Foreigners not knowing English clear driving tests in Britain

February 13th, 2012 - 10:57 am ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 13 (IANS) Over 10,000 people of various nationalities have cleared driving tests in Britain without having knowledge of basic English, according to government documents.

Documents obtained by the Daily Express under the Freedom of Information Act showed that the 10,330 learner drivers passed the test with interpreters sitting in the back seat relaying instructions in their native tongue.

Even though such foreign drivers are not capable of reading instructions written in English on road signs, ministers say they may be powerless to force a change because of human rights legislation.

The theory part of the test is now translated into 19 languages, allowing thousands of foreigners without a proper grasp of English to take the tests.

Transport minister Mike Penning said: “I find it incredible that Labour (the previous government) thought it was a good idea to let people without basic English loose on our roads. Road safety should be our priority, not political correctness.”

One driving instructor said it was possible for an interpreter to give a learner hints and advice in their own language.

“I suppose it wouldn’t be impossible for the translator to add on the word ‘mirror’ or ’signal’ after every instruction, without the examiner knowing,” he said.

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