15 October 2013

Say Goodbye to Foreign Language Interpreters During the UK Driving Test

Image Source: Bruce Thompson / Flickr - Licensed for reuse under Creative Commons 2.0
This week the UK Government announced a controversial change to the UK driving testAs from 7th April 2014, the option to use foreign language voiceovers or interpreters during the UK driving test will stop.

According to the Road Safety Minister, Robert Goodwill, who announced the change on 10th October 2013, many people agreed that a lack of understanding of the British language means that those drivers may not be able to understand traffic signs, speak with traffic enforcement officers or understand the details of the highway code sufficiently.

The government also consulted with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) in order to review the current level of potential road safety implications, the cost of providing the translators, and the risk of fraud involving an interpreter communicating advice beyond a strict translation.

Measuring exactly how much this change will save the government each year is difficult due to several contributing factors but an impact assessment published by the government puts the “high” estimate for the overall cost of savings to be in the approximate region of £56 million, while the “low” estimate is £6 million. The “best” estimate sits somewhere in the middle at £26 million.

More than 70% of the 2000 candidates who had a say during the proposals, supported the withdrawal of foreign language interpreters during the UK driving tests. Do you?

About the Blogger

Hayley Reeve


Hayley Reeve is the editor at Motor Heads.

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