The Government has announced that changes will soon be introduced to the driving theory test for immigrant drivers. Within a few months, immigrants will no longer be allowed to take their UK driving test in their native language or with the help of a translator.
These changes are being implemented after an investigation by the Driving Standards Agency revealed that almost 800 immigrants have had their licenses revoked in the last 2 years and 9 translators have been struck off the approved list after evidence was uncovered of translators helping with the answers. Immigrants will – from as early as autumn – only be able to take the test in English or Welsh.
In 2010, more than 90 000 driving theory tests were conducted in 19 foreign languages, including some 1 500 for bus driver’s licenses. Sources have revealed that each investigation costs an average of £10 000 – and warned that many more cases of fraud are expected to be uncovered.
“It cannot be right to be handing British driving licences to people who are unable to read warning signs flashed up on motorway gantries,” said Transport minister Mike Penning, adding that he was confident there was just cause for the ban, and that most other EU countries did not allow learner drivers to take their driving test in a foreign language.
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