We talk to the man who has seen all driving misdemeanours

Paul Hornby
Paul Hornby
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Paul Hornby spends most of his working day in the passenger seat of his car.

So he has seen every driving faux pas you can imagine.

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And he is alarmed at the standard of driving on the Fylde coast.

Paul, 36, is the owner of Golden Mile Driving School, and has been an instructor for nearly 10 years.

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“There’s been a real increase in bad habits,” he said, “Particularly regarding the use of mobile phones. You see people distracted at traffic lights, and look over to see them scrolling through Facebook.

“There’s a definite trend between young people and going on their phones while driving, though that’s not to say that it is exclusively younger people either.

READ MORE>>> 'There’s been a real increase in bad habits' - We talk to the man who has seen all driving misdemeanours

“People even use their phones going round roundabouts - the behaviour of some drivers is disgraceful.”

The behaviour noticed by Paul also extended to people’s tolerance of other drivers on the roads.

“I recently had a pupil who stalled in front of a taxi. Instead of waiting patiently, the taxi started beeping repeatedly, despite it being clear to see that the driver was a learner.

“Signalling is also an issue,” Paul added: “It’s very dangerous for all drivers, not just learners, when people don’t use their indicators at roundabouts.

“I’ve witnessed drivers not stopping at zebra crossings when pedestrians are crossing, learner drivers being harassed and tailgated by other drivers, as well as a lack of regard for the well-being and safety of cyclists, who often have to swerve when they are not given enough room when being overtaken.

“It’s as if people make their own rules up once they pass their tests.

“There are five of us who are part of the Driving School and we have all noticed a decline in safe driving. It’s mostly down to laziness and it’s just disappointing to see, really. I have to feel for the students who have to accommodate this type of behaviour on the roads. It’s hard to learn to drive in a safe environment in these conditions.”

When asked what the government should do to raise the standard of driving around the country to prevent potential accidents from happening, Paul said: “I feel that it would benefit road users if it was mandatory for every driver to take a short driving ‘refresher’ course every 10 years. This may help drivers to be more aware of their potential bad habits and prevent their standards from slipping.

“I understand that people make mistakes. However, we do need to understand that one small mistake can so easily escalate into something much more serious. For the safety of ourselves and others, it’s important for us all to drive with due care and attention at all times.”