Driving test candidates whose first language is not English or Welsh will no longer be able to rely on foreign language support during their test, under new plans unveiled by Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill.

Currently, those who struggle with the two national languages can request pre-recorded voiceovers, available in 19 different foreign languages, for the computer based theory test and can have interpreters accompany them during the practical element. However, this is no longer to be offered following a public consultation on the matter.

“We want to make sure that all drivers have the right skills to use our roads safely and responsibly. One area where we can help ensure this is by requiring all test candidates to take the test in English or Welsh, the national languages,” said Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

“This will help to ensure that all new drivers will be able to understand traffic updates or emergency information when they pass their test. It will also help us to reduce the risk of fraud by stopping interpreters from indicating the correct answers to theory test questions.”

The public consultation occurred due to concerns that newly qualified drivers were not able to understand important traffic information and emergency information, leading to reduced road safety.

The decision, which received 70 per cent support in a poll of 2,000 people, will also help reduce the risk of fraud, claims the Department for Transport.

Do you think the removal of driving test foreign language support is a good idea? Have your say below.

Picture: Fotolia

Daljinder Nagra


October 10, 2013