A Driving Instructor's Blog

I received an email via the Contact Form a little earlier. It reads:

I’d like to bring to your attention some comments about this photo. I find it shocking so called professionals can make fun of this and suggest it is right or deserving of the driver or learner…

…As a Bill Plant instructor I cannot believe the comments suggesting that it isnt surprising ect…

>>Photograph removed at the request of the parents of the learner involved<<

Take my word for it, in the full-size picture the girl in the passenger seat looks highly traumatised. It is quite likely that they are waiting for an ambulance to arrive. In the absence of further information, you can just see a car on the opposite side of the road, and the school car has obviously hit something head-on – but there’s no way of knowing which way it was heading and whether it spun round. If it was heading away in the picture, it is on the correct side of the road, so who is to say what happened or who was to blame?

As an aside, one of the most popular pages on this blog is the one that shows a BSM car upside down. I monitor search terms used to get here, and you wouldn’t believe what gets people to that particular story. There really are some very, very nasty pieces of work around, and since I doubt that the general public has a major fetish  about other driving schools, it’s not hard to imagine who and what these visitors are.

I agree completely with the reader’s assessment. Any comments implying that this accident is in some way “good” or in any way typifies Bill Plant instructors or the school isn’t fit to be an instructor themselves. Some of them are even happy to give the ADI’s name out on forums, when it is absolutely none of their damned business – I mean, unless you know the ADI personally, the only reason for doing that would be to take a swipe at the Bill Plant School.

I would hope that those involved in this childish gloating remember it the next time they’re rear-ended or are hit by another car, and some prat with a camera takes a photo and plasters it all over the internet.

For myself, I hope that both the pupil and the instructor involved in the above accident are all right, and I hope that the instructor in question gets back to work as soon as possible, and the pupil to learning, because being a Bill Plant franchisee doesn’t make anyone a bad instructor.

A little more information is available now. The accident happened in Leeds, and it is the Topic Of The Moment on Bill Plant’s Facebook page.The Bill Plant (BP) car “crashed into a house” – though we still don’t know why.

The timeline appears to be that the accident happened on Christmas Eve. The instructor was taken to hospital. Bill Plant Ltd was unaware of the incident until 8th January, when they received an abusive call from the householder. The house, pupil, and instructor are all well. Police are investigating. A public apology has been issued. No one knows exactly what happened yet – the BP car didn’t just do a 90 degree turn into a house without some trigger.

As another aside, the only criticism I would have of BP is that they have a Facebook page and allow so many retards to post on it (some of whom are ADIs). BP has a proper website, of course, but many of the people who use Facebook can barely turn on their computers without hurting themselves, so Facebook is how these lab specimens attempt to communicate with each other.

The strata of society that they inhabit can be clearly seen from some of the comments on the BP Facebook page – and I would point out that the absence of genuine facts concerning the accident gives me ample excuse to rate these people as I have, since they are happy to fill in the huge gaps in their knowledge with venom and hatred. That’s a trait that is all too prevalent on Facebook and its ilk.


Jessica-jayne Turbyjess Farnham

Been reading a post of a picture of one of your cars crashing into the wall of a mans home earlier n to hear that you havent even apologised also your company is a disgrace! They say young drivers are to blame theese days for accidents to me it looks like the driving instructors are to blame! Give your head a shake n apologise to the poor man your getting really bad pr at from his post if I owned my own company I no id apologise without him having to phone to ask you to do so utter disgrace

She later adds in response to being pulled up:

Jessica-jayne Turbyjess Farnham

Look I didn’t mean to offend anyone on here, I dont use the internet for that sort of thing

What she must mean is that she is offensive most of the time and wasn’t trying extra hard in this case.

Then there was:

Matthew Johnson

Oh dear…

He got two “likes” for that piece of deep thinking. See what I mean about the level of intelligence on Facebook?

Then this one, from the General Manager of a technology company:

Sarah Ward

What a bunch of cowboys u seem to be totally out of order

I hope she carries out her General Manager affairs using better grammar than that, deals with her staff less confrontationally, and is less prone to jumping to conclusions without having a clue.

