National: End of the road for foreign language driving tests
- Credit: Getty Images/Wavebreak Media
Change in rules is intended to cut out fraud
Driving tests will now only be allowed to be taken in English and Welsh in a bid to improve safety and clamp down on fraud, Roads Minister Stephen Hammond has announced.
Theory tests have previously been available with voiceovers in 19 foreign languages and candidates could use an interpreter on both the theory and practical driving tests.
But changes which come into effect today were introduced after a consultation showed more than 70% supported the withdrawal of foreign language voiceovers and interpreters.
Transport Minister Stephen Hammond said: “It is essential that all road users have the right skills to use our roads safely and responsibly. By stopping driving tests in foreign languages we will cut out the risk of fraud, and help to ensure that all drivers can read road signs and fully understand the rules of the road.”
The consultation revealed that a majority of respondents agreed that not understanding English (or Welsh) could lead to drivers being unable to read traffic signs, speak with traffic enforcement officers or understand details of the rules of the road.
The decision also reflects concerns about interpreters helping candidates cheat on their theory tests by feeding them the correct answers. Since 2008, more than 1,300 theory test passes have been revoked after investigations into fraudulent interpreters.
- 1 'This is all I've got' - Woman fighting to keep home where mum died
- 2 'From one family business to another' - Cattermole's changes hands
- 3 Teen fractured taxi driver's skull in 'shocking display of violence'
- 4 Woman bit dog owner during dispute over not picking up mess
- 5 Felixstowe man to star on small screen with converted Mini Cooper
- 6 10 Suffolk celebrities and where they went to school
- 7 Teen taken to hospital with serious injuries after Ipswich crash
- 8 46-year-old man who died in Great Bealings crash named
- 9 Five forgotten Ipswich music venues and what they are now
- 10 Cocaine dealers involved in 'Bash' drugs line in Suffolk are jailed
Between February 2008 and December 2009, more than 20% of all theory tests taken with an interpreter were found to be fraudulent, with one interpreter conducting 586 fraudulent tests.