Government withdraws foreign language options for driving test

12.00 | 8 April 2014 | | 1 comment

A move by the Government to prohibit the use of a foreign language voiceover or interpreter for candidates taking the driving test has come into force.

The move was announced in October 2013 following a public consultation, in a bid to improve road safety, and has now come into force (April 2014).

Until now, candidates were able to take the car and motorcycle theory test with the aid of a voiceover in one of 19 foreign languages, and use an interpreter for the theory and practical tests. Now the test must be taken in English or Welsh.

The Driving Standards Agency (now the DVLA) consulted early in 2013 on a series of proposals reviewing the level of foreign language support available to candidates.

The consultation was in response to road safety concerns, the risk of fraud and the cost of providing translations. More than 70% of the 2,000 respondents supported the withdrawal of foreign language voiceovers and interpreters.

Talking to Fleet Directory, Stephen Hammond, transport minister, 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.”



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    Excellent – but why the exception for Welsh? In 21 years living in Wales and innumerable visits since I never met anyone able to speak Welsh but not English. And if Welsh why not Gaelic?

    Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield
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