A DRIVING instructor is at the centre of a road safety debate after dramatic video showed her swerve lanes to avoid crashing into the back of a stationary vehicle.
The clip shows the blue Ford rapidly approach a car waiting to turn right before swerving sharply to the left with a few feet to spare.
Lauren Cope, a driving instructor in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, was filmed in her tuition car on Monday morning.
She has been heavily criticised by the dashcam driver and some viewers but others have admired her driving skills.
And Ms Cope, whose Facebook profile shows her wearing a crash helmet, insists she did what she had to after getting “boxed in”.
The footage, posted by Mark Tempest, begins with him driving in the left hand lane as a Golf pulls into the road and then signals to turn right.
As Mark and the car in front approach the stationary black Golf, Ms Cope’s Ford appears in the frame.
She passes Mark’s car and then sharply swerves in front, narrowly avoiding the stationary Golf. She then sharply pulls back in to the right hand lane and continues to move away from Mark’s vehicle.
Mark said today: “I was travelling 27mph when she went past me and I can prove that from my dashcam gps.
“And she says she only had a split second to react? The Golf was in the outside lane for seven seconds before it stopped to turn which is ample time for him to be seen.
“She seemed to be on her hands free when I pulled alongside her at the lights further down the road.”
Ms Cope hit back: “I wasn’t on my hands free. I was ranting because I had a car behind me and the car that stopped didn’t indicate until the last second.
“I tried to pull in but the guy with the dash cam had a smug look on his face and he boxed me in. I had to react within seconds to stop a crash, if I was in a lesson I would have hit the brakes, but I knew I could do the maneuver.
“I was stuck for options, I was very close to being in a three car sandwhich and I had to do what I could in that situation.
“I wasn’t speeding, I was only going at 32mph. I dropped down into second gear to get control of the car. I love my job, and I’ve worked hard to get where I am, I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardise it.”
A spokesman for SWD Media, who obtained the footage, said: “In my opinion the driving we have witnessed here is reckless. It’s clear had the driver been playing attention she plenty of time to plan ahead and there was no need to take evasive action.
“An approved driving instructor should be seen as setting an example to others on how to conduct yourself professionally behind the wheel.”
RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “This doesn’t seem like the best example for a driving instructor to be setting.
“Making a last second decision to change lanes to avoid a stationary vehicle turning right is a risky manoeuvre and one which any learner would not be told to make.
“Perhaps this instructor needs to heed the advice she no doubt gives to her students on a daily basis about braking in a straight line rather than suddenly changing course because that’s a recipe for disaster.”
The clip caused mixed reactions on social media with some admiring Ms Cope’s driving.
Keith Taylor said: “Reading the road ahead….NOT.”
Richard Brett added: “Wants training licence removed.”
Paul Hopwood wrote: “Nice dodge though.”
Leighton Grove commented: “Omg.”
While Robert Gurney said simply: “Skill.”