Most of the primates on there seem obsessed with the concept of “an apology”. It’s ironic that most Facebook users have never apologised to anyone in their entire lives – and they probably will never do so. That’s the kind of people they are. This one, for example, seems to like the sound of his own keyboard (shame about the grammar, even though he’s allegedly a graduate) and answers himself repeatedly. Still, at least he can spell “apologise” after having repeated it so many times:

Graham Marshall

You wanna go apologise to that dude that had one of your instructors cars hit his house,, proper harsh

Yes we know the stdent n guy are fine. It was the guys irst concern befre saving u embarresment by blanking your r eg out on hs photos. a statement to the press s not the same as a personal apology to an nocent party in all this go do whats right, stop making excuses

i asume the fact the driver is fine will mean a visit from him to apologise. The pupil and his ather have been to apologise

Then there’s this guy who looks about 10. And behaves like it (all baseball cap and walking with arms akimbo):

Scott Craigie

Shocked to read about your car crashing into a friends house, definitely wouldn’t recommend you.

This guy claims to be a managing director (of his own company):

Sir-Ian Mccaffrey

ooh ooh ooh . i have drove one of theeese [referring to the Audis] lol . strait in to a wall . please improve your breaking system

Obviously, not a very professional company with childish comments and poor spelling/grammar like that.

And I wonder if this Tech Guy’s employers know what a dickhead he is, whilst using their name in his tag on Facebook:

Jack Chopra

Is this the replacement for the car you smashed in a house?

And now there’s one from an ADI – sorry, a super-ADI – who reckons it should never have happened with dual controls. I’m trying hard to figure out how dual controls can prevent all accidents, but then I don’t live in the same world some people do.

You can read the rest for yourself.

It’s important to maintain the balance here, and the house owner has contacted me and explained it from his perspective. Here’s his message in full:

I’m the home-owner whose photo that is / was.

It’s genuine. The car crashed into my house and it’s crumpled where it has bounced back off our side wall. My 4 year old daughter and one year old son were in the front room the other side of that wall and got a massive scare as it made a mighty bang having hit it with enough force to write the car off.

The original post I made on their page was a comment about Bill Plant’s terrible Customer Service rather than the accident per se, learner drivers or the instructor. Obviously like most things that go viral it got OTT and hijacked by all sorts of trolls and lunatics as your rightly highlight.

After no contact from the SoM at the scene or for 15 days after the accident, I rang them, ostensibly to get their insurer’s details (which naturally my insurer’s would require).

I was dealt with by a woman who intially wouldnt identify herself, nor give me their insurer’s details (finally got them out of her) and only the first name of her manager and no email or phone number as it was ‘against company policy’.

Having asked them whether it was appropriate for me to be doing all the leg work when ‘they’ had crashed into my house I got a rather useful ‘I didnt crash into your house’ from the woman on the phone. Nice to see someone taking ownership of the issue within the company.

I said ‘bloody’ once such was my frustration, which resulted in her hanging up (though she continued the conversation when I rang back about 90s later) and they’re now are making massive schtick about me being abusive!).

Their company statement is a joke and full of inaccuracies but I simply can’t be bothered anymore.

I’ve made my point.

As you correctly point out, if they understood social media or had a proper web manager, they could have controlled and sorted this themselves.

As I said in my reply to him, my own insurance company would forbid me from becoming directly involved if a claim or police investigation was in progress.

I also pointed out that the matter is really between him and BP, and that BP is reviled in the industry for complex reasons associated almost wholly with their start up deal of “5 for £56”, and it was that which fuelled much of the ridiculous venom that was seen on Facebook and in other places (i.e. that from ADIs, and from pupils of ADIs who had been conditioned accordingly).

I think this is one of those things which shouldn’t really have got into the public domain in the first place and – as is becoming increasingly obvious – involving Facebook in any way with a reputable business is just asking for trouble. If an outsider really must poke their nose in, the only thing they could possibly say is that – assuming all the information is completely accurate – perhaps BP could have handled it better. But any large company would (and often does) have difficulty doing that by virtue of their size – and doubly so if they insist on using Facebook for marketing purposes.

But how BP handled it is none of the business of other ADIs or anyone other than the house owner and BP themselves. They don’t know the circumstances which led to the accident – the universal assumption is that the BP car just drove into a house without any reason, which is utter crap.

This post is attracting a lot of hits. It seems that the concept of who is to blame, or who is liable, is between the parties directly involved is proving a little difficult for some to grasp. It is not the duty of a bunch of venomous BP-haters to deal with it.

Me writing about it objectively is not the same as me judging BP, or anyone else – something that plenty of other ADIs are determined to do solely because they hate BP! These people simply cannot turn off their hatred of BP, persist in poking their noses in and making crass assumptions about something they know little or nothing about, and fail to understand how biased their opinion is as a result.

ADIs are not automatically at fault for everything on the road just because they are franchised with Bill Plant. Please try to understand that!

And comments are turned off on this site because I’m not interested in abuse from these kinds of people. Live with it.

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