L-test interpreters to be banned

By DAVID WOODING

IMMIGRANTS will be banned from taking driving tests in foreign languages in a bid to wipe out cheating.
Nearly 900 have had their licences revoked after being told what to do by rogue translators.
Ministers fear there are many more and will ditch rules which let learners sit the theory test in any of 21 languages.
They are also concerned about handing licences to thousands of people who can’t speak English or read road signs.
Drivers can get translation into a range of languages, including Polish, Punjabi, Arabic, Tamil, Urdu, Mirpuri and Albanian.
By contrast, motorists in France can take their test in only one language – French.

Rogue

About 675 learners A WEEK take the the British test with an interpreter in the back seat.
A further 2,100 use them or rely on specially-made voiceovers for their theory exam.
The free service, introduced by Labour, costs taxpayers £250,000 – plus £10,000 for every “cheat” inquiry.
But ministers are to ditch it after nine rogue interpreters were struck off in the past two years.
They were caught coaching drivers during their test or even giving them the answers in the theory.
Dozens more are under investigation for a scam which is feared to be widespread.
Road safety minister Stephen Hammond wants to ban interpreters from all sections of the driving test.
He fears too many learners are being given a licence before they are fit to get behind the wheel alone.
It would also help immigrants to integrate more by ensuring they learned English.
L_plates3Mr Hammond said: “This isn’t about saving money, it’s about cutting out fraud and making our roads safer.
“We have seen too many interpreters helping people pass their test when they are clearly not up to it.
“It’s also common sense to expect people to understand road signs if they are going to drive on our roads.”
Manchester City star Carlos Tevez got a six-month driving ban last week after a court heard he did not understand the word “constabulary” meant “police”.
Mr Hammond will launch a consultation this month about banning all voiceovers and interpreters on theory and practical tests.

ENDS

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