ILLEGAL DRIVING INSTRUCTORS may be operating in your area

ILLEGAL DRIVING INSTRUCTORS may be operating in your area, the Driving Standards Agency can reveal.

The DSA Fraud & Integrity Team (FIT) is currently investigating over 400 cases of suspected illegal driving instruction across the country.

The agency is working closely with police forces at national, regional and local levels.

And they are urging the general public to put a stop to unqualified driving instructors on our roads.

Provisions under the Fraud Act 2006 mean the police now have increased powers to charge illegal instructors where it can be proved that they have misrepresented themselves by implying they are qualified.

The DSA's Deputy Head of Fraud and Integrity, Michelle Moston, said: "If illegal instructors are on our roads they have not passed the Agency's rigorous three part test to ensure that they are meeting the highest standards of safety. This puts all our lives at risk.

"The FIT team is doing all it can, but we do need your help.

"To prove the offence of providing illegal instruction under Section 123 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, we need to have evidence that money (or money's worth) has been exchanged.

"However, suspected illegal instructors will be sent a letter from the DSA and this very often acts to deter them."

It's very simple to check that your driving instructor is qualified.
* Ensure they display an in-date pink licence or green certificate in their wind screen during lessons and that the photo on the badge matches the person providing the instruction.
* The pink badge indicates that they have trainee status and are entitled to give paid instruction whilst acquiring practical experience.
* The green badge indicates that their name is in The Register of Approved Driving Instructors and they are fully qualified to give paid instruction and are subject to regular checks by DSA to ensure their continued competence and suitability to give instruction.

Offenders include part qualified instructors whose trainee licences have expired, those who have never entered the process at all and those who were previously on the register but have been removed by the Registrar.

Registered instructors now undergo criminal record checks to ensure they are 'fit and proper' candidates to become qualified instructors and so it is of increasing importance that they are registered.
If anyone suspects that a driving instructor may be operating illegally they should notify the DSA Fraud & Integrity Team, Operational Intelligence Unit on 02920 581155 or email integrity.team@dsa.gsi.gov.uk

All reports are investigated and all information is handled in the strictest confidence.

14 May 2008 Staff
 

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