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Barely Legal Drivers

Barely Legal Drivers

Barely Legal Drivers

With a second series under its belt the BBC show Barely Legal Drivers seems to have peaked enough interest in people to cause some controversy. The show, which airs on BBC Three follows the trials of young motorists learning to drive.

Each show is an hour long and features two youngsters who are unwittingly recorded undertaking three journeys whilst accompanied by a friend or partner.

The show has a similar twist to another BBC Three programme in that the parents are secretly watching the every move of their child as they take to the roads. With young drivers more likely to be in accidents than any other age group this show clearly sensationalises the slack driving skills of most youngsters.

While the show might be pegged for light entertainment or a timely reminder over driver safety it does seem to show learner drivers in a particularly bad light. The learners in this show – whether they are aware of being filmed and watched – are generally intensifying their driving in one way or another.

There are plenty of screams, laughs, gasps and near misses.

This not only paints the youngsters in a bad light but it is likely to result in all learner drivers being viewed as young, irresponsible and rash.

This is simply not true, the old adage stands when it comes to learners on the road in that “everyone is a learner driver at some point” and while some are worse drivers than others as they learn it doesn’t mean that they aren’t trying their hardest.

Honest mistakes can be made as a learner driver and it’s unfair to tar learners with the same brush as the youngsters on this show. While these youngsters are judged and can win money for the shenanigans, there are plenty of honest learners who work hard to be responsible and pass their test.

Another reason the show has landed in hot water is because of the perception that the dangerous driving on the show is being rewarded; this leads some viewers to think this is acceptable and perfectly harmless when it is actually the opposite.

The police have since been involved to investigate some of the driving which has taken place on the show and sought to point out that they take such matters very seriously for anyone who thinks the behaviour is acceptable.

The real truth is that no learner-driver programme would be a better option, as previous shows have already demonstrated that the worst driving gets the most attention and causes unwarranted stereotyping of all learners.

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