New powers to protect learner drivers

Driving instructors who pose a significant threat to public safety will face immediate suspension under new legislation that was put forward in Parliament this week.

Under the current legislation, it takes a minimum of 45 days to prevent an instructor from continuing to give paid driving instruction. However, from 13 July, the registrar of approved driving instructors will have the power to immediately suspend the registration or trainee licence of an instructor who presents a significant danger to the safety of the public.

Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said:

“Driving instructors play a vital role in helping to ensure Britain’s roads remain among the safest in the world.

“The vast majority of instructors meet the extremely high standards we require of them, but in the very rare cases where an instructor presents a significant danger to the public, it is right that we take prompt and effective action to protect learners and other road users.”

The registrar is likely to exercise the suspension power in cases where instructors have been convicted of a violent or sexual offence or are delivering tuition of a dangerously low standard, while the formal removal or revocation processes are being completed.

Instructors retain the right of appeal against a decision to remove them from the register of approved driving instructors or to revoke their trainee licence. The instructor will be able to apply for compensation in respect of the period of suspension if they are not subsequently removed from the register.